mainSENSOR: patented measuring principle for demanding measurement tasks

Micro-Epsilon | February 12, 2020

The mainSENSOR measures displacement and distance by using a magnet that is fixed to the measurement object. If a magnet moves, the magnetic flow in the sensor element changes, which is detected by the sensor coil. Due to dependent physical effects, this results in a linear relationship between distance and output signal. The mainSENSOR combines the advantages of inductive and magnetic sensors. Unlike conventional magnetic sensors based on the Hall Effect principle, mainSENSOR models have a significantly expanded measuring range, while providing a continuous, linear output signal and offering more favorable pricing with large measuring ranges. In contrast to conventional inductive sensors, the advantages lie in a continuously high sensitivity even at the end of the measuring range, a high protection class due to the fully metallic housing, a compact design and the possibility of flush sensor installation in non-magnetic materials.

Spotlight

Take a look at how GE Aviation in Cheltenham uses GE Digital’s software to manage its manufacturing processes in the assembly of units such as power management systems for large aircrafts.  By enabling process digitization, the software helps better control who’s doing what on the shop floor, provides extensive operational visibility, drives more consistent workflows, and enables better tracking of units. It’s been less than a year, and the business outcomes are already powerful: 1.95% higher productivity, improved quality, and greater on-time delivery.


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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Yokogawa Selected as System Integrator for Open Process Automation Field Trial

Yokogawa | February 01, 2022

Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces that it has been selected by ExxonMobil as the system integrator for the first field trial of an Open Process Automation* (OPA) system designed to operate an entire production facility. The field trial will take place at an ExxonMobil manufacturing facility located on the U.S. Gulf Coast, replacing the existing distributed control system (DCS) and programmable logic controllers (PLC) with a single, integrated system that meets the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS™). The project will incorporate enhanced control capabilities enabled through the implementation of OPA technologies and interfaces. “ExxonMobil is excited to have reached this important milestone with Yokogawa and progress the first field trial of an OPA system at an existing ExxonMobil manufacturing plant, The project will take advantage of significant progress made testing OPA components and the O-PAS standards in close collaboration with Yokogawa. The OPA field trial is the next step in commercializing OPA and capturing additional value from our automation and control systems.” -Ryan Smeltzer, OPA program manager for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. Most process industries are burdened with integrating multiple proprietary systems in almost every process plant and facility. These include manufacturing execution systems, DCSs, PLCs, and their respective human-machine interfaces and inputs/outputs (I/O). This can result in elevated capital costs on new projects and a high total cost of ownership, especially in the operation and maintenance of such systems. An OPA system is designed to remedy these challenges by supporting the integration of best-in-class components from different suppliers through configuration and application portability. This enables optimization of the total cost of automation systems. The field trial is a major milestone in Yokogawa's continued support of ExxonMobil and OPA, and shifts OPA technology from concept to a viable alternative to traditional automation for process industries. The company has commenced work on the Front-End Engineering Design phase of the project. The OPA field trial system, which involves over 2000 I/O, is expected to be commissioned in 2023. For the past two years, ExxonMobil and Yokogawa have been developing, testing, and improving OPA technologies through the joint operation of an OPA test bed located near ExxonMobil’s Houston, Texas campus. This collaborative work has developed and qualified many of the core OPA functions in preparation for the field trial. In addition to the field trial, test bed engineers at the Houston-area development office will continue to implement and refine OPA technologies in-line with the latest version of the O-PAS standard. * A standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control architecture being developed by the Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF), a consensus-based group of end users, suppliers, system integrators, standards organizations, and academia. Both ExxonMobil and Yokogawa Electric Corporation are members of OPAF. About Yokogawa Yokogawa provides advanced solutions in the areas of measurement, control, and information to customers across a broad range of industries, including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food. Yokogawa addresses customer issues regarding the optimization of production, assets, and the supply chain with the effective application of digital technologies, enabling the transition to autonomous operations. Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to work toward a sustainable society through its 17,500 employees in a global network of 119 companies spanning 61 countries. For more information, visit www.yokogawa.comThe names of corporations, organizations, products, services, and logos herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Yokogawa Electric Corporation or their respective holders.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Atomera’s Enhanced MSTcad Helps Chip Companies Quickly Realize MST Benefits

Atomera | March 04, 2022

Atomera Incorporated (NASDAQ:ATOM), a semiconductor materials and technology licensing company, announced the availability of version 2.0 of its MSTcad™ (Mears Silicon Technology Transistor Computer-Aided Design) technology, a toolset that provides sophisticated analyses of how MST® (Mears Silicon Technology™) improves semiconductor processes. As new materials become increasingly critical to addressing the semiconductor industry’s challenges, the latest version of MSTcad allows semiconductor foundries, fabless IC vendors, and Integrated Device Manufacturing (IDM) companies to rapidly evaluate the improvements provided by MST.Like its preceding version 1.0, the new MSTcad version 2.0 remains tightly coupled with Synopsys Sentaurus™ TCAD Solution and allows users to model both the physical and electrical effects of MST using the Sentaurus Process and Sentaurus Device simulation packages, respectively. “We are delighted that Atomera continues to expand the capabilities of MSTcad in our market-leading Sentaurus TCAD Solution, and we are impressed with the silicon-verified improvements offered by MST, We look forward to expanding our interaction with Atomera, starting with our joint webinar that will be broadcast today.” -Terry Ma, VP of Engineering at Synopsys About MSTcad Semiconductor companies are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to quickly and inexpensively squeeze more capability and capacity out of today’s manufacturing processes, and new materials are playing an increasingly important role. The challenge is that material integration is conventionally an iterative process which requires many silicon trials to collect data and adjust parameters. This process is not only costly but can consume many months to execute — especially when trying to squeeze R&D wafers into today’s capacity-constrained fabs. This restricts IDMs in their evaluation of the different materials options available to them, such as MST. “Semiconductor companies are under enormous pressure to introduce new technologies while enhancing their existing platforms,” said Jeff Lewis, Sr. VP of Business Development and Marketing at Atomera. “Many of these companies are working with Atomera because our MST films provide a very low-cost method of improving device performance which can result in higher gross margins. MSTcad enables our existing customers to run ‘virtual experiments’ to integrate MST into their manufacturing flow — reducing development costs by 30% or more. For new customers, MSTcad has become our most important tool for quickly demonstrating the potential benefits that MST can provide to their manufacturing processes.” MSTcad 2.0 improves upon version 1.0 by offering silicon-verified modeling and improved TCAD integration of Atomera’s latest improved-manufacturability MST films. MSTcad provides valuable input for the detailed analyses of expected gross margin and die shrinkage benefits from MST for multiple process nodes, ranging from the most advanced gate-all-around (GAA) or nanosheets, to FinFETs, HKMG, and legacy planar nodes in both 300mm and 200mm wafer sizes. New Capabilities MSTcad version 2.0 introduces the following new capabilities: Widely expanded, silicon-verified modeling of interaction of MST with multiple dopant species and point defects (silicon self-interstitials and vacancies) Explicit models for improved thermal stability of latest MST improved-manufacturability films for both inert and oxidizing thermal anneals Streamlined integration of MSTcad into existing Sentaurus TCAD projects, saving customer time and cost “Our MSTcad toolset has proven to be a critical component of both Atomera’s internal R&D as well as customer integration, Version 2.0 reflects our growing investment in TCAD, and the requests from our growing user base.” -Dr. Robert Mears, Founder and CTO of Atomera. Joint Webinar Synopsys and Atomera will present a joint webinar entitled “Synopsys TCAD Webinar: Semiconductor Device Improvement Using Atomera MST Technologies and MSTcad Toolset” today at 9:00 a.m. PT. The webinar can be accessed live or later on-demand via this link. Availability MSTcad version 2.0 is available today from Atomera. Current users of MSTcad version 1.0 can upgrade to version 2.0 at any time. About Atomera Atomera Incorporated, one of America’s top 100 Best Small Companies in 2022 ranked by Forbes, is a semiconductor materials and technology licensing company focused on deploying its proprietary, silicon-proven technology into the semiconductor industry. Atomera has developed Mears Silicon Technology™ (MST®), which increases performance and power efficiency in semiconductor transistors. MST can be implemented using equipment already deployed in semiconductor manufacturing facilities and is complementary to other nano-scaling technologies in the semiconductor industry roadmap. More information can be found at www.atomera.com.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Desktop Metal Welcomes X-Series Line of Additive Manufacturing Systems for Metal and Ceramics into Growing Portfolio

Desktop Metal | March 14, 2022

Desktop Metal, a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, today announced the launch of the X-Series line of binder jet 3D printing systems for metal and ceramic powders in a wide range of particle sizes. The newly branded Desktop Metal line of printers is derived from the acquisition of ExOne last fall and will soon be offered with Desktop Metal’s build preparation and award-winning sintering simulation software applications. Additionally, the X-Series will now be supported by Desktop Metal’s experienced global support team. The X-Series line offers a differentiated approach to binder jetting enabled by patented Triple ACT — an advanced compaction technology for dispensing, spreading and compacting powders during the binder jet printing process. This flexible, open material platform architecture is capable of binding together a wide range of powders with a D50 of 3 to 100 microns. Desktop Metal now offers three X-Series models: InnoventX™, an affordable, entry-level binder jet system perfect for academic, R&D, and low-volume production applications; X25Pro™, an accessible and productive mid-sized solution already being used for volume production globally, featuring a build box of 400 x 250 x 250 mm (15.75 x 9.84 x 9.84 in); and X160Pro™, the world’s largest metal binder jet system, featuring a build box of 800 x 500 x 400 mm (31.5 x 19.7 x 15.8 in). “Desktop Metal’s X-Series printers give customers more choices than ever when it comes to binder jet additive manufacturing, Our team is moving aggressively to drive additive manufacturing into mass production through a focused strategy of production-capable printers, high-performance materials, and key applications. Binder jetting is the key technology that enables all the benefits additive manufacturing has to offer at scale, from reduced waste to more efficient, lower-risk supply chains.” Ric Fulop, Desktop Metal Co-founder and CEO Binder jetting is widely regarded as the fastest method of metal 3D printing for high-volume output. First patented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Ely Sachs, a professor of mechanical engineering and co-founder of Desktop Metal, the process prints digital part designs by using industrial inkjet printheads to rapidly deposit binder into a bed of metal, sand, ceramic, or wood particles, creating batches of solid parts, one thin layer at a time. X-Series printers repeatably deliver tight dimensional tolerances and densities of 97-99% or greater — in line with or surpassing metal injection molding or gravity castings. Surface roughness values as low as 4 µm (Ra) can be achieved directly out of the furnace. About Desktop Metal Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with an expansive portfolio of 3D printing solutions, from rapid prototyping to mass production. Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, the company is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost, and quality to make additive manufacturing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. Desktop Metal was selected as one of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum, named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies, and the 2021 winner of Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Award in materials and Fast Company’s Next Big Things in Tech Award for sustainability.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Bespoke Manufacturing Company Announces Apparel Plant In Phoenix

Bespoke Manufacturing | April 27, 2022

Bespoke Manufacturing Company (BMC) announced that it is opening a new state-of-the-art plant in Phoenix, Arizona. BMC is a tech-enabled print, cut & sew operation specializing in one-off, on-demand garments and home fashion products. The leased 50,000 square-foot facility is expected to be fully operational by June 1st, 2022 and will bring over 250 jobs. BMC is an ideal manufacturing solution for any size apparel brand that strives to reshape its supply chain. Brands can offer personalized products on-demand thanks to fast turnaround times and direct-to-consumer shipping options. BMC's technological ecosystem incorporates a digital printing solution, the Kornit Presto, and Lectra's solutions AccuMark 2D, AccuMark 3D, YuniquePLM, AccuMark Made-to-Measure, as well as the GERBERcutter® Z1 allowing BMC to go from designing to printing and cutting and sewing within minutes, without facing the risk of errors. A fleet of Fetch Robotics AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) deliver totes directly into 120 of Juki's newest electronic sewing stations. The plant has a capacity of over 5 dresses per minute. Product setup through the iCreate.fashion web portal enables absolute real-time 24/7 visibility into the launch, manufacturing process, and inventory status. iCreate helps designers and brands build smart tech packs (STPs) that can be used in both simple and highly automated manufacturing plants worldwide. J. Kirby Best, the founder of BMC, states, "We chose to build our first plant in the heart of Phoenix because of the talented sewers the city has to offer. Quality is of the utmost importance. We have hired first-rate tailors and sewers from around the world who are eager to show that the United States is a competitive force in apparel manufacturing." "With talented fabric and consumer-product innovators, Greater Phoenix continues to attract technology-focused companies and manufacturers, We're excited to welcome BMC as the latest high-tech manufacturer choosing to expand in the region and look forward to being a partner in their continued growth and success." Chris Camacho, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council "Arizona is quickly becoming a fashion innovation hotbed, with designers, manufacturers and distributors of all sizes making an impact," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "BMC's state-of-the-art facility brings another high-tech innovator to our state, and we are proud to welcome their expansion." Bespoke Manufacturing Company, LLC. (BMC.Fashion) specializes in purchase-activated, on-demand, one-off apparel manufacturing. BMC has developed technologically advanced manufacturing and distribution solutions for the on-demand apparel industry. Our factory model automates and integrates every aspect of the manufacturing process from order entry to delivery. The integrated components driven by complex software solutions allow BMC to manufacture unique SKU's on-demand thereby eliminating inventory costs and streamlining the supply chain. iCreate.Fashion (iCreateone, Inc.) is an industry platform designed for brands and designers to create, track, store, and distribute their traditional human readable tech packs and their machine-readable Smart Tech Packs (STP) to retailers and manufacturers globally. iCreate has also constructed an integrated manufacturing system (M3) designed to eliminate as many human tasks as possible to be able to deliver one-off, personalized products on-demand.

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Spotlight

Take a look at how GE Aviation in Cheltenham uses GE Digital’s software to manage its manufacturing processes in the assembly of units such as power management systems for large aircrafts.  By enabling process digitization, the software helps better control who’s doing what on the shop floor, provides extensive operational visibility, drives more consistent workflows, and enables better tracking of units. It’s been less than a year, and the business outcomes are already powerful: 1.95% higher productivity, improved quality, and greater on-time delivery.

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