Features

PbSe Thermal Imaging Array

The LIRA5S lead selenide (PbSe) thermal imaging array from Cal Sensors (Santa Rosa, CA) is sensitive in the 1.0 to 5.5μm wavelength region and has state-of-the art integrated electronics. LIRA5S can be programmed for use in high-speed thermal imaging applications, including hot-spot detection in manufacturing and assembly process lines, conveyer belts, buildings, and railway systems. LIRA5S can measure up to 256 discrete thermal points, and the data readout speed of 4MHz allows for fast data analysis.

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Laser Diode Controller

VueMetrix (Sunnyvale, CA) has released the Vue-LV-15, a 15A high performance, low-cost laser diode controller based on a powerful microprocessor and proprietary current control algorithm. The Vue-LV-15 features an all digital control system that uses a precise crystal oscillator time base for direct computer control of its switching power stage. A patent-pending software algorithm produces extremely low noise current without dangerous overshoots or start-up delays. The Vue-LV-15 is available as an OEM PCB-only option or as an OEM starter kit.

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Fiber Coupled Laser Modules

FiberLight fiber coupled laser modules from Modulight (San Jose, CA) are for applications in medical, industrial, defense, and research activities. The FiberLight products are based on the company’s broad-area laser bars, from which the laser emission is coupled to a single output fiber with high efficiency. FiberLight can embed all the company’s high-power laser arrays, offering broad wavelength and power level coverage. The compact size and flexible fiber output enable integration into modular, multi-laser array designs hosting 3, 6, or 9 laser arrays. The module is offered in conduction cooled and water cooled versions.

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Advanced Technologies Will Help Hubble Yield More Remarkable Discoveries

The fourth servicing mission (SM-4) for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) offered an impressive and unprecedented set of advanced technologies that may yield the most remarkable discoveries and imaging to date of Earth, the solar system, and beyond. The mission was, according to Deputy Associate Director for the HST Development Project Frank Cepollina, “the most complicated mission – from a servicing perspective – that NASA has ever flown.”

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Advancing Technologies Harness the Power of Wind, Water, and the Sun

Renewable energy will be the world’s fastest-growing source of electricity generation over the next two decades, although it will still make up a relatively minor portion of the global energy supply, according to the Energy Information Administration. The majority of that increase will come from the use of wind power and water power, or hydropower. The Obama Administration advocates a policy that would require 25% of United States electricity demand be met by renewable energy by 2025.

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Advancing Technologies Harness the Power of Wind, Water, and the Sun

Renewable energy will be the world’s fastest-growing source of electricity generation over the next two decades, although it will still make up a relatively minor portion of the global energy supply, according to the Energy Information Administration. The majority of that increase will come from the use of wind power and water power, or hydropower.

Posted in: Features, GDM, Articles, Energy, Hydroelectric Power, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power

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Three Steps to Cost Control: Addressing the Root Cause of Unexpected Product Costs

By Eric LarkinChief TechnologyOfficer and Co-FounderArena SolutionsFoster City, CAWe often hear a common story from small and mid-size manufacturers. The VP of sales nails a really big order that will secure the company’s future — if the company can deliver. The challenge ignites chaos, and it’s a frenzy of frantic phone calls and sleepless nights to get the product built. The company fulfills the order, and everything is great in the end. Right? Usually not. When the final numbers come through, the big deal often does not mean big profits. No bonuses because cost overruns have eaten into the margins, and everyone tries to place blame. It’s a virtually impossible task to manage thousands of parts in a multimegabyte, multicolor, and multi-worksheet spreadsheet-based bill of materials (BOM). And when those spreadsheets are e-mailed, suddenly multiple different “official” versions result. The steps that then get taken to make sure the factory builds the right revision can be downright embarrassing. The problem, so common at companies racing to get products to market, is that they rely on old ways to save time and money. But using trusted shortcuts like spreadsheets for managing company BOMs and “free” tools like e-mail for communicating critical manufacturing data almost always reduce profitability. Spreadsheets grow complicated and unmanageable so quickly that profits are eaten away. Additionally, delays from out-of-control change processes — and steps to recover from delays — create unbudgeted overhead costs that further undermine remaining profits. Three steps can help companies get the right systems in place to control their product information and their costs: Step 1. Control your CAD data. Take the time to configure a product data management vault to keep data secure, revision-controlled and accessible by downstream applications. Step 2. Manage your BOMs. Invest in a collaborative BOM management system to ensure all parties are working from the accurate version of the product record. Make sure the BOM management system can accept CAD data, manage documents, control change processes, and integrate with other applications like ERP. Step 3. Imagine no shrink-wrap. Companies often find they’ve pushed the limits of shrink-wrapped software for functions such as accounting and materials planning. Anticipating that, plan for growth into business applications such as ERP and MES, and be sure the ones you choose are compatible with your BOM management system. Sometimes companies just have to get product out the door, forcing them to bank success on shortcuts and traditional processes. But not all traditions can handle the stresses and speed of modern manufacturing. Shortcuts like relying on spreadsheets to manage BOMs can introduce delays, unnecessary complications, and miscommunications that cost time and money throughout the project and into the future. By carefully selecting systems, companies can control costs by eliminating risks associated with manual, error-prone, and time-consuming processes.More Information For more information on Arena’s collaborative bill of materials and change management software, visit http://info.hotims.com/22920-122.

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