Author: Alexandria Wong

This Month’s Spotlight: Tube Service Co.

Tube Service Co. (www.tubeservice.com) pretty much says it all in its name. Service is what it provides with its tubing products, on time and at a competitive price, according to its website, where it tells readers, “service,” is its middle name. Through the company’s seven laser processing centers, Tube Service Co. takes the toil out of punching, drilling, sawing and what elsewhere might be called the “time-consuming” deburring process. “With these machines, we can furnish you finished parts with any profile in a wide range of sizes with laser tight tolerance,” Tube Service Co. says on its website. In its third decade, Tube Service Co.; serves customers throughout the west with company locations in Phoenix, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; and three locations in California: Milpitas, El Cajon and Santa Fe Springs. The company’s seven “state of the art” tube laser processing centers specialize in cutting stainless, aluminum and carbon tubular shapes. Tube Service Co. stores thousands of tube profiles, making it a “just-in-time” supplier of materials for lean customers. “Tube Service distributes a full array of ferrous and nonferrous tubular products, laser tube processing, cutting to length tube processing, and marketing seamless and drawn over mandrel tubing (aluminum, stainless, carbon and alloy) to meet the exacting needs of its customers,” Tube Service Co. said on its website. Any customer interested in any dimension need only visit the Technical...

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This Month’s Spotlight: Preproduction Plastics Inc.

Preproduction Plastics Inc., (PPI), is a full service thermal plastic molder based in Corona, California, where 65 employees make high precision products at competitive prices in the company’s 45,000-square-foot plant. Workers use two plastic molding processes, which are structural foam and gas assist injection molding. PPI also specializes in precision mold making in the company’s tool room. “We help customers select the molding process that best fits their applications, budget and product life span,” PPI said on the company’s website. “Our eleven presses running three shifts gives us open capacity to process orders with the fastest turnaround time.” The company’s structural foam molding process produces walls up to 0.40 inches thick, giving parts higher strength than injection molding, the company said on its website. Parts can range in size from eight ounces to 45 pounds. PPI also specializes in gas injection molding, which injects gas into a mold to push the molten plastic into the extremities. The advantages of this process, PPI reports on its website, can be lower clamp tonnage, lower injection pressures, reduced cycle times and lower costs. PPI’s tool room offers CAD/CAM technology to provide high accuracy and reduced lead time for mold creation. PPI also offers a mold maintenance program to ensure longer mold life. PPI is ISO 2008 certified, Underwriters Laboratories certified, and it constantly monitors production through its IQMS Real Time® computer software...

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This Month’s Spotlight: Seal Methods Inc.

Seal Methods Inc., (SMI) specializes in precision gaskets, seals, tapes and precision die cuts fabricated at one of its three manufacturing locations in California and in China. The 43-year-old manufacturing firm (SMI) operates 300,000-square-feet of manufacturing space to ISO and TS 16949 quality specifications. “SMI’s customers and suppliers are valued partners whom we treat with dignity, integrity and trust. Our association with the finest raw material manufacturers throughout the world enables us to provide the widest possible selection of materials to meet your needs,” SMI writes on its website. SMI is headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, CA., with an additional facility in Hayward, CA., and a third in Nanjing, China. It provides parts for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive, electric vehicles, energy, construction, electronics, medical, high performance aftermarket, industrial, and trucking and transportation, among others. SMI’s processes include custom die cutting, slitting, sheeting and laminating. Its slitting capacity includes rotary, rewind, score, and simple knife log slitting to optimize processes for multiple degrees of precision, the website said. Examples of parts made through this process include sealing, vibration damping, insulation and gaskets, among others. In addition, SMI’s processes include CNC cutting, including waterjet, knife and laser. SMI describes its CNC cutting expertise as, “some of the most versatile and high capacity cutting methods in the industry,” and, “CNC cutting is ideal for lower production volume or...

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This Month’s Shop Spotlight: Compass Manufacturing Services

Compass Manufacturing Services, (CMS), is an ISO certified partner to Fortune 500 firms looking for collaborators on contract manufacturing, on designing and building custom equipment, on systems design, engineering, system integration, and electronic component distribution. Founded in 1979, Compass Manufacturing (www.ccicms.com) is headquartered in Fremont, Ca., with facilities in the Western United States. The firm’s newest focus is “Scientific Engineering Services,” which teams a client’s technical staff with engineers from Compass to collaborate on meeting the client’s goals. “Our dedicated staff of engineers and designers is committed to presenting a fresh cost-reduction perspective while maintaining a commitment to superior quality, and short lead times,” the company wrote on its website. “We specialize in complete electromechanical systems, as well as custom manufacturing tools, from wiring harnesses to power supplies and full control systems.” Compass’s expertise includes design for manufacturability and testability, discrete wiring to harness development, tooling and test development, on-site engineering, new product introduction and launch prototyping, data acquisition, industrial control panels, reduced lead time, 24-hour engineering prototypes, concept drawings, evaluations and technical manuals. Compass Manufacturing is UL certified, ROHS compliant and ISO 9001: 2008 registered. “In 2016, Compass and STI Magnetics formed a partnership, Compass STI, combining the specialized engineering talent of STI and the contract manufacturing expertise of Compass, to become the premier US builder of specialized equipment using electro-magnetic technologies,” Compass wrote on its website. “If...

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This Month’s Shop Spotlight: Haeger, Inc.

  Haeger (haeger.com) has prided itself on manufacturing fastener insertion machines and providing customer service for more than 25 years by offering a complete line of machines that insert various fasteners, including rivets, grommets, screws, studs, anchors, pins, blind nuts, bottom feed sticks and other fastening hardware. Haeger argues its machines are excellent tools in the battle to help U.S. firms compete globally by improving quality, increasing productivity and keeping companies competitive through the use of its high tech equipment and its superior customer service. “These machines allow the insertion of up to four different fasteners in a single handling of a part. The Technology offers the single most significant boost to hardware insertion productivity since the introduction of automatic tooling systems,” Haeger said on its website. Haeger’s U.S. headquarters is in Oakedale, Ca., and its European headquarters is in Oldenzaal, the Netherlands. Its Asian headquarters is located in Shanghai, PRC. In addition to its “off the shelf” insertion machines, it also sells special made-to-order insertion machines that Haeger builds to customer requirements. Haeger insertion machines come in a wide range of sizes and capabilities, including the 824 OT-4e OneTouch 4e XYZ-R that can insert up to 2,000 parts per hour with a full range of force, from 225 pounds up to 20,000 pounds. Haeger uses accuracy and maintenance processes to keep its machines performing at peak accuracy and...

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EMA Acquires Accelerated Designs

Extensive part database and library tool speed creation of EDA content for new components ROCHESTER, N.Y.—EMA Design Automation® (ema-eda.com), a provider of electronic design automation (EDA) tools, recently announced the acquisition of Accelerated Designs, a company known for its dominance in EDA part library content, including a 7.2-million-part database and its specialist library tool Ultra Librarian. The acquisition includes all EDA content and software created by Accelerated Designs. “One of the many challenges an electrical engineer faces during the design phase is getting accurate and usable symbols and footprints,” said Manny Marcano, president of EMA Design Automation, in a release announcing the acquisition. “Accelerated Designs’ library is the world’s largest library for EDA symbols and footprints, offering over 7.2 million quality parts to choose from. Additionally, Accelerated Designs offers services to enable any IC vendor to quickly and easily create the EDA library content its customers need when choosing their components.” EMA Design Automation hired all of Accelerated Designs’ existing personnel, both to retain their expertise and so that existing Accelerated Designs’ customers will experience a business-as-usual transition through the change in ownership, Marcano added. “Becoming part of EMA allows me and my team to focus on our core expertise: EDA part creation, library tools, and services,” said Frank Frank, president and CEO of Accelerated Designs, in the release. “With EMA’s help in marketing and business development, we’ll be...

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Robot Would Assemble Modular Telescope — In Space

BELLINGHAM, Wash.—Enhancing astronomers’ ability to peer ever more deeply into the cosmos may hinge on developing larger space-based telescopes. A new concept in space telescope design makes use of a modular structure and an assembly robot to build an extremely large telescope in space, performing tasks in which astronaut fatigue would be a problem. The robotically assembled modular space telescope (RAMST) design is described by Nicolas Lee and his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in an article published in July by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS). Ground-based telescopes are limited by atmospheric effects and by their fixed location on the Earth. Space-based telescopes do not have those disadvantages, but have other limits, such as overall launch vehicle volume and mass capacity. Design of a modular space telescope that overcomes restrictions on volume and mass could allow telescope components to be launched incrementally, enabling the design and deployment of extremely large space telescopes. The design detailed by Lee and his colleagues in “Architecture for in-space robotic assembly of a modular space telescope,” focuses primarily on a robotic system to perform tasks in which astronaut fatigue would be a problem. “Our goal is to address the principal technical challenges associated with such an architecture, so that future concept studies addressing a...

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Rapid Overmolding Service Reported to Speed Product Development

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.—A new overmolding service launched by Proto Labs uses engineering-grade thermoplastics and liquid silicone rubber materials to produce custom overmolded prototypes and end-use production parts in quantities from 25 to more than 10,000, in 15 days or less, the company reported. “This is a game-changer,” said Proto Labs CEO Vicki Holt in a press release. “Proto Labs is focused on accelerating product development, and the introduction of rapid overmolding gives designers and developers at the world’s largest companies one more tool to make high-quality prototype or low-volume production parts as quickly as possible.” Product designers and engineers use overmolding to improve grip and durability, dampen vibration, and to add two-color aesthetics to parts. The process can also reduce manufacturing costs by simplifying multi-part assemblies. As the name implies, overmolded parts go through a multi-step process that results in common products such as tool handles, personal care products, medical devices, and more. “Proto Labs was able to deliver high-quality, overmolded parts in just 15 days from the time I placed the order,” said Michael Ackner, a senior mechanical engineer at Smiths Medical and early Proto Labs overmolding customer, in the release. “This turnaround time allowed me to validate my design — using production-grade materials — much sooner than ever before.” More information on overmolding at Proto Labs, including design guidelines and material options, is available at...

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Miniaturization of Rupture Disks Forces Industry Back to Drawing Board

Miniaturized rupture disks—from ⅛ inch to 1 inch—deliver protection against over-pressurization at low, medium, and high set burst pressures For more than 85 years, the rupture disk has served as an effective passive safety mechanism to protect against overpressure or potentially damaging vacuum conditions in tanks and other enclosed vessels. However, as these pressure relief devices become increasingly miniaturized to sizes as small as ⅛ inch to meet the demands of a new generation of smaller, lighter applications, the industry is running squarely into design and raw material challenges that often require re-engineering the product itself. Fortunately, rupture disk manufacturers have embraced this challenge with novel structures and design elements that have led to a new category of miniaturized options from ⅛ inch to 1 inch at all ranges of pressure, including low (15-1000 psi), medium (350-16,000 psi), and high (1,500-70,000 psi). The beneficiaries are expected to be equipment manufacturers and design engineers currently developing the next generation of aircraft safety systems, fire suppression systems, lithium batteries and battery packs, cryogenic systems, bioreactors, refrigeration systems, chemical systems, and hydraulics. The Evolution of Rupture Disks To understand the challenge requires an understanding of the origins of rupture disk technology. When it comes to pressure relief devices, the two most common are safety valves (reclosing) and rupture disks, also known as bursting discs (non-reclosing). Rupture disks are designed to fail within...

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Pre-Engineered Padeye Designs Reported to Improve Time to Market

BOYNE CITY, Mich.—Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (IMI) recently announced a new line of pre-engineered, certified, and ready-to-weld standard padeyes for manufacturers looking to improve product time to market. For manufacturers whose product design requires a padeye, a great deal of time and expense can be incurred in the process of engineering, fabricating, machining, and certifying their own lifting padeyes in-house. By offering pre-engineered, certified, and ready-to-weld padeyes, IMI aims to help these manufacturers speed up the production, testing, and approval processes, expediting the delivery of their finished product to market. Composed of A36 carbon steel and available in 6 standard sizes, the padeyes are rated for ½ ton up to 6-½ tons, and come with a reamed hole to fit a shackle pin/bolt (sold separately) at +/- 0.001inch. The padeyes feature a date code and a guided weld line, as well as listing the requirements for the weld specification or type and the welder’s qualifications. A product technical sheet is available for download on the IMI website:...

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Polypropylene Couplings Are Easily Integrated into OEM Equipment, Company Says

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Colder Products Company (CPC) has expanded its HFC12 Series quick disconnect couplings with 14 new panel mount options that allow OEMs to easily integrate flexible tubing connections directly into their devices or equipment, the company announced recently. The company, a provider of quick disconnect couplings and fittings for plastic tubing, reported that its HFC12 Series and its panel mount inserts are available in polypropylene for enhanced chemical resistance and are gamma sterilizable. “The new panel mount versions of the HFC12 couplings offer both inline and elbow hose barb terminations,” said Tim Jacobson, senior product manager for industrial markets at CPC, in a company release. “Combined with the valved and non-valved panel mount configurations, the HFC12 Series provides the design engineer with multiple options to easily incorporate into a device. While the integral terminations make it simple for the OEM to assemble tubing internal to the device, the panel mount feature simplifies connecting external tube sets for the user.” The HFC12 Series couplings have flow comparable to many ½-inch flow couplings in a ⅜-inch body size. Compact and lightweight, HFC couplings replace bulky and heavy metal ball-and-sleeve couplings in applications that include chemical handling equipment, food and beverage devices, and in vitro diagnostics (IVD) systems. An ergonomic design and a large, shrouded thumb latch pad produce a coupling that is easy to grip and simple to operate, the...

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Technical Guide Explores Root Causes of Bearing Failure

Guide offers design engineers preventative tips for avoiding metal bearing failure SHREWSBURY, Mass.—A new technical paper on why metal bearings fail has been introduced by TriStar Plastics, a specialist in the engineering, fabrication, and manufacturing of high performance polymers, composites, and self-lubricating bearings. The technical guide, “Why Do Metal Bearings Fail? A guide to primary causes and tips for prevention,” explores the root causes of metal bearing failure in industrial equipment and outlines key steps that design engineers can take to avoid this costly challenge altogether. “Metal bearings fail for reasons ranging from poor lubrication and maintenance to corrosion and contamination,” said Richard Cedrone, CEO of TriStar Plastics, in a press release. “And with each failure, manufacturers face soaring repair costs, not to mention the financial losses that occur during a sudden halt on the production line. This guide gives engineers an overview of various bearing materials and designs so they can explore how each might contribute to—or completely eliminate—a failure from the start.” The bearing failure paper allows design engineers to compare metal rolling element bearings vs. plastic plane bearings; review common myths about metal bearings; and uncover the top causes of bearing failure. Readers can also learn four key questions to ask during bearing selection and explore bearing failure industry case studies. The complimentary guide can be downloaded at...

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Open-Source Developer Kit Reported to Ease Integration of Gas Sensing into IoT Applications

NEWARK, Calif.—Carbon monoxide alarms, air pollution monitoring, indoor air quality, and breath analysis are some of the gas sensing applications that demand high performance measurement. Electrochemical gas sensing technology is the preferred solution for these applications due to measurement performance and the ultra-low power consumption needed for battery operation. However, market adoption of electrochemical gas sensors in consumer products has been constrained by their large physical size and limitations of manufacturing them at mass market volumes. Spec Sensors (spec-sensors.com) reports that it has overcome these limitations through a proprietary approach for manufacturing screen printed electro-chemical sensors. Its approach is said to shrink the gas sensing technology down to a size appropriate for consumer devices that can be made at the volumes and costs appropriate for the mass market. The company recently released an open-source digital gas sensor development kit to make it easier for Internet of Things developers to integrate gas sensing into their products. Spec Sensors’ open-source digital gas sensor development kit includes its digital gas sensor platform hardware, pre-configured with the UL-2034 recognized carbon monoxide sensor; a sample of each Spec Sensor for detecting other gases that can be easily exchanged with the CO sensor; and a simple Windows utility to reconfigure the digital gas sensor platform for a different sensor and log data at a 1Hz sample rate. Also included are hardware design files, including schematic,...

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Polyonics Expands Line of Cryogenic, Medical and Laboratory Label Materials

WESTMORELAND, N.H. — Polyonics recently announced that it has expanded its line of label materials designed specifically for laboratory, cryogenic, and medical device tracking. The materials include thermal transfer printable (TTP) nylon, polyester (PET), and polyimide, as well as UDI compliant, laser markable polyimide. They include aggressive acrylic pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) suited for a wide variety of applications, including low surface energy (LSE) plastics, glass, and ceramics. Polyonics UDI compliant laser markable label (LML) materials are reported to be well-suited for tracking medical devices exposed to high temperatures, steam, or harsh chemicals, such as in multi-cycle sterilization and detergent wash processes. They are said to surpass the durability of thermal transfer printed labels, comply with the UL/IEC 60601-1 and 61010-1 standards, and have been field tested for 3,000+ sterilization and 500+ wash cycles. Polyonics Nylon label materials are designed for use on cryogenic applications involving glass tubes and slides, as well as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) vials. The materials are rated -196 degrees Celsius, or (-320 degrees Fahrenheit) in liquid nitrogen. Polyonics manufactures high performance coated films that are said to withstand high temperatures and harsh environments while protecting products from ESD and fire.  ...

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Polyimide Bushings Precisely Guide Connecting Rods in Electrical Wastegate Actuators

GENEVA — Mahle’s electrical wastegate actuators control the volume of exhaust gas that is led past the turbo charger for boost pressure control. In its current actuator series, this tier-1 supplier uses bushings made from DuPont™ Vespel® TP injection molding grade to constantly guide the associated connecting rod smoothly and precisely over the engine’s service life. Unlubricated and exposed to high temperatures and aggressive substances present in engine exhaust gases, the bushings operate virtually without wear and with minimal friction, according to the manufacturer. Mahle’s electrical wastegate actuators are used for controlling boost pressure in modern spark-ignition engines. They enable an optimized interaction between engine and turbocharger, in downsized engines specifically. The connecting rod guide bushing made from Vespel® is reported to help achieve rapid actuating speeds and precise boost pressure control, enabling a very high responsiveness and low fuel consumption in stopped traffic. Positioned on the output side of the actuator, the bushing provides linear guidance for the lever that actuates the wastegate on the turbocharger, absorbing varying lateral forces arising from a toggle mechanism. “The challenges placed on the guide bushing are extremely severe,” said Bernd van Eickels, actuator development manager at Mahle Filtersysteme GmbH, in a press release. “In working together with DuPont, we found a special Vespel® TP grade which meets all these requirements. One particularly positive feature was that this grade, unlike other plastics...

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Big Trend: Nanotechnology in Thin Film Materials Markets, Reports BCC Research

WELLESLEY, Mass.—During the past 70 years, deposition of thick, thin, and ultrathin films has spurred device miniaturization while contributing to the rapid growth of industry sectors, most notably, electronics. In its new report, BCC Research states that with the development of nanofilms, the era of nanoelectronics has arrived. The report, “Global Markets, Technologies and Materials for Thin and Ultrathin Films,” (SMC057C) analyzes the technologies, materials, and emerging applications relating to ultrathin films. Thin films, which are films with a thickness below 5 microns, are produced by applying various production technologies. These technologies comprise three main categories: physical, chemical, and additive processes. In turn, those three can be subdivided based on their characteristics and operating principles. The seven subcategories are evaporation, sputtering, ionic deposition, chemical vapor deposition, liquid-phase deposition, plating-type methods, and printing. The total market for thin film materials should reach almost $9.8 billion and $11.3 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively. That reflects a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3 percent. Chemical processes (including chemical vapor deposition, liquid-phase deposition and plating-type deposition methods) are estimated to total $6.1 billion in 2016, accounting for 62.2 percent of the total global market. Sales of thin film materials for chemical processes are generated primarily by their utilization in electroplating, for manufacturing protective coatings for the mechanical/chemical sector and electronic devices. BCC Research, a publisher of market research reports, partners...

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Aircraft Manufacturer Chooses PAEK Material for Lightweighting

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.—For the development of efficient and durable aircraft floor brackets in its new regional jet ARJ21, COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.) uses a combined material and service offering from Victrex. Additional services provided by Victrex, beyond supplying high-performing Victrex™ PAEK polymers, included simulation analysis, tools for design optimization, and on-site processing support. As a result, greater design freedom, easier manufacturing, and less weight compared to traditionally used aluminum led to the replacement of the metal, according to Victrex. COMAC´s ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century), a type of turbofan jet, is a short- to medium range regional jet. Within the ARJ21, internal loads are supported by various systems, including structural beams. Floor brackets are positioned on these beams to provide support within a gap between the loaded beams and the aircraft flooring above. Typically, these brackets would be manufactured in aluminum. The new solution is reported to promote increased production efficiency via rapid injection molding of the part, and to contribute to higher efficiency of the regional jet through weight savings and design improvements that simplify the installation process. “Today, weight reduction, resulting in increased fuel efficiency, is absolutely essential and [a] critical success factor,” said Dr. Bai Jie, brackets team leader at COMAC. “This is common knowledge within the aerospace industry, but the full potential and processing efficiency of high-performing polymers are...

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AK Steel Introduces Family of Next Generation High Strength Steels

WEST CHESTER, Ohio—AK Steel recently announced that it has launched Nexmet™, an innovative family of high strength steels for use in automotive light-weighting applications. The products are specifically designed to assist automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in meeting 2025 U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets. “We are excited about the opportunities NEXMET 440EX offers automotive designers in their efforts to lightweight vehicles,” said Roger K. Newport, CEO of AK Steel, in a press release. “This product is yet another important part of AK Steel’s strategy to offer innovative products for our customers.” AK Steel is a major producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless, and electrical steel products, and carbon and stainless tubular products, primarily for the automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction, and electrical power generation and distribution markets. AK Steel is headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The company employs approximately 8,500 men and women at eight steel plants, two coke plants, and two tube manufacturing plants across six states. AK Steel’s Nexmet products offer high strength, greater ductility (elongation), and improved formability for a range of needs for structural and exterior automotive body light-weighting uses, the company reported in a press release. Nexmet 440EX is the company’s first new steel to be launched in this line. The new exposed surface quality product combines high yield and tensile strength at thinner gauges to facilitate lightweight designs. This is said to result in...

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Flexible Synthetic Muscle Polymer Passes Space Station Tests

QUINCY, Mass.—Ras Labs, LLC, recently reported that its Synthetic Muscle™ polymer passed all tests undertaken on the International Space Station to demonstrate its durability to survive high doses of radiation that would be fatal to humans. RAS Labs LLC develops contractile electroactive polymers (EAPs), and the recent tests took a year to perform in space on the International Space Station. A collaboration between Ras Labs, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted experiments designed to examine the effect of rigors and extreme conditions in space on Ras Labs electroactive polymers. Early results demonstrate that the polymers passed all tests, making it a viable material for space applications. “The results confirm what we had believed to be the case all along. Our Synthetic Muscle polymers can withstand extreme conditions in space, verifying its application for extreme environments,” stated Eric Sandberg, Ras Labs’ CEO, in a company release. “The global robotics market represents over $25 billion in sales per year. Our smart materials have significant advantages over existing mechanical approaches, and we expect high market suitability in commercial solutions based on these inherent advantages.” Ras Labs’ electroactive polymer actuators have the potential to offer life-like motion and control for robotics, bionics, and rehabilitative prosthetics. As a result, roboticists are looking at Ras Labs’ Synthetic Muscle to provide motion and...

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Now Printing: Electronic Components

Designers can functionalize a wide variety of parts and surfaces with embedded electronics By Mark Shortt What would you do if you could 3D print electronics? Voxel8, a bold startup in Somerville, Massachusetts, is asking that question of design engineers everywhere via a video on its website (voxel8.com). The company, recognized as a 2016 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, has created a multi-material 3D printer for fabricating embedded electronics and other novel devices. Its first product, the Voxel8 Developer’s Kit, is reported to simplify the development of electronics by enabling engineers to co-print thermoplastics and a highly conductive silver ink for circuits, right on their desktops. Ultimately, Voxel8 aims to develop a technology pipeline to enable the mass customization of electronics and other finished products. “At Voxel8, we’re revolutionizing 3D printing by developing a full 3-dimensional electronics printing platform,” says Jennifer Lewis, co-founder of Voxel8, in a company video. “Multi-material 3D printing holds the promise of mass customization of electronics and the ability to truly print your imagination.” If you’re using Voxel8’s Developer’s Kit 3D printer, you might rapidly design a novel device with embedded 3D antennas, connectors, or transducers. If you’re struggling with wire harnesses, you can replace them with 3D traces by using Voxel8’s highly conductive silver ink. Maybe the best part is that you could design the electronics to fit your part, rather than...

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This Month’s Shop Spotlight
Enterprise Systems Partners Inc.

Enterprise Systems Partners Inc. (ent-sys.com), makes other businesses more efficient and effective. ESPI, a consulting engineering firm, uses Operational Strategic Planning, Process Improvement and Supply Chain Management to raise its clients to the next level. “The Manufacturing industry is the area that ESPI finds the majority of our projects centered. Most manufacturing companies are confronted with the 21st century business reality of increased customer demands, regulations, global competition and constant material struggles. The environment is quite difficult but those companies willing to adapt to this modern landscape the possibilities are limitless. New technologies enable companies the opportunity for production and process innovations, while allowing end-to-end visibility for the organization. Manufacturers today capitalize on this insight by making better decisions with a clear strategic plan, an efficient supply chain, streamlined operations, and a solid technology foundation,” according to the company’s website. Among the successful projects listed on the company’s website, ESPI helped one medical devices firm with a strategic 5-year plan that helped it automate, integrate and consolidate its injection molding and assembly operations in a single facility. In another case, ESPI helped a commercial fruit purveyor expand into new facilities and grow the business into consumer sales, meeting a five-year goal in two years. ESPI takes a successful firm and makes its operations more efficient and effective by taking the time to focus on the entire business. This isn’t...

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Ace Wire Spring & Form Company Hires New Engineering Sales Manager

PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Ace Wire Spring & Form Company, Inc., a manufacturer of custom precision springs, recently announced that Rose George has joined the company as the new engineering sales manager. Ms. George brings to the position a diverse background of experience—including engineering, sales, supply chain, and customer service—in the manufacturing industry. Previously, she served as a process engineer with All-Clad Metalcrafters and, before that, as an engineer at Swagelok Company. She has also worked directly under Bob McCormick, the former engineering sales manager at Ace, as an engineering intern at Global Environmental Management. As a process engineer at All-Clad, her responsibilities included providing daily manufacturing support, implementing Quick and Easy Kaizen suggestions, and managing projects to improve manufacturing efficiency and consistency. She also coordinated with quality control to establish quality standards, create a training program designed to enhance comprehension of common defects and their dispositions, and perform employee training. As an engineer at Swagelok, Rose participated in a leadership development program in which she assumed the roles of a manufacturing engineer, quality engineer, and production planner. Throughout her engineering roles, she was responsible for providing daily manufacturing support, financially justifying and leading multiple projects, and developing quality training programs. During her role as a production planner, she was assigned multiple departments in her facility and was responsible for managing production output, improving service levels, monitoring inventory, and assisting in projects....

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