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Ford Engineers Shed Pregnancy Suits

Ford Engineers Shed Pregnancy Suits Walking in someone else's shoes can prove unexpectedly difficult. That's why engineers at Ford Motor Company's Product Development Center used to don pregnancy suits and other user-specific outfits when testing physical mock-ups of automobile interiors. No more. Now the design teams rely on motion capture technology and virtual reality tools to evaluate seat location, position of controls, and other ergonomic considerations — for all body types. Besides better visibility and performance, virtual design techniques ensure faster time-to-market for "cost savings that benefit everyone." This report comes from the company's Immersive Virtual Review (iVR) lab.

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Access Control
Euchner-U.S.A., Inc.

Access Control The EUCHNER Electronic Key System (EKS) allows only authorized personnel to access machine controls, operating systems, test labs, tool cribs, buildings, etc. The system restricts access by assigning uniquely coded inductive key tags, providing various levels of authorization. The EUCHNER Electronic Key System can be used anywhere access must be controlled.

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Electronic Components Distribution . . .
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National's Audio Solutions Available from Digi-Key
Digi-Key Corporation

New Pressure Sensor Solution Starting at €97 National's high-performance series brings dramatically improved sound quality to high-fidelity consumer and professional audio equipment. National manufactures Class AB and Class D amplifiers and audio subsystems for speakers, headphones, and ceramic and piezoelectric speakers. National makes it easier to design better, richer-sounding systems with our acclaimed Boomer® and Overture® lines. With the capability to process an order, from order entry to shipping, in as little as 15 mins., Digi-Key processes more than 99% of its orders the same day.

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Electrical/Electronic Components . . .
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Make Way for Microprocessor Systems

Make Way for Microprocessor Systems David Swanson, principal engineer at STMicroelectronics, points out that more than ever, microprocessor unit (MCU) designs are finding their way into automobiles, but not without challenges! The report from Automotive DesignLine explains how MCU system engineers need to make use of all available methodologies and tools to better ensure smooth development and robust embedded designs.

Intelligent Hall-Effect Sensing

Intelligent Hall-Effect Sensing Designed to simplify the job of putting sensors to work in automotive environments, this Hall-effect sensor includes a temperature sensor and a microcontroller for on-chip temperature compensation (with separate A/D converters for each). That, and a digital interface, make it easier to employ in automotive or mechatronic applications.

Materials . . .
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"Ceramic Conditioners" Save Fuel

'Ceramic Conditioners' Save Fuel Independent test reports are confirming what the U.S. Department of Energy already states: For diesel engines, ceramics can improve performance and lower emissions. How? Nanoparticle ceramic conditioners reduce friction in metal-to-metal environments. When added to engine oil, for example, the nanoparticles bond to metal surfaces, reducing abrasion and wear. This treatment, in turn, improves engine efficiency and lowers fuel consumption. The latest tests with CerMet Lab Company's ceramic-metal conditioner demonstrate fuel efficiency improvements of 5% to 15% in heavy-duty vehicles.

Tire Squeezes Out More MPG

Tire Squeezes Out More MPG Automotive OEMs are in hot pursuit of anything that can improve fuel efficiency. Even slight improvements count, right down to where the rubber meets the road. Current case: a vulcanized alloy in tire liners significantly improves retention of tire air pressure to reduce rolling resistance — and uses less material to do it.

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Molex Incorporated — Transportation Applications
Power & Signal Group

Molex Incorporated — Transportation Applications Molex Incorporated has the product offerings and expertise to meet and exceed the demanding requirements of the automotive and transportation markets.

The Molex XRCTM Extra Rugged Circular Sealed Connectors are available for rugged, industrial applications.

Molex's MX150L is a pre-assembled high-performance connector system suitable for challenging, rugged, and harsh applications.

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Design & Assembly . . .
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Aluminum Shapes Up

Aluminum Shapes Up Lotus, Aston Martin, and Imperial College London are developing a new three-step process for heat treating, forming, and quenching to fabricate curved parts, such as bonnets (hoods) and wings (spoilers), out of sheet aluminum. Current cold processes experience metal spring back, while hot ones sap strength. The project looks to predict basic science and determine appropriate alloy-die combinations.

Auto Industry Embraces WIT

Auto Industry Embraces WIT Follow the rules and you may see why water-assisted injection molding is hot right now. The technology's finicky nature can turn others away if used wrong — as in oval cross-sections, small radii, and quick channel direction changes. But for the auto industry, WIT can save up to 40% in cycle time for tubular and flat parts, even if it means spending more for the materials.

Powertrain Systems . . .
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Video: In-wheel Motors, the Next Big Thing?
 

Video: In-wheel Motors, the Next Big Thing?They look pretty much like standard wheels with standard tires on the outside. But inside it's quite a different story. With the wheel removed you can see the main elements of this electric car: the disc brake, an active suspension system, and an electric motor that drives the wheel. The advantage of an in-wheel electric car is efficiency: as high as 90% compared to about 20% for a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. This in-wheel motor video shows there's plenty of torque available — and it's available almost immediately.

Steam-powered Car Breaks Land Speed Record

Steam-powered Car Breaks Land Speed Record On the 25th of August 2009, the British Steam Car Team smashed the old land speed record of 127 mph, set in 1906, by covering a measured mile at an average speed of 139.843 mph. The car reached 136.103 mph on its first run, and 151.085 mph on its second run. Triplex reciprocating positive displacement piston pumps from Cat Pumps UK helped break the world land speed record at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Watch the video.

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Automotive Audio Components
Star Micronics America

Automotive Audio Components Star Micronics offers a variety of automotive audio components including indicators for a chime module, engine or body controller, and receivers and speakers.

Visit us at Convergence, booth #633.

Learn more about Star Micronics.

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Careers & Commentary . . .
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Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!
Villanova University Online

Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online! Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!

Be among the first to receive PMBOK® Guide — Fourth Edition-based training. Learn 100% online from acclaimed Villanova University. Save up to $1,540 now!

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January 13, 2010 - Volume 3 Issue 1
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