THE RESILIENCY OF MECHANICAL POWER TRANSMISSION
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, as we were putting the finishing touches on the Power Transmission Reference Guide, much of the country was shut down as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic swept through the nation and the world. Uncertainty reigned, with businesses and schools shutting down and nobody really sure what the future was going to bring — how long was this going to last; a few weeks, a month or two? More?
As the country quickly came to learn, keeping stores stocked with food and paper products and cleaning supplies relied on a largely hidden world of manufacturing, transportation, logistics and supply chain management. Ditto for the critical medicines and PPE which medical personnel in hospitals need.
Despite the overall challenging economic climate of 2020 and the shortages that we all experienced, one area that held its own was automation. A report from the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) out late last year showed a forecasted decline in early 2021 followed by a market rebound for the rest of 2021 and into and through 2022. In fact, other economic indicators are pointing toward a brisk recovery. For instance, the first few months of 2021 saw increased consumer spending, signaling a healthier economy and the start of a recovery, which is good news for manufacturing. That, as well as the government stimulus bode well for the nation’s economic outlook.
Mechanical power transmission is a central part of automation and manufacturing. These are the screws and actuators, the slides and rails and guide ways and the linear bearings that help bear the loads – and the belts, brakes, clutches, couplings, motors and gears, and the components that dampen shock and vibration. This Reference Guide covers some of the basics of these components, with updates on new designs as well.
What’s more, Design World editors have been busy putting together highly focused Motion Design Guides, a series on the basic technologies of motion control, with in-depth coverage of the basics of these critical components and everything you need to know about what they are and how to design with them. You’ll fi nd them online at motioncontroltips.com and linearmotiontips.com, where you’ll also fi nd all of the latest news and information about power transmission and motion control. And be sure to check out our other power transmission and motion-related sites — bearingtips.com and couplingtips.com as well as our Design World flagship site at designworldonline.com.
Filed Under: DIGITAL ISSUES