Features

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      Are you in safe hands? (17/08/2017)

      If you had to nominate a safe pair of hands, healthcare and medical practitioners might rank at the top of your list. However, the medical technology (MedTech) they rely on is in a vulnerable state.

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      Nurturing the engineers of tomorrow, today (17/08/2017)

      The skills shortage that faces the UK engineering sector is widely recognised. The issue is not new, but it is one that is escalating and whose impact is potentially far-reaching.

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      With shifting demands and expectations, are today’s distributors fit for purpose? (17/08/2017)

      Distributors play a vital role in keeping the electronics industry moving, providing essential supplies and support. Over the past five  years, engineers and businesses that rely on distributors have seen customer needs change radically – prompting shifts in buying behaviour that have resulted in a knock-on effect all the way up the supply chain and back again.

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      The changing face of the distribution market (17/08/2017)

      The supply chain for electronics components faces many challenges. Consolidation continues to reduce choice for buyers. High demand from automotive puts inventories under pressure, limiting availability for industrial markets. This article from Anglia, the UK’s largest privately owned authorised distributor of electronic components, discusses  interesting times for our industry. 

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      Identifying RF interference sources with automatic IQ capture (17/08/2017)

      IQ (in-phase/quadrature) capture is a feature of modern spectrum analysers that helps engineers with in-depth analysis of RF signals. However, while it allows engineers to analyse the signal type being captured, it doesn’t always easily meet user requirements for triggering the capture in an automated way. This article explains how SCPI programming can be used to capture signals that exceed specified thresholds to help identify sources of interference. 

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      To succeed sooner, fail faster (10/08/2017)

      Newbury Innovation, the design and development division of contract electronic manufacturer (CEM), Newbury Electronics, has extensive experience of helping companies with their product development and electronics design. The company has designed, manufactured and ushered numerous electronic products onto the market and has witnessed both the successful approaches, and the less so, time and again.

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      Supply chain partnerships can reduce costly design respins (10/08/2017)

      This article looks at how design engineers can increase productivity, retain flexibility and get to market faster by partnering with an EMS company that can act as a consultant, bringing its deep insight into the supply chain to bear on the design process.

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      Zytronic touch sensors double vending machine capacity (10/08/2017)

      This article discusses how Amtek, a leading Italian manufacturer of self-service vending machines, has been able to double the capacity and increase the internal space in its range of condom vending machines, by switching to a user interface based on a Zytronic projected capacitive touch sensor. The new electronic vending machines can also hold a wider range of product, and deliver detailed sales reports in real time to allow stock to be tuned to local demand.

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      Talk first, design later! (03/08/2017)

      If you’ve developed a new product that has an electronic subassembly, the temptation to quickly design a PCB layout and get it into production is almost irresistible – especially if you have a customer who’s demanding delivery tomorrow… or yesterday! But this approach often turns out to be a case of more haste, less speed – and a lot less profit, says David Dickin, Business Development Director at Prism Electronics.

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      Inspiring design innovation with flexible e-paper displays (03/08/2017)

      Glass displays are ubiquitous – but they don’t always make sense for every application and can sometimes limit product design and innovation. This is evidenced by the growth in alternatives such as flexible, glass-free electrophoretic displays (EPDs) – more commonly known as e-paper.

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      Building up, not out: miniaturisation of MLCCCs (28/07/2017)

      Engineers face a constant battle to reduce the size and weight of electronic components. Moore’s law supposes that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.

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      Electromechanical switches still a safe choice (28/07/2017)

      Despite the proliferation of touchscreen and other electronic interfaces – and repeated predictions of the demise of electromechanical snap-action switches, their sales remain healthy.

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      The role of DevOps in electronics design and test (28/07/2017)

      Turn the pages of any IT publication right now and it’s hard to avoid the term ‘DevOps’. An increasing number of firms in the electronics and semiconductor industries are also beginning to adopt this software development methodology.

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      Compact interconnection enables low-floor technology in Vienna trams (26/07/2017)

      One of the key requirements when designing modern light rail vehicles, or trams, is barrier-free accessibility. Low-floor technology makes boarding and exiting much easier, in particular for elderly people, passengers with baby carriages and wheelchair users.

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      Is Raspberry Pi the future for low-cost embedded display technology? (24/07/2017)

      For modern displays, it’s vital to be able to intelligently network them. Smart devices need a ‘brain’; usually, this will be a microcontroller.

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      Sensationally bright (20/07/2017)

      Poor light conditions in enclosures make the job of electrical professionals extremely difficult, not least because the colours of cables become harder to distinguish. Dimly lit enclosures can allow mistakes to creep in. A new generation of lights from Rittal, developed specially for enclosure technology, provides users with a good solution.

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      Uncover savings and efficiencies with printed silver flexible circuits (20/07/2017)

      A massive and rapidly expanding range of products, from sensors and monitors to wearable and handheld devices, require flexible circuits. The bar is set high for these electronic devices and equipment.

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      New facelift for radar – but the physics stay the same (20/07/2017)

      Radar has come a long way from its origins in the late 19th century, evolving into a host of technologies supporting a broad range of applications today. Applications range from the simple, inexpensive and small size continuous-wave (CW) radar used by law enforcers to ensnare speed offenders, to the complex active phased arrays used in ground-based, naval and airborne radar systems.

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      Accuracy in aerospace (18/07/2017)

      During the late 19th century, the Wright brothers began experimenting with  the concept of air travel. After years of research, observing the angle of birds’  wings and the engineering of bicycles and motors, they finally succeeded in 1903.

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      Testing MIPI interfaces with the R&S RTO oscilloscope (15/05/2017)

      Many components in modern smartphones communicate with each other via interfaces standardised by the MIPI Alliance. R&S RTO oscilloscopes can analyse these interfaces’ signal integrity and data content with maximum efficiency to quickly locate errors.