Features

Custom Machines Create Engine Lip Skins on Boeing Aircraft

MJC Engineering, a custom machine tool builder in Huntington Beach, CA, specializes in metal-spinning machines for such applications as sheet spinning, flow forming, wheel spinning, and rotary forging. The company was commissioned to build a series of metal-spinning machines for GKN for use at its plants in Camarillo, CA and Orangeburg, SC. These machines produce lip skins for the engine housings on Boeing 777X and 737MAX aircraft. Using CNC from Siemens Industry (Elk Grove Village, IL) and robotic handling technology — in addition to its proprietary servopump-controlled Green Power™ hydraulic power unit that saves up to 40% on energy — the MJC team devised a unique solution to an engineering challenge brought to them by GKN.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Aviation, Motion Control

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Automating Roadbed Testing Before Paving

The normal road construction process involves subgrade (the existing soil) preparation followed by placement of an aggregate layer, and then the pavement surface layer (asphalt or concrete). In practice, most highways are designed using a set of assumptions that is sufficiently conservative to ensure that the roadway will meet its minimum specifications over its design life. The cost of the pavement layer can be optimized by testing the firmness of the prepared roadbed before paving. The testing process validates the basic design assumptions, and enables the amount of pavement to be tailored or optimized for each segment of the road. Ingios Geotechnics (Northfield, MN) was formed to develop and manufacture equipment to automate the process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Automotive, Test & Measurement

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Editor's Choice: December 2016

Aerofoam composite insulation combines a polymer foam with a unique inorganic filler in a way that maximizes thermal performance while maintaining mechanical performance, chemical resistance, fire resistance, and acoustic insulation capabilities. Applications include construction, consumer appliances, transportation, electronics, healthcare, industrial equipment, and applications in harsh environments. To find out more, click here.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Magnets From a 3D Printer

Manufacturing strong magnets isn’t a problem; however, it is difficult to produce a permanent magnet with a magnetic field of a specific pre-determined shape. Now, thanks to a new solution devised at the Technical University in Vienna (TU Wien), permanent magnets can be produced in complex forms and customized magnetic fields using a 3D printer.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Full-Color Bendable E-Paper

Less than a micrometer thin, flexible, and providing all the colors of a regular LED display, a new bendable electronic paper uses ten times less energy than a Kindle tablet. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, working on placing conductive polymers on nanostructures, discovered that the combination would be perfectly suited to creating electronic displays as thin as paper.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace

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Jason Dworkin, Project Scientist, OSIRIS-REx, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

On September 8, NASA launched OSIRIS-Rex (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer). The probe will spend two years in space, chasing down an asteroid known as Bennu. Discoveries from the mission could help scientists understand clues to the origins of life.

Posted in: Who's Who, Aeronautics

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Product of the Month: November 2016

Wolfram Research, Champaign, IL, released Mathematica 11 technical computing software that features more than 500 new functions, including improvements in machine learning, 3D printing and geometry, mathematics, visualization and graphics, graphs and statistics, geography, text and language processing, knowledge base, units and dates, cloud and Web interfaces, and audio, imaging, and signals. The new version enables users to print 3D models and plots directly through local or cloud-based 3D printers, and to identify more than 10,000 objects and classify and extract features in data with customizable machine learning tools. Other features include the ability to construct, train, and evaluate high-performance neural networks with both CPU and GPU support, and integrated support for audio, from trimming and filters to synthesizing sounds and measuring audio. The software includes enhancements in interface, language and algorithm depth, and efficiency.For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling

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