Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
I've been reading in the business press of signs that manufacturing operations are returning to the US from overseas. While it's too soon to throw a parade, this is terrific trending on all sorts of levels. But it also means that on top of the pressure to be lean and mean, you have a lot to learn so that the mistakes of the past do not return in the future.
So, you're researching and learning about new controller technologies that increase the performance and throughput of high-end machines. You're cramming about motor technologies and energy-efficient algorithms. You know there have been big advances in developing ever faster machines. But you also know that speed alone isn't a magic bullet. Today's Check It Out, sponsored by National Instruments, takes a look at emerging technologies for machinery and provides insight and guidance for making your future happen.
NI's on-demand “Smart Machine Webcast Series” consists of three broadcasts: machine monitoring, machine efficiency, and smart machines (two webcasts are 25 minutes or so while one is 12 minutes; and a one-time registration or log-in is required). Each broadcast leads to the next -- the recommended by me way of doing it -- although you do no have to watch them in series.
The general tone and presentation of the broadcasts are tutorial in nature. As NI is apt to do, each broadcast covers its topic thoroughly, offers both technical and realistic use examples, and provides details on where to get follow-up information and self-help. The presenters are engineers, making the presentations feel like something you'd do. That marching marketing music isn't there, and marketing fluff is minimal.
If I had to pick one webcast, the third, “Smart Machines: Key Technologies to Get Ahead of the Competition,” is it. Basically, smart, self-aware machines embody key technologies that could have a significant influence on the next generation of machines and the way machines integrate into your work processes. This implies designing a high-performance machine that can adapt to changing conditions and “heal” itself. Quite the challenge. But with today's high-technology sensors, high-level design tools, and broad-spectrum embedded control systems, all the necessary components and tools to build smart machines are becoming available, according to NI. This webcast explores the technologies for building smart machines and shows how you can use them to optimize your machine designs. Very interesting stuff.
I've covered National Instruments for 17 or so years now. Without reservation, I can say that they do things the way they are supposed to be done. The “Smart Machine Webcast Series” is a good example of why I say that. Hit the link and see for yourself.
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Watch National Instruments' Smart Machine Webcast Series