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

INSIDER : Photonics/Optics
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Insider

Diffraction-Limited Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Surrey, UK) is an international supplier of diffraction-limited aspheric lenses for nuclear research laser facilities. Over the last 40 years, Optical Surfaces has produced diffraction-limited aspheric lenses, up to 600mm...

Briefs : Materials
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency

Unlike water, liquid refrigerants and other fluids that have a low surface tension spread quickly into a sheet when they come into contact with a surface. For many industrial...

Surface Treatment Could Improve Refrigeration Efficiency
Briefs : Test & Measurement
Miniature Spring Performance Tester
Miniature Spring Performance Tester

In order to qualify miniature springs, manufacturers of these systems rely on commercially available testers that are designed for large-scale springs (>0.5" diameter). Commercially available spring...

Miniature Spring Performance Tester
Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection
Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection

Accurately detecting, locating, and quantifying leaks of methane — the main component of natural gas and a major fuel source worldwide — is critically important for both environmental...

Mobile, Dual-Comb Device for Methane Leak Detection
Products : Lighting
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Micromachining Subsystem

SCANLAB GmbH (Puchheim, Germany) has introduced a new member of its precSYS product line. Five-axis precSYS subsystems enable industrial...

New Products: September 2019 Photonics & Imaging Technology
Articles : Photonics/Optics
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Each passing year, machine vision is finding its way into applications that were not commercially feasible — and in some cases, impossible.
Machine Vision Camera Trends: 2019 and Beyond
Products : Electronics & Computers
New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology
New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology

People-Counting Sensor

FLIR Systems, Inc. (Wilsonville, OR) announced the latest generation of the FLIR Brickstream 3D Gen 2 people-counting sensor. This new version includes a unique...

New Products: September 2019 Sensor Technology
Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
All-Silicon MEMS Inertial Sensing at Fiber Optic Gyro Performance Levels
All-Silicon MEMS Inertial Sensing at Fiber Optic Gyro Performance Levels
There is increasing demand in many high-end commercial and industrial markets for precision motion sensing for a diversity of applications.
All-Silicon MEMS Inertial Sensing at Fiber Optic Gyro Performance Levels
Articles : Motion Control
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
We interviewed an industry expert about the role of inductive position sensors in the IIoT.
The Many Uses of Inductive Position Sensors in the IIoT
Articles : Motion Control
Build IIoT Networks with Smart Control and HMI Software
Build IIoT Networks with Smart Control and HMI Software

Programmable automation controllers (PACs) play the primary role in IIoT systems. Also referred to as machine controllers, PACs provide a centralized architecture; they act as the...

Build IIoT Networks with Smart Control and HMI Software
Articles : Motion Control
Cable Construction for Machine Vision Connectivity
Cable Construction for Machine Vision Connectivity

Along with the onslaught of Internet of Things (IoT) and wirelessly enabled devices, cloud connectivity has become a major benefit for a range of applications from commercial to military. As...

Cable Construction for Machine Vision Connectivity
Articles : Test & Measurement
Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection
Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection

Stepper motors and stepper-based linear actuators are often selected for open-loop motion control devices and equipment. These can be found in a wide range of products and...

Stepper Motor Drives: Factors to Help Determine Proper Selection
Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings
Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a new method for making small-diameter, high-grade ball bearings that are less than 0.25” in diameter thanks to the development of a new alloy...

Nickel Titanium Alloy Ball Bearings
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Lunar Surface Manipulation System
Lunar Surface Manipulation System

NASA's Langley Research Center offers a novel lifting and precision positioning device with hybrid functional characteristics of both crane-type lifting devices and robotic manipulators. The design of the...

Lunar Surface Manipulation System
Products : Software
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 : Manufacturing & Prototyping
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 : Sensors/Data Acquisition
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 : Wearables
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 : Propulsion
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
Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
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 : Test & Measurement
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
Application Briefs : 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 : Transportation
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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
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