Manufacturing & Prototyping

Industrial Controls & Automation

Explore the key advances impacting industrial controls and automation. Access technical briefs and developments in the applications that are essential to automation integration and design.

Latest Briefs & News

Products : AR/AI
New on the Market: August 2019
New on the Market: August 2019

Circular Connectors

Binder USA, Camarillo, CA, introduced the 720 Series of miniature circular connectors with a snap-in IP67 twin distributor. The distributor — a single male connector into two...

New on the Market: August 2019
Briefs : Materials
High-Throughput Friction and Wear Tester
High-Throughput Friction and Wear Tester

There is a need for high-volume material testing/qualification but industry and researchers are currently limited by commercially available testing devices. Most wear testers can only handle one...

High-Throughput Friction and Wear Tester
Briefs : Aerospace
Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates
Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates

In the polymer composites industry, cure cycles are typically developed from trial-and-error or a more effective processing science approach to reduce...

Automated Guided Wave System for In-Process Cure Monitoring of CFRP Composite Laminates
Blog : Sensors/Data Acquisition
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
The key to IoT implementation: Democratizing big data, says SST's Christopher Chong.
At Sensors Expo: SST Wireless on a 'Journey of Innovation'
Special Reports : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Robotics & Machine Vision

Advances in robotics and machine vision are transforming the factory floor. To help you keep pace with the latest developments in industrial automation, we present this compendium of recent articles from the editors of Tech Briefs, Automotive Engineering, and Medical Design Briefs magazines.

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion

Employing fluid power to achieve mechanical motion can be implemented via hydraulics using uncompressible liquids or via pneumatics using compressible gasses; typically, air. The latter provides several...

Pneumatics for Mechanical Motion
Motion Design : Imaging
Model Gives Robots a Better Feel for Object Manipulation
Model Gives Robots a Better Feel for Object Manipulation

A new learning system improves a robot’s ability to mold materials into target shapes and make predictions about interacting with solid objects and liquids. The system, known as a...

Model Gives Robots a Better Feel for Object Manipulation
Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Vision Sensors in Factory Automation
Vision Sensors in Factory Automation

There are a number of ways to extract data from a production line. In factory automation, sensors are used in work cells to gather data for inspection or to trigger other devices. These sensors fall into...

Vision Sensors in Factory Automation
Motion Design : Test & Measurement
Cross-Training Made Possible by Common Control Platform
Cross-Training Made Possible by Common Control Platform

EMAG L.L.C. is the U.S. subsidiary of a major German machine tool builder that specializes in machine tools for the production of automotive, off-highway, agricultural, and oil field...

Cross-Training Made Possible by Common Control Platform
Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Smart Agriculture Sensors: Helping Small Farmers and Positively Impacting Global Issues, Too
Smart Agriculture Sensors: Helping Small Farmers and Positively Impacting Global Issues, Too

Smart agriculture, also known as precision agriculture, allows farmers to maximize yields using minimal resources such as water, fertilizer, and...

Smart Agriculture Sensors: Helping Small Farmers and Positively Impacting Global Issues, Too
Articles : Internet of Things
Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory
Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory

In recent years, the emergence of Industry 4.0 has been steadily transforming the manufacturing sector into an ultra-high-tech industry. Innovative smart technologies such as robotics,...

Key Factors to Consider When Designing a Smart Factory
News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
A microrobot can take up to 8 hours to make. With the help of a 3D printer, University of Toronto engineers got the process down to 20 minutes
Want a Magnetized Medical Robot? Just 3D Print It
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
For Prototyping, Do You Prefer 3D Printing or CNC Machining?

During a live presentation this month, a Tech Briefs reader had a question for Proto Labs machining pro Gus Breiland:

“When can 3D printing be a viable alternative to CNC machining?”

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety
A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety

The ability of collaborative robots to share tasks with humans and flexibly adapt to new requirements can provide high returns on investment in a wide variety of industrial applications. Manufacturers...

A Guide to Collaborative Robot Safety
Articles : Energy
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Imaging
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Imaging

Rocket engine testing requires a lot of light since all tests are filmed with high-speed cameras to monitor performance; however, those cameras have to adjust to the bright plume from a firing...

LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Imaging
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Changing the Automation Conversation
Changing the Automation Conversation

With advancements in manufacturing processes and materials, components in many industries are more precise with a new level of complex shapes. There is significant demand to create parts and assemblies...

Changing the Automation Conversation
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Industrial Blue Lasers
Industrial Blue Lasers

What Does It Takes to Change the Game?

Industrial lasers are integrated into manufacturing and fabrication facilities around the world. Every moment, there is an industrial laser somewhere that is cutting,...

Industrial Blue Lasers
Articles : Photonics/Optics
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging
An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging

Three-dimensional (3D) imaging applications are used in many different industries ranging from industrial pick and place, palletization/depalletization, warehouse, robotics, and metrology to...

An Introduction to Time of Flight Imaging
Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage
Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage

Gas Monkey Garage (GMG) is arguably America's most recognized hot rod shop. Founded in 2004 by charismatic serial entrepreneur Richard Rawlings, the Dallas, Texas garage is a state-of-the-art restoration and...

Lighting the Gas Monkey Garage
Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Some parts should be CNC machined, and some parts should be 3D printed. Our expert compares the two manufacturing processes.
Answering Your Questions: CNC Machining or 3D Printing?
Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Would You Want to Work Alongside a 'Handle' Robot?

Another video featured on Tech Briefs TV this week demonstrated a robot from Boston Dynamics called "Handle." The bipedal wheeled robot takes on material handling tasks like pallet building and truck unloading for warehouse logistics. Take a look for yourself.

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants

Industrial machinery, agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, and home applications depend on lubricants; however, they leave a heavy environmental footprint. Common lubricants, oils,...

Synthesizing Renewable Oils for Use in Lubricants
Application Briefs : Test & Measurement
Laser Measurement Sensors Solve High-Speed Package Profiling
Laser Measurement Sensors Solve High-Speed Package Profiling
Banner Engineering
Plymouth, MN
www.bannerengineering.com

Sorting parcels and packages prior to delivery is an essential step in shipping and handling. Order...

Laser Measurement Sensors Solve High-Speed Package Profiling
Application Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Metal 3D Printing for Complex Heat Exchangers
Metal 3D Printing for Complex Heat Exchangers
Renishaw
West Dundee, IL
www.renishaw.com

HiETA develops metal additive manufacturing (AM) methods for the production of complex, lightweight structures for heat management...

Metal 3D Printing for Complex Heat Exchangers