Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

Autodesk is planning to include simulation and computer-aided manufacturing software into its Inventor mechanical design suite of applications, according to a report on Engineering.com

Autodesk Inventor is generally used by engineers in mechanical design, and was available for $2,500 a year through the company’s website.

Autodesk’s senior director of manufacturing business strategy, Stephen Hooper, told Engineering.com that the company would now include Nastran and HSMWorks in an Inventor suite.  Continue reading Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

Microtechnology exhibition to showcase innovations in watchmaking and medicine

epjh entrance

It’s not one of the most famous exhibitions in the world, and not the biggest, but that’s probably appropriate for EPHJ, because it’s all about small things, or – more accurately – what’s called the “microtechnology” sector. 

Microtechnology includes such things as watchmaking, jewellery making, and precision instrumentation for medicine, all of which are relatively large business sectors in Switzerland, where EPHJ is being held, on 20-23 June 2017 – Geneva, to be exact.

Now in its 16th year, the event is described as “an unmissable event for high-precision manufacturers, with exhibitors from the worlds of watchmaking and jewellery, microtechnology and medtech”.  Continue reading Microtechnology exhibition to showcase innovations in watchmaking and medicine

Curtiss-Wright launches contactless proportional rocker

curtiss wright jc040

New model expands joystick range and offers non-contact proportional control for hand-grips and HMI consoles

The industrial division of Curtiss-Wright has launched the JC040, a single-axis, Hall-effect proportional rocker suitable for arduous applications in specialty off-highway vehicles.

The JC040 builds on the success of legacy potentiometric versions available from the Corporation’s brand family of Penny & Giles, and uses non-contacting, Hall-effect sensing technology for long-life integrity of the output signal.  Continue reading Curtiss-Wright launches contactless proportional rocker

Rough seas: Resistors for severe environments

Container ship New Orleans

Resistor liquid cooling boosts 3.3kV medium voltage loads, and slashes resistor footprint in industrial and marine applications, as David Atkins, projects director at Cressall Resistors explains

In motor driven applications like cranes, lifts, hoists and conveyors, air cooled resistors are common, but in medium voltage, high power applications liquid cooling wins out.

A medium voltage drive running off a 3.3kV supply to turn a 500kW motor will put a severe heating load on the application’s power transistors – hence the need for water cooling.

The new EV2 advanced water cooled modular resistor range for low and medium voltage applications is especially designed to function in severe environments, like the ones marine systems have to function in.

This patented design encapsulates and completely separates the resistor elements from the coolant.  Continue reading Rough seas: Resistors for severe environments

Watchmaking robots: It’s a small world

When Apple wanted to launch a watch, most people may have thought the company would name it iWatch, to go with iPhone, iPad and iLife. 

However, Swatch raised a legal objection on the grounds that it had the rights to a product called iSwatch, and Apple’s iWatch would be too similar. This week, the courts agreed and banned Apple from using the name.

But Apple had already changed its mind some time ago, and went with Apple Watch, which has gone on to sell 13 million units in its first year, estimated to be a faster sales rate than the iPhone.

But as a total, 13 million is barely a drop in the ocean of the global watch market.  Continue reading Watchmaking robots: It’s a small world

Stainless steel belts in robotics applications showcased at M-Tech 2016

belt technologies automated-assembly-metal-timing-belt

2016 marks the third year Belt Technologies has attended the Mechanical Components & Materials Technology Expo.

The event, also referred to as “M-Tech”, is held annually each June at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan and is one of the world’s largest exhibitions of mechanical and processing technology.

Alan Wosky, president of Belt Technologies, says: “M-Tech has been a great experience each year that we’ve attended. Continue reading Stainless steel belts in robotics applications showcased at M-Tech 2016

The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

medical robotics human-eye-diagram

In this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News, Chris Wagnerhead of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, takes a microscopic look at the developments in medical robotics

This is an exciting time for medical robotics, as there is a proliferation of systems on the market or in development.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci, the long-time market leader for robotic laparoscopic procedures, now has potential competition from Medtronic, Verb Surgical (backed by Google and J&J), Auris Surgical, Transenterix’s ALF-X, and Titan Medical’s Sport system.

Similarly, the orthopaedics robot market is active with Stryker’s Mako platform, Think Surgical’s TCAT system, Mazor Robotics Renaissance system for spine surgery, and Blue Belt Technologies (now owned by Smith & Nephew) Navio system.

One interesting observation is of the physical size of the various systems as compared to the active operating volume of the robot.  Continue reading The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

New poll finds majority of people would be reluctant to be a passenger in a driverless car

driverless car concept

Institution of Mechanical Engineers/ICM Unlimited survey of 2,002 people finds 55 per cent would be unlikely to want to be a passenger in a driverless car

UK Government and companies such as Google, Ford and Uber are all championing driverless car technology, but according to this latest public survey much more work is needed to convince the public of the benefits of driverless vehicles.

According to the survey, carried out by ICM Unlimited on behalf of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 55 per cent of the 2002 people surveyed said they were unlikely to want to be a passenger of a driverless car, with 40 per cent said they were very unlikely to want to be a passenger. Just 21 per cent of the people surveyed said they would be happy to ride in a driverless vehicle.  Continue reading New poll finds majority of people would be reluctant to be a passenger in a driverless car

Robotiq launches new FT 300 force torque sensor

Robotiq has launched its newest Force Torque Sensor: the FT 300, which the company says brings “a sense of touch to your robot”.

The Force Torque Sensor FT 300 has plug and play integration on all Universal Robots, making automation of high-precision tasks such as product testing, assembly and precise part insertion easy and fast to set up.

The Force Torque Sensor FT 300 is specially designed for Universal Robots. The easy integration includes a smooth mechanical fit, integration and programming. This new Sensor will open up a whole range of force sensitive applications that will be fast and easy to automate, says the company. Continue reading Robotiq launches new FT 300 force torque sensor