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Articles from 2005 In November


Web Site Puts a Helpful Spin on Rotational Molding

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

E-NEWS

Web Site Puts a Helpful Spin on Rotational Molding

Shana Leonard

www.modroto.com/newslet.htm

An online resource about rotational molding provides design engineers, product managers, and other rotomolding enthusiasts with insight about plastics for design and manufacturing purposes. Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. (Saddle Brook, NJ) archives its newsletter, Adventures in Rotomolding, online and allows free access to these information-laden documents. The newsletters include Q&A segments, news updates, tips, design strategies, cost-efficient methods, links, and recommendations. Users can browse the archive, or subscribe to the free newsletter.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

The Motion Control Revolution

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

Product Update

The Motion Control Revolution

Motion control products shrink as capabilities grow.

Shana Leonard

A stepper drive manufactured by Applied Motion Products has special functions that detect and prevent common stepper motor problems.

The need for motors and motion control products is escalating rapidly as a stream of burgeoning technologies, robots, and devices flood the market. And with these advancements and changes inevitably come a multitude of industry trends.

As is true in many areas of the medical manufacturing industry, the move towards miniaturization is affecting the field of motion control. The mounting popularity of minimally invasive surgery requires reducing the size of necessary components. In addition to the shrinking size of motion control products, there is also a demand for smaller machinery, as cumbersome equipment occupies valuable facility space. Finally, there remains the ongoing quest for smart motion control products that require minimal supervision and maintenance, but retain user-friendly features.

A Piezoelectric Actuator Provides Precision Positioning

A company specializing in precision motion control offers a piezoelectric actuator suited for applications such as miniature valves, optical switching and scanning, and nanopositioning. The titanium FPA-125 piezo actuator made by Dynamic Structures and Materials LLC (Franklin, TN) measures 7.6 X 7.6 X 25.4 mm and weighs 6 g.

A piezo actuator from Dynamic Structures and Materials LLC is suited for space- and weight-sensitive applications.

The actuator offers a variety of features in addition to its compact size. The unit is mechanically preloaded to guarantee bidirectional operation. This feature provides increased resilience to mechanical loads when compared with nonpreloaded actuators, according to the company. Although varying piezo materials and voltages are available upon request, the standard model is equipped with low-voltage piezo material ranging from 120 to 150 V. The actuator has a stroke of 125 µm to ±10%, a stiffness of 1 N/µm to ±10%, and an unloaded resonant frequency of 1400 Hz to ±5%. The flexure-based actuator is also comprised of cleanroom- and vaccum environment–compatible materials.

Stepper Drive Features Special Functions to Avoid Common Motor Problems

Featuring a comprehensive set of specialized functions, a stepper drive curtails common stepper motor transgressions. Applied Motion Products (Watsonville, CA) offers the STAC6. The drive combines an output current of 0.5–6 A with an ac input of 94–135 V. It operates in a temperature range of 0–55°C.

The STAC6 is equipped with a bevy of special functions aimed at circumventing common problems associated with step motors. To maintain smooth motion while using low step resolutions, the drive has a microstep emulation feature that converts the step count into microsteps, which are then fed to the motor. A demand signal smoothing function diminishes the effect of abrupt changes in velocity and direction, while a negative harmonic negates inherent low-speed torque ripple, resulting in a smoother motion at low speed. Users can also input system data in order to calculate the frequency at which the motor resonates. The antiresonance function will then enter a dampening term into the algorithm to improve midrange stability, allowing stable operations to 50 rps or greater.

In conjunction with the various preventative functions, a self-test feature works to eliminate glitches and to avoid common actions that may hamper the production process. The self-test function measures the motor’s parameters at the startup stage and compares the information from the previous startup in order to check for data changes that may indicate a problem or alteration. More functions are available with the addition of an encoder. The drive detects and prevents stalls, as well as maintains motor position when stopped, despite external forces.

A Motor Controller Is Suited for Hand-Held Surgical Drills

Sensitron Semiconductor’s motor controller can withstand
10,000 autoclave cycles.

A motor controller that measures 1.25 X 3 in. serves as a handheld tool for brushless drills. The autoclavable, variable-speed motor controller is designed by Sensitron Semiconductor (Deer Park, NY) to withstand 10,000 autoclave cycles. Outfitted with an overtemperature shutdown protection function, the controller automatically ceases operations when the product temperature climbs too high. An automatic restart function then activates the power once the temperature has returned to a safe value. The product also has a low current sense resistor value with high-temperature gain. Operating temperature ranges from –50° to 125°C. The controller meets UL 2601-1, CSA 601, and IEC 60601-1 standards.

Linear Servo Amplifiers Feature Low-Noise Performance

Developed to minimize noise, Varedan Technologies’ line of linear servo amplifiers now includes a 500-W version.

A motion control product manufacturer has introduced a 500-W version to its line of transconductance linear servo amplifiers that reportedly eliminate the radiated noise and distortion typically found in pulse-width-modulated servo amplifiers. Varedan Technologies (Torrance, CA) offers servo amplifiers in 200-, 400-, and 500-W versions with high bandwidth. The amplifiers are suited for applications such as linear air bearing stages, rotary air bearing spindles, ultrasonic scanning, coordinate measurement machines, disk inspection spin stands, and thermoelectric cooling control. Other applications include fiber-optic welding, high-resolution positioning systems, semiconductor processing equipment, and linear and rotary servo stages.

The amplifiers incorporate user-friendly features, including an onboard DSP that monitors real-time status, a function that stores parameters in a nonvolatile memory, and an autobalance capability that enables full power to be delivered to the windings of the motor without manual equalization of the amplifiers. With motor-mounting Hall sensors, the amplifiers can drive brushless motors in either sine or trapezoidal mode.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

University’s Web Service Keeps Users on the Cutting Edge

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

E-NEWS

University’s Web Service Keeps Users on the Cutting Edge

Shana Leonard

http://apps.rgp.ufl.edu/otl/tech_
updates1.cfm

The University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) has introduced a free Web service that notifies subscribers of the university’s emerging technologies. UF TechAlert operates as a subscription service that requires users to select technology categories for which they would like to receive updates; among these categories are research tools, software, genomics, and medical devices. Subscribers subsequently receive information and updates about the university’s latest technologies in their chosen categories that are available for licensing. These alerts are sent out in the form of a text-only e-mail, which includes contact information and a Web link to a more-detailed summary of the advancement.

The purpose of the service is to inspire companies to integrate the university’s innovative technologies to create new products or improve upon existing procedures. Current technologies available for licensing from the University of Florida include a home test kit that monitors vitamin K levels for patients on anticoagulants, a device that allows for the direct introduction of drugs into brain tissue while maintaining integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and a method of endovascular brain mapping that the university claims is safer and more precise than current practices.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Online Store Sets the Standard

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

E-NEWS

Online Store Sets the Standard

Shana Leonard

www.intertek-standards.com

ETL Semko, a division of Intertek (Boxborough, MA), has launched an online store containing over one million technical documents, industry standards, and requirements. The Standards Store sells conformity assessment standards as well as documentation on regulations, parts design, and design guides, in addition to a variety of technical papers. Users can search for material by standard number, standard title, or text featured in the document. Results yield the closest matches to the user’s query in addition to each entry’s organization, publication date, document number, price, and status, which indicates whether the standard is active, pending draft, or inactive.

The store is the collaborative effort of Intertek ETL Semko and Information Handling Services. ETL Semko provides product safety testing and certification, EMC testing, and performance testing for a range of industries.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Company’s Site Stacks up against the Competition

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

E-NEWS

Company’s Site Stacks up against the Competition

Shana Leonard

www.destaco.com

De-Sta-Co (Madison Heights, MI) has redesigned its Web site to include all of the company’s products in one place. The most significant change to the site is found in the Web-based 3-D CAD library, which enables engineers to create individual 3-D models of the company’s products and to download the CAD drawings. A user-friendly search function enables locating products by such criteria as product category, industry, part number, or model number. The site offers several catalogs that are available to view or to download, as well as a section on training capabilities that the company delivers to channel partners and customers. Also featured on the site are a number of case studies that demonstrate how various De-Sta-Co products have positively influenced the industry.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

X-ray Function Examines Parts and Devices while in Operation

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS

X-ray Function Examines Parts and Devices while in Operation

Susan Shepard

Real-time x-ray services allow a device to be inspected while it is in operation. The technology enables the user to observe possible defects in material, or any motion-related problems. Trace Laboratories (Hunt Valley, MD; www.tracelabs.com) has purchased a Feinfocus Cougar-VXP real-time x-ray system and offers this service as part of its Root Cause Failure Analysis program.

The technology works with materials ranging from low-density plastics to high-density steel. These materials can be seen with a high degree of detail due to the variable-power capacity of the x-ray tube. Also, since the device being tested can be rotated while running, its operation can be observed from almost any angle. Real-time video can be burned onto a DVD for future review by the company or its clients.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Machining Company Celebrates New Facility with Schnitzel

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS

Machining Company Celebrates New Facility with Schnitzel

Shana Leonard

To celebrate the opening of its new North American headquarters, Datron Dynamics (Milford, NH; www.datrondynamics.com) held an open house featuring exclusive tours, personal interviews, and all the schnitzel guests could eat.

The two-day event enabled the high-speed machining company to showcase the new facility, developments, tools, and software to both members of the media and valued customers. Among the activities offered was the opportunity to tour the 4000-sq ft facility that houses the company’s corporate offices and a high-speed CNC technology center.

The new headquarters permit the company to expand its machinery and capabilities. Since it made the move, the company has developed a next-generation vacuum-table work-holding solution for CNC machinists called the VacuMate II. Technical seminars and workshops are also in the planning stages.

“We now have a facility that reflects our position as a leader in the area of high-speed machining with small tools, and one that allows us to share our expertise with the industry,” says Walter Schenecker, president of Datron Dynamics.

Though Datron maintains a professional business image, the company used the open house to express its lighthearted nature through the incorporation of an Oktoberfest theme to the event. Drawing from its German heritage, the company offered a catered lunch by German-born Chef Dieter, complete with authentic schnitzel and kegs of German-crafted Pfungstädter Edel Pils premium beer.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Joint Research Project Focuses on Miniaturization

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS

Joint Research Project Focuses on Miniaturization

Corinne Litchfield

A ceramic motor manufacturer has joined forces with a nonprofit group to produce working prototypes of highly miniaturized products. New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY; www.newscaletech.com) has announced a joint research project with Infotonics Technology Center Inc. (Canandaigua, NY; www.infotonics.org) to create products that integrate New Scale’s miniature piezoelectric Squiggle motor with Infotonics’ microsystems technology.

The companies will work together to further miniaturize the motor technology and integrate it into modules for specific high-potential commercial markets, including medical. Potential medical applications include drug-delivery modules and pumps for microfluidic systems. The devices would be small enough to be implanted in a patient, and nonmagnetic to be safe for use in and near MRI systems.

“We are pleased to provide the microsystem research facilities and expertise to help New Scale further miniaturize and commercialize its innovative technologies,” said Infotonics’ CEO David R. Smith. “If successful, this initiative could certainly help drive economic growth in our region.”

The Infotonics Technology Center Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that operates New York State’s Center of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems. The organization is structured as a consortium whose founding participants include Corning Inc., Eastman Kodak Co., and Xerox Corp. Academic participants include some 20 New York state colleges and universities.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

In Brief

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS

In Brief

Technik (Indianapolis; www.techniksusa.com) held an open house to commemorate the opening of a new facility, as well as to celebrate almost 10 years in the industry and a growth average of 87.5% over the past four years…The Malish Corp. (Willoughby, OH; www. malish.com) has acquired Total Plastics Inc., an injection molding company…The Association for Manufacturing Excellence has named Webster Plastics (Fairport, NY; www.websterplastics.com) as the inaugural recipient of its Manufacturing Excellence Award…Davis Standard LLC (Pawtucket, CT; www.davis-standard.com) announced the acquisition of Merritt Extruder Corp. Under this agreement, Merritt will relocate to Davis-Standard’s headquarters; however, Davis-Standard will continue to sell Merritt’s existing brand line and to employ key Merritt employees…Caron Products & Services (Marietta, OH; www.caronproducts.com) has partnered with Kinematica Inc. As a result, Caron will be providing U.S. sales and service for Kinematica’s Reactron unit.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Electronics Manufacturing Services Available for High-Mix, Low-Volume Production

Originally Published MPMN November 2005

INDUSTRY NEWS

Electronics Manufacturing Services Available for High-Mix, Low-Volume Production

Susan Shepard

A fully integrated manufacturing service offered by Federal Electronics (Cranston, RI; www.federalelec.com) puts together four key electronics production processes. The combination of fiber interconnect, copper interconnect, mixed technology printed circuit board assembly, and high-level assembly and testing is suitable for OEMs seeking high-mix, high-complexity, low-volume production of electronic components and assemblies.

“Companies developing and manufacturing complex electronic products that require cable and fiber-optic assemblies, surface-mount and printed through-hole circuit boards, and functionally tested higher-level assemblies will reap significant benefits with our new solution,” says Ed Evangelista, the company’s vice president.

The company controls all facets of material acquisition and the production process through an ERP system, so it can identify and eliminate bottlenecks as they occur. The system includes product documentation, development, and maintenance; development and implementation of functional test solutions for higher-level product assembly; surface- mount technology that processes µBGA and 0201 to 2-in.-sq components; a wide array of fiber-optic interconnect technologies; and harness assemblies consisting of up to 2000 connection points.

Copyright ©2005 Medical Product Manufacturing News