Cool Tools: Fluke revamps industrial thermal camera line
Fluke has retooled its entire line of industrial thermal cameras with more premium features packed into every model, providing higher value for the customer and allowing the company to reduce the number of cameras it offers to simplify the buying process. From an industrial pocket thermal imager to a line-up of 640 x 480 resolution infrared cameras, these tools take professional inspections to the next level.
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Cool Tools: World's first 1-ms IPS gaming monitor
LG recently unveiled its UltraGear Nano IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC gaming monitor, the world's first 1-millisecond IPS display. Could you manage to get a little work done on it too? The Nano IPS tech aims to achieve phenomenal color reproduction, ultra-fast response time, and a refresh rate of 144 Hz, overclockable to 175 Hz. Who doesn't want blazing speed and stunning picture quality? Just made available to buy in the 27-in. (model 27GL850) for under 500 smackers. The 38-in. unit (model 38GL950G) will be available soon.
Customized anti‐vandal switches
CIT Relay & Switch offers a broad line of sealed, illuminated Anti‐Vandal switches. Ranging
from 10 mm up to 40 mm, the styles offer dot and ring illumination with CUSTOM laser printing available. With body and actuator finish options including stainless steel, nickel, and anodized aluminum in black, red, yellow, green, or blue (and bi‐color illumination available), these splash‐proof and vandal-resistant switches offer endless combinations for any design need. Contact CIT today to CUSTOMIZE your anti‐vandal switch.
Quick-ship program for standard and custom-designed process heaters
Durex Industries, a leading manufacturer of electric industrial heaters, sensors, and systems, now offers screw plug, flange immersion, and circulation heaters with fast-turn shipping capabilities. Durex uses product platforms to provide standard "catalog-type" designs as well as customized designs in the same fast-turnaround window. Plug heaters ship in 3 to 5 days, flange heaters ship in 5 to 7, and circulation heaters in 9 to 12 days -- regardless if standard or custom configured. In addition, there is no upcharge for customized units or "non-standard" configurations.
How many mils is your coating?
Although portable coating thickness gauges are not new, most fail to provide the accuracy, speed, or simplicity required for anyone to conduct quick checks as needed on the production line or in the field. Well all that has changed. A new solution from Kett enables simple, one-hand non-destructive testing -- even on curved and complex surfaces -- on painting, plating, anodizing, and organic coatings.
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Flexible circuit design guide
Tech-Etch uses advanced techniques to manufacture flex and rigid-flex circuits to exacting customer specifications. Special processes include selective plating a single circuit with two different finishes, contoured circuits with variable metal thickness, semi-additive and subtractive techniques, open window or cantilevered contact leads, plus SMT for component assembly. Tech-Etch specializes in flexible circuits for medical device, medical implant, diagnostic ultrasound, and patient monitoring applications, in addition to telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, and other high-reliability electronic applications.
Learn about flex circuits and download the guide (no registration required).
Cybersecurity for embedded military applications
Designed to secure critical data within embedded military and defense applications, Aitech Group's C875 uses the new 8th generation Intel Xeon E processor to provide advanced cybersecurity as well as exceptional processing performance. As the risk of tamper attacks and theft of data continues to increase at all levels of embedded computing, the new 3U VPX SBC incorporates Aitech's proprietary AiSecure architecture to help protect against data breaches that may occur at the system site itself. The board features an Intel Xeon E-2176 M 6-core (12-thread) architecture with 12 MB of integrated Smartcache, delivering an impressive 2.7 GHz of performance that increases up to 4.4 GHz when Turbo Mode is enabled.
Get an IOT security development kit -- on the house
Security has become the biggest challenge for IoT (Internet of Things) development, with eight out of 10 developers identifying it as their biggest hurdle. To help developers create highly secure, end-to-end IoT solutions, leading global technology solutions provider Avnet is providing 20,000 Azure Sphere starter kits -- gratis. Additionally, developers will have access to a series of resources including webinars, lectures, road tests, and design contests hosted by Avnet as part of Avnet's ongoing relationship with Microsoft's Azure Sphere Ecosystem. The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit is a fast and easy way to equip IoT endpoint devices to be highly secure. By uniting hardware, software, and cloud in one secure solution, Azure Sphere secures the seven critical properties of an IoT device: hardware root of trust, defense in depth, small trusted computing base, dynamic compartments, certificate-based authentication, failure reporting, and renewable security.
Replacing hydraulics with electric actuators -- avoid pitfalls, gain the benefits
Electric actuators continue to find new and exciting places within automation processes from the mundane to some of the most extreme operating environments on the planet. Every day, machine designers seek alternative electric solutions to hydraulic cylinders for the very first time. However, there are many common pitfalls to properly sizing an electric equivalent. When sized correctly, replacement with high-force electric linear actuators can provide tremendous benefit in processes, quality, and reducing your total cost of ownership.
Read this informative Tolomatic blog.
New Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters simplify installation
EXAIR's new Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters allow installation when compressed air piping is under pressure. By eliminating the need to isolate and remove pressure from the pipe, these compressed air flowmeters reduce installation time while maintaining safety. Hot Tap Digital Flowmeters incorporate two valves that the measuring probes pass through. A sound muffler that also collects chips from the drilling process eliminates installation debris from entering the airstream and minimizes noise exposure. Measuring compressed air is the first step toward identifying high compressed air use areas, compressed air leaks and optimizing air use.
Just out! Most powerful Raspberry Pi ever
The new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Computer is the most powerful Raspberry Pi model ever. It offers significant enhancements in processor speed, multimedia performance, memory, and connectivity that will make it attractive to general desktop computer users, hobbyist and makers, and professional developers working with compute-intensive embedded applications such as computer vision and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Available in 1-GB, 2-GB, and 4-GB models.
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Angle sensors retain position -- even without power!
The RSB 3600 Series of absolute single-turn angle sensors from Novotechnik U.S. are EGMR (enhanced giant magnetic resistance) devices that retain their angular position even when power is removed. The sensors retain that angle information for years without power, so there is no need for batteries. Operating speed is up to 12,000 RPM. These non-contact sensors feature a galvanized steel housing and stainless steel shaft with up to 100 N working shaft load for the HD version. They are sealed up to IP 69K, depending on version. They count to 16 turns, angular position 0 to 360 deg. MTTF of more than 105 years.
Overvoltage protection for motors, white goods, more
The RV from Stackpole is a radial leaded metal oxide varistor available in a wide range of disk sizes (5 mm to 20 mm) and working voltages (from 14 VDC to 1,465 VDC) designed for general-purpose overvoltage protection. Peak current ratings up to 18,000 amps. Applications include low-voltage board-level circuitry, data and voice communications, network equipment, distribution panels, AC line protection for white goods, entertainment electronics, lighting ballasts, power supplies, electric motors and motor controls, and surge protection devices.
Extreme-force electric actuator for press and punch
Tolomatic's RSX extreme force electric actuator family has been expanded -- this time with more options capable of replacing hydraulic cylinders. The new RSX096P Press Model is designed for pressing, punching, clinching, joining, and other applications requiring extreme force. This hydraulic-class actuator is capable of forces up to 40,000 lbf (178 kN). It features Tolomatic planetary roller screw technology for long life and consistent performance.
New optical joysticks for medical and military
CTI Electronics (an affiliate of Electro Switch Corp.) has launched a new line of optical joystick motion controllers and mouse pointing devices. Made in the USA, LightStick Series controllers exceed medical and military performance standards for electromagnetic and RF disturbance in applications to 200 V/m -- without additional shielding. The LightStick's patented noncontact optical sensor technology ensures highly repeatable operator feedback for the life of the controller -- up to 10 million cycles and a MTBF greater than 10 years of operation.
New way to make micro sensors and control MEMS may lead to better, cheaper microphones, gyroscopes, pressure sensors
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have found a way to improve the performance of tiny sensors that could have wide-reaching implications for the electronic devices we use every day.
Their study found a more reliable way to use actuators that control MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), which are microscopic devices with moving parts that are often produced in the same way as electronics.
The Binghamton team found that combining two methods for electrostatic actuation -- parallel-plate and levitation actuators -- led to a predictable linearity that neither of those systems offered on its own.
Their investigation is funded by a $480,958 grant from the National Science Foundation, mainly conducted by PhD student Mark Pallay under the supervision of principal investigator Shahrzad (Sherry) Towfighian and co-principal investigator Ronald N. Miles, associate professor and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering.
The team's findings could be revolutionary for microphone manufacturing, because with this design the signal can be boosted high enough that the background noise from the electronics is no longer an issue. More than 2 billion microphones are made around the world each year, and that number is growing as more devices feature vocal interaction.
"The electronic noise is really hard to get rid of," Miles said. "You hear this hiss in the background. When you make really small microphones -- which is what we want to do -- the noise is a bigger and bigger issue. It's more and more of a challenge. This is one path toward avoiding that and getting the noise down."
Shahrzad Towfighian is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University. [Credit: Binghamton University, State University of New York]
Towfighian, who has studied MEMS extensively, explained that actuators in the micro devices are normally just two plates with a gap between. Those plates close, and the device activates when it receives a certain voltage.
It is difficult to fine-tune that kind of actuator, but adding two electrodes on the sides of the plates creates a levitation effect that simultaneously pushes them apart and allows better control over the device.
"Combining the two systems, we can get rid of nonlinearity," she said. "If you give it some voltage, it stands at some distance and maintains that over a large range of motion."
Miles said that predictability is crucial when building actuators for microphones, which have been the focus of his recent research.
"In a sensor, life is much easier if it moves one unit and the output voltage increases in one unit, or something in proportion as you go," he said. "In an actuator, you're trying to push things, so if you're giving it twice as much voltage, you want it to go twice as far and not four times as far.
"It's like if you had a ruler where the inches varied in length as you moved up. With capacitive sensors, you have these strange variations with sensitivity and output as you move up the scale. That's a massive headache."
When the Binghamton researchers began their study, they didn't know that combining the two ideas would provide as desirable an outcome as it has.
"The magic -- the dumb luck -- is that the nonlinearities cancel each other out," Miles said. "They tend to be in opposite directions. We're able to show that over a significant range, they're linear.
"By having both of these electrode configurations, it gives you more knobs to turn and more adjustments you can make with applying voltages to different electrodes. With a simple parallel plate, you have one voltage across them and you don't have much design freedom. With this, there are more electrodes and you get much more control over the design."
In addition to the possibilities for microphone manufacture -- making them smaller, better, and cheaper -- Towfighian sees how the new actuator design can be used in her line of study, which includes gyroscopes, accelerometers, pressure sensors, and other kinds of switches.
"We showed this concept at a basic level, but it has wide applications," she said. "It can improve the function of many devices, so the impact could be huge."
The study, titled "Merging parallel-plate and levitation actuators to enable linearity and tunability in electrostatic MEMS," was published in The Journal of Applied Physics.
Source: Binghamton University, State University of New York
Published September 2019
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