Is it Intelligence?

The next revolution in automation is much hyped, Industrie 4.0 as the Europeans refer to it.  What is it really?  The application of relatively unlimited computing power to…

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Intelligence is Coming to an object near You

Does Artificial Intelligence mean that mankind’s goal is to create human intelligence?  Depends on who you ask.  If that is the assumption, it is not likely to happen…

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Machine Intelligence

The Machine Intelligence debate goes on, with the latest topics including predictive maintenance. The implication seems to be that if a machine can predict equipment failures and eliminate…

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Reinvent the Old and make it New

When cost barriers drop, suddenly old problems start to look like new opportunities. There are many examples of older technology that has never become widely adopted due to…

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The next generation of grinding

by Steve Meyer, Contributing Editor One company is leveraging CAD, vision systems and robotics to make dramatic improvements in grinding large castings. The next generation of grinding will…

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Are we there yet?

Industry 4.0 is a marketing campaign to create a perception of value in something that doesn’t exist yet.  On one hand, the emergence of lower cost, intelligent peripherals…

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Robot Hero?

The world of mechatronics has an unlikely hero.  A bomb disposal robot became the delivery system for 1 pound of C4 explosive which killed the sniper in Dallas…

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Is Driver-less Driving the Answer?

Tesla Motors had it first fatality.  The response from Tesla included a very odd statistic.  The company estimates that there were 130,000,000 miles driven last year in Tesla…

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The Future of Control

There are three major trends that will shape the coming generation of control technology.  These trends are largely independent and not likely to go away.  They are increasing…

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Manufacturing USA

The Department of Commerce produces information on about the US economy every five years.  In an economy estimated at $28.7 trillion, the largest segment was Manufacturing at $5.8 trillion….

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The State of the Art in Wind Power

Wind turbines are complex systems that convert the low speed, low kinetic energy of wind into electricity.  The current state of the art involves using very large propellers…

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Insights from 1400 Year Old Windmills

Windmills have figured prominently in mankind’s ability to prosper on planet earth.  The windmill gets its name from using wind power to grind (mill) grain for food.  One…

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The Obvious isn’t always…

Engineering of complex systems can sometimes be represented as a series of simplified approximations based on the performance of known subsystems.  In the case of wind turbines, there…

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Pumps

Processing water after it has been used into potable water is a complex mix of chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines.  The mechanical problems to be solved include…

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Water Crisis

Water, somewhat like matter and energy, is not really created or destroyed.  Water is mostly captured, used and recycled.  The exception to this is electrolysis of water in…

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Mechanics, Load and Gearing

A thorough understanding of the mechanical load is crucial to successful motion applications.  Gear designers are experts in understanding the mechanical load.  Not just the RMS power requirement, but…

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New multifunctional, configurable, electronic safety controllers

Schmersal is proud to introduce the PROTECT SRB-E series, a range of multifunctional, configurable, electronic safety controllers. The series features safe PNP outputs and can be used to…

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Position or not Position?

In the last post there was some discussion of how positioning is accomplished from a general perspective.  As with all things in the world of mechatronics there are…

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AutomationDirect extends productivity series controllers’ capabilities

AutomationDirect has introduced additional modules to the Productivity series of programmable controller products. Additionally, updated Productivity Suite programming software is now available. For the Productivity3000 series, the P3-550E…

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Understanding the Notion of Positioning

One of the most difficult challenges to machine builders is understanding the notion of positioning and how it is reflected in component selection in their equipment design.  Positioning…

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Drone Wars

Research into unmanned aircraft has been going on for some time.  Called UAVs for Unmanned Airborne Vehicles, systems of various types have been under development since the 1908’s….

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Caged toolblox 30% lighter than solid tombstones

Kurt ToolBlox feature an open-cage design weighing 30% less than a solid tombstone with Aluminum subplates, making easier handling for the CNC machine table and shuttle systems. The…

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Motor Changes

Electric motors are the workhorse of industry.  Globally 20% of all energy generated is in the form of electricity.  Electric motors consume 40% of all electricity.   Electric…

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Machine throughput increases with next generation indexing table

ETEL’s RTMB high precision indexing tables have been a trusted solution for over 10 years, with thousands of products operating in a variety of industries including automation, electronics,…

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Mechanics and Motion

Engineers with a mechanical engineering background typically have the best grasp of motion control.  This should not be a surprise to anyone.  Motion control is the science, sometimes…

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