Sandia’s Solar Glitter Moves Closer to Market with New…

Sandia’s Solar Glitter Moves Closer to Market with New…

Apr 28, 2017

“Sandia’s Solar Glitter Moves Closer to Market with New Licensing Agreement” Featured on Design-2-Part Magazine ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —An Albuquerque company founded by a Sandia National Laboratories scientist-turned-entrepreneur has received a license for a “home-grown” technology that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected and used. The licensing agreement between mPower Technology Inc. and Sandia was signed Jan. 23. The agreement covers microsystems enabled photovoltaics (MEPV), according to a press release from Sandia. “This is an important milestone,” said Murat Okandan, founder and chief executive officer of mPower, in the press release. “It is an extremely exciting time in the solar industry with the upcoming critical, rapid change in the worldwide energy infrastructure. A lot of things are coming together and we’re excited to be part of it.” MEPV uses micro-design and micro-fabrication techniques to make miniature solar cells, also known as “solar glitter.” Dragon SCALEs are small, lightweight, flexible solar cells that fit into and power devices or sensors of any shape or size, including wearable ones. The high-efficiency cells can be integrated into satellites and drones, biomedical and consumer electronics, and can be folded like paper for easy transport. Dragon SCALEs also make possible new shapes and materials and faster, cheaper installation of solar energy systems on buildings, said Okandan. The product offers higher voltage, greater reliability, and lower energy costs than standard silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, he added. “The key limitation to silicon is that if you bend and flex it, it will crack and shatter,” Okandan said. “Our technology makes it virtually unbreakable, while keeping all the benefits of high efficiency, high reliability silicon PV. It allows us to integrate PV in ways that weren’t possible before, such as in flexible materials, and deploy it faster in lighter-weight, larger-area modules.” Okandan said standard silicon PV operates with low voltage and high current at the cell and module level, which requires more silver or copper and adds cost. MEPV allows high-voltage and low-current configurations with less metal in the system and meshes well with integrated power electronics. “These are basic benefits that apply fundamentally to large-scale solar deployment,” Okandan said. “And the same technology provides key advantages in satellites, drones, and portable...

Made in America – Mercury Corporation

Made in America – Mercury Corporation

Apr 20, 2017

Since 1920, Mercury has been a leader in the Contract Manufacturing world. Whether it’s the fabrication of a simple metal cabinet, or a complex, highly engineered business product requiring assembly of plastic, metal, and electronic components, we do it all. For over 85 years Mercury has been a privately held corporation. We take pride in the fact we are different than public companies. Our business culture, sense of community, sense of pride, and ethics are based on those same family values we were founded upon. Because we are privately held, we take a different approach to doing business. Get to know us and you will see what a difference Mercury makes. Mercury enjoys a rich history with roots deep into the early days of aviation. After surviving two World Wars and Depression, Mercury has built itself into the reputable company it is today. Mercury is with you every step of the way. From concept to full- scale production, we provide the tools you need to get your product to market....

A New Way to Make Electronic Components

A New Way to Make Electronic Components

Mar 28, 2017

The Ability to 3D Print Electronics Is Here By Mark Shortt, Editorial Director, D2P Magazine When you think about the innovation that’s happening today in the field of electronics, there’s a lot to wrap your head around as people debate the future of Moore’s Law, the fate of silicon transistors and possible role of carbon nanotube chips, and materials that could, possibly, widen the application range of flexible, conformal electronics. One look at the nine manufacturing innovation institutes that are part of the national Manufacturing USA network (formerly the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation) gives you a pretty good idea of the impact that electronics will have in furthering the development and adoption of emerging manufacturing technologies and innovative products. PowerAmerica, one of the nine manufacturing innovation institutes, is working to develop advanced manufacturing processes that will enable large-scale production of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, which allow electronic components to be smaller, faster, and more efficient than they would be if the semiconductors were made from silicon. At the same time, NextFlex, America’s first Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is working to support the advancement of technologies and materials that will bring flexible, stretchable body-worn electronics into the mainstream. Two others—America Makes, dedicated to strengthening capabilities in 3D printing, and the new Advanced Functional Fabrics of America—are working in areas where new developments and breakthroughs will impact how electronics are manufactured and applied to next-generation products. We’re living in a digital age in which collaboration helps further not only the development of new technologies, but also their interdependence across a wide spectrum of industries. So it’s not surprising, then, that we’re seeing some of the more intriguing developments in electronics today happening as a result of applying breakthroughs in materials, 3D printing, and software. These developments, whether they’re highly conductive silver inks for 3D printing, or better ways of integrating electronics into stretchable polymer fabrics, are changing the ways we manufacture electronics and how we incorporate them into more functional parts, components, and products. One of these breakthroughs is the development of innovative 3D printing technologies that offer new ways to manufacture electronics. These direct-write methods are barely beginning to scratch the...

Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive…

Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive…

Mar 3, 2017

“Technologies Point to New Possibilities for Automotive Manufacturing” By Design-2-Part Magazine Divergent 3D’s environmentally efficient manufacturing platform and Toyota’s wireless EV charging system receive special recognition at R&D 100 Awards  OXON HILL, Md.—A manufacturing platform that reduces the amount of capital, materials, and energy needed to build vehicles, and a wireless electric vehicle charging system that enables batteries to be charged while driving were among the technologies awarded special recognition at the 2016 R&D 100 Awards, announced in November by R&D magazine. In selecting what are judged to be the “100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year,” the international awards competition recognizes excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, materials science, and biotechnology.     Divergent 3D, a Los Angeles-based startup with a radical new approach to automotive manufacturing, took top honors in the Special Recognition: Green Tech category, receiving the Gold Award for its environmentally efficient Divergent Manufacturing Platform™. Meanwhile, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, headquartered in Erlanger, Kentucky, received the Bronze Award in the Special Recognition: Green Tech category for the Wireless Power Transfer Based Electric and Plug-in Vehicle Charging System. Toyota co-developed the technology with a team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and support from Cisco Systems and the International Transportation Innovation Center. Divergent 3D is attempting to greatly reduce the materials and energy used to manufacture vehicles, along with the associated costs and pollution, through a software-hardware platform known as the Divergent Manufacturing Platform. The platform is said to enable people to design and build a strong, very light chassis for vehicles ranging from a two-seat sports car to a pickup truck.  Its key building blocks are 3D-printed metal Node™ connectors, aluminum-alloy joints that connect pieces of aerospace-grade carbon fiber tubing to form the chassis. The Nodes reduce the amount of time, material, and actual 3D printing required to build the chassis, making it much lighter and far less costly and energy-intensive than those used on traditional vehicles. And instead of making expensive changes to hard tooling, manufacturers can use the software to rapidly iterate the hardware design. Divergent 3D is hoping that small entrepreneurial teams will use its manufacturing platform...

$64 Million Digital Factory Is Said to Herald the…

$64 Million Digital Factory Is Said to Herald the…

Feb 20, 2017

“$64 Million Digital Factory Is Said to Herald the Future of Manufacturing” By Design-2-Part Magazine Faurecia’s Columbus, Indiana-based emissions control technologies plant represents company’s digital transformation. AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—The automotive supplier Faurecia recently unveiled a $64 million state-of-the-art, data-driven manufacturing facility in Columbus, Indiana, that  will employ 450 people. Columbus South, a 400,000 square-foot facility, will produce a new, high-tech emissions control product for the commercial vehicle industry. “This facility represents our entry into Industry 4.0, a revolutionary concept incorporating connectivity, automation, data processing, and hardware to advance the manufacturing industry,” said Mike Galarno, plant manager of Columbus South, in a press release. “We are proud to be the first plant to incorporate many of these leading technologies under one roof to create efficient systems and an innovative working experience for employees.” With this facility, Faurecia is driving forward the company’s digital transformation by ushering in technologies that are at the forefront of modern-day manufacturing. “Manufacturing is sometimes stereotyped as dirty and requiring few skills,” said Dave DeGraaf, president of Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies North America, in the release. “Columbus South contributes to the shifting landscape of the industry to one that is modern, clean, and technologically advanced, and aimed at attracting a new generation of employees with different and advanced skillsets.” The Columbus South facility’s digital environment will feature a variety of new technologies, systems, and processes that reflect the improvements of Industry 4.0, including quality through laser scanning and early detection of variation; self-learning autonomous intelligent vehicles (AIVs) to transport component parts to the assembly line; continuous data collection, which enables employees to predict and prevent equipment failures; a completely paperless environment that keeps employees connected and informed with real time information; and an open-concept design and digital screens, laptops, and smartphones to encourage collaboration. In addition to these advancements, Columbus South will also have a combination of collaborative robots, or “cobots,” automated robotic vehicles, and visual communication techniques designed to foster real-time collaboration and communication. Collectively, Columbus South is expected to analyze terabytes of data daily, requiring a full-time, on-site mathematician to continually mine data, cull insights, and forecast an issue before it occurs. “Columbus South isn’t only about the product...