Tag Archives: engineering blog

What is a Rapid Prototyping Solution?

Back during my childhood, before my sister totally though that it would be really fun and exciting if we would take on a ride at the fair in the neighborhood. They call it the Salt and Pepper shakers. To further illustrate the ride, there are two existing arms on the side. At the end of each there is an enclosed big bug that keeps the rider totally locked inside. These arms then are carefully rotated in the opposite directions. Once the arm reaches the top of the ride rotation, the buggy together with the people riding will go total upside down.

At this point from now on, the person operating the right totally thought that it was really funny that an 8 year old child like me was really scared for her dear life and she started screaming like someone was murdered. That is the very reason why I am really afraid of heights. And because of this experience, I am very intrigued by the various fields of study that determines if it is really the nature that makes us who we are – nature vs. nurture.

Before this trip to the fun fair, I did not have very much experience with extreme heights: I was not a tree climber at all. I did not use the roof or utilize it for me to sneak out of the house and I have not any experience climbing the ladders either. I guess that’s is because of my developed fear of heights when I as a kid. I had been really scared for my life and I guess the experience made me to fear heights.

Because of this, a product has reminded me of this fearful experience. Maybe because of its psychophysiology.

The very efficient and unique ATLASense™ AR7000 series does a semi-custom platform that fives a good and rapid prototyping solution for companies. This satisfy a large and broad physiological and behavioral monitoring needs for your products. This high performing workhorse offers a different, physical, and physiological and behavioral human interacts with a lot of broad selection of the best front-end sensors.

The international clients of this platform has started to apply the different platofrms in different fields of use. This also includes the diagnostics, biological therapy, telemedicine and as well as psychophysiology. What is more to this product is that it has a very wide range of different configurations that can be easily found in Atlas Engineering’s website: www.atlas-arl.com

How to Capture a PCB Using Two Screw Towers?

Just recently, I instantly decided to get rid of my unneeded furniture placed in the basement. It was already old, out of style and it so happens that my cats are living down in the basement. The furniture was completely covered in my cat’s fur because my two white cats loves to sit on the (then blue) white couch. Anyone who will see my furniture will tell me that it looks completely gross. And it is.

And because of presence of fleas, I decided to move the chairs by myself. I cannot wait for my boyfriend to arrive even if he is just 20 minutes away from my house. I almost got near the carpet but for once I decided to drag it upstairs. I just don’t have the energy to turn it to then haul it out open to the door.

When I carefully looked at the chair, I hefted the back of the chair onto the stair to make it leveled up to the front end whilst stepping up to the next level of the stairs. I said to myself, “one step at time.” I just patiently keeps on repeating this mantra as I slowly inch my way up to the stairs just balancing the two legs of the chair. When I finally got to the landing of the chair, I had to make the turn. I just hefted the back left leg of the chair onto the landing platform just in front of the right leg on the front end. While the chair is recently balanced like this on opposing legs, I just have to push it all the way to make a safe landing.

With this in mind, why should my impatience about furniture hauling matter? This is because without the ability to balance the chair on two opposing legs, I should have not succeeded. I recently got this idea from an enclosure making company that just launched their hand-held plastic enclosures. The unique enclosure design shows how it sandwiches a PCB between two screw towers.

There are customers who have asked how this works and they show a doubtful face that says “How does this keep the board from flexing?” The place of the board on the enclosure, then insert (and tighten) the screws into the screw holes on the enclosure. Which is now threaded unto the screw towers. This is primarily because the enclosure is so slim, that it leaves no room for the board to easily flex or twist like that inside the enclosure.

The screws can easily hold down the opposing corners of the PCB board. Thus making it just level and stable once the enclosure is successfully screwed together. This also allows the end user to use the space that surrounds the PCB without the need for the mounting attachments of bosses made in most sizes. However, because of the extra length of the KT-70, the mounting bosses are finally included for the additional stability.

What are the Different Characteristics of Ink Used in Printing on Enclosures?

We have already explored how the personality if the newly weds can be comparable to the material characteristics of the electronics. We also have been able to identify its importance regardless of the end use of the electronics equipment. Also, there are certain characterisitics that are very important to make sure that the final product can stay as crisp since the day the customer decided to purchase it.

There is also one additional important characteristics for plastic electronics enclosure for it to be solvent-resistant. There are several types of different enclosures that can offer bonding as the only way to assemble the final product. While we can carefully strive to not spill the solvents (or anything in that matter), these situations really happen. There was a leak in the solvent packaging, a loose lid, or perhaps there are products that are sent down on a table that comes with an accidental drop of solvent.

The list is just full of endless possibilities. The use of a solvent-resistant ink just helps in the prevention of the unlikely or unwanted events to happen that can eventually lead to serious and long-term problems.

As you can see, there are several and many specifications just for any ink type the user wants to use to customize their electronics enclosure. These posts only deal with a partial list. The customers have been keen on emailing and commenting but there many more characteristics that should be taken in careful consideration.

The point here is there are companies that uses the permanent ink for both of the plastic enclosure both on silk screening and pad printing. The ink that was used for some of the plastic enclosures surely meets the needed specifications to permanently brand the plastic enclsoures. In addition to this, the gloss in the ink also adds the style to the enclsoures.

In return, the gloss intensifies the ink, so that it can print resulting to a very bright appearance. Rather than the dull, chalky finish that we often see in this style of printing. Getting a quote about permanently print on the enclosure is just simple and it can bring down the printing cost lesser than you think. It is best to contact the customer service for further classifications.

The 21st Century’s Lighting Revolution: What is it all about? Part 3

Today, almost all general service lamp sockets (about 75%) are estimated to have longer life compact fluorescent and being occupied by it together with the general service LED bulbs. In summary, the new government regulation is designed to target less energy savings compared to the forecast of Department of Energy have forecasted way back few years ago. This is because there is a significant move seen on the market. This trend is estimated to continue beyond 2020.

In line with the bulbs not being a general service lamp, LBNL have included in their report that there were almost the same problem when it comes to data. The energy consumption, as well as the savings, is now measured by using the estimated number of lamps installed in the sockets. The Department of Energy utilizes an algorithm that will help them arrive at a number estimate and will not only rely on lamp shipments. The data should only include assumptions regarding the light bulb’s life and its longevity when it is installed in the socket before it can be replaced.

However, there is a direct relationship between the shipments of light bulb and the number of installed bulbs. The greater the number of shipments for a specific lamp type, it is safe to conclude that there will be more units of light bulb are going to be installed. In contrary to this, the fact is true if the event happened otherwise. The number figures Department of Energy arrived at for the incandescent lamp reflectors shipments exceeded the manufacturer’s expectation. The LBNL’s estimates for the installed bases used for incandescent reflector lamps are over exaggerated.

The Department of Energy’s data estimations regarding the shipments of the reflector lamps are either flat or growing slightly. But in reality, they were actually falling. Last 2018, NEMA the shipments for incandescent reflector lamp were expected to be less than a third of what DOE has estimated few years back. Partly the reason for this decline is the Department of Energy’s increase in energy efficiency standards for the incandescent reflector lamps (PAR and R.) These lamps required the infrared technology and made the cost of these lamps to go higher what is expected. Thus, the LED reflector lamps are priced in a competitive way compare to the price of the LED reflector lamps. The lamps started to fall.

If there were as many incandescent reflector lamps in the installed base of sockets consuming electricity that LBNL cited, NEMA members would be selling a lot more incandescent reflector lamps, and they are not. Again, American consumers, retailers, and manufacturers have beaten DOE to the regulatory punch. The regulation will achieve less energy savings than DOE could have forecasted because the market has already made a more significant move. And this trend will only continue to 2020 and beyond.

This fact is also true with other concerning speciality incandescent lamps – decorative and tubular lamps, for example – Department of Energy tried to illegally lump in the general service lamp category. Just recently, in its ruling, the Department of Energy has started to acknowledge that the data NEMA shared regarding the sale of these lamps have been declining.

The Exploration and Discovery of NFPA Foundation Regarding Electrical Safety

The Fire Protection Research Founded by National Fire Protection Association or NFPA currently sponsored an assembly for the Second Draft meetings for the National Electrical Code (NEC) comprised of Electrical Safety Research Advisory Committee (ESRAC). This took place in San Diego, California last October. Represented by Vince Baclawski, NEMA took part in this general Assembly. Baclawski is the senior technical director, together with Jack Lyons the Northeast field representative.

The meeting was started and opened by Casey Grand the director of the The Fire Protection Research Founded by National Fire Protection Association together with Donny Cook the advisory committee chair. The meeting started with the members of the co-making panels and other stakeholders coming from different industries regarding the electrical safety features that should take part in the foundation’s projects concerning about research.

The agenda in this meeting is comprised of the total overview of the organization: its current, completed, and planned or proposed projects. One of which is the discussion about the Power over Ethernet or others call it as (PoE) and several discussions about pools and marinas.

In identifying some future possible concerns, the foundation greatly put emphasis on what is the greatest value or impact that can be done for the electroindustry. With this in mind, the ESRAC functions as the trailblazing committee to make the foundation consider projects such as these.

To increase the number of installations the PoE systems are making caused concerns to arise because of the possible effects of the installations on the building safety. With this in mind, the NEC has successfully addressed some of the cabling structures placed within the buildings by heavily focusing on some of the bundling data cables that helps engineers to make up the overall system.

With this in mind, overheating is a safety and performance issue for the PoE systems. In addition to this, the Article 725 has mentioned the possible concerns regarding the ampacity tables for data/power cables that comes with the new cable designations. There are some key takeaways on this, they are:

Proper identification for the inherently safe installations

Expansion in the usage of life safety systems

Safety of the personnel working in electric industries

Identify the code applications and the necessary licensing requirements

Recent issues about cybersecurity

Together with valuable inputs from the attendees, the meeting identified the top five topics research projects can focus on, such as:

Proper code adoption and regulatory licensing

Equipment grounding conductors

Types of cord-connections installed in the kitchens

Electrical systems installed in some Marinas and Pools, that may need protection from ingress of water, may need NEMA 4x enclosure for splashing water or NEMA 6p enclosures if it needs to be submersion to protect them.

Data gathered about the collection on electrical fires

In a separate meeting, it was said in the discussion that NEMA is enabled to help in the development and sponsorship on webinars about the necessary fundamentals, benefits, and some limitations on the PoE installed systems.

Lamp Index by NEMA Currently Adjusts to the Newly Available A-Line LED Data

The general service (A-line) lamps have a newer take on its look according to the NEMA Lamp Index. When this said lamp was first produced and innovated last 2012 (together with its developments) it was intended to be used to measure the shift in general service (A-line) lamp technology. This came about as a result of the recent implementation of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA-2007). This served as a guideline for different manufacturers to shy away from the incandescent lamp that consumes a lot more technology. Halogen incandescent lamp consumed 28% than the incandescent counter parts.

During this time, the only innovation and technology considered as general service lamp available in the market was compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). With this in mind, this LED lamp was barely available in the market last 2012 because it was introduced in the market with $60 price point.

However, the market scenario quickly changed. Towards the end of 2015, the traditional incandescent lamps were almost phased out from the market shelves and the manufacturers of lamps almost no longer carry incandescent lamps for shipment because of the regulation EISA-2007. Because of ongoing demand and decreasing supply, LED lamps became affordable for the consumers and sales started picking up for the first time.

In line with this market scenario, Lamp Index showed a reasonable current direction of the A-line shipments since its first development way-back 2012. In the recent two calendar years, the said lamp shipment rates quickly grew and the LED lamp shipments significantly took the majority of the actual share of the LED light shipments. This is because there is a significant volume of orders from non-MEMA-member improts.

Usually, NEMA will be confidently trust on its strength to make use of this difference – as with the recent market changes with halogen and CFL bulbs – according to historical data. However this information about the A-line LED bulbs are not ready because of its drastic changes when it first entered the market.

Last 2017, the United States government took on the initiative of publishing data of A-line LED lamp imports for its domestic consumption in the country. This data was also published with other information that empowered NEMA to measure the shipments for the A-line LED lamps. Together with the consistency of the numbers and what the consumers are currently experiencing with the A-line LED lamps, it can be said that this lamp effectively entered the market efficiently.

Incandescent shipments included a relatively small number of low lumen lamps (15W, 25W) outside of this lumen range because of the way NEMA historically collected incandescent lamp data prior to 2012.

In conclusion, the adjustment of the newly available A-line lamps and the LED data available, made NEMA discontinue the ongoing reporting of incandescent A-line lamps in the lamp index. When NEMA published the first lamp index, originally it was intended to show the data about the shipments of A-line lamps with the lumen rage of 310-2600 lumens. With this data, it can be said that the incandescent shipments that were included showed a relatively small amount of total shipments. The incandescent lamps were classified by having low lumen lamps (15W, 25W) and it is outside of its lumen rage. This is because of the way NEMA collected historical data of incandescent lamps before the year 2012.

4 Effective Ways on Achieving Successful Skid Integration in Batching Operations

Four major guidelines for having a successful skid integration when it comes to batching operations 

The integration of the kid equipment in OEM in the overall batch management system will be requiring a clear and specified level of coordination. This coordination should come between the salve and master (DCS or SCADA) systems. The simplistic command set the slave system that does not give the provision for visual representation of the whole system. Once everything is working perfectly fine, a simple command from the master to the slave system is already sufficient to make everything work. However, there is an exemption to this rule. Once the exception condition is bound to happen, it is going to be very hard to determine or troubleshoot without the need to go out to the equipment’s HMI. This is the local human-machine interface to identify the issue. 

With this in mind, this kind of interference can increase the batch cycle time, can lessen the equipment utilization and it can decrease the overall efficiency of the operations. The only solution to this dilemma is to combine a slave OEM system inside the overall master processing system by following these four simple guidelines: 

Distribute the operating modes 

Standard operating states should be followed 

Identify the status feedback definition 

Have communications standardized 

The only thing that can solve this problem is to have tow different pieces of the equipment synchronized by identifying the agreed methodological set of interactions. The flexible batch solution should have an isolation happening between different set of functions. 

1. Distribute the operating modes 

The different operating modes of the remote equipment is a little bit complicated because the boundaries are not well defined. Should an operator implement changes to the local equipment once the controlled variables have been given instructions remotely coming from an overall recipe? Is the recipe will go to the “hold” state when a specified operating status is bound to change? These are the sample few questions that has to be considered when remote systems are to be integrated. The operating philosophy and interface should over rule. This happens between the master and the salve system and should be identified to continually give a uniformed interface between two different systems. 

2. Standard operating states should be followed 

Standard operating states should be followed to enable a mechanism to handle the hardest part of a batch. With this in mind, this is the exception condition. This is identified as a mechanism behavior that exists in the outside of the usual normal or desired behavior of the system process. The critical elements of the batch production includes the handling, processing, and recovering from these types of systematic operations.  

4 Effective Ways on Achieving Successful Skid Integration in Batching Operations Part 3

  1. Engineers Should Define the Status Feedback

Status feedback is part of many things, but it is an essential part of operations to make it more efficient and is between two systems. The information structured for status feedback is constructed for different modes, error in conditions, and operating states as well. The representation of a status feedback presented through standard modes and states are popular among all equipment but there is one catch. Every error in conditions should be specific to each equipment. The information specific to the equipment will better provide the engineers of a better view for the error in the condition of the machine. The information transmitted from a machine can also help the engineers prevent any further damage of the equipment and this will help them utilize it even better. This will contribute to overall efficiency of the whole operating system.

2. Status Feedbacks help in the standardization of communication status

The communication between different systems are attainable in a very good and efficient manner by using the single integer value designations in status feedback. The communication that are happening can be very simple and just by using one word as a command. The word is transmitted to the slave system and this in return gives them a status that comes from the slave system. In addition to this, there should be additional parameters or variables in the system that needs to be written and programmed to the programmable logic controller (PLC) that can result to the overall recipe setting in the main system of the status feedback. Having a good standard on different communication types of remote or 3rd party equipment makes the system feedback more controllable. Because this can be easily maintained and extended over the life-cycle. The different development of several communication standards for remote interfaces should be designed wide enough to be able to fit into different application types, but specific enough to show and display value.

The final solution

The different integration of slave or remote systems can be quite challenging for many engineers. However, the standardization of its’ interfaces can make this process easy to manage. The last two of the four guidelines discussed in this article are clearly set by the ISA 288.01 standards. The status feedback and the communication packaging between different systems can have meaning to cover all the 3rd party solutions. The common interface design between systems can have a unison design that can make the coordination more efficient across several systems. Which makes it to be more easy to maintain and easier to expand. The different integration of these kind of systems (slave or remote systems) is hard for many engineers. With this in mind, the interface’s standardization can make this process easier to manage.

Lastly, the common interface solutions should be well documented in a design that is deliverable. The design should be standardized by the User Requirement Specification (URS) to OEM to meet manufacturing standards. In this way the programming of the remote system is ensured to meet expected quality standards.