Sunday, May 21, 2017

Genichi Taguchi: Quality Engineering Thinker

Genichi Taguchi (1924-2012) was made an honorary member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) in May 1998, one of many awards and commendations bestowed on him. In support of his nomination it was said that his leadership in the quality control field was unsurpassed, and his influence would be felt for a long time in engineering, quality fields and industry sectors, throughout the world.

Taguchi is famous for his pioneering methods of modern quality control and low-cost quality engineering. He is the founder of what has come to be known as the Taguchi method, which seeks to improve product quality at the design stage by integrating quality control into product design, using experiment and statistical analysis. His methods have been said to fundamentally change the philosophy and practice of quality control.

Nanotechnology in the automotive industry


In 2004, Germany, through its Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), established a specific nanotechnology funding program – NanoMobil – in connection with automotive technologies and in order to keep the German car industry and its suppliers competitive. Numerous research institutes, suppliers and automotive companies have been participating in several interdisciplinary projects. The following chart shows the range of topics covered by NanoMobil and gives an indication of the wide range of nano-applications within the automotive sector.............

Read more: Nanotechnology in the automotive industry

VW offers its vision of Industry 4.0

posted by Plastics News

Shanghai — For German carmaker Volkswagen AG, one of the visions for Industry 4.0 includes mobile machinery, with robots cruising around factories and deciding on their own what they’ll do next.

A senior VW executive involved in implementing Industry 4.0, the name for the integration of big data with traditional manufacturing, told a conference at Chinaplas in Shanghai in April that the carmaker is looking at when robots will be mobile and capable of acting more independently.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nanotechnology benefits to the plastic injection mold

Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing industries around the world. Recent advancements in pharmaceuticals, bio technology, medicine, engineering and material sciences are found in a wide variety of products. The applications and their benefits are limitless.

Nanotechnology refers to the multiple disciplines of science and technology whose common interest is in controlling matter on the atomic and molecular scale. It involves the creation of devices and materials from molecular components with dimensions at the nano scale, which ranges roughly from 1 to 100 nanometers (nm).

A nanometer is defined as one billionth of a meter and is used in measurements that are only visible under extremely high magnifications. To put it into perspective: a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick; a human hair can be between 50,000 and 180,000 nanometers; and there are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch.

Using nanotechnology—to control the behavior of the very atoms that make up molecules—it is now possible to alter and fabricate molecular structures with unique designs. This enables us to tailor make molecules and matter to create materials that offer specialized functions.

These materials can exude different properties at the nanoscale. Some become better at conducting electricity or heat, some are stronger, some offer different magnetic properties, some even change colors as their size is changed, and some significantly change the surface characteristics of products they are applied to.

In short, with nanotechnology there are infinite possibilities for the creation of products that were thought to be impossible.

Nanotechnology and Plastics
The plastics industry has begun embracing nanotechnology in the manufacture of a variety of material additives and nano composites that provide unique benefits in electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, flame retardants and structural integrity.

One of the greatest opportunities for improvement in plastic part production and part quality is in the mold. While moldmakers, design engineers and processors strive for perfection, this is not always realistic.

With current demands to maintain a competitive advantage, moldmakers and molders alike are challenged with highly complicated design requirements, expedited manufacturing expectations, coupled with high raw material prices for molds and resins.

Many parts require tight tolerances with little draft and high level cosmetic finishes. Some require designs that are not ideal for part cooling or part removal. Others require the use of various resin compounds that by their very nature may be prone to sticking and filling issues, as well as part surface imperfections.

A mold coating created using nanotechnology can address these issues, thereby solving significant problems for today’s moldmakers and processors—a semi-permanent, self-applied coating, designed to reduce cycle times, rejects and maintenance, while improving part quality in injection molding, blow molding and rubber molding applications.

Manufacturing: Natural fibers for sustainable plastics

By Sophia Lloyd
Posted on March 9, 2015

Polymer composite materials are used in many different contexts, including the automotive, aerospace, and construction industries. Fiber-reinforced polymers offer improved mechanical properties over their non-reinforced counterparts, with increased hardness, better tensile, flexural, and impact strengths, and higher tensile modulus. The fibers within the polymer hold the plastic together, resisting deformation and breaking under stresses. The extent to which this is achieved depends on several factors, including the dimension (length and width) of the fibers, the density of the fibers within the polymer, and the strength of adhesion between the fiber and polymer, as well as defects and variation within the fibers themselves.

Owing to the vast quantities of fiber-reinforced polymers used in large-scale industrial applications, there are, naturally, concerns arising regarding their environmental impact.

Sustainable Raw Materials



As automobiles incorporate more advanced technologies, the material content of vehicles becomes more varied. Ford has a long history of seeking to use sustainable materials in our products and source from suppliers that demonstrate sustainable business practices, including respect for human rights and the environment. Although the majority of what we buy is parts and assemblies used directly in vehicles, there is a need to take a closer look at the farthest reaches of the supply chain, including raw material extraction.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Uber suspends fleet of self-driving cars following Arizona crash

Posted by TheGuardian

Uber has suspended its fleet of self-driving cars while it investigates a crash in Arizona involving one of its vehicles.

The Uber Technologies car – a Volvo SUV – was carrying two engineers in the front and no backseat passengers but it is not yet clear whether the car was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash.

The incident is the latest blow for the car-hailing app which has been left reeling by a series of setbacks in recent weeks including the departure of its president, Jeff Jones.

Initial police reports suggest the collision was caused by a person who failed to give way to the self-driving car rather than a malfunction by the Uber vehicle.

However, pending further investigation, the company has removed all its self-driving cars from the road in Arizona, as well as test sites in Pennsylvania and California – all three states where it operated the driverless vehicles.

A spokesperson for the police in Tempe, Arizona, said the crash happened when another car “failed to yield” to an Uber car at a left turn. Josie Montenegro said: “There was a person behind the wheel. It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision.”

Uber self-driving cars always have a human in the driving seat who can take over the controls.

The latest incident follows recent difficult months for the firm, which has seen a number of high level executives quit and has faced criticism over workplace practices and ethics.

Meanwhile legal issues have been hampering progress with the testing of its autonomous vehicle technology in California.