Application Briefs

Hundreds of Gearmotors Drive Times Square Scrolling Sign

With a zoning ordinance requiring businesses to throw up big, bright, eye-catching signs, Times Square in New York City has an illuminated-sign density rivaling Las Vegas. When Toys “R” Us moved into the neighborhood, it contacted Revolution Display Systems, (Toronto, Canada) to create a motor-controlled, synchronous, contiguous moving image that would constitute the location’s storefront. The resulting 165-module “Building Board” is the first large-format scroller matrix in the world.

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Drive Retrofit Update Enables Smoke-Removal System at Atlanta Airport

When the City of Atlanta finalized plans for the capital-improvement project at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, an integral part of the 10-year, $5.4 billion project included upgrading the ventilation system of the underground Automated People Mover (APM). The APM’s previous ventilation system was adequate when the APM served the A, B, C, and D Concourses. When Concourse E was added and the APM extended — now 3.5 miles long, handling 128,000 passengers an hour — the fans required upgrading to handle additional flow and pressure to meet National Fire Protection Association standards for emergency smoke evacuation. The $3.4-million set up and installation contract for mechanical and electrical equipment was awarded to W.B. Wallis & Co. (Atlanta, GA).

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Device Simulates Spine Motions

The spine is the most complex mechanical system in the human body. With the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Instron (Norwood, MA) is utilizing the BioPuls™ Multi-Axial Spine Testing System to characterize the multi-axial dynamism of the backbone. Such testing will help further the understanding of spine kinetics, simulating precisely the complex, coupled motions typical of the spine and impact on spinal procedures. The system can be used to help evaluate the design of new instruments and implants that allow a greater physiological range of motion.

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Motion Control Research Center Develops Speed Control System for SRM Drives

The Center for Rapid Transit Systems at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) is an internationally recognized drive systems and motion control research group with expertise in the design, simulation, and control of switched reluctance motor (SRM) drives and power converter topologies.

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“Pinball Wizards” Bank on Motion/Stress Analysis Software to Redesign Game

Stern Pinball of Melrose Park, IL, is the only manufacturer of coin-operated pinball machines in the world. Today, Stern’s pinball games are designed using sophisticated computer simulation software.

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Software and Hardware Automate Cylindrical Coordinate Measurement Machine Control System

The Mechanical Engineering School at the Georgia Institute of Technology needed to reduce the set-up time involved in centering a bearing ring on a rotating spindle in a cylindrical coordinate measurement machine.

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Analysis Software Used to Test Solar Car Steering and Stability

The Toronto, Canada-based Power of One solar car was built to set world distance records and promote the use of sustainable energy, unlike most solar cars that are built for racing. Most solar cars are designed only for controlled conditions on a track, but the Power of One project’s focus is practical solar technology that manufacturers can adapt into future mass-produced vehicles.

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