Columbus, Ohio – Chad Bouton snapped awake at 5 a.m. He skipped coffee, threw some Clif Bars and water in a bag, and left his wife and children and robot at home. He ordered three Sausage McMuffins from a drive-up window. He steered toward the hospital. He entered the operating room at 6:15 a.m.
McLean, Virginia – Registration is open for the IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 Conference, which will run four days during IMTS, Sept. 8 – 11. IMTS 2014 takes place Sept. 8-13 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
“The IMTS community has made it clear that educational events for professionals already in the industry are essential as manufacturing moves ahead,” said Peter R. Eelman, vice president – exhibitions & communications, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “Those who take advantage of the IMTS 2014 Conference stand to gain an edge by keeping up with trends, evaluating new product developments, and absorbing technical know-how from the industry’s thought leaders.”
Sixty-nine 55-minute presentations throughout four days will provide solutions to current manufacturing problems, such as improving productivity, improving part quality, and developing a stable, competent workforce to lower the costs of manufacturing in the United States and create new levels of market demand. The five topic tracks are:
- Process innovations
- Exotic materials
- New materials
- General cutting (turning, milling, drilling, etc.)
- Tooling / workholding
- Alternative manufacturing processes
- Additive / 3D printing
- Fastening / joining
- Plant operations
- Cost justification
- Energy efficiency
- Government initiatives
- Lean manufacturing
- Life cycle management
- Training / workforce
- Quality / metrology
- Optical / 3D
- Systems integration
- CAD / CAM
- Motion control
- Vision systems
Here are examples of a few of the key presentations:
Additive Manufacturing – The Pros and Cons looks at what industries are using additive manufacturing technologies and how they are being used.
Capital Equipment Justification – The Truth About ROI demonstrates how to accurately justify making an investment in new equipment and understanding the costs involved; the tangible and intangible benefits; the cost of not making the investment; and finally, calculate the payback.
Achieving the Best Possible Straightness and Hole Tolerance in Deep Hole Drilling details three decades of experience in machine tool manufacturing with an emphasis on the production of high-precision deep hole drilling.
Combination Tools … When They Make Sense covers a list of what to take into account when considering combination tools. The session also provides information on what the manufacturer needs to design a tool and dismissing some of the reasoning for not considering a special tool, as well as the cost advantages of using combination tools.
A complete list of conference presentation topics is available at IMTS.com.
A day pass ($250) includes access to the exhibit hall floor for all six days of the show and one day of the attendee’s choice at the IMTS 2014 Conference. A full pass ($450) includes access to the exhibit hall floor for all six days of the show and all four days of the conference. To register for the IMTS Industry & Technology Conference visit www.imts.com/conference.
“We’ve come full circle because in the early years IMTS was actually an educational event, and only turned into a buying/selling forum after World War II,” John Krisko, IMTS director – exhibitions explains. “We are thrilled to offer presenters bringing this level of variety, depth, creativity, and quality to the conference. We are certain that our conference participants will come together and leave smarter.”
To learn more about IMTS, the IMTS 2014 conference, and to register, visit IMTS.com.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing marketing of the DEKA Arm System, the first prosthetic arm that can perform multiple, simultaneous powered movements controlled by electrical signals from electromyogram (EMG) electrodes.
EMG electrodes detect electrical activity caused by the contraction of muscles close to where the prosthesis is attached. The electrodes send the electrical signals to a computer processor in the prosthesis that translates them to a specific movement or movements.
The EMG electrodes in the DEKA Arm System convert electrical signals into up to 10 powered movements, and it is the same shape and weight as an adult arm. In addition to the EMG electrodes, the DEKA Arm System contains a combination of mechanisms including switches, movement sensors, and force sensors that cause the prosthesis to move.
“This innovative prosthesis provides a new option for people with certain kinds of arm amputations,” said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The DEKA Arm System may allow some people to perform more complex tasks than they can with current prostheses in a way that more closely resembles the natural motion of the arm.”
The FDA reviewed clinical information relating to the device, including a 4-site Department of Veterans Affairs study in which 36 DEKA Arm System study participants provided data on how the arm performed in common household and self-care tasks. The study found that approximately 90 percent of study participants were able to perform activities with the DEKA Arm System that they were not able to perform with their current prosthesis, such as using keys and locks, preparing food, feeding oneself, using zippers, and brushing and combing hair.
The DEKA Arm System can be configured for people with limb loss occurring at the shoulder joint, mid-upper arm, or mid-lower arm. It cannot be configured for limb loss at the elbow or wrist joint.
Data reviewed by the FDA also included testing of software and electrical and battery systems, mitigations to prevent or stop unintended movements of the arm and hand mechanisms, durability testing (such as ability to withstand exposure to common environmental factors such as dust and light rain), and impact testing.
The FDA reviewed the DEKA Arm System through its de novo classification process, a regulatory pathway for some novel low- to moderate-risk medical devices that are first-of-a-kind.
The DEKA Arm System is manufactured by DEKA Integrated Solutions in Manchester, N.H.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $9 million to new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance across industries.
The grants, awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations, are the first conferred by NIST's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. They range from $378,900 to $540,000 for a period of up to two years.
The funded projects will identify and rank research and development goals, define workforce needs, and initiate other steps toward speeding technology development and transfer and improving manufacturing capabilities. Project collaborations span a wide variety of industries and technologies, from flexible-electronics manufacturing to biomanufacturing and from pulp-and-paper manufacturing to forming and joining technologies.
"The AMTech awards provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals, and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there," said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector – one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S."
Technology roadmapping is a key component of all funded projects. Each consortium will engage manufacturers of all sizes, university researchers, trade associations and other stakeholders in an interactive process to identify and prioritize research projects that reduce shared barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.
In conjunction with developing technology roadmaps, the projects will undertake related tasks such as defining challenges specific to building robust domestic supply chains and establishing skill-set requirements for an advanced manufacturing workforce.
Established in 2013, the AMTech program aims to catalyze partnerships between U.S. industry, academia, and government that will support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of U.S. industry. A specific objective is to enable new – or to strengthen existing – industry-led technology consortia for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing.
On July 24, 2013, the program announced its inaugural competition for planning grants. It received 82 applications seeking a total of $37.4 million in funding. Of the 19 consortia that received grants, 11 are new efforts that will be launched with AMTech funding. Applications for these projects included letters of commitment from companies and other prospective partners.
To read summaries of the AMTech-funded projects and to see maps showing the locations of the projects' lead organizations and their funded partners, go to www.nist.gov/amo/fundedawards.cfm.
An implantable device that reduces blood pressure by sending electrical signals to the brain has been created by a group of researchers in Germany.
The device has successfully reduced the blood pressure in rats by 40% without any major side effects, and could offer hope for a significant proportion of patients worldwide who do not respond to existing medical treatment for the condition.
The device consists of 24 individual electrodes that are integrated into a micro-machined cuff. It is designed to wrap around the vagal nerve, which extends from the brainstem to the thorax and abdomen, supplying and stimulating various major organs including the heart and major blood vessels.
The device works by picking up signals from specific sensors, known as baroreceptors, which are activated when blood vessels stretch. Some baroreceptors are grouped together in concentrated areas in the aortic arch and report their information to the brainstem via fibers in the vagal nerve. These baroreceptors function to control short-term fluctuations in blood pressure.
The device has been designed to identify only those fibers that influence the blood pressure and avoid those that are responsible for heart rate, the power of heartbeat, ventilation, and other vital functions.
In their study, the researchers, from the University of Freiburg, tested a prototype device on five male rats. The device was 2.0cm long, with a 0.8mm diameter, and delivered 40 pulses per second to the fibres of the baroreceptors in the vagal nerve.
The researchers experimented on various areas of the vagal nerve, exploring different stimulation sites around the nerve with different frequencies, amplitudes and durations of stimulation. Using the appropriate parameters, the researchers showed that the blood pressure could be easily reduced to 60% of its original value in a wide range of stimulation frequencies and pulse widths.
No major side effects, such as a significant decrease in heart rate or breathing rate, occurred when the electrode sites closest to the baroreceptor fibres were chosen for stimulation.
Lead author of the research, Dr Dennis Plachta, said: "Our proof-of-concept interface has shown that it is possible to use the left vagal nerve to reduce blood pressure without any adverse side effects, which is important for a wide variety of potential treatments that could utilise nerve stimulation without actually penetrating the nerve.
"As the device will require surgery, it is not intended to be the first port of call for treatment and will come into play when patients, for whatever reasons, are resistant to medication. Nevertheless, the long-term goal is to provide 'treatment-on-demand' for the patient, whereby the implantable device uses an intelligent circuit to record the activity of the patient, for instance when they are doing exercise, and adjust the blood pressure accordingly.
"We will now look to develop the implantable device further and investigate whether it interferes with existing medication, and ultimately test it on larger animals such as pigs and sheep."
Source: Institute of Physics