Industry News

Henkel Adhesive Technologies Partners with LPMS USA

by Kathy S. on September 25, 2015

Henkel Partners with LPMSHenkel Adhesive Technologies recently announced it has formed a partnership with molding equipment manufacturer LPMS USA in an effort to provide customers greater access to low pressure molding solutions and Henkel’s Technomelt materials.

The low pressure molding process is an alternative to traditional potting techniques. LPMS USA will leverage the capabilities of Henkel’s Technomelt polyamide hotmelt products in order to melt, mold and cool the materials around electronic devices. The process encapsulates the materials and forms self-enclosed, functional assemblies.

Lower stress than traditional injection molding, low pressure molding has been successfully employed in numerous industries, including automotive, LED lighting, medical and wearables.

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New LED Research Paves the Way to Wearable Displays

by Kathy S. on September 21, 2015

New LED Research Paves the Way to Wearable DisplaysThe world’s first stretchable thin-film transistor (TFT) driven LED display laminated into textiles is expected to turn clothing into information displays.

Although healthcare monitors and activity trackers are gaining in popularity, they are separate devices. Users must remember to wear them. With the advent of this new technology, monitors and trackers will soon be integrated into our clothing.

The conformable LED displays are fabricated on a polyimide substrate and encapsulated in rubber, which allows them to be laminated into washable clothing. The technology uses known fabrication steps, allowing for the rapid integration into manufacturing.

The discovery was made by researchers from Holt Centre (set up by TNO and imec), imec and CMST, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University.

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U.S. vs. Mexico: 5 Manufacturing Factors to Consider

by Kathy S. on September 16, 2015

U.S. vs. Mexico--5 Manufacturing Factors to ConsiderRecent studies show manufacturing costs in the U.S. and Mexico are at or below those of China, according to the Boston Consulting Group and Alix Partners. Manufacturers with operations in the U.S. and Mexico have been known to quote both options per project in order to better understand cost differences. Consider the following five factors to help make the best determination for your business:

  1. Labor

In general, manufacturing in Mexico saves money with regard to labor when the labor content is between 20 and 30%. Companies may save an estimated 10 to 15% on assembly costs in Mexico over U.S. costs on medium-volume projects with at least 20% labor content.

  1. Demand

Understanding the variability in demand is crucial as customs and transportation/logistics costs are negligible when border crossings are reduced to one or two per week.

  1. Project

The scale of the project will impact annualized cost savings. For example, clustering a product family with a mix of low- and medium-volume production may provide the needed scale to drive significant savings.

  1. Location

While finished goods may cross the border the same day they are manufactured, some border locations are easier to reach than others. Strong manufacturing clusters are also located farther south, including Guadalajara and Monterrey, but these facilities typically require a greater supply chain pipeline.

  1. End-Market

Consider the end-market when determining the most cost-effective choice. Where will the product ultimately ship? The free trade agreements between the U.S. or Mexico and the end-market country should also play a role in the decision.

Mexico has a high-quality, well-trained labor pool, especially in skilled trades like tooling and metal fabrication. Carefully weigh all the factors when deciding which side of the border your manufacturing operations should take place

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New Hybrid Cleanroom Combines the Best of Hardwall and Softwall ConstructionsHardwall or softwall? A new hybrid cleanroom from Terra makes it possible to benefit from the best of both worlds. The modular, freestanding cleanroom behaves like a hardwall because it maintains specified positive pressure and cleanliness levels and is similar to a softwall because it’s economical and portable. The unit converts any unclassified space into an ISO 5-8 cleanroom and is also ideal for enclosing particle-sensitive process equipment.

Its panels are made of continuous, flexible, 40mm antistatic PVC, pulled taut around a steel frame. Smooth internal surfaces wipe down easily with sterilizers; no surface obstacles prevent wipe-down. The PVC panels eliminate static attraction leading to particulate contamination.

The ceiling grid is supported by a powder-coated steel frame and holds a power module, lights, fan/filter units and ceiling panels.

Enter the cleanroom through a full-sized, aluminum-framed swing door.

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Free eBook: Copper in Electrical Contacts

by Kathy S. on September 11, 2015

Connector failures, like the one in the F-16 fighter plane that caused engine failure and plane crashes, underscore the importance of electrical contacts. In this case, fretting corrosion from vibration led to the failure of the connector that supplied power to the main fuel shut-off valve, according to the Copper Development Association.

Free eBook--Copper in Electrical ContactsNow, a new book from the association sheds light on electrical contacts, how they work and the various materials involved. The 40-page book titled Copper in Electrical Contacts is available to download here for free.

Specifically, the book explains contact interface, arcing and non-arcing contacts, fixed contacts and sliding contacts.  It also includes descriptions of more than 30 popular copper alloys as well as property tables for contacts, parts and springs.

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