Rise of the Machines?

Artificial Intelligence is a major software technology that has been under development for decades.  As with many forms of technology, the current hype around artificial intelligence doesn’t really…

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Internet of Things Hype

The Internet of Things continues to generate a lot of “buzz”.  One market research firm forecasts $1.9 trillion in revenue by 2020 in global economic value created by…

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Technology Applied

Technology is a term that is broadly used and highly misunderstood.  It is the art of, or skill that is based on the underlying principle of a certain…

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Technology Defined

Webster’s dictionary defines technology as “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” and “a manner of accomplishing a task, especially using technical processes or methods”….

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Bringing Balance to the Force

There is a delicate balance between electric motors and the power electronics that control them.  This is because power electronics conduct electricity in a completely different way than wire…

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Electric Motor Application

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, we can only change it from one form to another.  Sadly, that transformation always causes losses.  Most of the time those losses…

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Design Integration

There are a number of definitions for the word ‘design’.  A broad definition is based on conceiving or planning something.  The object of the design could be anything,…

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1 + 1 = 3

The business world sometimes likes to use the “1 + 1 = 3″ for mergers and acquisitions where businesses seek to leverage the strengths of two complementary businesses….

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Industrie 4.0 is really Work 7.0

Work is what we do to feed, clothe and house ourselves.  Work in the last 100 years has changed so dramatically that it may not be recognizable as…

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What the buzz about Industrie 4.0?

It sounds impressive, has a lot of doctors of philosophy, and it’s imported from Europe.  Industrie 4.0, note the German spelling, very fancy, is the latest rage around…

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Energy and Getting Stuff Done

Electricity in the modern age is taken for granted.  Yet our technological society is incredibly dependent on it.  Everything we do requires electricity to control, communicate or actually…

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Modular mechatronic systems gaining momentum

ACOPOSmotor sets new standards for decentralized motion control With the ACOPOSmotor, B&R combines a servo motor and drive in one compact unit. Safety technology can also be integrated…

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Motor Centric Design – Part 3

With all the emphasis on how important wind power is to the future of energy supply, it is surprising to me that we haven’t seen a variety of…

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Motor Centric Design – Part 2

Sometimes engineers are confronted with an application that is unique and demanding, that ultimately requires a new approach.  There are some famous examples that we all deal with….

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Machine Control

During his Keynote speech at the 2014 NI Week, founder Jeff Kodosky posed some interesting challenges to our assumptions about programming languages.  In his talk about the future…

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The “Work Statement” for A Mechatronic System

The “Work Statement” for a mechatronic system is a very complex undertaking.  From the theory standpoint there is no single systematic explanation that can serve as a guideline…

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History of Work – Part 2

Work is something we would generally like to delegate.  That’s what we did with animals, we got them to help us increase our abilities in the agricultural arena….

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History of Work

Work? Not a big fan, personally.  I prefer to think about it carefully and for a long time before I get too involved.  My musings on work took…

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Renk Systems on the 15MW Dynamometer

Engineering calculations may say the design will work, but experience has proven that conditions in the real world cannot be fully anticipated.  This fact was expressed in early…

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IT and Control

The lines between plant control systems and Information Technology systems are blurring.  Even more than I previously thought.  Consider the latest from Rockwell Automation; Rockwell Architecture and Software…

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IT, the Cloud, and Manufacturing

What is the cloud?  It is a virtual computing world.  Server farms with massive computer resources that can host any application.  Instead of installing Excel spreadsheet on your…

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Electric Motor Efficiency

The notion of increasing efficiency in electric motors has been with us for some time.  The US government has been pushing efficiency standards for quite some time.  It’s…

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Magnetics and Mechatronics

What do we know about magnetism, really?  It’s kind of a mysterious force.  The earth is a giant permanent magnet.  The magnetosphere protects us from cosmic radiation and…

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Hydrogen and Power

Hydrogen make up about 92% of all mass in the entire universe.  It’s everywhere.  Ask any astronomer.  All that interstellar gas?  Hydrogen.  All the stars in the universe?…

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Mechatronic Tips

Electric motors make things go.  Better motors mean better go power.  What constitutes “better” and what to do about it, is the subject of a great deal of…

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