Author: Rich Novicky

Electromechanical Switches Are Designed for High Reliability

IRVINE, Calif.—A new series of electromechanical switches from Pasternack are reported to provide low insertion loss repeatability while covering broadband frequencies from DC to 40 GHz. Pasternack, a provider of RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, has introduced 12 new models that “exhibit very low insertion loss repeatability with guaranteed levels of 0.03 to 0.05 dB over 5 to 10 million switching cycles, depending on the model,” the company said in a press release. Test and measurement applications require signal processing component performance to be highly accurate and repeatable over long periods and under extreme conditions. In automated test systems where electromechanical switches are used for signal monitoring and routing applications, every switch will add repeatability error. Electromechanical switches that exhibit low insertion loss repeatability over millions of switching cycles play a critical role to ensure that overall system measurement accuracy is maintained at optimum levels. Typical applications for these switches include test instrumentation, electronic warfare, electronic countermeasures, microwave radio, VSWT, radar, space systems, and research and development. The switches are offered in three configurations: single-pole double-throw (SPDT), single-pole four-throw (SP4T), and single-pole six-throw (SP6T). They are designed with latching actuators and features that include indicators, self-cut-off, TTL, and 50 Ohm terminations. Besides low insertion loss of 0.3 dB (with typical high isolation of 100 dB), their performance is said to include input power ratings of up to 70...

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GI Plastek Expands In-House EMI and RFI Shielding Capabilities

WOLFEBORO, N.H.—GI Plastek, a specialist in large-to-medium, complex molded products, recently added a new mechanized production paint line that significantly expands its in-house electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) shielding capabilities, the company said in a press release. With its paint line, GI Plastek applies a copper shielding emulsion onto plastic molded parts to eliminate EMI/RFI penetration that could disrupt sensitive components and circuits in electronic equipment and potentially throw off instrument calibration. The shielding is also used to eliminate emissions from healthcare instruments that could interfere with other patient care equipment and affect patient safety, the company said. By running two shifts per day, five days a week, GI Plastek’s paint operation can accommodate customers’ increased throughput. The new 9,000-square-foot paint facility enables the company to apply shielding to parts as large as four feet by five feet on a controlled, mechanized line. The line has four drafted booths for priming, painting, coating, and texturing operations, along with an in-line convection oven. GI Plastek can apply spray-on EMI and RFI shielding onto most substrates. Conductive spray-on material is a more cost-effective option than large, heavy sheet metal liners or sheet metal enclosure doors, the company said. Spray-on shielding reduces the number of parts used on instruments, eliminating the cost of a box within a box and associated attachment parts. This, in turn, reduces overall product cost....

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Sintavia Welcomes New Senior Leadership Appointments

DAVIE, Fla.—Sintavia, LLC, for a provider of metal additive manufacturing (AM) services, recently announced two new additions to its leadership team to support the firm’s manufacturing activities and customer growth. The company has hired J. Louis Schlegel IV as global vice president of sales, and Rick Clark as vice president of operations. Rick Clark comes to Sintavia with a decade of production leadership experience, including operations management at Eaton Corporation, where he was most recently responsible for the production team and operations at Eaton’s North Charleston facility. As vice president of operations, Clark will be responsible for efficiently managing customers’ production builds through Sintavia’s vertically integrated operation. He will also work to establish process flows and procedural infrastructure for Sintavia’s digital factory of the future, set to open in 2018. As a collaborative leader with 30 years of experience in technology hardware, J. Louis Schlegel IV, Sintavia’s new global vice president of sales, has a proven record in metal additive printing technology systems, Sintavia said in a press release. Schlegel will be responsible for the leadership of the Sintavia sales team, developing new business opportunities, and providing Sintavia’s vertically integrated AM supply chain solutions for Fortune 500 industrial companies globally. “Rick and J’s experience with OEMs and advanced manufacturing technologies has made these appointments a crucial addition to the future of Sintavia,” said Doug Hedges, Sintavia’s president and COO,...

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Rhode Island Manufacturing Leader Named to NIST MEP Advisory Board

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Leslie Taito, senior vice president of corporate operations for Hope Global in Cumberland, R.I., has been named to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board (http://www.nist.gov/mep). The NIST MEP Advisory Board is a national board that is legislatively mandated and established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The MEP is a public-private partnership with centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. Last year, MEP centers are reported to have interacted with 25,445 manufacturers, leading to $9.3 billion in new and retained sales, $1.4 billion in cost savings, $3.5 billion in new client investments, and the creation and retention of more than 86,602 jobs. Taito will join a team of manufacturing professionals chosen to provide advice and guidance to the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The MEP Advisory Board is expected to assist in identifying proactive actions that will enable small manufacturers to successfully address and implement changes in technology and the business environment in the future. Polaris MEP is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for Rhode Island. It is part of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation (URIRF),  a non-profit entity that oversees market analysis, commercialization of protected intellectual property, and the development of business relationships with corporate and government partners. Polaris MEP was established in 1996 and has helped hundreds of Rhode I...

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ETCO Awarded NTMA’s Employer of the Year for 2017

BRADENTON, Fla.—ETCO Incorporated, through the success of three of its employees who have excelled in the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) program, was recently recognized by the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), Florida West Coast Chapter, as Employer of the Year 2017. ETCO, a manufacturer of custom precision metal stampings, wire termination parts, and molded products, said in a press release that the Employer of the Year Award is granted to companies with training programs that exemplify the high standards of NTMA, an organization that represents the precision custom manufacturing industry nationwide. ETCO apprentices attend Pinellas Technical College (PTEC), which offers the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) program under the guidance of NTMA. The NIMS sets skills standards for the industry. The three ETCO employees—Nathan Galla, Jon Galla, and Brandon Azures— have earned several NIMS certifications in their field of training. Nathan Galla is a moldmaker apprentice, and Jon Galla and Brandon Azures are toolmaker apprentices. “We’re very proud of Nathan, Jon, and Brandon for their achievements,” said ETCO General Manager Ralph Jacques, in a statement. “ETCO provides employees opportunities to succeed within their fields of expertise. Receiving the Employer of the Year award is reflective of our commitment.” ETCO’s investments in training, design, and quality have allowed the participants to grow in their respective fields. The company said that it plans to continue investing and...

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Versa Electronics Completes ISO 9001:2015 Transition and Achieves ISO 13485:2003 Registration

In accordance with ISO 9001:2015, and based on the recently completed assessment by our registrar, Orion Registrar, Inc. (“Orion”), Versa Electronics is on the leading edge of a group of companies that have completed transition to the new ISO 9001:2015 standard in 2017.  Many of Orion’s customers have decided to wait another year before attempting the transition.  This achievement continues to demonstrate the kind of quality organization Versa provides its industrial clients. Versa Electronics has a long history producing medical devices and sub-assemblies.  Versa’s services to the Medical Device OEM market includes supply of Printed Circuit Assemblies, Wire Harness/Cable Assemblies and Electronic Sub-assemblies.  Kurt Orr, Versa Sales Manager, addressed the fact that the ISO 13485 certification is not a requirement to provide these services.  In so doing Kurt was excited to say, “Versa Electronics wanted to show our current medical device customers and the medical device community our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement by achieving ISO 13485:2003!!” Bill Jackson, Versa Electronics Quality Manager, reports that Versa’s Quality Management System and addition of ISO 13485 opens the potential market to over 602 establishments in Minnesota alone.  This note further enhances our longstanding FDA registration and is directly in line with Versa’s EMS growth objectives. About “Versa Electronics, Your Trusted EMS Partner” www.versae.com:  Versa Electronics is a privately held Electronic Contract Manufacturing Services company based in suburban Minneapolis, MN.  Versa has...

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Does Your Medical Part Require a New Technology or Process?

It’s all around us today: news of research, developments, and breakthroughs that could dramatically alter the medical landscape and the delivery of healthcare. It appears that targeted genetic therapies are on their way to being customized to individual patients, promising big changes in the way certain cancers and other diseases are treated. Someday, CRISPR gene editing technology could be used to correct “typos” in a person’s genetic code—permanently modifying genetic mutations to prevent their expression. We may even have health sensors that are built into self-driving cars. Now how’s that for technology convergence? The point is that technology is advancing rapidly in the medical industry, opening new doors for improved diagnostics, personal health monitoring, and more effective treatments and surgeries. In the surgical arena alone, leading medical device makers are trying to come up with better, more innovative products that enable surgeons to do procedures for patients that weren’t previously possible. Because that’s a very difficult thing to accomplish, medical manufacturers need all the help they can get from the best suppliers, who, in turn, need to find innovative ways to  make really challenging parts while meeting stringent quality requirements. In this ultra-competitive environment, medical OEMs aren’t softening their demands on suppliers. Sometimes, a project seems impossible to accomplish, at least through traditional methods. It’s in situations like these that some industry-leading suppliers have gone outside the box to combine...

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Audi and Alta Devices to Develop Automobiles with Solar Roofs

SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Audi and Alta Devices, a subsidiary of solar-cell specialist, Hanergy Thin Film Power, plan to work together to integrate solar cells into panoramic glass roofs of Audi models. With this cooperation, the partners aim to generate solar energy to increase the range of Audi electric vehicles. The first prototype is expected to be developed by the end of 2017. As the first step, Audi and Alta Devices (www.altadevices.com) will integrate solar cells into a panoramic glass roof. But the companies plan to eventually cover almost the entire surface of the roof with solar cells, which they say is possible due to Alta’s uniquely flexible, thin, and efficient technology. The electricity generated from the cells will flow into the car’s electric system and can supply, for example, the air-conditioning system and seat heaters—a gain in efficiency that has a direct positive impact on the range of an Audi electric vehicle. “The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers,” said Audi Board of Management Member for Procurement Dr. Bernd Martens, in a press release. “Together with Alta Devices and Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable.  At a later stage, solar energy could directly charge the traction battery of Audi electric vehicles. That would be a milestone along the way to achieving...

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Insulated Connectors Excel in Harsh Climate Conditions, Manufacturer Says

BRADENTON, Fla.—ETCO Incorporated, a manufacturer of custom precision metal stampings, wire termination parts, and molded products, recently announced the performance results of its insulated connector line for wire termination connections. In a press release, ETCO said that the glass-reinforced insulated connectors provide improved performance over simple native polymer connectors. ETCO’s engineers tested the glass-reinforced insulated connectors against competitor offerings to evaluate the differences between the products. The competitor connectors use simple native polymers and lack glass reinforcement. In high humidity climate conditions, their native polymer connectors expand and weaken, resulting in hazardous conditions, ETCO said in the release. The glass-reinforced ETCO insulated connector is engineered to collapse on itself in a scenario where there’s a malfunction. This allows it to hold until an automatic shutdown cycle occurs within the operating equipment, the company said. ETCO’s insulated connectors are rated UL94V-0, RoHS compliant and are flame retardant. In 96 hours of testing in humid conditions, the connectors are reported to have required 3.5 times the separation force when compared to competitor offerings. “With 3.5 times the separation force compared to the nearest competitor, ETCO’s insulated connectors are second to none in the most rigorous conditions,” said ETCO Vice President of Sales John Stiness, in a statement. The insulated connectors, available in straight and flag styles, mate with 0.110 inch x 0.020/0.032 inch, 0.187 inch x 020/.032 inch, and 0.250 inch...

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ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New EOS Printer

PLYMOUTH, Ind.—ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies) is delivering components—made with its new EOS M 290 additive manufacturing printer—to the medical device industry, the company announced recently. The EOS printer was delivered in June 2017, and ITAMCO was shipping components to a medical device supplier in August. The fast ramp-up is partially due to the experience the ITAMCO team gained while contributing to the development of additive manufacturing software. The company was part of a consortium of manufacturers and universities that collaborated to develop the program through the multi-million dollar manufacturing initiative, America Makes, one of the 14 Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes. The software, Atlas 3D, is now marketed through a division of ITAMCO. “The EOS printer is the right tool for our complex components made with DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering), and the EOS team trained our staff and got us up and running quickly,” said Joel Neidig, director of research and development for ITAMCO, in a statement. “The printer works seamlessly with Atlas 3D, too.” ITAMCO (http://itamco.com) reported that its technology team quickly built a good working relationship with the EOS sales and support team. Jon Walker, area sales manager with EOS North America, called ITAMCO an ideal partner for EOS. “ITAMCO is an ideal partner for EOS because three generations of ITAMCO leaders have supplied traditional subtractive manufactured parts to some of the best known organizations...

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Proto Labs Expands 3D Printing Service with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion Technology

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.—Proto Labs, a practitioner of technology-enabled, rapid manufacturing, has added Multi Jet Fusion to its suite of 3D printing technologies. The production-grade 3D printing technology, developed by HP, builds fully functional plastic prototypes and production parts with accelerated speed, detailed precision, and consistent mechanical properties. Proto Labs’ industrial 3D printing expertise led HP to select the company as a foundational partner for its launch of Multi Jet Fusion technology. The collaboration is part of HP’s efforts to establish a global network of 3D printing service providers. HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology uses an inkjet array to apply fusing and detailing agents across a bed of nylon powder, which are then fused by heating elements into a solid layer. The technology’s unique approach to binding powder is said to result in more isotropic material properties, faster build speeds, and, ultimately, lower costs versus other powder-based 3D printing processes. Proto Labs has worked with select customers to optimize the Multi Jet Fusion process for its 3D printing offering. “Before introducing any manufacturing process at Proto Labs, we execute thorough testing to develop a repeatable process and ensure we can meet our quality standards,” said Greg Thompson, global product manager of 3D printing at Proto Labs, in a statement. “We are extremely confident with the feature resolution and quality surface finishes we have seen with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion and...

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3D Printing Service Bureau Adds Industrial 3D Printer from EnvisionTEC

DEARBORN, Mich.—EnvisionTEC recently announced that Realize, Inc., a service bureau for rapid prototyping and low-volume production, has adopted its 3SP technology for 3D printing. Realize purchased a Vector 3SP printer from EnvisionTEC to beta test new engineering materials under development with Somos, EnvisionTEC said in a press release. Realize, based in Noblesville, Indiana, owns more than a dozen 3D printers that service a wide range of customers in the automotive, medical, electronics, and consumer goods markets. Realize President Todd Reese said the decision to adopt the Vector 3SP technology to test new materials under development between Somos and EnvisionTEC was an easy one. “Somos has been our vendor since day one. We have built a great partnership with their team, so we jumped at the chance to beta test their collaborative efforts with EnvisionTEC,” he said. “We’ve built many different parts on the Vector, from large, chunky parts to small, delicate, detailed parts. We have been able to pull off a couple of geometries that we struggled with on the SLA technology. There were cases of noticeably better detail, crispness, and dimensional accuracy by comparison.” Realize took delivery of its Vector 3SP from EnvisionTEC (https://envisiontec.com) in the spring. The Vector 3SP offers a build area of 300 x 200 x 275 mm (11.8 x 7.9 x 10.8 inches) with XY resolution of 100 µm (0.004 inch), and it can...

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New Electronic Part Traveler Replaces Paper

NEWINGTON, Conn.—As manufacturers explore new IoT products and green initiatives, the paper part traveler has become a target for improvement. A new product, the eTraveler, aims to address this. The eTraveler system is a combination of Wi-Fi E Ink displays, an access point, and software. The product is said to be inexpensive, durable, and reusable. Steve Chamberland, general manager at American Tool in Newington, Connecticut, was an early adopter of the technology. “Before the eTraveler system, I had to walk out on the floor to every machine and talk to every operator to know the true status of job progress,” said Chamberland in a press release. “We already had time tracking software, and that’s fine for assigning hours, but there is more to running a shop than counting man hours. The eTraveler software lets me see the status of all machines at once, modify the priority of any shop order, see the status of all shop orders at once, the status of all operators at once, all without leaving my desk. I have the means to put a shop order on hold, and that information is transmitted to the traveler effortlessly.” The software is not a full enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. However, capability to interface to any SQL compliant ERP system was designed into the system from the start. The website www.traveler-e.ink has a link to show which...

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Sight Machine Introduces Digital Readiness Index for Manufacturing

The DRI guides manufacturers launching digital transformation initiatives SAN FRANCISCO—The manufacturing analytics platform developer Sight Machine Inc. has introduced the Digital Readiness Index (DRI), a methodology to evaluate a manufacturer’s readiness for digital transformation and identify the projects likely to deliver the most impactful returns. Sight Machine developed DRI based on insights from digital manufacturing projects with some of the world’s largest manufacturers. It reflects best practices from successful digital initiatives, as well as lessons learned from some that were less successful. The DRI process is freely available at http://sightmachine.com/digital-readiness, where companies can find an interactive tool for gauging their readiness for manufacturing digitization and an explanatory DRI white paper. The methodology uses an online questionnaire to measure technical readiness—the necessary technical assets and skills—and organizational readiness, the organizational assets and buy-in needed for an initiative to succeed. Based on the answers to the questionnaire, DRI uses a weighted scoring system to place organizations into one of five Digital Readiness Zones: Connection, Visibility, Efficiency, Advanced Analytics, and Transformation. For each zone, Sight Machine has recommended quick win projects and areas for investment to develop more advanced capabilities. “The majority of large manufacturers understand the competitive need for digital transformation, but getting started or even knowing where to begin is often a challenge,” said Sight Machine CEO and Co-Founder Jon Sobel, in a press release. “DRI provides a roadmap for...

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Siemens, Identify3D Partnering to Create Industry Standard for Securing Digital Manufacturing

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Identify3D, a provider of software for digital manufacturing security and traceability, recently announced its partnership with Siemens to advance Siemens’ Digital Factory. Identify3D will integrate its technology with Siemens’ Sinumerik computer-numerical control (CNC) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. These integrations were scheduled for demonstration at the EMO conference in Hannover Germany, in September, and will be available to Siemens clients in December, the company said in a press release. Identify3D (https://identify3d.com) empowers digital manufacturers to securely take advantage of the benefits of digital manufacturing through encrypted product data, certified authentication of users and machines, and timed expiration of all digital part designs. By creating a digital twin in the engineering phase, the technology enables manufacturers to secure digital IP at the industry’s highest standard, Identify3D said in the press release. “Siemens understands the importance of creating an efficient and reliable digital supply chain and is creating the industry standard for the Digital Factory,” said Stephan Thomas, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Identify3D, in a statement. “We are excited to be the strategic partner chosen by Siemens to ensure a secure and repeatable digital manufacturing process.” “Identify3D provides design protection, quality assurance, and secure data distribution for digital manufacturing,” added Uwe Ruttkamp, head of business segment machine tools systems at Siemens. “They are experts in data distribution and digital rights management ensuring security and integrity of...

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