Technology on display at Detroit’s 2018 North American International Auto Show

The Detroit Auto Show is known as a forum for new vehicle debuts. But in recent years it has also become a showcase for new vehicle technology as well. This year’s event had its share of interesting developments covering areas that ranged from autonomous technology to subsystems from Tier One automotive suppliers. Here are a

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Will your next circuit board come out of a mold?

Several manufacturers are now exploring molded plastic and other odd-ball substrates for circuits as a way to simplify product designs and cut costs. Leland Teschler | Executive Editor If you looked inside a smoke detector designed by a Swiss company called Multiple Dimensions AG, you might at first be a little confused. You’d find the

Cheap laughs: Looking inside public recycling containers

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Ready for a few laughs? Peek into a recycling bin sometime. The experience can be entertaining if you are amused by widespread misperceptions of what constitutes recyclable material. One glance inside a recycling container may lead you to conclude that the public is clueless about materials that

Connectors get a new outer shell design

The outer shell for the widely used Lemo S Series connector has been redesigned with an iconic “chocolate block” look. The S Series uses the half-moon insert configuration and is fully compatible with the existing S Series connectors that have been commercially available since the early 1960s. Both the straight plug and free receptacle now […]

Which is better, looking at a video or just thinking?

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler There are plenty of jokes about people with their head down and their noses buried in their smartphones. But there may be a serious downside, in addition to bumping into walls, when most people have an instant distraction at hand to ward off boredom. It turns out

Universal-voltage motor thermistor relay comes in compact package

The DIN-rail-mounted DTA04 features universal input voltage, giving it the flexibility to be installed in a variety of control panels. This thermistor relay protects electric motors from overheating, ensuring continuous production and preventing machine downtime. Simplicity, versatility, and reliability are crucial for most users as they select monitoring controls to protect motors and equipment. The

Stainless steel, media isolated pressure sensors

The SPA 402 Series is a new, amplified pressure sensor offering excellent performance in various applications, especially for low and middle pressure and smaller solutions. Media-isolated sensors are designed to operate in hostile environments, yet offer the outstanding sensitivity, linearity, and hysteresis of a silicon sensor. This pressure sensor is compatible with 316L stainless steel,

“Industrial network” is another way of saying, “Hack me”

Leland Teschler, Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler An article in Wired Magazine raised eyebrows awhile back when it explained a way hackers could destroy motors powered by variable-speed drives. It described work by a researcher at IT security firm Digital Bond Labs who pointed out that several VSDs have no way of authenticating commands

Cheap lidar will pave the way for autonomous vehicles

Innovations in sensing technology that won’t break the bank promise to help robotically piloted vehicles understand their surroundings. Leland Teschler | Executive Editor Look at one of the prototype autonomous vehicles cruising the highways and you may see a spinning cylinder perched atop the roof. This cylinder houses a light distancing and ranging (lidar) sensor.

The cost of having a manager annoy you

Teschler on Topic Leland Teschler • Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler A lot of engineers get annoyed when a supervisor wants to spend time reviewing some aspect of their job. If you find yourself thinking these meetings are usually a colossal waste of time, you may find solace from a recent report in

RAFI switch, signaling products now available through Master Electronics

Master Electronics, an electronics distributor, is now handling products from Rafi-USA. Rafi’s products include pressure-operated switches and key lock switches, control and signaling components, tactile switches, and full-travel key switches, signal lamps and emergency stop actuators. “We’re excited to be working with Rafi,” said Riad Nizam, President of Master Electronics. “Rafi’s unique exposure in the

Wire-to-board connectors have metal backshells with EMI shielding

A comprehensive range of backshells with a rugged aluminium alloy construction and electroless nickel plating can be applied to new connector installations or alternatively for carrying out mid production modifications. Developed by Harwin for wire-to-board connectors, the metal shells make connectors more mechanically robust and provide EMI/RFI protection. Incorporated into the female cable versions is […]

Microcoax connectors carry EMI-shielded covers

The new CABLINE brand VS II Micro-Coaxial Cable Connector from I-PEX is an extension of the CABLINE brand VS Micro-Coaxial Cable Connector which was adopted as the VESA standard connector in 2009. The high-speed contact design is being used for data rates as high as 20 Gbps and supports the latest Thunderbolt 3 and IoT […]

Last days of the car guys

Leland Teschler • Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler The time when autonomous vehicles dominate the roads will mark the end of the auto industry as we know it. That was the message from now-retired GM vice chairman Bob Lutz who spoke recently at an automotive electronics forum sponsored by Mentor Graphics, a Siemens

Anti-vandal switches are UL approved

New UL approved Anti-Vandal Pushbutton switches called the DHU Series come in 25, 28 or 30 mm diameterss. All sizes offer both ring and dot illumination and non-illuminated options. Choices of body and actuator colors include stainless steel and anodized aluminum in black, green, red, blue or yellow. Bi-color illumination and multiple actuator styles offer

Trust me — My spreadsheets are perfect

Leland Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @ DW—LeeTeschler I recently heard an application engineer describe a new spreadsheet calculator his Tier Two automotive employer had devised. The spreadsheet helped calculate several technical parameters that went into sizing and selecting a new high-tech automotive component. Meant to be filled out by design engineers at

HMI terminal provides Wi-Fi communication link

The MT8103iE HMI incorporates a secure, safe, seamless built in Wi-Fi capability designed for harsh and/or IIoT environments. The MT8103iE HMI solution provides a Wi-Fi communication link that complies with the 802.11b/g/n wireless communication standard and therefore offers a secure connection via WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, allowing the HMI to collect and send data in a safe and

Encoded rotary DIP switches sealed to IP67

New Encoded Rotary DIP switches come in two sizes. The 7-mm RD07 Series is sub-miniature in size, offering a flush arrow, 4.9-mm knurled slot or 4.2-mm flat slot actuator style option with three positions from 4 to 16. The RD10 is 10-mm in size with five positions from 4 to 16. Actuator style options for

Are engineers really becoming less innovative?

Leland Teschler – Executive Editor On Twitter @DW_LeeTeschler Pundits have made headlines in recent years by claiming there is a slowdown in innovation. The evidence they usually cite comes from statistics about patents. The information firm Thomson Reuters, for example, recently used patent volume to conclude that the rate of innovation is slowing. The

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.