Industry News Archives

Latex Gloves – Are You Allergic?


Many industrial manufacturing environments require workers to wear protective gloves, including during electronics and medical device production and assembly. Latex gloves not only protect workers from harmful chemicals but also protect products from worker contact and contamination during manufacturing Read more

ST 925 SMT Rework System–Three favorites combined into one nice savings


Save a few steps--and some money--with the Pace 925 SMT Rework System Pace has introduced a new low-cost “combination” system ideal for surface mount technology (SMT) rework. It’s worth adding up the savings by comparing the a la carte prices Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything


You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

Combatting Computer Vision Syndrome: Is Your Task Lighting Up for the Task?

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

Combatting Computer Vision Syndrome--Is Your Task Lighting Up for the TaskDo you suffer from headaches, blurred vision or eye strain? You could have computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS affects about 90 percent of people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.

One of the biggest culprits? Inadequate lighting. Improper lighting exacerbates the problem and also reduces productivity, and yet the amount of light in the workplace remains one of the most common complaints. Specifically, ambient lighting is frequently too high and task lighting too low. Glare from computer screens and light sources also leads to unwanted aches and pains.

With ergonomic lighting, the problems associated with CVS are typically alleviated, and operational efficiencies improve. Proper and adjustable task lighting at every workspace is necessary to mitigate the symptoms of CVS.

Your lighting needs will vary by task and by your age; reading, for example, requires more light than computer work, and a 60-year-old needs more light than a 20-year-old. Task lights with adjustable arms and dimming controls provide maximum flexibility. When your workspace is properly lit, the entire space should be illuminated, and glare should be minimized.

Improve well-being, productivity and job satisfaction with All-Spec’s selection of ergonomic task lighting for every task, and combat the serious effects of CVS in the workplace.


New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDs

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDsA new type of LED could lead to cheaper, brighter lights as well as mass produced displays thanks to a team of Florida State University materials researchers. The organic-inorganic LED hybrid is made of a class of materials called organometal halide perovskites. Perovskites have the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide.

After months of experiments using synthetic chemistry to make the class of material perform better than initial tests suggested, researchers were surprised to discover the material glowed exceptionally bright. It measured at about 10,000 candelas per square meter or about 25 times brighter than a computer screen and displayed remarkable stability.

The findings, published in Advanced Materials, are advantageous for industry as the earth abundant material can be processed in an economic way, which until now has been one of the major obstacles to LED advancement despite their heralded energy-savings.


New Nano Step Makes Purifying Silicon Cheap

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

New Nano Step Makes Purifying Silicon CheapWhile Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth, it’s usually not refined enough naturally for integrated circuits and solar cells. Silicon can be purified, but it’s expensive, dirty and not optimized for battery electrodes, thermoelectrics and solar cells. Now scientists from Nanjing University and Stanford University have developed a simple and inexpensive method to get 99.999 percent pure silicon from bulk ferrosilicon.

Nearly photovoltaic grade silicon starts with bulk silicon, which is milled to a nanoscale powder and purified with a strong mix of acids. The acids strip away oxygen and metal impurities, converting the material from 84 percent silicon by weight to 99.999 percent. This acid etching method has been around since WWII, but the method never received high purity because the particles have only just now been reduced to nano size. For this reason, a more expensive process for producing high purity—99.9999999—became the standard.

The new, inexpensive method isn’t this pure, which means it isn’t pure enough for today’s integrated circuits; however, it can achieve the level of purity needed for thermoelectric devices and battery electrodes. The process for making silicon that’s 99.999 percent pure or “five nines” costs about $1 per kilogram.


Global Cleanroom Technology Market Hits $3 Billion and Growing

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

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.


Researchers Accidentally Discover Quantum “Etch A Sketch”

Posted on by Kathy S. in Industry News Leave a comment

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.