IoT Technology and Connected Cars

All of the complex technologies being put to use to automate and coordinate sophisticated manufacturing processes are providing the groundwork for developing autonomous cars. CEO of Real-Time Innovations, Stan Schneider, posits that the combination of these systems create “An autonomous car [that] is more a robot on wheels than it is a car.”

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YuMi Collaborative Robot

Zürich-based ABB Ltd. has developed a what it calls the first inherently safe, collaborative industrial robot, dubbed YuMi. The dual arm design concept employs integrated motion control software, speed-limited hardware, 14-axis mobility, in a small light package. It’s intended for small parts assembly and designed to eliminate the need for physical barriers and software safety zones. The design has been classified as a global certification by UL.

YuMi Collaborative Robot. Photo courtesy ABB“Put simply, in the unlikely event of a safety failure, the physical robot including its grippers is incapable of causing harm,” according to Nicolas De Keijser, Assembly and Test Business Line Manager for the Robotics Business Unit at ABB Inc. “Moderate robot speeds also allow time for human reaction to avoid collision.”

YuMi is designed to be flexible and rapidly deployed for small parts assembly and other applications requiring dexterity and repetitive tasks. Advancements in sensors, AI and computer vision help the robots to collaborate directly in proximity with human workers.

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Dileep George, Cofounder of Vicarious

Vicarious is  building a unified algorithmic architecture to achieve human-level intelligence in vision, language, and motor control. Currently, they are focused on visual perception problems, like recognition, segmentation, and scene parsing. Vicarious is interested in general solutions that work well across multiple sensory domains and tasks.

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Cofounder Dileep George spoke at MIT Technology Review’s Emtech conference on October 18,2016.

Watch his talk about “Artificial Intelligence at Work” at this link: http://events.technologyreview.com/video/watch/dileep-george-vicarious-ai-work/

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Reebok Introduces Additive Manufacturing Technology

Reebok’s newest shoes incorporate an additive manufacturing process known as “Liquid Factory.” Using techniques similar to traditional 3D printing techniques, Reebok is employing an approach called 3D Drawing, which extrudes liquid polymers on a flat surface. These polymers, developed by BASF, are formed into the shoe’s sole and attach to the sides of the shoe. The benefits include greater feel transmitted through the sole to the wearer, and eliminating the use of molds to form the parts.

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AmCon Novi 2016

Come see us November 1-2 at the AmCon Novi Show.

About the Show:

AmConAmerican Contract Manufacturers Show Detroit/Novi (AmCon Novi) is the premier venue to learn about the latest in cutting edge manufacturing technologies & innovations, meet face-to-face with the experts of suppliers of hundreds of custom parts and components all in one day, find multiple sources to take your project from concept to finished product. AmCon Novi 2016 will showcase a wide range of products and services related to contract manufacturing industry from the leading exhibitors such as 3D printing, forming, fabricating, machining, engineering, prototyping, finishing, fasteners, assembly, electronic manufacturing, design, castings. Exhibitor profile of this event includes all job shops and contract manufacturers that provide custom metal, plastic, rubber and electronic parts and finishing services to OEMs.

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Contract Manufacturing Grows in Food and Beverage Industry

A recent Rabobank report details the growth of contract manufacturing in the Food and Beverage industry. Currently, 10 – 20 percent of total food production is via contract manufacturing, but this share is rapidly expanding. The primary trends driving growth are: time constraints, the need for greater variety of products, startups lacking their own production capabilities and desire to improve return on investment.

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Rabobank’s Senior Analyst for Consumer Foods, Paula Savanti, explains that food companies, “Need manufacturing partners with a certain scale and sophistication. This is where we see growth and consolidation opportunities.”

For more details and to obtain a full copy of the May, 2016 report, please visit Rabobank.com

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DoE Invests in Lowering Solar Costs

Over the next five years, the US Department of Energy is investing up to $30 million on developing new modules and materials to lower the cost of solar power via their SunShot Initiative. The new partnership between the DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is called the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium. It is the latest consortium created as part of the DoE’s Energy Materials Network, providing support to US clean energy manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

solar technologyThe primary goal of DuraMat is to reduce the cost of solar energy. The consortium proposes to achieve this goal by developing new module technologies to make producing solar energy more cost-effective, fostering collaboration among professionals, academics and US labs to create and test the modules, and bringing the most promising materials and technologies to market without delay. It will provide the solar industry access to national DoE labs’ knowledge and research.

“DuraMat provides easily accessible capabilities that bring the national lab and university research infrastructure together with the PV (photovoltaic) and supply-chain industries,” Teresa Barnes, director for DuraMat, said of the consortium.

Read more at Design News ›

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The Importance of RoHS Compliance

What is RoHS Compliance?

rohsRoHS is the acronym for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

Any business that sells applicable electronic products, sub-assemblies or components directly to EU countries, or sells to resellers, distributors or integrators that in turn sell products to EU countries, is impacted if they utilize any of the restricted materials.

The proposed changes to the original RoHS Directive in RoHS2 are minor. No additional substances have been added to the six currently restricted. Inclusion of RoHS categories 8 (medical devices) and 9 (control and monitoring instruments) products in RoHS is now proposed, with the proposed dates for inclusion being 2016 or later.

What materials are restricted?

The substances banned under RoHS are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP).

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MiQ Partners with Bailout Systems

We’re excited to let you know that we have officially partnered with Bailout Systems to manufacture Bailout and bring it to life. With more than 30 years of manufacturing experience and a massive team of engineers and industry leaders, MiQ is the perfect partner for Bailout.

Bailout Systems is a company built on passion, community, and the belief that the end-user comes first. Always. After a discussion with a close friend and local firefighter, we learned about Black Sunday. With only a brief amount of research, it was clear what the issue was: current bailout kits aren’t effective. We were quick to realize that the firefighting industry has yet to see true innovation within self-rescue. As we’ve developed our product and perfected our technology, we’ve gained support on a national and global level. Now, we’re ready to change the firefighting industry forever. Introducing the future of self-rescue.

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PackSpec v2.0

The Organization for Machine Automation and Control [OMAC] is promoting PackSpec v.2.0, to provide OEMs and packaging end users with templates for packaging machinery specifications. According to Tom Doney, Chair of OMAC PackAdvantage, and the architect of the OMAC PackSpec, “PackSpec version 2 seeks to better align with the Technical Report and provide clarity around the two possible levels of PackML compliance.”

The Organization for Machine Automation and Control Under development for more than four years, the original 1.0 template, now about a year old, enabled OEMs to align the data from their build specifications into a standardized format for all users. In addition to removing a lot of variables from the development and design process, the standardization allows for focusing resources on innovation of new features instead of minute details.

“What we discovered is that if the community applied the OMAC standards in their specifications, there was a large gain that could be found for End Users that directly improved the bottom line for their OEM’s,” Tom Jensen, co-chair of the OMAC PackSpec committee, said. “Conversely, if OEM’s built machines to a common spec, buying machinery based on functionality became much clearer.”

Read more at DesignNews.com.

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