Industry News

Global Cleanroom Technology Market Hits $3 Billion and GrowingThe global cleanroom technology market is worth an estimated $3 billion, according to a new report by Research and Markets, and is expected to reach $3.83 billion by 2020.

The rise in technological advancements in healthcare is a key driver in the growth of this segment. Other major drivers include a rise in safety concerns, healthcare expenditure, demand for quality products and the expansion of the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries.

The report, Global Cleanroom Technology Market—Market Trends and Forecasts (2015-2020), finds the market is dominated by North America, followed by Europe. India and China will be the fastest-growing countries adopting cleanroom technology in the next five years, according to the report.

Cleanroom technologies are widely used in hospitals and medical device manufacturing as well as the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, plastic and food industries.

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Researchers Accidentally Discover Quantum Etch A SketchWhen researchers from the University of Chicago and Penn State University turned on the lights in the lab they were working, they discovered an optical effect that is likely to further new developments in emerging technologies. They found that the lab’s room lights emitted at a wavelength that changed the electronic properties of the materials they were studying.

Quite by chance, the scientists discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits like a high tech Etch A Sketch. Using topological insulators, a type of material with rare quantum properties, the researchers “tuned” the energy of their electrons using light without having to touch the materials. This is significant because the materials are fragile, and traditional semiconductor engineering techniques tend to destroy their quantum properties.

The electrons in the insulators are believed to be useful in the development of spin-based electronics and quantum computers. For the first time, researchers were able to draw and erase p-n junctions, one of the central components of a transistor, in a topological insulator. The work should be applicable to a wide range of nanoscale materials, including complex oxides, graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides.

Instead of spending weeks in the cleanroom and potentially contaminating materials, researchers can now sketch and measure devices for experiments in real time and just erase it when they’re done.

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Additive Manufacturing: How 3D Printing Saves Lives

by Kathy S. on October 16, 2015

Additive Manufacturing--How 3D Printing Saves Lives3D printing is one of the hottest topics in the tech space now, but did you know it is saving lives? Professors from the University of Michigan created a 3D-printed lung split that was used in 2011 to save the life of a six-week-old infant with severe tracheobronchomalacia, a rare disease of the central airways. When the infant’s trachea and left bronchus collapsed, preventing crucial airflow from reaching his lungs, the child underwent a tracheostomy and was put on a ventilator—only it didn’t work.

At the time, only a prototype of the 3D-printed device existed. The doctors obtained emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. A CT scan of the trachea and bronchus was used to design the device. With computer modeling software, doctors created a splint that perfectly matched the child’s windpipe and printed it with a biodegradable polyester called polycaprolactone.

The splint envelopes the outside of the bronchus. Sutures pass through the splint to tether the trachea, which expands the bronchus and inflates the trachea. The splint opens with growth and will dissolve within three years. While it may sound like science fiction, this successful procedure is paving the way for advances in dissolvable devices printed for medical use and surgical reconstruction.

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Save a Bolt, Time, Money and More with an Anti-Seize LubricantEver snapped the head off a bolt? Chances are the anti-seize you almost grabbed would have saved you a lot of time, not to mention aggravation.

Although they’ve been around since the 1940s, anti-seize lubricants are widely misunderstood and under-utilized. So, what is the typical application for an anti-seize? Any bolted joint which experiences a high temperature environment and requires future maintenance. It also improves gasket performance, prevents galling, protects against corrosive environments and more.

Is it worth the extra step? If you’re interested in saving time and lowering equipment replacement costs, you may want to consider an anti-seize lubricant.

One application for an anti-seize is during the assembly and disassembly of outside equipment. Anti-seize can be used to fill in the gaps between threads on a bolt. The lubricant protects against moisture and adds lubricity, so the bolt can be easily removed and replaced as needed.

The applications for anti-seize are virtually limitless. Save a bolt or two—and the ensuing headache; try Henkel Loctite anti-seize lubricants for maximum efficiency.

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Is Your Networked Lighting a Security Risk?

by Kathy S. on September 30, 2015

Is Your Networked Lighting a Security RiskLightbulb hacking. It might not sound like a real threat, but savvy, networked lighting hackers could gain access to your entire building automation and smart home systems.

The necessity for preventing unwanted access to connected safety and security devices like door locks and security cameras goes without saying; however, any device connected to the network, including a lightbulb or appliance, can serve as a gateway to the system.  Researchers have demonstrated this across multiple brands of lighting products utilizing both WiFi and mesh protocols like Zigbee.

The key to protecting connected devices? Rely on a dedicated, tamper-resistant security device, such as a secure microcontroller that enables secure storage of network passwords and authentication keys.

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