First explosion-proof stackable multi-turn encoder
Sensata Technologies has introduced the first explosion-proof stackable multi-turn encoder, an ideal position sensing solution for oil and gas applications such as drawworks, top drives, and pipe-handling equipment where working conditions are extreme. The new encoder, BEI Sensors' model MAAX, is ATEX and IECEx certified to operate in explosive environments and features a Profibus output in a unique, stackable package. CANopen and SSI outputs are also available. The MAAX provides up to 16 bits of resolution as well as up to 16 bits of turns by mechanical counting. This workhorse product operates directly in Zone 1 environments without the need for an accompanying Intrinsic Safety barrier.
DuPont announces newest in-mold electronics inks
DuPont Electronics and Imaging is launching its second generation of In-Mold Electronic (IME) materials with key advancements in its electrically conductive adhesive, protection encapsulant, and crossover dielectric. IME technology enables functions such as touch controls and lighting to be directly embedded inside plastic parts by printing circuits onto plastic sheets, which are then thermoformed and injection molded. This allows product engineers to reduce weight and cost while increasing design aesthetics and functionality in everything from car dashboards to home appliances, using fewer parts and manufacturing steps.
Learn more about the latest materials.
Go to the DuPont In-Mold Electronic Technology website.
Through-beam object-detecting fork sensors
Fork sensors (slot sensors) from Automation-Direct are U- or L-shaped through-beam object-detecting sensors that have the transmitter and receiver built into the opposing "fork" arms of the sensor housing. New PS series fork sensor additions include harsh-duty U-frame sensors for food applications, L-frame or angled fork sensors for unique mounting situations, and fork sensors for liquid detection. Depending on the model, PS series fork sensors are available in visible red, infrared, and laser lighting and in sensing ranges from 5 mm to 220 mm.
Application Note: Cooling for automotive applications
Advances in automotive technologies such as smart headlights, autonomous systems for collision avoidance, and infotainment systems require enhanced thermal protection of critical electronics to ensure optimized performance. Packing more functionality into smaller footprints has increased the heat flux density and thermal challenges in automotive electronics. Designing active cooling systems will provide a thermal management solution needed to operate each sensitive device within its temperature range and optimize its performance. Get this in-depth application note from Laird Thermal Systems.
Read the app note (no registration required).
Collect and understand vibration condition data
Vibration monitoring is one of the most effective ways to detect potential equipment failures before they cause downtime. However, vibration analysis is complex, and it can be cost prohibitive to place sensors on noncritical assets. The new, wireless Fluke 3561 FC Vibration Sensor allows maintenance teams to improve uptime by adding remote, continuous vibration monitoring to virtually any rotating equipment. With a frequency range of 10 to 1,000 hertz, the 3561 FC detects and notifies users of conditional changes caused by critical faults like imbalance, misalignment, looseness, and bearing wear, providing warning of impending equipment failure.
Polyimide heater kit -- tons of uses
The Polyimide heater kit from Omega Engineering contains thin and flexible heaters with adhesive backing to conform to practically any flat or curved surface. With 15 different shapes, this kit can suit almost any application. Heater configurations are outlined on a 0.3-m x 0.3-m (1-ft x 1-ft) sheet, with line markings for easy selection and cutout. When used in combination, these heaters can provide a number of resistances and wattages. Leads can be soldered on or connected with alligator clips. Typical applications include: aerospace, analytical equipment, tooling, commercial equipment, agriculture, packaging, and material handling.
LED headlights installed on San Francisco's historic cable cars
Since 1873, the best lighting the historic San Francisco Municipal Cable Cars had was dim incandescent headlights that did not do anything for illumination. They were merely bright enough to serve as an indicator that a cable car was coming. After over 140 years, that finally changed with their upgrade to LED light bulbs from LEDtronics. Along with the PAR46 LED headlights, A19-style LED light bulbs were also installed inside the passenger cabins. Savings on energy costs and maintenance are major benefits.
Verify color accuracy in real time
The LEX-1000 sensor from EMX Industries is used to measure the relative color characteristics
for a wide variety of light sources and illuminated objects. It focuses the light onto a sensitive RGB photodiode, where it is measured for its red, green, and blue (RGB) composition.
When all three colors fall within the programmed tolerance, the output indicates a match. This is a great solution for evaluation of all visible light sources, LCD and LED display quality, and automotive lighting verification.
Solenoid valves for commercial space vehicles
Marotta Controls has launched CoRe Flow Controls, a new series of commercially available, high-performance solenoid valves for today’s NewSpace generation of reusable launch vehicles. It enables system designers to quickly move through the development phase with minimal risk, and its versatility allows for integration into a wide variety of critical applications, including pressurization systems, stage separation, and engine controls. The line consists of six flight-qualified solenoid valves designed around common components with operating pressures up to 6,000 psi (41 MPa). This standardized, high-volume production approach enables Marotta to offer lower cost components with shorter lead times.
Click here to learn more.
Waterproof 6-axis acceleration and angular rate sensor
Code Mercenaries has released the JoyWarrior 56FR1-WP, a cost-efficient, waterproof, six-axis MEMS motion sensor that provides 3-axis measurements of both acceleration and angular rate with 16-bit resolution for motion, vibration, or orientation sensing applications. Readings are taken at 833 measurements per sec in standard mode, while a high-speed mode generates 6,664 data points per sec. The different range settings at which acceleration and angular rate can be measured can be stored permanently in the sensor. Comes with a 6-ft cable and USB interface. Available from U.S. distributor Saelig.
Click here to learn more.
Advancements in reed switch-based technology for liquid-level sensing
Madison Company has developed an advancement in proven reed switch-based technology that provides ultra-high resolution, very tight tolerances, and consistent repeatable measurements in liquid level sensor designs. Sensors can be also designed to withstand extreme shock or vibration as well as corrosive conditions and temperature variations. Applications include: power generators, commercial compressors, power transmission equipment, chemical processing, and hydraulic systems.
New touchless angle sensors with CANBus interface
Novotechnik, U.S. introduces the RFC4800 Series of touchless angle sensors measuring angular position up to 360°, revolution counter, and speed -- with J1939 CANBus interface in addition to CANopen. Features include programmable zero-point offset, measurement averaging, and sign of rotational direction. RFC4800 Series has a resolution of 14-bits across 360°, repeatability of 0.36°, and independent linearity of +/-0.5% of full scale. J1939 CANBus provides a different feature set than CANopen. It has peer-to-peer or broadcast signaling and fixed messages rather than configurable. There are other differences too.
Inline Code Matcher makes for reliable packaging
The Inline Code Matcher is a stand-alone quality-control system featuring SICK Lector 6xx image-based code readers that reliably read 1D and 2D codes on packages to match packaging with the correct products. The Inline Code Matcher system software uses a 7-in. touch screen with an intuitive user interface for operation and to visualize data. The Inline Code Matcher’s modular design and auto set-up feature allow for easy integration into existing plants. Products can be changed over during a live operation on the basis of an example product or manually with a hand-held scanner.
Click here to learn more.
Minimizing noise in electric linear motion systems
Under most circumstances, electric linear motion systems are quiet. They certainly don’t create the hissing and bang-bang noises associated with pneumatic systems. However, there’s another type of noise that comes with electric systems of all types: electrical noise or interference. The results can be anything from erratic movements to complete system failure. Patrick Hobart from Tolomatic runs through best practices for minimizing noise in these automation systems.
Read this insightful blog.
Sony releasing 0.5-type OLED microdisplay with top-of-class UXGA resolution
Sony Corporation recently announced the upcoming release of the ECX339A OLED Microdisplay featuring UXGA (1,600 x 1,200 resolution), the highest in class for a 0.5-type. This product achieves the world's smallest pixel pitch of 6.3μm by leveraging Sony's OLED display technology and miniaturization technology, enabling a resolution 1.6x higher than the previous model. By employing a new drive circuit design that operates on half the voltage of the previous model, the new product achieves the same level of low-power operation as its predecessor but with much higher resolution.
Check the back seat: Rear Door Alert technology to become standard on all four-door Nissan nameplates
Nissan is making Rear Door Alert* (RDA) technology standard on more models to remind customers to check the back seat and help reduce potential heatstroke incidents.
Originally developed by two mothers who are also engineers, Rear Door Alert reminds owners to check the rear seat upon exiting their vehicle by using a series of distinctive honks as the driver walks away from the vehicle. Nissan is the first automaker to use a honking horn as an alert for this type of feature.
"What started as a chat with my colleague, Elsa Foley, is now innovative technology being adopted in more Nissan models," said Marlene Mendoza, a mechanical engineer who helped create the technology.
After Mendoza and Foley presented the idea, the project moved into full development at Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) in Farmington Hills, MI.
"The idea was inspired when I accidentally left a pan of lasagna in the back seat of my car overnight," said Mendoza, a mother of three, who was pregnant when the idea struck. "The worst thing was the car smelled for days, but it made me ask myself, 'What if I left something far more important back there?'"
The temperature inside a vehicle can increase to dangerous levels quickly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even with moderate outside temperatures in the mid-60s, a vehicle's interior can quickly heat up to more than 110 F.
How Rear Door Alert works
RDA, which currently is standard equipment on the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder, monitors when the rear door is opened and closed before and after the vehicle is in motion. The system responds with a series of notifications if a rear door was used prior to a trip, but was not re-opened after the trip. Once the vehicle is in park and the ignition is turned off, the system will first display a notification in the instrument panel and progresses to subtle, distinctive chirps of the horn.
The RDA system is easy to configure and can be temporarily, or permanently, turned off through a menu in the cluster display.
"If you open a rear door and put something in the rear seat, Rear Door Alert will help you remember when you get to your destination that you may have forgotten it," Mendoza said. "By drawing attention back to the vehicle while the driver is walking away, the honking alerts you to recheck the back seat in addition to visual or interior audible alerts."
Mendoza (listed as Henry on the patent) and Foley are the inventors on U.S. Patent No. 9,734,695 for the "activity monitoring apparatus," otherwise known as Rear Door Alert. This is the first patent granted to either Mendoza or Foley.
* Rear Door Alert is only intended to remind people to check the rear seats of their vehicle under certain circumstances. It cannot prevent accidents caused by inattention or carelessness.
Published September 2018
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