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

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
A New Twist Makes Rotating Machinery More Efficient and Quieter

Derived from a design approach for a new wing known as PRANDTL-D, this technology achieves similar improvements for propellers and other rotating machinery.

Briefs : Materials
Bacteria-Fighting Polymers Created with Light

Hundreds of polymers that could kill drug-resistant superbugs in novel ways can be produced and tested using light. The new method may help identify antimicrobials for a range of applications from personal care to coatings.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
One-Dimensional Material with High Current Density

Current density is the amount of electrical current per cross-sectional area at a given point. As transistors in integrated circuits become smaller and smaller, they need higher and higher...

Products : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
New Products: November 2018 Photonics & Imaging Technology

Optical Monitoring System

The SpectraLock Optical Monitoring System from Eddy Company (Apple Valley, CA) provides in-situ monitoring and deposition rate control to produce...

Articles : Communications
Motion Control in Factories: Choosing the Right Solution

The need for Ethernet-based communication within the factory has grown over the past 10 years. Detailed information about the tasks and performance of machines at every stage is...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design Tool Brings a ‘Structural’ Approach to Color
A new approach to structural coloration is more freeform than you might expect.
Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
How Augmented Reality Will Disrupt the Manufacturing Industry

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are in the same vein when it comes to modern technology. Both deal with digital content relayed through an immersive environment or...

Products : Test & Measurement
Product of the Month: September 2018 Tech Briefs

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, RI, announced a new release of HxGN SMART Quality software that combines connectivity, statistical evaluation, and resource management...

Blog : Manufacturing & Prototyping
How to Authenticate a 3D-Printed Part: ‘Explode’ and Embed a QR Code
Researcher Nikhil Gupta tells Tech Briefs why "exploding" a QR code inside a 3D-printed part makes counterfeiting practically impossible.
Articles : Lighting
Machine Vision Can Do More Than You Think

The ability to automatically extract information from digital images opens many doors for manufacturers striving to cut costs, improve quality, and streamline their processes overall. The primary...

Articles : Manufacturing & Prototyping
IMTS2018 Preview

Presented by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) has been the premier manufacturing technology show in the Northern Hemisphere. IMTS is held every even...

Products : Motion Control
New Products: August 2018 Motion Design

Servo Controller IC

TRINAMIC Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) announced the TMC-4671 fully integrated servo controller IC that provides field-oriented control for BLDC/PMSM and 2-phase...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Diamond Pellet Grinding Tool

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a numerically controlled grinding tool that eliminates undesirable periodic variations in surface contours in optical and other surfaces — such as mid-spatial...

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What’s the Hold-Up with Digital Product Development?

Digital technologies are bringing big data, automation, and mobile capabilities to processes like IT, HR, sales, and marketing, but what is the hold-up with product development? Has your product development process been modernized and “digitized?”

During a live webinar this...

Briefs : Aerospace
Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline, two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission, or as a supplemental add-on input...

Briefs : Power
Magnetic Induction Heating of Space Foods During Dispensing Under Weightless Conditions

Hot foods are psychologically pleasing. Food heating systems are currently part of the astronaut feeding program. An electrical method of heating foods during dispensing in space uses magnetic induction heating. The process is up to 95% efficient in...

Question of the Week : Manufacturing & Prototyping
What are your Biggest Manufacturing Challenges?

What parts of the design process are the most difficult? What information are you looking for now to help you with your job? Is there a specific technology area that can be challenging to find out the latest solutions for?

Let us know in the comments: What are your Biggest Manufacturing...

Articles : Robotics, Automation & Control
The Less is More Approach to Robotic Cable Management

In recent years, cable management has come into the limelight because machine reliability has increased dramatically, even though robots have grown more complex. Unfortunately, the...

Articles : Communications
Understanding Smart Machines: How They Will Shape the Future

Powered by smart machines, the new industrial revolution is changing how machine builders design, and how manufacturers operate today and in the future. To remain competitive and...

Briefs : Motion Control
Control for Molecular Machines

Scientists around the world are working on new technologies for the nanofactories of the future, which one day could be used to analyze biochemical samples or produce active medical agents. The required...

Articles : Motion Control
Cobots and Industrial Robots: Choose the Right Robot for the Job

Automating manufacturing processes is a complex issue, with no one-size-fits-all solution. Robots range from insect-like microrobots to industrial robots powerful enough to...

Blog : Medical
Shape-Morphing Materials Add 4th Dimension to 3D Printing

3D printing uses computer control to fuse layers of polymers or powders into a three-dimensional object. Rutgers University researchers found a way to add to a fourth dimension –...

Briefs : Software
Algorithm Boosts Speed of 3D Printers

A major drawback to 3D printing is the slow pace of the process, which ensures details are reproduced accurately. The pace of 3D printing is one of the factors that has prevented the technology from finding a broader audience. A new algorithm was developed that boosts the speed at which the printers...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Conductive, High-Toughness Oxides Deposited by Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD)

Oxide coatings deposited in Glenn Research Center's Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition (PS-PVD) facility can be processed to be mechanically tough (erosion-resistant) and electrically conductive at room temperature. The electrically conductive...

Articles : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Strengthening Data Cabling for Next-Generation Motion Control Applications

The wide variety of industrial applications each independently calls for a level of robustness from the physical (PHY) layer, all the way up to applications. Time...