Engineers at a major manufacturer of portable electronic devices had a problem. They needed to rivet a small, thin electrical contact to the device’s charger subassembly, but how could they head the tiny rivets—0.02 to 0.03 inch in diameter—without crushing the assembly?
Although I’m a fan of science fiction, I have to laugh at utopian predictions of global—even universal—unity and harmony. Clearly, these authors don’t read the news. In 2015, no less than 55 armed conflicts raged worldwide.
Contract manufacturer Electronic Technologies International Inc. (ETI) has been in business for more than 25 years. With approximately 75 employees working in two shifts, the company provides printed circuit board (PCB) assembly, wire harness assembly and box build services at a 32,000-square-foot, ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facility in Fort Atkinson, WI.
Today’s automobiles contain dozens of electric motors. They adjust the mirrors, position the seats, aim the headlights, provide heating and cooling, and raise and lower the windows. In fact, a luxury car might have as many as 120 electric motors of various sizes.
Efforts to reduce vehicle weight have mostly focused on aluminum, plastics and composites, but another lightweight material is also getting attention: magnesium. The ninth most abundant element in the universe, magnesium is as strong as steel, but 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 60 percent lighter than titanium, and 75 percent lighter than steel.
Whether fully automatic, semiautomatic or manual, almost every assembly system has some type of sensor for inspection, error-proofing or production monitoring. Thanks to new technologies, sensors are becoming smaller, more robust, more accurate and easier to integrate.