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What is The Future of Utility Truck Design?

Technology advances at great speed, almost every day new innovations are discovered that change the standard life flow. The advances of the last decade provide the opportunity to discover more advanced technology that changes human standards and most future efforts. In the construction industry, more innovative design and technology are being developed to improve health and safety in the workplace, improve environmental performance and increase overall efficiency.

The versatility of this utility vehicle to perform tasks other than the way it was originally designed has paved the way for discovering and developing new advanced technological improvements to make work more efficient. Fuel saving features, improved safety features, ease of use and lower operating costs are just some of the advances made with tanker trucks.

Goal of Increased Safety

Major manufacturers of bucket trucks such as Altec, Duralift, Versalift, Terex and others are heavily involved in the production of more advanced aerial lift vehicles. It is known that they are successful in marketing premium lifting equipment. These large companies have also made progress with bucket trucks. In addition to this, they also carry out training for the operators of these vehicles to educate them on the prevention of accidents. Its main objective is to manufacture a vehicle that has optimal safety features that almost eliminate accidents in this line of work.

Effect of Deregulation of the Electric Utility Industry on Design

One thing that affects the design of these vehicles is the output of the deregulation of the electrical industry. The result of this change is that utility companies have had to change the way their workers are used, which in turn has changed the way equipment is used for work. With the increase in competition that traditionally appears when an industry is deregulated comes into play, most utility companies have been forced to work ‘smaller and smarter’ to maintain their competitive advantage over their competition. Undoubtedly, this has affected the design of the vehicles they use, forcing manufacturers to make their designs smaller but more resistant and low maintenance.

Resistance and reliability are now of the greatest importance in the design of these vehicles. Designers must balance the very dangerous work done by the employees of the electric company with their need to complete a job as quickly as possible, especially when they are involved with the possibility of long power interruptions due to storms. It is a potential problem for designers to meet the ever-changing goals of the clients they work for.

Ergonomics in Design

One of the positive improvements is the use of ergonomics in the design process. Ergonomics helps ensure that the utility vehicle is easy to use and safe to drive, resulting in a final product design that produces greater productivity.

Fuel Consumption Concerns

A big concern when it comes to utility trucks is fuel consumption. The cost of fuel today has increased dramatically, which, together with the flow of deregulation mentioned above, has created an urgent need to produce these utility trucks to have more fuel saving features. Companies that can lower their operating costs and save thousands of dollars a year will certainly receive a boost in the current competitive market.

Low-Profile Chassis

Other important technological advances were the development of a truck that has a low profile chassis that allows the driver and operators to enter and exit easily. A drop-down ladder frame associated with hydraulics has also been added which is less dangerous compared to conventional ladder frames.

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Two Popular Types of Variable Speed Drives

Upon researching in the markets, you will come across several names in terms of variable speed drives and here in this post, we will be reviewing the top types. However, before that…one thing that needs a mention here is that each of them can be further divided into several parts and different variations. One similarity among all of them is that all of them will include an electric motor and a speed control unit.

In the past one decade, there has a huge transformation in the technology used in these drives and these modern-day drives mainly consist of solid state electronic components in a single system. On the other hand, if we notice their older versions, you will come to know that these drives mainly used mechanical system and this resulted into system failure because of worn out parts most of the times.

DC Motor Drives

  • The first thing to know about this version is that it is also given the name of DC Motor Speed Control Systems.
  • In this version, the speed is directly proportional to the armature voltage and the same is inversely proportional to the motor flux.
  • Another very important point to know is that either armature voltage or field current can be used to control the motor speed.
  • Most types of DC motors have become technically more advanced these days and thus, more expensive too as compared to the traditional versions and they are now actually, retrofitted by AC motors or AC drives too.
  • The good thing about AC drive variable is that it is very less expensive as compared to DC system, is more available and is more efficient than DC systems.

Eddy Current Motor Drives

  • According to the sellers of vacon drives, another very popular version of variable speed drives present in the markets is given the name of Eddy current motor drives.
  • This Eddy current drive consists of a fixed speed motor and an Eddy current clutch and this clutch actually contains a fixed speed rotor as well as an adjustable speed motor.
  • However, both these types of motors are totally separated from each other and there is a direct current in the field coil that produces a magnetic field that determines the torque transmitted from the input to the output rotor.
  • There is a controller as well and its main job is to provide the closed loop speed variation and it does this by varying the clutch current.
  • This actually allowed the clutch to transmit the sufficient quantity o torque that is needed by it to operate at the desired speed.
  • In this type, the speed related feedback is provided by an integral AC tachometer.
  • An important fact to know about this version is that it is less efficient as compared to all other types of drives and therefore, most of them are totally obsolete these days.
  • However, still some manufacturing units and facilities across the globe, use this kind of variable speed drives, but they have to bear huge expenses in case of equipment failure.
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5 Pointers for Comparing Printed Circuit Board Manufacturers

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are extremely important and relevant in the electronics and appliance industries. A PCB collects the electronic elements of a product using conductive products that are usually etched on a “non-conductive” substrate. Naturally, PCBs are used extensively in production of many products, including regular consumer goods. All kinds of active devices and components, including resisters and capacitors, are usually soldered to the board.

If you are looking to place an order for your business and want to find a reliable printed circuit board manufacturer, there are a few aspects that you need to note.

1. First things first, check if the manufacturer is well known in the industry. Ask relevant questions like – How long have you been in business? Who are your clients? How many batches or orders do you handle each month? Can you share a few references? A company that has been around for a long time will never shy away from offering references. They will also do what it takes to convince their new and prospective clients. You can also check their website to find a few more relevant details.

2. Check the prices. Don’t be surprised, there are reliable manufactures who can offer low-priced circuit boards without compromising on the quality. They also ensure fast and quick delivery for their clients on request. However, be careful when you choose a service, because there are a few quality standards that must be met. Check if the concerned company has the required certifications, which can vary in some countries.

3. Know their clients. As mentioned earlier, you need to know the industries and clients that a company services. Check if they have worked for the military and some of the other bodies of the government. If they have supplied their products to known firms and electronic companies, it is like an assurance that they will never ever fool around with the quality. If you get references, call a few of them or write an email asking about their experiences.

4. Do not ignore customer service, it is extremely important when ordering PCBs. You need a manufacturer who is around to take questions or concerns and handle them quickly and accurately. It is important to be careful about customer service and whereabouts of the company, because some of them are just brokers and are making money by selling low-quality PCBs to customers.

5. Can they handle specific requirements? PCB requirements can vary, and you need a team that has the capacities to meet different production needs. They must be willing to take up production challenges, and it is not enough to claim things, unless they prove things. You can place a small order for custom PCBs to know more about their commitment towards customization, timely delivery and pricing.

Lastly, do check with the concerned manufacturer if they have the time to work on specific projects, especially if your company is involved in innovative productions.

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Pneumatic On-Off Valve: The Classification and Features

In real life, the pneumatic on-off valve can be found in many applications. This article will discuss the 5 main types of pneumatic on-off valves, explaining their features.

A pneumatic valve is driven by the compressed air. It can control the flow of different liquid types, such as air, water, steam, corrosive medium, slurry, oil, liquid metal and even radioactive medium.

1. Ball valve: the ball valve is developed from the coak valve. Normally the all valve is suitable for open-close function, but the modern ball valve is capable of throttling and fluid control. The ball itself controls the on and off status.

It features in:

  • low fluid resistance, the resistance coefficiency is the same to the pipeline which has the same length.
  • total sealing can be realized even at high pressure or high temperature.
  • fast open and close feature.
  • better corrosive resistance due to total separation between the ball and the sealing surface of the valve seat when the valve is totally opened or totally closed.
  • simple structure, easy to maintain, replace and repair.

2. Butterfly valve: a butterfly valve opens and closes in a left-right way with a disc.

It features in:

  • small fluid resistance, fast opening and closing.
  • simple structure, small footprint and easy installation.
  • can be used for large size valve.
  • can be used to transport slurry.
  • poor sealing performance.

3. Gate valve: this valve has a valve plate which moves vertically along with channel axis.

It features in:

  • small fluid resistance, small flush and corrosion resistance from the medium to the sealing surface.
  • labor-saving.
  • flow direction of the medium is not restricted, pressure is not reduced.
  • simple structure, short size, good technology and wide application.
  • not wearing resistance.

4. Stop valve: its closing part moves along with the centre line of the valve seat. Once the stop valve is opened, the sealing surfaces of the valve seat and valve clack do not contact with each other. This characteristic makes stop valve an ideal device for cutting and regulating medium.

It features in:

  • better wearing resistance.
  • small footprint.
  • usually has one sealing surface only, meaning that the maintenance is easy.
  • large fluid resistance, easy pressure loss.

5. Membrane valve: there is a flexible membrane inside the valve body, the sealing is controlled by the upside and downside movement of the membrane.

It features in:

  • easy dismantle and maintenance.
  • the medium is clean because the mechanism is separated from the medium channel.
  • the material inside can be various, widely applicable to the different medium.
  • it can not be used in the high-temperature environment.
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Laser Wire Stripping

As laser power sources have become more mainstream and the sources themselves more affordable, laser wire stripping services and service providers have become more common. Beginning in space applications in the 1970s laser wire stripping services, the technology was developed I order to not cause insulation of wire strand damage in the most demanding IPC/WHMA Class III applications such as the launching, steering, controlling and some cases returning systems found in space vehicles. This stripping technology was developed in order to reduce the risk of damage to both conductors and insulators using other wire stripping methods-especially mechanical methods. Laser wire application acceptance became more pronounced as the data cables become complicated and multi-stranded as well as medical devices in body instruments had every finer gauge wires. All of these market demands a precise, fast, clean method of stripping off the wire insulation on the ever smaller gauge and ever more complex multi-conductor cable sets came about. There are numerous benefits of laser stripping compared to other stripping approaches that have helped this technology gain favor. One of the still common denominators in this approach to wire stripping is that it used on high valued electronics and higher value electronic applications. The benefits of the precision, accuracy, and repeatability of this stripping show up in many other positive attributes of the process. Many times other methods for wire stripping or impractical or impossible. Due to the nature of laser wire stripping there or no nicks or scrapes like there are with mechanical methods meaning the end strip quality is of the highest caliber. The laser light, when chosen properly, reflects from the conductor thereby removing all of the insulation without wire damage. This stripping can accommodate ultra fine gauge wires with no damage to the wires during the stripping process.

How it Works

Laser sources meaning that the likelihood of us having the right source for your application is high, The idea is to find the right laser source that strongly interacts with the layer you want to remove and yet is reflected from the underlying layer. With changes to the pulse duration and the different frequencies of light with the different lasers, a wide range of different processes can be achieved. This means laser systems can cut wires, clean off surfaces, cut metallic shields for the top of insulated wires as well as the traditional cutting and or vaporizing of the insulation from the wires.

Laser Wire stripping-The Method of Choice

There are numerous applications where this stripping is the stripping method of choice. One of the applications where other stripping methods do not strip to the precision required simply does not work at all are I instance of very small diameter wires. These are typically below 36 gauges and are typically found in medical devices. Most stripping methods cannot adequately remove enamel from enamel coated wires or other wires with bonded on insulated. Window-pane stripping, or removal of the insulation in a given length of wire and not at the cut ends, is another place where laser wire stripping can shine. Ribbonized cables are stripped easily using this stripping, especially when bonded to the wire. When cables are out of round and mechanical means of stripping are not possible, this stripping is the answer as ablation of the insulating material, regardless of where is it is can be done. The above are but a few of the application areas where laser wire stripping is the right solution to your wire processing outsourcing needs.

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5 Challenges Facing the Industrial & Manufacturing Sector

  • Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability
  • Relevance
  • Skills Gap
  • Healthcare
  • Environment Concerns

The industrial and manufacturing sector keep evolving and that evolution doesn’t just happen. It’s almost always a direct result of overcoming the challenges that threaten the very existence of the sector. So, are there any challenges that the sector is dealing with currently?

Well, here are 5 challenges the manufacturing sector is currently trying to overcome.

Changing Compliance Regulations & Traceability

Changing regulations have always haunted manufacturers. But, they’re there for a good reason. Without compliance standards, manufacturers could very well end up cutting corners, which ultimately ends up affecting the end consumer.

So, for the sake of things such as quality control or proper waste management, compliance standards need to exist. However, complying with new standards isn’t an easy task for manufacturers. More often than not, they’re a burden and thanks to globalization, manufacturers are also forced to deal with regulations that are unique to each territory.

Manufacturers are also tasked with tracking compliance as well. This means that have to go through the entire supply chain to check for compliance, right from vendors to the end-product that’s sent to the customer.

Relevance

As technology evolves, the rate of innovation increases. But, this also means companies have to rush and that can lead to all kinds of temptations. The urge to skip a step or avoid certain tests can be hard to resist when the goal is to market the product as soon as possible.

But, the last thing a manufacturer needs is to put the business at risk with a low-quality product. So, innovation management becomes a must in these situations. Preferences change by the day and any delay in delivering appropriate solutions can mean the end of everything.

So, manufacturers have to establish a system that allows for the consistent delivery of new ideas and innovation. Only this can sustain manufacturing success.

Skills Gap

As one generation exits the workforce, it makes way for a new generation of workers. This transition is, in itself, quite a challenge. But, things are very different today.

Manufacturers face the challenge of filling up those positions with equally skilled members from the current generation. However, the new generation of employees is simply not skilled enough, making the challenge even harder to overcome. As a result, manufacturers have to develop strategies such as working with the education sector to offer the skills training necessary to fill these positions.

Some manufacturers are also retaining skill by extending the retirement age.

Healthcare

As healthcare costs go up, it becomes very difficult for manufacturers to manage their budgets. For instance, in the US, it’s manufacturers who foot healthcare bills for their employees. But, with costs going up, it is simply not feasible and there are no viable alternatives.

Environmental Concerns

Regulations with regard to sustainable and environmentally safe processes and practices put more strain on the manufacturing process. Whether it’s waste disposal or the regulation of materials, more resources are needed to follow best practices.

As you can see, it’s not exactly easy for the industrial and manufacturing sector. However, manufacturers have to figure out a way to leverage technology and innovative ideas to keep up with the changes that pose a threat to them.

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Top 5 Techniques to Reduce Manufacturing Costs

Manufacturers are always looking for techniques to reduce their cost. Here are five of them that will help the manufacturers reduce cost irrespective of their sector. The primary step would be to assess their process and do on internal audit. Only when the big picture is at view, methods can be implemented to reduce the costs.

Energy Efficiency

Most of the time without our notice we tend to waste a lot of electricity. Implementing sensors that would stop the machines immediately after usage can reduce quite a lot of cost. Replacing energy guzzling machinery with those consuming less energy can save up to 10% of the cost. Usage of alternative energy sources like solar energy which is the cheapest source of energy can cut down operating cost significantly.

Fixed Cost Reduction

Machinery for a manufacturing industry is very important, but only a few machineries are constantly used. Hence, owning the machinery that is used passively wouldn’t be feasible; renting/leasing such machinery can reduce the fixed cost. Using automation in production process can decrease the labour cost abundantly. Outsourcing advertising, marketing and sales could also help in cost reduction.

Overhead Cost Reduction

Maintaining inventory by not over producing and recycling/selling the wastage or scrap of the raw material can always free up and manage the factory space and reduce wastage. At times, outsourcing supply can reduce the business space, risk, staff, and maintenance of vehicles. Buying raw materials at bulk and sharing it with another manufacturer can reduce the material and inventory space. Intercom and internet calling, conferencing and video calling meetings can help reduce administrative cost.

Reduction in Labour Costs

Usage of technology for the manufacturing process like implementing sensors and automation, robotics can drop down as the number of labours drops as the automation requires less human interference and is more accurate. Using part time workers and free lancers can eliminate the idle time of labourers. Implementing methods to increase efficiency; comfortable positive workplace, eliminating overtime as it reduces efficiency, training employees, getting to know the employees, reskilling of the employees rather than assigning them monotonous task can help the manufacturer make optimum use of the labour force.

Customer related cost reduction

Technology can help the manufacturer cut down the cost in every stage of the manufacturing process and also at marketing. Using technology for marketing, advertising and promoting of goods can reduce cost abundantly. Designing products digitally 3D print of the product would help the manufacturer in better understanding of customer needs and can reduce correction and reproduction.

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Shot Blasting Machine: What You Need To Know

Shot blasting is a technique used to clean, fortify (strengthen) or polish metals. The method is used in virtually all industries that use metals such as automotive, construction, foundry, aerospace and several others. The question arises, how is shot blasting carried out? A machine (shot blasting machine) comes to our rescue. The machine strongly blasts the metal under processing to remove such impurities as rust, scale and welding slag.To efficiently carry out its job, the shot blasting machine is composed of components that each carry out a particular function as explained below:-

The Blast Wheel

The blast wheels are a critical spare part of blasting equipment. A blast wheel produces the centrifugal force required to project the abrasive particles. The rate of work and kind of job affect the number of wheels that are installed on the blasting machine.

Cabinet

The cabinet is a closed booth free of vibration, and it is made of steel. It is lined with a wear resistant liner, usually an Mn alloy. The cabinet provides an environment where the abrasive particles (traveling at high speeds of 50 – 100m/s) can be treated.

Work Handling

This component varies greatly from machine to machine, as it directly depends on the following two factors; the type of machine you are using and the size and quality of the particles to be obtained in the end. For example, roller conveyor type shot blasting machine is designed for heavy-duty beams, steel profile and fabricated work pieces.

Elevator

The abrasive recovery system is recovered at the lowest end of the shot blasting machine cabinet and linked to the screw conveyor on the base of the elevator (which also carries the separator). The elevator is a critical part since it’s malfunction will translate to low production rates of the shot blasting machine. It thus requires constant maintenance.

Air Separator

The principal goal of the separator is to clean is to clean the abrasive particles origination from the blast wheel. When abrasive metal particles enter the blast wheel, they must be rid of all contaminants as the cleaning makes the shot blasting machine work efficiently.

Dust Collector

As the name implies, the work of this component is to collect dust during the blasting process. The dust originates from the cabinet ventilation and separator. It usually creates laden air creating an avenue for environmental pollution and the potential health risk to the workers in working in the industry. To curb the problems, the user of the machine should assure proper work to the dust controller.

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Automation of Industrial Processes

The rapid expansion of a huge international market requires the industrial sector to optimize production processes to achieve a greater market share and increase competitiveness. To achieve this, engineering has promoted the development of areas such as mechanics, electronics and robotics to manage and consolidate the automation of industrial processes.

Automation is the implementation of intelligent systems and technologies to operate machinery and control production processes, regardless of human operation in jobs that require greater effort and represent a huge risk to the health and welfare of workers. Currently, there are three types of automation in accordance with the degree of production and needs of a certain industry:

Fixed Automation:

Designed for large-scale manufacturing: A specialized machine or equipment is used to produce a part of a product or the product itself, in a fixed and continuous sequence. This type of automation is ideal for producing large volumes of products that have a long-life cycle, an invariable design and a broad consumer demand. Its main limitations are the high initial cost and the lack of flexibility of the equipment to adapt.

Programmable Automation:

Suitable for a smaller production volume, segmented by batches, programmable automation allows to change or reprogram the sequence of operation, by means of a software, to include the variations of the product. Among the most used equipment for this type of automation are numerical control machines, robots and programmable logic controllers.

Flexible Automation:

Designed for an average production level, flexible automation is the extension of programmable automation. It reduces the programming time of the equipment and allows to alternate the elaboration of two products (in series) when mixing different variables. Flexibility refers to the ability of teams to accept changes in the design and configuration of the product, thus reducing costs for companies.

Advantages of Industrial Automation

  • Decreases manufacturing costs
  • Increases the efficiency of the production process.
  • Speeds the response to market demands.
  • Replaces the man with complicated industrial processes that endanger his physical integrity
  • Favors business competitiveness.
  • Improves the security of the processes and the quality of the production.

Disadvantages of Industrial Automation

  • Generates technological dependence
  • Requires a large initial investment
  • Lack of trained personnel to manage the equipment
  • Susceptibility to technological obsolescence
  • The resistance of the workers to the change

One of the main challenges of the implementation of automated systems in industries is to balance the work done by computerized equipment and robots with the work performed by the operators. While technology helps to optimize processes and limits human intervention, it does not replace it completely. The error is to associate industrial automation with unemployment since human presence is necessary for the management, supervision and control of complex production processes.

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Five Advantages of Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating offers an enormous range of benefits. Results that cannot be attained in the electrolytic nickel plating can be achieved easily in this process. The reason behind this is the nature of the process.

In electroless nickel plating, a substrate is dipped into the bath of plating solutions, and this solution triggers a chemical reaction that deposits the nickel layer on the substrate. No electricity is required in this process. It is a purely chemical based reaction. A reducing agent drives the nickel to the surface of the substrate and forms a uniform layer on the substrate.

Electroless nickel plating has numerous advantages. Let’s have a look at a few key advantages of this process.

Uniform deposition

When it comes to the metal coating of the irregular and complicated shaped workpieces, electroless nickel plating is best in the business. It is very difficult to achieve the uniform thickness of metal layer all over the substrate with electrolytic nickel plating. But with electroless nickel plating, the thickness of the metal layer deposited is even over the entire surface of the substrate.

Higher Corrosion Resistance

This is the major perk of electroless nickel coating. This coating is less porous and uniform throughout the workpiece. Hence, it provides high corrosion resistance. The thickness of the metal layer deposited can be as thin as .0005″ to as thick as .010″. This great control over thickness makes it a perfect choice for various industries. It can be used for the metal coating of the rotor, drive shafts, oilfield valves, fuel rails, kitchen utensils, bathroom fixtures, and other similar materials.

Cost-effective

Another major advantage of electroless nickel coating is that it is cheaper than the electrolytic nickel coating. There is no electricity required and no extra cost of finishing required which makes it a cost-effective coating process. Also, due to improving coating quality operational cost is less.

Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel plating does not chip off easily. It is baked to harden to 60+ Rockwell. It is strong and chip free coating. You do not have to worry about the strength of the coating.

Non-conductive Material Coating

As no electricity is used for depositing the metal layer to the substrate, therefore, it can be used for coating non-conductive material. A wide range of products and materials can be coated using this coating.

These are the key advantages of the electroless nickel plating.

If you are looking for a uniform, consistent, and long-lasting metal coating for the workpieces, no doubt electroless nickel plating is best of the breed.