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Optical Comparators Adapt and Grow

Beware predictions of the demise of any technology. If the early 1920s saw the dawn of the optical comparator, there has been much speculation about its sunset. That was especially true when vision systems started hitting their stride a few years ago. Many could see optical comparators were superfluous with the use of vision systems. Many thought the sunset of optical comparators was imminent. Many were wrong. Why?

UNCC’s Hands-On Approach to Manufacturing Research

Starting this month, TechFront has a new format that spotlights manufacturing research programs at key universities, followed by summaries of recent research in SME’s Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Journal of Manufacturing Processes and Manufacturing Letters, all published by Elsevier Ltd.

SPONSORED BY 3M: Five Common Reasons Manufacturers are Bonding with Industrial Tapes

Manufacturers are always looking for ways to keep ahead of the competition. And with advancements in bonding technologies, they’ve been able to explore new ways in doing just that. Industrial-grade, double-sided acrylic foam tapes such as 3M™ VHB™ Tapes are increasingly being used in place of more traditional mechanical fasteners such as screws, rivets, bolts, and welds—in order to permanently bond components together.

Cold Sintering Process Saves Energy, Material

Researchers at Penn State University (University Park, PA) have devised a novel method for sintering, a widely used manufacturing process for powdered materials. The new process, which uses much less time and energy than current approaches, could have global implications on manufacturing and energy savings and pave the way for new discoveries.

The Quest for Safer 3D Printing Materials

When Desktop Metal introduced its “office-friendly” Studio metal prototype printer earlier this year, the company renewed attention on the issue of safer materials for binder jetting, an additive manufacturing method.