Features

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      Innovative power solutions for transportation systems (03/05/2018)

      Transportation systems can have input voltage ranges up to 14V (single battery automotive), 28V (dual battery trucks, buses, trains, airplanes), or even higher, as well as requiring one or more low voltage rails for digital systems. As a result, designers of such systems need to know how they can step down from high input voltages simply, efficiently and reliably.

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      Applications that benefit from PXI oscilloscopes (03/05/2018)

      Oscilloscopes offer a variety of features that are optimised for capturing, displaying and analysing signal waveforms, making them the tool of choice for many benchtop test applications. But as this piece explains, thanks to PXI, ATE environments can now benefit from these same features – including large displays, touch operation, waveform zoom and simple controls that enable the acquisition of difficult-to-capture errors and anomalies.

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      One year at the helm… (02/05/2018)

      We welcome you to our May 2018 issue of EPDT! It’s hard for me to believe, but this is my 12th issue as Editor of EPDT. Seems as good a time as any to reflect on the last year – and to look forward too...

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      STEM Matters: The Big Bang Fair (02/05/2018)

      This year’s Big Bang Young Scientists & Engineers Fair took place last month at The NEC in Birmingham. Run by EngineeringUK, the event, which is the UK’s largest celebration of STEM for young people, continues to go from strength to strength.

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      Optimising real time rail maintenance efficiency (01/05/2018)

      Integrating passive UHF RFID technology directly with an IoT philosophy can significantly improve the maintenance procedures of tram and train operators; and maintenance data can be managed on a central system.

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      A fresh approach for automatic transfer switches (01/05/2018)

      According to this piece, a new breed of automatic transfer switches (ATS/s) has simplified communication between the switch and its controller to save installers time and effort, as well as improve capabilities, in critical power and fire safety systems for the connected and IoT age.

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      Green light for LEDs (10/04/2018)

      Rising population levels, climate change and competition for land use between sectors – food, fuel and animal feedstuffs – are all causing scientists to rethink how we approach agriculture at large. Horticultural lighting could be a solution to such issues.

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      EMC: the driving factors (06/04/2018)

      As demand for electric vehicles (EVs) increases, achieving electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) becomes ever more challenging. This piece explains the problems the industry faces – and stresses the importance of EMC best practices.

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      Why thermal management is crucial to the design of electric vehicles (06/04/2018)

      Following the UK government’s (and many other countries') announcement to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040, there is likely to be a seismic shift in the automotive industry, as lithium-ion battery-powered cars are likely to become the de facto standard for road cars. Accordingly, 6SigmaET look at the importance of thermal management in EVs...

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      The UK state of engineering in 2018… (04/04/2018)

      EngineeringUK recently released its annual State of Engineering report, now in its 20th year, which provides a comprehensive analysis of UK engineering’s economic contribution and the composition of its workforce – as well as the extent to which the supply through the education and training pipeline is likely to meet future needs and demand for engineering skills. Let’s take a closer look at the key findings of this year’s report...

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      Using PoE networks to power smart infrastructure for commercial buildings (04/04/2018)

      This piece from Molex reviews PoE technology and standards, outlining how it can power smart lighting and building automation systems – and the benefits these can deliver for building operators and occupants.

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      Giving small devices a bigger visual impact (16/03/2018)

      Affordably upgrading the UI of a small, MCU-based device can be achieved using skilful management of hardware resources and software design. Understanding the interactions between the MCU and TFT-LCD helps achieve an optimal trade-off between factors such as MCU power and performance, and screen resolution and size.

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      Improving farming efficiency with a 21st century gate (12/03/2018)

      Dofygate is a fast-opening, electric gate that requires no external power, available in 2-, 4- or 7-bar versions, with spans of 2 to 6 metres. Solar-powered, it can be operated from a vehicle using a fob, or via a phone app or keypad, and is self-closing. Made from carbon fibre, the gate is strong enough to resist accidental contact from livestock.

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      Graphics display-based HMIs: capabilities of the latest MCUs (08/03/2018)

      Research shows that few embedded designers will be immune over the next five years from pressure to dramatically enhance the capabilities, mode of operation and appeal of the HMIs in their products. This piece explores some of the driving factors and options available.

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      Growth, technology trends and investing in the future (07/03/2018)

      EPDT and DPA met Digi-Key's President Dave Doherty and Vice Chairman, Mark Larson to talk about how Digi-Key – the world’s 5th largest electronics distributor – are driving their company’s growth, as well as their future investment plans that will more than double distribution capacity.

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      Thermochromism compensation enables 100% inline inspection in plastics production (07/03/2018)

      Naturally, for consumer devices, colour (or multiple colours) is a key consideration, both from a branding perspective and to make the product as appealing as possible to consumers. However, verifying correct colour consistency via inline inspection is challenging for manufacturers. This piece discusses a potential solution for production lines.

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      STEM Matters: Revisiting the gap... (05/03/2018)

      The STEM skills gap has been a perennial problem for the UK engineering and manufacturing industries – but it feels as if a crunch point might be coming. In the past decade, the narrative around the value of the industry to the UK’s economy (and of STEM education in supporting their contribution) has been gradually – and positively – shifting...

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      Trends in battery technology (05/03/2018)

      Just as diamond is formed under intense pressure and is the world’s most valuable gemstone, so too is battery technology developed under increasing pressure from consumers and manufacturers, and is one of the most valuable components in devices. But how is this pressure shaping the future of battery design?

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      Meeting the challenge of manufacturing in the IoT era (05/03/2018)

      The rate of innovation in the electronics sector is increasingly driven by demand for new solutions, coming from large vertical markets, or often, even single pockets of explosive growth. Today, the IoT drives this growth – but not too long ago, it was mobile telecommunications.

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      Sensors enable the smart home (05/03/2018)

      Real-time sensing will help define the smart home – to allow the Internet of Things (IoT) to decide exactly what the ‘things’ need to do. Widely-deployed sensing becomes the gateway to an ‘internet of awareness’ that will feed the IoT, delivering the right services at the right time.