World's smallest safety laser scanner
A laser scanner is a safety device that uses the reflection of laser beams to detect the presence of objects or people. The SE2L Safety Laser Scanner from IDEC is the world's smallest unit of its kind -- and the world's first with master/slave functionality and dual protection zones. This scanner is certified for use in safety applications including AGVs, forklifts, robots, and other items of moving equipment found in industrial facilities.
See further at higher sensitivity: Advanced, lightweight infrared camera core for imaging gimbals
Sierra-Olympic Technologies, a supplier of infrared (IR) and thermal imaging components, cameras, and systems solutions, has just introduced the Ventus 275, a midwave-infrared imaging engine with a continuous zoom (CZ) optic. Advanced image enhancements include electronic image stabilization, automatic/manual gain control, adaptive contrast control, and optional target tracking/detection. This compact, lightweight MWIR thermal camera core is specially designed for OEM integrators of surveillance system enclosures and other imaging gimbals.
1000Base-T1 automotive Ethernet common mode choke
Pulse Electronics' Networking Business Unit has introduced the 1000Base-T1 Ethernet Common Mode Choke for automotive applications. Designed to deliver high reliability and performance, the AE5002 1000Base-T1 series is ideal for applications such as Infotainment, Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) Body Control, Camera/Radar, Gateways, and Backbone Diagnostics.
Cool Tools: Minimally invasive video borescope
Extech Instruments has launched the BR250-4, an affordable and versatile wireless inspection borescope designed to get into openings as small as 4.5 mm while providing bright clear images on its detachable, wireless 3.5-in. color display. When you need to get into walls, ducts, furnaces, boiler tubes, air handlers, exchangers, coils, plenums, and other concealed or hard-to-access areas, this is your hero. And when there's no existing opening and drilling is required, making a much smaller hole leaves minimal damage.
Drop-in solution makes your machine ready for Industry 4.0
Bosch Rexroth's IoT Gateway Rack is an IP65-rated enclosure containing Rexroth's award-winning IoT Gateway. It includes all the necessary wiring and connections to connect PLCs, I/O, and other data sources for collection, processing, and forwarding of plant floor data to upper-level data systems, making it ideal for retrofitting older machines with Industry 4.0 data-transfer capabilities. The plug-and-play design allows OEMs to use the IoT Gateway Rack as an optional addition to their existing machines. Uses standard 110-V plug.
New family of EC fans for AC applications
Orion Fans has launched a family of electronically commutated (EC) fans that offer low-power, energy-saving cooling solutions for AC applications. The AC-input fans -- available in a range of sizes (60 mm, 120 mm, 172 mm, and 250 mm) -- utilize a brushless DC motor and incorporate voltage transformation within the motor for significantly lower power consumption. This equates to power savings of up to 50 percent, enabling customers to meet energy-consumption requirements from agencies like ENERGY STAR. These fans are ideal for a broad range of applications including appliances, commercial and process control, refrigeration, HVAC, and electronic enclosures and cabinets.
Industry's first 100-W and 200-W USB Type-C controllers
Texas Instruments has introduced two new USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (PD) controllers, with fully integrated power paths to simplify designs, minimize solution size, and speed time to market. The TPS65987D and TPS65988 offer system designers the industry's highest level of integration to reduce design complexity and overall cost. The devices are the industry's first USB PD controllers to source 100 W and 200 W of power, respectively, to support computing applications and enable the benefits of USB Type-C in additional applications such as cordless power tools, gaming, and virtual reality headsets.
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.
Next-gen data storage: Researchers switch material from one state to another with a single flash of light
Intensity patterns recorded with SLAC's "electron camera" showed researchers how the atomic structure of a tantalum disulfide crystal responded to laser flashes, switching from an alpha state (left) to an alpha/beta state (right) and back. The intensity patterns were used to reconstruct the atomic structure.
By Manuel Gnida, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have demonstrated a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and then back again, with single flashes of laser light.
This switching behavior is similar to what happens in magnetic data storage materials, and making the switch with laser light could offer a new way to read and write information in next-generation data storage devices, among other unprecedented applications, says Nuh Gedik, the study's principal investigator at MIT. The team reported their results in Science Advances.
Single pulses of laser light were used to switch tantalum disulfide from one state to another and back again. Clockwise from left: A single light pulse turns the material from its initial, alpha state (red) into a mixture of alpha and beta (blue) states separated by domain walls (right). A second light pulse dissolves the domain walls, and the material returns to its original state. Switches like this could potentially lead to the development of new types of data storage devices.
Frozen waves of electrons
In today's devices, information is stored and retrieved by flipping the spin of electrons with a magnetic field. "But here we flipped a different material property known as charge density waves," says Alfred Zong, a graduate student in Gedik's group and one of the study's lead authors.
Charge density waves are periodic peaks and valleys in the way electrons are distributed in a material. They are motionless, like icy waves on a frozen lake. Scientists want to learn more about these waves because they often coexist with other interesting material properties, such as the ability to conduct electricity without loss at relatively high temperatures, and could potentially be related to those properties.
The new study focused on tantalum disulfide, a material with charge density waves that are all oriented in the same direction in what's called the alpha state. When the researchers zapped a thin crystal of the material with a very brief laser pulse, some of the waves flipped into a beta state with a different electron orientation, and the alpha and beta regions were separated by domain walls. A second flash of light dissolved the domain walls and returned the material to its pure alpha state.
This transmission electron microscopy image shows a domain wall (marked with yellow circles) between two different states, alpha (red area) and beta (blue area), in a tantalum disulfide crystal. The beta state and domain wall formed after the crystal was hit with a single light pulse.
Surprising material switch
These changes in the material, which had never been seen before, were detected with SLAC's instrument for ultrafast electron diffraction (UED), a high-speed "electron camera" that probes the motions of a material's atomic structure with a powerful beam of very energetic electrons.
"We were looking for other effects in our experiment, so we were taken by complete surprise when we saw that we can write and erase domain walls with single light pulses," says Xijie Wang, head of SLAC's UED group.
Anshul Kogar, a postdoctoral researcher in Gedik's group, says, "The domain walls are a particularly interesting feature because they have properties that differ from the rest of the material." For example, they might play a role in the drastic change seen in tantalum disulfide's electrical resistance when it's exposed to ultrashort light pulses, which was previously observed by another group.
SLAC staff scientist Xiaozhe Shen, one of the study's lead authors on Wang's team, says, "UED allowed us to analyze in detail how the domains formed over time, how large they were, and how they were distributed in the material."
The researchers also found that they can fine-tune the process by adjusting the temperature of the crystal and the energy of the light pulse, giving them control over the material switch. In a next step, the team wants to gain even more control, for example by shaping the light pulse in a way that it allows generating particular domain patterns in the material.
"The fact that we can tune a material in a very simple manner seems very fundamental," Wang says. "So fundamental, in fact, that it could turn out to be an important step toward using light in creating the exact material properties we want."
Additional contributions to this study came from Harvard University. The project was funded by the DOE Office of Science and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
SLAC is a multi-program laboratory operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Published November 2018
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