12/1/2006 | 3 MINUTE READ

Objects of Interest - December 2006

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CHECK TURNED PARTS. Optical inspection of turned parts—either in a lab or on the shop floor—can be performed by the Helio-Scope from Mahr Federal (Providence, RI; www.mahr.com). The system, which uses a CCD camera, can measure parts up to 750 mm in length, 120 mm in diameter, and up to 30 kg in mass. It can resolve lengths and diameters up to 0.0001 mm and angles up to 0.0001°. Measured characteristics include lengths, intersections, run-out, roundness, part axis pitch, diameters, radius, and other features.


PRECISION POWER CHUCKS. The PPC-D chucks from MicroCentric Corp. (Plainview, NY; www.microcentric.com) are available in four diameters (from 4.33 to 12 in.), in two-and three-jaw configurations, and feature a dual-actuator design for increased clamping force and a repeating accuracy of 0.0001 in. The increased clamping force facilitates operating at higher RPM.


FAST FACE MILLS. ATI Stellram (LaVergne, TN; www.atistellram.com) is claiming an increase of metal removal rates of up to 90% with the 7792VXD as compared to conventional cutters. Key to the fast milling are shallow depth of cut and high feed-drates. Pocketing, slotting and plunging can also be performed. Inserts are available in 9- and 12-mm sizes; grade X400, providing the capability to machine hardened steel, is standard.


BRISTOL FIGHTER T. British specialty builder Bristol has introduced a twin-turbo version of its Viper V10-powered Fighter sports car. It has 1,012 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 1,036 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm, which gives a potential top speed of 270 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 3.5 seconds. Top speed, however, is electronically limited to 225 mph. The Fighter T’s chassis is 30% torsionally stiffer.


FUEL CELL WHEELCHAIR. Suzuki, a leading maker of powered wheelchairs, is assessing demand for a methanol reformer fuel cell-powered electric wheelchair called “MIO.” With a 4-liter tank good for approximately 25 miles, LCD fuel level and power source display, large-capacity Lithium-ion battery, and easy refill capability, the MIO should allay user fears of being stranded. The blue rubber tires may not make it to production.


INFOTAINMENT PROCESSOR. The Nexperia PNX9520 processor from NXP Semiconductors (San Jose, CA; www.nxp.com) is a device that includes a range of functionality—video decoding, advanced video post-processing, multi-speed audio encoding—so as to address current and future automotive infotainment requirements. Future? It has software features that permit implementation of audio and video codecs as they become available, as well as the ability to add additional multimedia features.


COMPACT SAFETY SCANNER. The SC300 Safety Laser Scanner is targeted at applications where the hazardous area to be monitored is less than two meters. From SICK (Minneapolis, MN; www.sickusa.com), the device features a compact housing and low power consumption. It has a 270° scanning angle and offers a selectable resolution of 30, 40, 50, or 70 mm. Applications include providing oncoming fork detection on AGVs.


DUAL-STAGE DIESEL TURBO. Peugeot’s 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel uses two small turbos from Honeywell Turbo Technologies that work together at high rpm, while only one unit works at low rpm. A control valve spins the second turbo up with air from the first unit in a progressive manner in order to eliminate lag and smooth torque and power output. Claimed in-gear acceleration is improved by up to 50%.


HIGH-TEMP FUEL CELL. VW has developed a high-temperature fuel cell that works at temperatures up to 160? C, twice the current limit. The secret is a new membrane and electrodes that allow the unit to be less expensive, smaller, and more efficient. At its 120? C operating temperature, VW says its new fuel cell design can put out equivalent output without any need for added humidification.


DEEP DRILLING. Need to drill holes where the depth-to-diameter ratio is more than 10? Consider the deep drilling system from Iscar Metals (Arlington, TX; www.iscarmetals.com), which is a modular system that uses brazed and indexable threaded drilling heads with either single- or double-tube shanks. In the single tube design, a coolant system introduces fluid in the gap between the drill and the hole so chips are driven through the tube; in the double-tube arrangement, coolant flows between the tubes and the chips are driven through the inner tube. The diameter range is from 0.315 to 10 in.; the maximum depth ratio is 300 times diameter. 

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