Anti-vandal pushbutton switches include illumination

A broad line of sealed illuminated anti-vandal switches come in styles that include ring and dot illumination as well as non-illuminated versions. IP67 sealing is available, along with raised and flat actuators on most series. Mushroom actuators are available on some versions. Ranging in size from 12 up to 4 0mm, body and actuator color

The frustrations of dealing with those convinced by false facts and fake news

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler The March for Science recently wrapped up in more than 600 cities worldwide. Estimates are that marchers numbering in the hundreds of thousands took to the streets partly because of “an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery.” The more prosaic expression of

No respect for manufacturing jobs

Lee Teschler @dw_leeteschler You would have had to live under a rock for the past year to not hear the political posturing about U.S. manufacturing jobs. The President has promised to bring back. manufacturing jobs. Candidate Clinton had a “Make it in America” plan with effectively the same aim. The campaign rhetoric might lead you

Sightings of cool technology at SAE’s WCX2017 World Congress

The recently renamed SAE show in Detroit featured displays of interesting automotive technology. On the pages that follow are a few of the more noteworthy examples we found while cruising the aisles. NEXT PAGE: How to boost fuel economy in AWD systems

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The likelihood of ending up as a white-collar crook

Leland Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler Suppose you were the one who set the prices your company charged for its products. Further suppose two of your chief competitors called and suggested the three of you collude on a bid for an upcoming contract. Simply put, they wanted to engage in price

Miniature electromechanical switches excel at handling dc loads

The SS-3FP/SS-5F Subminiature Basic Switch from Omron features a 1-mm contact gap. The switches comply with the IEC standard for insulation distance required in secondary circuits of interlocks. This switch can be used in a variety of applications such as door interlocks and secondary interlock systems for office equipment and security devices, among many others.

What are engineering technologists,
and do we have enough of them?

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Those who’ve watched the engineering profession over the years might become suspicious when a prominent scientific organization studies employment in the field. The reason for this wariness arises from previous proclamations from the National Science Foundation which has had a reputation for forecasting fake engineering shortages. One

Not fake news: Politicians want innovation—until they actually get it

Lee Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @DW—LeeTeschler In olden times when there were no such things as cell phones, Uncle Sam regulated the phone system. Phone companies charged their customers for every handset attached to the lines and used time-domain reflectometery to check phone lines for illegal handsets. Thus began a ritual of

Gallery: New automotive component tech at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show

The recent North American International Auto Show — the Detroit Auto Show for short — is known for highlighting the debuts of new production vehicles and concept cars. But a lot of automotive suppliers also use NAIAS to highlight new developments in component and subsystem technology. We have put a few of the more interesting

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Gallery: Cool vehicle tech on display at Detroit’s 2017 North American International Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is known for hosting debuts of new-model vehicles. But some of the more interesting technical developments at the show don’t appear on the vehicles that get the lion’s share of the press coverage. What follows are some of the vehicles we noticed that seemed to host noteworthy powertrain

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Autonomous vehicles have descended from one of the “worst cars of all time”

Leland Teschler Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Teschler on Topic The governor of Michigan recently signed legislation allowing autonomous vehicles to operate on the state’s highways. The signing was at a ceremony wherein the legislator was flanked by a self-driving Ford Fusion and a Model T. For those who follow the auto industry, there

Tech job interviews produce arbitrary results. Here’s why.

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Most engineers have probably been in a few job interviews that didn’t pan out for reasons that, afterward, seemed a bit ambiguous. In at least one corner of the tech employment industry, there is a move to eliminate some of the goofier outcomes that can arise in

When intuition fails – How big companies get out-innovated

Lee Teschler Executive Editor @DW_LeeTeschler That’s not how we do things around here. As with many young engineers, I used to hear that phrase a lot when I was first starting out. Though often meant as well-intentioned advice, it was like fingernails on a chalk board for somebody who had what today is called an

Face recognition modules get 10X speed boost

The Human Vision Components (HVC)-P2 module has a maximum recognition speed 10 times that of the previous model, which was introduced in March 2014. The HVC-P2 is offered…

Sensor Tips

Low-pressure sensors go down to ±1-in. H2O range

New low-pressure sensors, called the BLC Series, work over pressure ranges of ±1 in. H2O through ±30 in. H2O and 15 PSIA. The BLC Series basic low-pressure compact sensor…

Sensor Tips

Loser! Should engineers learn to be more civil?

Leland Teschler Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Recent events have gotten a lot of people concerned about personal attacks, name calling, and reputational smears. No, we’re not talking about the presidential election. Sadly, it is becoming almost as easy to find examples of bullying and defamation in scientific and engineering research as in politics.

Etched and formed micro metal parts sport features down to 3 mils

Tech-Etch combines photochemical etching with precision metal bending to create extremely small formed features in thin metal parts. A staff of talented and creative tool and die makers utilize state-of-the-art techniques to manufacture tools capable of forming features down to 0.003 in. in a wide variety of metals. Tech-Etch continues to push the manufacturing envelope

Robots will build spacecraft in orbit

Lee Teschler Executive Editor @dw_LeeTeschler The days of launching complete satellites and similar extraterrestrial objects into orbit may be numbered. Instead, orbiting robots will construct them in space. The basic principles of this concept are being perfected by a company called Tethers Unlimited Inc. in Bothell Wash. under a NASA contract. Tethers’ SpiderFab: Architecture for

The mythical unskilled American workforce

Lee Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @DW—LeeTeschler I once sat through a panel session at a technical conference that featured engineering managers from four large high-tech companies. They all moaned about the lack of youngsters entering the engineering profession and about finding engineers with the right kind of skills. To hear them talk,

The downside of patent protection

Leland Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler MUCH angst has been expressed over patent trolls that buy up low-quality patents then sue the bejesus out of potential infringers to “enforce” IP rights. Lest you think patent suits by these guys are over money earned from patents, consider this: Scholars at the National Bureau […]

Motion Control Tips

Unable to grasp the meaning of numbers

by Leland Teschler, Executive Editor Much has been written about the innumeracy of the general populace. An inability to grasp the meaning of numbers leads to a variety of bad outcomes that include a predilection to be hoodwinked by junk science and financial scams. An even more pernicious outcome of an inability to understand simple

Fun with correlations: ME Ph.Ds versus World of Warcraft subscribers

From the folks at Spurious Correlations comes this gem: Mere coincidence?

High-res pressure sensor measures over 0.5 to 60-in. H2O range

A new low-pressure sensor called the DLHR Series works over lower pressure ranges of 0.5 to 60 in. H2O, an improvement over previous devices. Developed by All Sensors…

Sensor Tips

Chinese fire drill over trade

by Leland Teschler, Executive Editor Many moons ago I encountered the first auto I’d ever seen that was manufactured in China. It sat in Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, the premier event for vehicle introductions in the U.S. My experience opening the driver-side door set the tone of that initial encounter: A loud and

Reliability concerns drive UAV propulsion technologies

by Leland Teschler, Executive Editor Makers of unmanned vehicles are leaning on technology to field drones that can fly longer with fewer worries about maintenance. Eyeball the radio-controlled model planes at your local hobby store and you’ll likely see some of the same components now found on the unmanned aerial vehicles used in missions over