Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2010

LED Driver Includes Brightness Control Function

Toshiba Electronics Europe has launched a 16-channel light-emitting-diode (LED) driver that combines brightness control with a built-in pulse-width-modulation (PWM) greyscale capability. The TB62721 is suitable for traffic signs, information boards and other large-panel displays requiring the accurate and reliable control of multiple-colour LEDs.

The new driver can deliver output voltages of up to 38V and provide constant currents of between 2mA and 80mA per channel using a single resistor. All of the functionality needed to deliver 256-step output brightness control is integrated into the device, while the onboard PWM capability provides 65,536-step greyscale control per channel. Both the output-to-output accuracy and IC-to-IC accuracy of the TB62721 are 1.5 per cent.

This allows large displays based on multiple LED chains and drivers to maintain consistent brightness levels within very tight tolerances. Designed for secure, reliable operation, the TB62721 features onboard protection, …

Micro SD Card Reader Features Vertical Assembly

Yamaichi Electronics has introduced the PJS008U-3000-0 manual micro SD card reader for vertical insertion and extraction, such as in the 90-degree angle to the printed circuit board (PCB). The PJS008U-3000-0 is a manual micro SD card reader for all micro SD cards in compliance with the specification of the micro SD card standard. The positioning pins and the DIP connection to the PCB ensure the secure fixing of the card reader on the PCB.

As a result, the PJS008U-3000-0 is as stable as the horizontal micro SD card readers and has all the same attributes as the 180-degree version. An advantage of the vertical assembly is the small space requirement of only 4.97mm in width and 12mm in length. According to the company, 10,000 mating cycles are assured thanks to gold-plated contacts.

The insulation body is out of LCP and completely encloses the micro SD card, thus giving additional protection against external impacts. The PJS008U-3000-0 provides the full functionality of an all-purpose mi…

Microchip Offers Miniature Microcontroller Package

Microchip has added a new member to its eight- and 14-pin PIC16F61X 8-bit PIC microcontroller (MCU) range, targeting cost-effective general-purpose applications. The PIC12F617 MCU features 3.5Kbyte of self-programmable Flash program memory (with a self-read-write capability) and peripherals such as a 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), a comparator, a pulse-width modulator (PWM) and a VREF for closed-loop-control applications - all in a miniature 3 x 3mm DFN package.

The Flash programmable memory with a self-read-write capability serves as a low-cost alternative to data EEPROM and is useful when an application requires remote updates or the ability to store system data or look-up tables. The MCU features an 8MHz internal oscillator, an on-chip four-channel 10-bit ADC, a comparator with hysteresis and a PWM with complementary outputs that provide a framework for applications such as light-emitting-diode control, motor control, capacitive touch keys and system monitors.

Microchip …

California Micro Expands Luxguard Turnkey Range

California Micro Devices has introduced the latest products in the Luxguard range of turnkey solutions. These solutions are suitable for the electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection and thermal management of high-power, high-brightness light-emitting-diode (HBLED) lighting applications. The new Luxguard CM1753 and CM1754 products feature a 50V breakdown voltage specification and deliver an 8kV human-body model (HBM) of ESD protection with low input capacitance for high-power HBLED lighting applications.

Designed as silicon-based side-mount ESD protectors, the CM1753 is designed for P-up common cathode configurations and the CM1754 provides identical protection for N-up common anode configurations. A tiny form factor enables the devices to be used in existing HBLED lamp modules, with the number of LEDs in the string ranging from one to 15. Luxguard products for HBLEDs include silicon submounts and side-mount TVS diodes.

Luxguard submounts provide integrated ESD protection at levels excee…

AE Develops Precision Amplifier For EMC Testing

AE Techron has developed the 7224 precision amplifier for the EMC compliance testing market. The precision amplifier can be used in a range of susceptibility test standards, including Ford EMC-CS-2009, DO-160, MIL STD 461 and T1.315-2001. Depending on the configuration, the 7224 can produce up to 1,500W and has an operating bandwidth of DC to 200kHz and a 70V/ms slew rate.

The precision amplifier can produce up to 30A of 13.5VDC with 2Vs peak to peak of line disturbances from DC to 150kHz. It can also produce up to 160Vp and 50Ap. The 7224 features a small chassis size (2U rack space, 45lb) for bench-top or rack-mounted operation. The amplifier will be available from 1 March 2010.

Circular Photodiode Sensors Feature Round Geometry

Ophir-Spiricon has launched the PD300-R line of circular photodiode sensors. Identical in performance to the company's PD300 laser detectors, the PD300-R sensors feature a round geometry to facilitate mounting and centring on collinear optical bench systems. SM-1 mounting threads on all components ensure a fit with most optics. The sensors are designed to detect a range of light levels, from 500pW to 3W.

Each device has a built-in filter that reduces the light level on the detector and allows measurements of up to 30mW without saturation. A second, removable filter allows measurement up to 3W.

Four models are available: the PD300-R measures from 500pW to 30mW filter-out, 200uW to 300mW filter-in and wavelengths from 200nm to 1,800nm; the PD300-R-3W measures from 5nW to 100mW filter-out, 200uW to 3W filter-in and wavelengths from 200nm to 1,800nm; the PD300-R-UV measures from 20pW to 3mW filter-out, 2uW to 300mW filter-in and wavelengths from 200nm to 1,100nm; and the PD300-R-IR meas…

EMKA Offers Quarter-Turn Locks In Mini Package

EMKA's 1022 programme quarter-turn locks or 'mini-locks' have the same capabilities as the larger versions but in a miniature package. The mini-locks are suitable for small cabinets, wall-mount enclosures, access panels or other housings. They are useful where space and design limitations demand easy operation as well as a good level of rugged serviceability, according to the company.

The 1022 programme locks are also available with additional sealing rings for applications where protection to IP65 is important; for heavy dust environments, a special dust cap can further improve the sealing capability. The mini-locks are quick to fit and feature either a standard 14mm square hole for nut fixing or a 15 x 18mm double-D hole suitable for spring fix lock bodies, thus enabling quick installation in production situations (not to IP65).

In order to cover a range of operational needs, the 1022 programme can be supplied with cylinder locks/inserts to take square or triangular keys o…

ON Semiconductor Expands Range Of Clock Drivers

ON Semiconductor has expanded its range of clock drivers with the release of the NB7L585, NB7L585R, NB7V585M and NB7V586M differential 2:1 mux input to 1:6 devices. It has also introduced the NB6HQ14M and NB7HQ14M 1:4 fan-out clock/data drivers with equalisation. The NB6HQ14M and the NB7HQ14M integrate a selectable equaliser receiver into a differential 1:4 CML clock driver.

When placed in series with a data path operating at up to 6.5Gbit per second (Gbps) or 10Gbps, the inputs will compensate the degraded signal and output four identical CML copies of the original input signal. The serial data rate is thereby increased by reducing the inter-symbol interference (ISI) caused by losses in the copper interconnect or long cables. The NB7L585, the NB7L585R, the NB7V585M and the NB7V586M are the newest members of the Gigacomm range, representing a new 2:1:6 function integrating a 2:1 mux with a 1:6 fan-out buffer.

The NB7L585 and the NB7L585R are 2.5V/3.3V devices with either low-voltage pos…

Elma Offers AMC Injector/Ejector Handles

Elma Electronic is now offering advanced mezzanine card (AMC) injector/ejector handles. AMCs are the main boards for MicroTCA designs and are also implemented in some AdvancedTCA applications. The company's AMC handles feature precision milling, allowing tough tolerances to be achieved. Compliant with the latest AMC/MicroTCA specifications, the handles have a die-cast construction.

The ergonomic design features grooves to facilitate handling and positive detents at three positions. The Elma handles have an optional micro switch that fits all of the locations listed in the MicroTCA.0 specification. An optional light-emitting-diode indicator light guide is available with a die-cast zinc bright chromate faceplate.

The clear polycarbonate light guide snaps into the faceplate. Custom handle designs and colours are available and the customer's logo can be optionally integrated into the handle die-cast. Elma offers a range of other services, including silk screening, overlays and custo…

Mini Clock Oscillator Supports Extreme Conditions

Precision Devices has introduced the OC8037 miniature clock oscillator, which is targeted at extreme-temperature and harsh-environment applications. Extreme conditions are supported by the new oscillator, which provides a range of operating temperatures, including -40C to +85C and -55C to +125C; additional options are available to support even higher operating temperatures.

The OC8037 also offers a high shock resistance of 5,000G (at 0.3ms, 1/2 sine) and a high vibration resistance of 10Hz to 2,000Hz at 10G. The oscillator offers an operating frequency range of up to 160MHz with a square wave HC-CMOS/AC-CMOS output, a frequency stability of +/-50ppm output and two supply voltage options (3.3V and 5V).

Typical applications for the new oscillator include avionics and aerospace systems, such as airborne computers, cockpit instrumentation and displays, automotive systems and medical equipment. The new miniature clock oscillator is available in an RoHS-compliant four-pin SMD ceramic package …

Marktech Unveils Surface-Mount Point-Source LED

Marktech Optoelectronics has introduced the MTPS4088MC surface-mount point-source light-emitting diode (LED). The MTPS4088MC is designed to deliver consistent performance in demanding environments where space constraints are an issue. The 880nm point-source LED features a 3.5 x 0.94 x 2.2mm package with a flat epoxy lens and a typical power output of 2.0mW.

Developed primarily for optical-encoder, optical-switch, scanning and precision-edge sensing applications, this +/-10 point-source LED utilises an LED die configuration, which provides an unobstructed, radiated-beam pattern by masking the die and relocating the topside electrode. By eliminating the 'dark spot' typically associated with the centre of conventional LEDs, the point-source LED yields good results when used with application-specific optics to obtain the desired radiation pattern characteristics, according to the company.

The device also offers a low thermal coefficient. In addition to its newest surface-mount packa…

Low-Power DAC For Portable Applications

Wolfson Microelectronics has launched the WM8912, an ultra-low-power DAC designed to extended playback time, reduce system cost and enhance audio performance in portable applications. These applications include media players, headsets, multimedia phones and navigation devices. The WM8912 features Wolfson's SmartDAC technology, a low-power DAC capacitor switching architecture, which enables DAC-to-headphone power consumption of less than 4mW.

Also incorporated into the WM8912 is Wolfson's Class W amplifier technology, an evolution of Class G, which includes an adaptive dual-drive charge pump and DC servo circuit architecture. The Class W ground-referenced amplifier technology uses an adaptive dual-drive charge pump to optimise power dissipation and eliminate the need for large DC blocking capacitors on both headphone and line outputs, resulting in savings in PCB space and the audio subsystem bill of materials.

The WM8912 also features a control write sequencer to ensure ease of s…

Touchscreen Features Unlimited Finger Tracking

Cypress Semiconductor has demonstrated a tablet-sized capacitive touchscreen technology with unlimited finger-tracking capability. Cypress has released a video, available on its website, that features a demonstration of a user simultaneously manipulating multiple pictures on the screen. The technology, based on Cypress's Truetouch touchscreen solution for smaller-size portable electronics, will power touchscreens from 7-17in, with full multi-touch support.

The inclusion of multi-touch support in the Windows 7 operating system has opened up the large laptop, netbook and tablet PC market to touchscreen interfaces. Multi-touch capability is a key requirement for enabling designers to develop innovative applications and ways for the user to interact with his or her PC. Cypress's Truetouch devices enable designers to create new usage models for products such as tablet PCs, notebooks, netbooks, mobile handsets, portable media players (PMPs), GPS systems and other products.

Truetouch t…

RS Unveils Environmentally Friendly Hook-Up Wire

RS Components has introduced Ecowire, Alpha Wire's new environmentally friendly hook-up wire. Ecowire achieves expanded functionality over standard PVC-based hook-up wire with insulation that is fully recyclable. Using a modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) thermoplastic that is inherently lighter, tougher and more durable than PVC, Ecowire is non-halogenic and does not contain any heavy metal pigments. The result is UL-approved AWM wire that helps manufacturers meet Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) requirements.

While PVC insulation is currently a mainstay of the wire and cable industry because of its mechanical and electrical properties and low cost, it presents environmental concerns. PVC is a halogen-containing material that emits toxic gases, toxic smoke and toxic acids when burned that are hazardous to health and equipment. Newer materials, principally low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH) plastics, emit no dangerous gases or smoke when burned.

The drawback to LSZH is …

Pogo Interconnect For Harsh Environments

ITT Interconnect Solutions has developed a low-cost 19-way commercial Pogo pin connector and cable assembly. These meet the stringent electrical and mechanical specifications required in demanding environments, including medical test and diagnostic equipment such as diagnostic imaging systems.

Rated to IP 55, this new interconnect also suits other harsh-environment applications, including commercial-aircraft electronics, instrumentation and industrial equipment. ITT ICS's 19-way Pogo pin interconnect features the company's Pogo pin technology, which achieves low contact resistance of less than 10mohm and ensures reliable and robust performance of more than 5,000 mating cycles.

The commercial Pogo cable assembly (including bulkhead, front mount, receptacle cable assembly, plug with RJ45 and in-line plug-to-jack assembly) also provides exceptional EMI shielding, with 100 per cent effectiveness through the entire assembly. This harsh environment 19-way commercial Pogo pin connector…

Left/Right-Hand Plugs For Tyco Terminal Blocks

New left- and right-hand plugs have been added to Tyco's line of wire-to-board, Eurostyle terminal blocks. This product extension provides additional configurations of wire-access angles to the standard 3.5 and 3.81mm vertical and right-angle headers.

Specific applications of this product include control, input/output and field wiring. A key feature of the plugs is their multiple-wire access angles, which mate with 90 and 270deg header interfaces. Their rising, screw-clamp orientation mates to industry-standard open and closed-end headers on the same centreline spacing.

In addition, they are end-to-end stackable without loss of centreline spacing. The plugs are UL recognised and serve the industrial-control, communication-equipment and HVAC-control markets. Other product options include custom marking, printing and colour selection.

VPX3-129 Enhances Freescale QorIQ P4080 Processor

Mistral Solutions has brought out Curtiss Wright's VPX3-129, a new and rugged power architecture-based 3U VPX (VITA 46) single-board computer (SBC). The VPX3-129 is a powerful, small form-factor SBC that enhances performance and advanced I/O capabilities of Freescale's QorIQ P4080 eight-core communications processor with an extensive I/O complement to provide a highly capable 3U VPX SBC.

This makes it ideal for a wide range of embedded harsh-environment applications, including tactical aircraft, armoured vehicles or rugged naval systems. The VPX3-129 has multi-gigabytes per second data flows from board-to-board via the backplane, and from the backplane to its XMC site to support the acquisition, processing and distribution of high-bandwidth sensor input such as video, radar and sonar data. The board has been designed to optimise functionality, reduce power dissipation and maximise system flexibility.

The board's I/O complement includes two Gbit Ethernet ports, four serial ch…

LT3758 Generates Positive And Negative Voltages

Linear Technology has brought out the LT3758, a high-input voltage DC/DC controller for boost, flyback, Sepic and inverting power-supply applications. It is capable of generating either positive or negative regulated output voltages. The LT3758 has two voltage feedback error amplifiers and reference voltages.

One set is for positive-output voltages, the other is for negative output voltages, both off a single feedback pin, making the LT3758 a versatile DC/DC controller for many types of power-supply designs. The LT3758 operates from a wide input voltage range from 5.5 to 100V, which is ideal for surviving high-input voltage transients. This device can achieve efficiencies up to 96 per cent and is suited for harsh industrial, automotive, medical and telecom applications.

With a programmable fixed or synchronisable operating frequency from 100kHz to 1MHz, designers can choose a wide range of inductors and capacitors to optimise size, performance and cost. The fixed frequency, current-mode…

Harting Introduces Ha-VIS Pcon 2000 Power Supplies

The Harting Ha-VIS Pcon 2000 range of power-supply modules offers high performance and reliability in industrial-automation applications. The new units, which are mechanically and electrically compatible with Harting's range of Ethernet switches and other active network components, combine ease of installation with the use of redundancy modules to ensure high system availability and hence reliability in areas such as control and switch cabinets.

The new modules incorporate pluggable connections to ensure reliable and rapid assembly without the need for special tools. The range includes versions for voltages of 24 and 48V and power outputs of 35, 60 and 120W. Key performance features include high efficiency, extended input ranges, overload capability of up to 150 per cent for up to three seconds and low losses.

The range includes the Pcon 2010-DRM redundancy module, which incorporates dual 12-48V supplies to ensure redundancy in the power supply for components in control and switch c…

Harwin Releases EZ Boardware Range

Harwin's EZ Boardware range comprises surface-mount products that improve manufacturing flexibility, reduce manufacturing costs and improve in-field maintenance. With EMC, shielding cans are usually soldered to the board as a secondary operation after the main automated-assembly process.

However, EZ-Shield Clips can be surface mounted, allowing a shielding can to be simply pushed into place during final assembly. EZ-RFI Fingers, also part of the EZ Boardware range, allow for a sliding or wiping contact and simply facilitate electrical contact between PCB and metal cases, yet saving manufacturing costs when compared with using grounding finger strips. When it comes to cable management, EZ-Cable Clips are much smaller and lower profile than equivalent plastic devices.

They are placed directly onto solder pads, thus negating the need to drill retaining holes in the PCB, offering further space and cost savings. EZ-Jumper Links enable designers to eliminate through-hole vias and multi-la…

Sherborne Launches A545 Linear Accelerometers

Sherborne Sensors has introduced the A545 range of single, biaxial and triaxial solid-state linear accelerometers, designed to measure acceleration and deceleration in harsh environments. Available in ranges from +/-2G to +/-500G, A545 series accelerometers feature an advanced MEMS sensor, incorporating air damping.

Unlike fluid-damped devices, air damping is essentially independent of temperature, which enables the transducer to perform over a wide temperature range. Sensors are fully compensated for temperature effects on both sensitivity and zero, and incorporate positive mechanical stops. Housed within a lightweight (less than 40g), durable light alloy package with solder pin connectors, the A545 series provides shock resistance and over-ranging protection.

The A545 series is designed to operate from an unregulated DC power source and have useable frequency responses from DC to several kHz. Typical applications for the A545 series include data acquisition systems, crash testing, fat…

NEI Enhances Finite Element Analysis Software

NEI Software has announced that it will unveil the next generation of its NEI Works finite element analysis software at Solidworks World 2010 in California. NEI Works 2.1 includes enhancements and additional features that address a segment of the Solidworks community that requires Nastran for finite element analysis (FEA) solutions.

NEI Software's chief executive, David Weinberg, will be available to answer questions as the company demonstrates the enhancements and new features of NEI Works, including new post-processing features, usability enhancements and optimisation, as well as new types of analysis, elements and loads.

A full list of enhancements can be obtained on booth 633 or during the company's presentation at the Solidworks World 2010 Certified Partner theatre on 1 February. NEI Works 2.1 is embedded in Solidworks and has Gold Product status, a designation awarded by Solidworks Corporation for products that pass its tests for quality and compatible integration. NEI Wor…

Raytheon Selects Windchill PLM Software

PTC has announced that Raytheon has placed an order to standardise on PTC's Windchill PLM software across the company as the cornerstone of its global product development management strategy. Raytheon, an aerospace and defence company, selected Windchill to replace its enterprise product data management system. Windchill enables Raytheon to create a common global collaborative environment for product design, development and production in support of its design anywhere, build anywhere, support anywhere business initiative.

The use of a single enterprise-wide PLM interface will enable the company to quickly deliver new products to market. Windchill can help standardise common product development processes including change and configuration management, streamline product data and workflows, and provide immediate access to product information across the organisation. The software provides advanced search capabilities to support data reuse that can drive a more streamlined product devel…

Scrappage Scheme Targets Compressed Air Systems

Atlas Copco Compressors has launched a scrappage scheme for compressed air systems, offering GBP2,000 towards the cost of new equipment. With the Atlas Copco Compressors Scrappage Scheme, any compressor that is five years old or more, regardless of model or manufacturer, could be worth up to GBP2,000 against the purchase of new Atlas Copco compressed air equipment.

Those interested in participating in the scheme are invited to contact the company for an estimate of the trade-in value of existing equipment, with the reminder that the larger the capacity of the traded-in compressor, the better its scrap value. The scrappage scheme offer closes on 30 June 2010.

Streampix 4 Allows Multi-Camera Acquisition

Alrad has announced that it is offering Streampix 4 digital video recording software, which can be used to view, control and acquire from multiple cameras simultaneously using just one interface. Streampix 4's user interface provides a complete management console for cameras, which can simplify the setup, control and acquisition from any number and type of cameras, both locally and remotely connected.

Streampix 4 can support an infinite number of cameras. The number of cameras supported is limited by a condition where the combined data rate of the cameras exceeds the PCI bus bandwidth or processor capabilities of the computer.

Features of Streampix 4 include: compatibility with Windows XP and Vista (32 and 64 bit); support for 100+ camera lines; works with any camera that has a WDM driver; record data from up to 16 cameras on a single computer; record directly to RAM for ultra-high-speed capture; and record to sequence file on disk (raw or compressed).

GibbsCAM 2010 Includes Enhanced Productivity Tools

Gibbs and Associates has announced that it is now shipping GibbsCAM 2010, which includes a variety of new features, additions, enhancements and productivity tools. Bill Gibbs, founder and president of the company, said: 'We added many capabilities to make programming and machining easier and more efficient, especially with new features in five-axis and solids machining.

'We also implemented 64-bit operation to enable the faster processing of long programs and complex parts, added support for new tools and tool holders, extended functionality within various modules and extended and updated interoperability with various CAD [computer-aided-design] systems. 'All this is in addition to the recent integration of Volumill and making GibbsCAM compatible with the Windows 7 operating system,' he added.

GibbsCAM 2010 includes more spiral machining options, gouge check projection options, a lead-in/lead-out 'flip' option, an axial shift damp option for trimming applications…

Barker Collins installs Doosan horizontal borers

Precision subcontractor Barker Collins Engineering has installed five Doosan DB 130C/CX horizontal boring machines, supplied by Mills CNC, to exploit the potential of renewable offshore energy. Barker Collins manufactures large, complex oil/gas, marine and other subsea components and has won a range of offshore wind-turbine manufacturing contracts. An example of the type of work undertaken in the sector is the production of clevis joints.

Manufactured from cast steel and supplied in sets (one male and one female part per set) and weighing between two and two-and-a-half tonnes each, these clevises are machined on Barker Collins' Doosan horizontal boring machines in a single setup. Manufacturing times vary but are typically around 11-13 hours per part. Prior to Barker Collins being awarded the contract to manufacture and supply 106 sets (eight sets per week), the clevises were being turned and milled. Cycle times were long and transferring the clevises between different machines crea…

Mott To Show Porous-Metal Products At MDandM West

Mott will display filtration products, flow control solutions and porous-metal technology at the MDandM West tradeshow, which is due to take place in Anaheim, California, on 9-11 February 2010. According to the company, which will be found on Booth 3,185 at the event, products using porous metal offer good performance, a long life and accuracy.

Some products currently utilising porous metal include various implantable devices, filters to prevent the plugging of catheters, drug-delivery devices, medical instrumentation, sparging devices for cell-culture processing and gas-flow-restrictor devices for gas delivery in life-critical systems. Mott's products are made using a variety of metal alloys to meet the requirements of several demanding applications.

The primary alloys used for medical devices are titanium and 316L stainless steels. Porous metal also offers a number of environmental benefits, according to the company; for example, mott-sintered porous-metal media can be completely …

Bott Delivers Storage Solution For Assembly Line

A range of workplace systems from Bott has been used to provide an ergonomic storage solution to meet lighting specialist Urbis's lean manufacturing criteria during the design of a new assembly line. When Urbis introduced a new street light, it needed to make significant changes to its assembly lines as the current setup was unable to cope with the weight of the product.

To ensure that the new production facilities fulfilled the company's criteria, Urbis turned to Production Design and Supply (PD and S), a specialist in designing and installing assembly lines, which proposed a solution using Bott's APS range of workstation systems. The problem facing Urbis was that the assembly jigs for its new Evolo lights weighed 11.5kg, which is 80 per cent heavier than those previously used on the production lines.

With an anticipated output of around 300 units per day, this posed health-and-safety concerns, so Urbis decided to install a completely new line capable of operating on lean t…

Nilfisk Scrubber Dryers Have ECA WTL Approval

Nilfisk has claimed that it has the greatest amount of water-efficient scrubber driers approved on the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme's Water Technology List (WTL). A total of 49 Nilfisk models are now certified and listed on the ECA WTL. Models range from the 450mm BA451 through to the 860mm ride-on scrubber dryer the BR855.

Models are approved with the benefit of the automated chemical dosing system EDS - Eco Dosage Solution. The government is encouraging the use of green technology by setting up tax incentive schemes for companies that purchase qualifying equipment. The initiative encourages the use of environmentally friendly cleaning machines, and in particular water-efficient scrubber dryers.

Nilfisk has been working with ICCMA and Defra to define the scheme. The ECA scheme allows businesses to claim the whole cost of the qualifying equipment against corporation tax in the first year.

For larger companies, this allows them to save 28 per cent in the form of a tax allow…

Paragon TCM Eliminates Hidden Procurement Costs

Paragon Electronic Components' kitting solution is intended to eliminate hidden costs from manufacturers' procurement processes. Known as Total Component Management (TCM), the Paragon approach to kitting manages the series of complex logistical tasks required to create and deliver a bill of materials (BOM) ready to enter production without the need for further inspection or preparation.

The company introduced TCM in 1991, having recognised the cost impact of inefficiencies and delays in supply chains, along with the value of a complete BOM ready to use on the factory floor. Today, the service delivers resources to companies while reducing their total cost of acquisition by eliminating the hidden expenses involved at every stage of component purchase, from vendor management through to obsolescence, lead-time issues and payment processes.

With TCM activities including pre-production kitting, components arrive on the factory floor simultaneously and are ready to use, since preparat…

Essemtec Launches Radial Component Feeder

Essemtec has launched the CLM979 radial component feeder that enables the assembly of through-hole LEDs on a standard pick-and-place machine. The feeder releases LEDs from the tape, cuts the wire ends and prepares the component for pickup. Typically two different machines have been required for mixed placements: an SMD pick-and-place and a placement machine for conventional components. However, with the CLM979 radial feeder, a pick-and-place can accomplish both through-hole LED assembly and SMD placement.

Essemtec said this saves space, time and money. The LEDs are supplied in radial tapes. The CLM979 feeder transports the components, releases them from the tape, cuts the wire ends to the desired length and aligns them parallel. So-prepared LEDs can now be handled by the SMD pick-and-place with a vacuum pickup tool.

In order to guarantee smooth insertion of the LEDs into the soldering holes, the wire ends are inspected using optical systems (laser and vision). If the wires are bent out …

Ophir-Spiricon Launches Pyroelectric Detectors

Ophir-Spiricon has introduced the PE25BF-DIF and the PE100BF-DIF, the latest members of the company's line of pyroelectric detectors for repetitive pulses. These energy sensors provide a high damage threshold, high pulse energies and a wide spectral range, according to the company. The PE25BF-DIF has a fast broadband absorber that accurately measures from 193nm to 2.2um at pulse rates to 150Hz; pulse energies are measured up to 10J. The PE100BF-DIF measures from 193nm to 2.0um at pulse rates to 40Hz; pulse energies are measured to 40J.

While most high-damage-threshold detectors require multiple diffusers to cover the spectral range, the PE25BF-DIF and the PE100BF-DIF use a single, removable diffuser to cover ultraviolet (UV), visible and mid-infrared wavelengths. The sensors work with most types of pulsed lasers, from short to long pulse and from low to high energy. The PE25BF-DIF pyroelectric detector is designed for medium-size pulsed lasers with high energy densities - including…

Advantech Selects Zytronic PCT-Based Touch Sensors

Advantech has again selected Zytronic's projected capacitive technology (PCT)-based touch sensors and is offering the option of a Zypos touch sensor in its latest rugged 17in (43cm) panel PC. The PPC-175T has a 17in colour TFT LCD with a 1,280 x 1,024 resolution and features a high-performance Intel microprocessor chip (Pentium or Celeron M), 2Gb of DDR RAM memory and a host of high-speed interconnects.

Designed for use in harsh industrial environments, the PPC-175T has an operating temperature that extends from 0C right through to +50C in humidity levels of up to 85 per cent and is capable of withstanding up to 10G of shock. It is also encased within an IP67-rated enclosure to fully protect it against water ingress. The 17.1in Zypos touch screen, which forms an integral part of the panel PC, is based on Zytronic's proprietary PCT.

The sensing element consists of an interlocking matrix of micro-fine capacitors, each one only 10um in diameter (a quarter of the thickness of a huma…

Crydom Expands Range Of 3-Phase SSR Contactors

Crydom has added 36 new models to its 53 Series of panel-mounted AC-output 3Phase solid-state-relay (SSR) contactors. The expanded Crydom 53 Series now includes models featuring IP20 touch-safe covers with load current ratings of either 25A or 50A per channel at 530VAC. Designed for harsh environments and available with either AC or DC input control voltages, the new 3Phase models also feature IEC emissions compliance to CISPR 11 Class A and EMC immunity per IEC 61000-4-2 through -6, level three.

The 53 Series now also includes two new 3Phase solid-state motor-reversing relays rated at either 25A or 50A per channel. The reversing models include the same IP20 touch-safe design, Class A emissions and level-three noise immunity as the new three-phase SSR contactor models. Available with 3-32VDC input control, reversing models include a safety control interlock circuit, which prevents simultaneous forward and reversing commands.

All new Crydom 53 Series SSR contactors and motor-reversing SS…

Axiomtek Launches Digital Signage Platform

Axiomtek has released the DSA-146, its large-size advertising digital signage platform with 46-in full HD wide TFT LCD. The DSA-146 is designed to be installed in any public or commercial space to effectively convey digital content such as commercial, announcement, news and information, operating 24/7 as a non-stop service. The platform combines low-power Intel Celeron M 575 2.0 GHz or high-performance Intel Core2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz processor with Intel GM45 chipset to deliver good computing power and enhance graphic capability.

Its pluggable module architecture design is said to ease system configuration and maintenance. The DSA-146 is said to be ideal for a range of applications, including: shopping malls, corporate, education, hospitality, religious organisations, banks, transportation, retail stores, restaurants, theatres and more. For the DSA-146, Axiomtek has introduced pluggable module architecture design to advance system reliability and scalability.

Users can slot-in and out the…

Eurotech Unveils Two Industrial Compact Enclosures

Eurotech has introduced the Isis and Proteus industrial compact enclosures (ICEs), which are intended for industrial and light transportation applications. Isis is a CE-approved system offering fanless and diskless operation using the low-power, high-performance Intel Atom-based Isis single-board computer. Offering wireless communications, GPS options and flexible PC/104 input/output and communications expansion, the Isis ICE is suitable for asset monitoring and control, access control, communications gateway and in-vehicle control applications.

Proteus is an Intel Atom-based low-power, high-performance, fanless system in a CE-approved industrial enclosure, offering flexible wireless communications capabilities. It is suitable for infotainment, interactive kiosks and industrial and medical control. In addition to a range of standard peripheral interfaces, both systems offer wide input DC power supplies and options for the inclusion of wide- and local-area wireless communications and GP…

Energy Micro To Develop Low-Power RF Transceivers

Energy Micro is to begin developing a companion range of low-power radio-frequency (RF) transceiver products. The company intends to produce RF devices consuming a quarter of the energy of existing products.

A complete range of RF products is planned for 2011, covering multiple frequency bands and supporting both standard and proprietary wireless protocols. Initial market sector targets will include energy metering, home and building automation and alarm and security industries.

Intersil Introduces Point-Of-Load Power Regulator

Intersil has introduced a compact, scalable power module, which provides designers with a general-purpose power solution that satisfies a range of point-of-load (POL) power requirements. The ISL8200M is a 10A, integrated POL regulator in a surface-mount QFN package, which includes a pulse-width-modulation (PWM) controller, power Mosfets, a power inductor and associated discrete components. It is suitable for a range of applications in the computing, telecommunications and networking infrastructure, as well as in industrial markets.

The ISL8200M's highly integrated construction makes it simple to design a high-performance POL regulator, according to the company. Constructing a high-performance POL regulator with the ISL8200M is fast; all the user needs is input and output capacitors, a few support components and a single resistor to program the output voltage. The ISL8200M minimises the risk of product delays; the user just drops it on the board and it works.

Its compact 15 x 15mm pa…

Power Supply Monitor Manages DC/DC Converters

Linear Technology has introduced the LTC2978 power supply monitor and controller for digital management of up to eight 0-6V power supplies. Configuring multiple DC/DC converters in an already complex system can be a complicated design task when using passive components. Values defined by external trim resistors and capacitors such as start-up time, set point value or switching frequency make a system inflexible.

To alleviate these issues, digital control over analogue power suppliers has allowed for quick adjustment of output voltages and precise protection, monitoring and diagnostic mechanisms. The LTC2978's PMBus-compliant interface provides easy access to an on-board EEPROM, giving users supply configuration, fault response and logging capabilities.

In addition, an array of supervising, margining and sequencing functions make the LTC2978 an all-in-one digital power management solution, simplifying the design challenges and reducing the component count typical of traditional analo…

Indexer Servo Drives Offer 32 Motion Profiles

Ormec Systems has announced the global launch of the XD-Series indexer servo drives to provide reliable motion control capabilities for challenging applications. The XD-Series allows programming of 32 individual motion profiles, which can be mapped to I/O points, one or two functions per point, initiated via Modbus/TCP and chained or looped together. The adaptable I/O, with 14 inputs and eight outputs, can be mapped to change from position, velocity or torque modes during program execution.

Motion can be synchronised with supported machine I/O, allowing for start, stop or trigger speed changes, with inputs at any point in the chain, and user-defined units for axis position speed and acceleration, further simplifying implementation. By employing an HMI or optional Fieldbus communication, the XD-Series allows motion parameter adjustments, remote commanded motion and real-time indexer status read capabilities. Communication setup may be accomplished via USB or Ethernet connections, with M…

Toshiba Cameras Capture HD Images In Space

Eight of Toshiba Imaging's ultra-compact IK-HR1S high-definition cameras were recently used to film a 60-second commercial of a living-room chair as it was carried into space by a helium balloon. The balloon flights were launched from a Nevada desert and ascended to 98,268ft (18.6miles) altitude before breaking apart and falling back to earth.

The IK-HR1S cameras' compact size (1.75in x 1.75in x 3in) and the HD-SDI video output capability with switchable 1080i/720p scanning options made them suitable for this project. The custom-built camera rigging had Toshiba's miniature HD cameras attached to the frame. The lightweight apparatus, with a full-sized model chair made from biodegradable balsa wood, was less than 4lb.

Also attached to the rigging frame were four GPS systems to record altitude (accuracy was within 4m), longitude and latitude, and to monitor, via a computer satellite system, the location of the camera rig once it had fallen back to earth. The high-definition foo…

New Citroen C3 Features Lightweight Seat Structure

A lightweight seat structure from JSP offering a 2.2kg reduction in weight and increased levels of 'perceived quality' has been launched in Citroen's new C3. Engineers replaced the heavy and costly steel structure with JSP's Arpro, a strong, light and recyclable material. Material properties such as deformation resilience and moulding accuracy enabled Citroen to achieve improved alignment with visual design features such as leather stitching.

Paul Compton, JSP's president and chief executive officer in Europe, said: 'The objective was to create a lighter seat that could achieve excellent crash-test results. 'In prototype form, Arpro reacts in the same way as mass-produced components. 'This allowed us to create applicable parts quickly and without tooling. 'For a very small investment and within a short timeframe, we were able to validate and prove the concept in a real crash test.

'This gave the programme engineers the confidence to back the proje…

Parker Presents Midigas Nitrogen Generator

The Industrial Division of Parker Hannifin will exhibit its latest nitrogen-gas generator for the food sector at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, from 21-24 February 2010. Industrial nitrogen-gas generators are an alternative to traditional bottled or bulk storage nitrogen sources in applications such as modified atmosphere packaging, purging, blanketing and pressure transfer.

A fully operational Midigas nitrogen generator will be on display at the show and Parker will demonstrate how food-grade nitrogen can be produced from a standard compressed-air supply, safely and cost effectively. The Midigas range, in addition to the Maxigas nitrogen-gas generation models, have been developed as compact, stand-alone units that allow food processing and packaging companies to produce their own supply of nitrogen in-situ and on demand. The generators are said to be capable of producing an immediate supply of high-purity nitrogen safely and reliably.

The Midigas and Maxigas generators require power …

Newport Unveils Supercontinuum Laser Device

Newport has introduced a coherent anti-stokes raman scattering (CARS) optimised supercontinuum generation fibre device. Designed for use with 800nm femtosecond lasers, the SCG-800-CARS contains 12cm, highly nonlinear photonic crystal fibre with zero-dispersion points at 775nm and 945nm.

Two closely spaced, zero-dispersion wavelengths enable a stable, low-noise supercontinuum generation that also allows control of the spectral shape by tuning the pump wavelength. The fibre ends are sealed and mounted in quartz ferrules, with the polarisation axis aligned to a line on the end of the device. The nonlinear supercontinuum fibre is mounted in a robust, 25mm diameter, 120mm-long aluminum housing that can be mounted on a translation stage.

The pre-assembled product features a sealed end facet with beam expansion for easy coupling, making it suitable for spectroscopy and microscopy applications. The SCG-800-CARS will be exhibited at Newport's booth during SPIE Photonics West, from 26-28 Janu…

Amplicon And Stonewood To Deliver Encrypted PCs

Amplicon has partnered with the Stonewood Group, a UK source of encrypted HDDs, to deliver PCs that are suitable for use in government and military applications. Used by government and defence organisations worldwide, Stonewood's hardware-encrypted range of Eclypt drives has been approved by HMG to secure all data classifications up to and including Top Secret.

This includes Eclypt Freedom, a USB hardware-encrypted solution suitable for protecting classified Top Secret data. Amplicon industrial PC systems can be specified for numerous commercial off-the-shelf projects. A catalyst for the partnership is a project that will see Amplicon industrial computers equipped with encrypted drives for a UK military integrator.

Methacrylate Adhesives Bond Turbine Blades

ITW Plexus has developed fast-curing, 1:1 methacrylate structural adhesives for turbine blades. These advanced methacrylate adhesives chemically fuse FRP/GRP, composite stiffener spars and perimeter flange joints. They also give increased peel resistance and cycle fatigue resistance while reducing damage encountered during transportation. Room temperature snap cure properties have helped to increase production rates and eliminate the high capital expenses and energy costs associated with post-bake ovens that are required to cure some epoxies.

No abrasion or surface preparation is required. The company's MA560 and MA590 adhesives are also claimed to increase blade performance and reduce processing time. Effective resistance to bending and fatigue is a major consideration in blade design as the outer composite shell cannot perform this function without the assistance of internal stiffening. Box and C-shaped structures are often used to provide the required bending strength and stiffn…

BEMF Unit Ensures Safe Machinery Access

Castell has developed the BEMF unit to provide fast, safe access to rotating machinery. This unit monitors the motor and will only allow access to the machinery once the motor has stopped rotating. This is said to be more efficient than a timed system as it enables entry at the moment the motor stops rather than a defined safe period, which has to be set in excess of the maximum period the motor could be rotating for.

While the motor is running a key remains trapped, this is only released when the machinery is safe. This key is then used to gain access to the dangerous area through use of a Salus or an AI access lock.

Wiring System Handles High-Current Applications

Turck has announced a D-Size (1-3/8in) Powerfast Modular Wiring System designed to handle high-current applications for machine power distribution and motor control. The complete D-Size power distribution system includes three- and four-pin cordsets, receptacles and tees that provide up to 600V and 30A. Additional powerfast components include field wireables, closure caps and a tee with an integrated cable drop, which eliminates the need for two separate connectors.

Through the use of standard and reducer tees, it is possible to use a quick disconnect system to distribute power to multiple field devices along one main trunk cable, reducing labour and equipment costs. The D-Size powerfast system may be used in place of traditional conduit installations and is compliant with NFPA 79 (National Fire Protection Association Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery) standards. The scalable, modular wiring system is easy to change, modify and maintain, and it may eliminate the need for con…

Stealth Rack Server/PC Is Noise-Free And Reliable

Stealth Computer has launched the model SR-2625F, a fanless, noise-free rack server available in single or dual system designs. The space-saving 3.5in high (2U) rack-mountable steel chassis is said to be easily deployed into any standard 19in EIA rack cabinet. The Stealth SR-2625F noise-free rack-mount server/PC is engineered with Intel's Penryn family of Core 2 Duo Mobile processor technology. The fanless systems have been designed without cooling fans to prevent dirt and dust from each being drawn in that could potentially cause failures.

Each system features a rugged aluminium chassis that acts as a passive heat sink that dissipates internal heat build-up while providing noise-free, reliable operation. The dual system design option is said to provide cost savings in rack space with the option of having two systems deployed in the space of one. The SR-2625F fanless rack server features a multitude of I/O connectivity, such as: Gigabit LAN, 8-USB 2.0, 1-Serial, 1-eSATA 1-DVI, 1-HD…