Monday, March 4, 2013

Nanotechnology lightbulbs

The light bulb has been around for more than a lifetime. Only in recent years has there been a surge to create better and more efficient lights. The reason behind this is because of an increased awareness of green energy and consumers wanting to spend more and have their lightbulbs last longer.
It makes sense to buy a long-life bulb which is generally the most expensive instead of your standard 35W screw in. You change it once then you don't have to think about it for 15 years.

What about a light bulb that lasts even longer, uses less electricity that an LED while at the same time produce a light that is not irritable to the eyes but a soft white light like we are used to. This new technology is a type of glowing plastic that should be released in 2013. It can come in various shapes and sizes including your standard pear shaped light bulb to longer versions including a half a metre sheet. The technology behind this is quite simple, it is a high end plastic that lights up when an electric current runs through it. This discovery was made a long time ago so you might be asking why is it only hitting the shelves now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Smart materials of the future

As the world reads in the news about the murder case Oscar Pistorius is involved in one group that are definitely not happy about the whole situation is the company that makes his prosthetic legs. Interestingly they are one of the world leaders in advanced materials. The company named Ossur which has factories and offices in 14 different locations around the world has won many accolades thanks to its work in the development of high end materials.

One of the newest innovations is nano-structured fibres that have the ability to rebond. We could see the use of this material in constructions like boats and buildings undergoing extreme pressures from weather and strain. Imagine a building that had the ability to repair itself after an earthquake or a boat in a storm in the middle of the ocean with a hull that would fill any gaps where water was seeping through. This sounds kind of crazy but it is the stuff that Ossur is working towards. The material that the prosthetic legs of Oscar Pistorius and his fellow handicapped athletes wear is something that has undergone years of development and research. It is able to withstand very large amounts of stress whilst  still being very light weight.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Advanced sensor robots

Robotics in manufacturing has been around for decades. As soon as man realised that a robot could do his work great lengths were met in order to save time, energy and money by getting robots to make everything from computers to cars. There has been one area where robot intervention is still rare, that is food preparation. In the past due programming difficulties and robot limits were the reason behind humans still having jobs in the mass food preparation industry. New technologies are emerging that are giving the robots more and more sensors enabling them to pick up light, fragile items and even sense when they hit something.

Right now one of the limitations with robots is that they don't always know when they have hit something. This can cause all sorts of problems as manufacturing processes are interrupted and human intervention required. We might see our fruit and vegetable being washed by robots in the near future. Even men and women heading into the fields to pick all the ripe produce might become a thing of the past as robots are being more delicate and computers are developing into being able to make calculations and decisions faster and faster.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Additive machinery

What we will see in 2013 in regards to manufacturing is the increase in additive production. This is a type of manufacturing that involves adding layer by layer to create a final product. A bit like the 3D printers that are seen in many tech enthusiasts home but just on a large scale this type of manufacturing is very different to the subtractive methods used up until this day. Usually to create something drilling and cutting was the main processes that a manufacturer would go through. There is now the possibility to grow on the additive technology which will eventually take over from subtractive technologies.

There are endless reasons behind this including the cost of material. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that adding something to make an item requires much less material than having a block of material and cutting away at it until you have the required amount or shape.
Another factor in this process which will be reduced thanks to additive manufacturing technologies will be the tool bits. It is a lot less stressful on tools to add rather than subtract. Drill bits used for cutting need to be changed due to friction wear and tear. This would be a less of a problem with additive technologies.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Revolution in machine tools 2013

Since the global financial crisis in 2008 the world economy has undergone many changes. The manufacturing industry has played a major role in the fight to improve economic results across the globe. Machine tools in regards to the increasing manufacturing growth has been a key to the surge of markets that has seen the product of goods rise in some areas to the highest they have been in 20 years.

The US prior to the economic crisis saw lots of its metalworking move overseas where companies benefited from cheap labour, lenient environmental laws and falling transportation costs. The industry was seen as a iron ball at the US economies feet, slowing the race towards efficiency down. After labour costs started to rise in developing nations as well as rising fuel prices leading to more expensive shipping the US economy has seen an increase in the amount of metalwork done within its shores in North America. Demand for machine tools therefore have been boosted because of this. The surge is something that has given not only the US economy a boost but also subsequently affected countries and their respective economies all over the world.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

China International Machine Tool Exhibition 2013

On this year's calendar there is huge event that you should be saving free on your calendar. It is the China International Machine Tool Show (CIMT2013). The exhibition is situated in Beijing at the China International Exhibition Centre from 22 April to 27 April. Each day the exhibition is open to the public from 900 to 1630 allowing hundreds of thousands of experts, retailers, buyers, contractors and hobbyists to wander and absorb all there is to offer at CIMT2013.

Extremely close to the airport the centre offers transport to most of the hotels in the surrounding area. This includes a good array of accommodation for different budgets. They have planed everything to make your stay in China as enjoyable as possible. Not only will you get to see the latest in terms of machine tools from China and around the world but you will be at the hub of the world manufacturing industry. There will be visitors from all over the globe as they gather for this one event. If you are looking for a particular thing for your company whether it be in the mining industry or in the construction business the CIMT will provide you with a endless catalogue of options.
If you are however on the other side of the transaction so to speak and you are looking for new customers or investors interested in your machine tools then it is also the right place to go. There is nothing more appealing for someone looking to promote their product than a 5 day event with the world's biggest players in the game gathered under the one roof discussing and trading anything and everything related to machine tools.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thermoplastics used in 3D printing

One of the newest technologies that has been around for a surprising long time is 3D printing. Used in industrial sectors for much longer than we realise smaller 3D printers are now hitting the market and are being used by both hobbyists and small businesses. The thermoplastics used in the printing processes are simple and are a material that you find in countless consumer products from plastic cups to game console controllers. The possibilities are endless and it is only a matter of time before further technological advances allow bigger and more complicated models to be formed even quicker.