Application Briefs

Imaging Technique Improves Quality Control of Pharmaceuticals

A focal plane array designed for the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle has helped a scientist see farther into the infrared spectrum. National Institutes of Health (NIH) researcher E. Neil Lewis picked up a mercury-cadmium telluride (MCT) array from Ted Heilweil, a colleague at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and placed it on the step-scanner of his infrared microscope.

Posted in: Imaging, Application Briefs

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Real-Time Data Distribution for Industrial Automation Systems

The quest to bring lockstep efficiency to labor intensive factory production at first relied on mechanical ingenuity. Over time, as reliable and cost-effective microprocessor technology became available, assembly lines were retooled to use the new electronics to achieve greater automation and productivity. Today, pervasive network technology, including the Internet, is bringing about another evolutionary change in industrial automation. No longer is it sufficient for individual machines to perform their specific tasks independently. Instead, individual parts of a larger process must be aware of each other; they must exchange data in realtime, and adapt to changes in the process or environment. Additionally, it is increasingly necessary to exchange data outside of the traditional industrial network and beyond the factory floor, and to include enterprise LANs and the Internet. Up-tothe- minute information on manufacturing processes needs to be available to analysts, inventory managers, and others within the office environment.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs

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Communications and Tracking Services Support Near-Earth Missions

Telemetry, tracking, and command services ITT Corporation White Plains, NY 914-641-2000 www.itt.com ITT Corporation has been selected by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to perform telemetry, tracking, and command services for near-Earth missions under the Space Communications Network Services (SCNS) contract. Under this contract, ITT will support NASA’s Space and Near Earth Networks, which provide most of the communications and tracking services for a wide range of Earth-orbiting spacecraft, including the International Space Station, the space shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Earth Observing System Satellites.

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Measurement Systems Aid NASA in Study of Space Station Solar Array Anomaly

Surface and roundness measurement systems Taylor Hobson West Chicago, IL 630-621-3099 www.taylor-hobson.com NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is using the Form Talysurf PGI 1230 Surface Measurement and the Talyrond 295 Roundness/Cylindricity Measurement Systems from Taylor Hobson to perform critical surface analysis of a damaged bearing assembly from the International Space Station (ISS). The results are expected to help NASA experts determine the cause of the damage to the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), a 10-footdiameter ring that allows the station’s solar panel array to rotate and track the Sun.

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Yaskawa Controllers Help Echo Hill Upgrade Grinding Operation

Echo Hill Automation Inc., a Beamsville, Ontario, Canada company founded by mechanical engineers and brothers Dan and Harry Schellenberg, has grown from a small two-man operation to a successful manufacturer of centerless grinding automation, with the help of servomotors and controllers from Yaskawa Electric of Waukegan, IL. Centerless grinding automation is used for high production grinding, where tight tolerances and good part roundness has to be achieved.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Renishaw Encoder Improves Positional Accuracy for CNC Optical Maker

When a leading manufacturer of CNC optical manufacturing technology needed ultra-accurate and stable positioning for a new system to measure conformal optics, it turned to ABTech Manufacturing Inc., specialists of custom- made ultra-precision air bearings and motion systems. In order to meet tighter customer specifications for positioning resolution, ABTech found the solution in high-resolution linear and rotary optical encoders from Renishaw. ABTech created a five-axis optical measurement platform featuring three of its linear air bearings, two of its rotary air bearings, and Renishaw’s ultra-high accuracy SiGNUM(TM) series linear and rotary encoders.

Posted in: Applications, Application Briefs

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Using Vision Sensors to Eliminate Manufacturing Defects

Supplying parts to the world’s leading automotive companies leaves no room for error. That’s why Miniature Precision Components Inc. (MPC) uses three vision sensors to error-proof the automated assembly of oil-caps at its Prairie du Chien, WI facility. With 41 molding machines ranging in size from 25 to 550 tons, this 100,000 square-foot facility employs about 450 people. MPC’s four manufacturing plants generate approximately $167 million per year supplying the automotive and commercial industries with high-quality injection-molded parts and assemblies such as PCV valves, thermostat housings, and quick-connect ports for emission control systems.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Applications, ptb catchall, Photonics

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