Sensors in the driving seat

Advances in sensor technology help make autonomous vehicles safe and reliable. RALF BORNEFELD | Infineon Technologies Many drivers on today’s roads are already supported by advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) for functions such as parking assist, cruise control and automated lighting. Now, more intelligent and connected environmental sensors are making autonomous vehicles the next logical step […]

Engineers and the fate of all plastics ever made

Leland Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler A research paper made headlines recently when it claimed 79% of all plastics made since the invention of polymer resins now reside in landfills or are scattered around the landscape. All in all, the researchers figure that we’ll be sitting on roughly 12,000 metric tons

D-connector gaskets come in wide variety of materials

EMI shielding D-Connector gaskets come in five standard sizes of 9, 15, 25, 37, and 50-pin configurations in stainless steel, beryllium copper, X, Y, Z-axis conductive foam, and metalized fabric consisting of a metalized fabric over a polyurethane foam core. Additionally, four conductive elastomers fill out the D-Connector product line from Tech-Etch Inc. Series 1000 […]

Process sealed slide, toggle and rocker switches

IP67 Process Sealed slide, toggle and rocker switches include the SMS Series slide switch which is sub-miniature in size, offering a choice of single or double poles, termination in standard PC pin or horizontal mount, right angle PC pin. The CST Series toggle switch has gold contacts with single or double pole option. Sub-miniature in

You can’t control your way out of poor mechanical design

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler With all the hoopla surrounding software startups, you might think the only innovative technology these days involves C++ programs and SIM cards. Worse, a lot of software-types seem to have the same opinion: A product that doesn’t depend on some kind of esoteric algorithm in software can’t

UL-listed NEMA 4X polycarbonate enclosure billed as largest on the market

The ARCA IEC from Fibox is said to be the largest UL-listed NEMA 4X Polycarbonate Enclosure. Made in the European IEC standard sizes, this enclosure is available up to 31.5x 23.5 11.5 in. The ARCA IEC cabinet enclosure is made of impact-resistant polycarbonate and will not dent, rust, crack or bloom like steel or fiberglass.

Do engineers deserve the blame for big mistakes in big projects?

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler Governments today struggle with budgetary overruns and deficits, and the resultant wrangling has put what might be called megaprojects in the spotlight: Big bridges, high-speed rail lines, and new fighter jets that are all large-scale, complicated undertakings typically having price tags in the billions. Of course,

Image gallery: The engineering eye candy at NIWeek 2017

National Instruments Corp. held its NIWeek event in Austin, Tex. last week. The get-together of LabVIEW programmers and instrumentation users always includes interesting new products and clever applications for the LabVIEW system design software and instrumentation hardware. Here are a few of the developments highlighted there that had eye appeal. NEXT PAGE: Stacking cups with

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“Alexa, run LabVIEW.”

NIWeek run-down National Instruments unveils the next generation of its LabVIEW program with features that include a toolkit for hooking into Amazon web services. National Instruments Corp. kicked off its NIWeek event in Austin, Tex. with the debut of a significantly upgraded version of its Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW), a system-design platform and

Next generation of LabVIEW engineering system design software

The first release of the next generation of LabVIEW engineering system design software has been developed by National Instruments Corp. LabVIEW NXG 1.0 is said to bridge the gap between configuration-based software and custom programming languages with an innovative new approach to measurement automation that empowers domain experts to focus on what matters most –

LEDs light up industrial enclosures

LEDs have become bright enough, rugged enough, and inexpensive enough to handle illumination chores inside industrial control cabinets. Slavco Anastasov • Rittal Corp. For many years, fluorescent technology was the only option for the internal lighting of industrial enclosures. Fluorescent light sources have many positives and are relatively inexpensive. But they have their share of

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…

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