Sign in or Register

Fictron Industrial Supplies Sdn Bhd
5-6, Jalan USJ 9/5Q,
Subang Business Centre,
47620 UEP Subang Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.
+603-8023 9829
+603-8023 7089
Selangor Office:
36, Jalan Puteri 5/12,
Bandar Puteri,
47100 Puchong,
Selangor.

Penang Office:
44A Jalan Besi,
11600 Green Lane,
Penang, Malaysia.
+604-6192582
+604-6192583

Latest News

One Driver Steers Two Trucks With Pelotoní»s Autonomous Follow System

Jul 19, 2019
One Driver Steers Two Trucks With Pelotoní»s Autonomous Follow System
View Full Size
A host of companies are working to develop autonomous driving technology, but Silicon Valley startup Peloton has put its focus on autonomous following. The company today announced technology that uses computers, sensors, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to allow one driver to drive two separate trucks. 
 
Just the past year, Peloton began selling technology that enabled closer and safer truck platooning, using sensors, V2V communications, and automatic powertrain control and braking. That version of its product, Platoon Pro, requires a driver in the second truck to steer. The new version will take the second driver out of the equation.
 
Here’s how it works:
 
In the front truck, the driver drives regularly. Whenever he adjusts his foot on the throttle, touches the brakes, or maneuvers the steering wheel, digital details describing that action are wirelessly transported to the computer in the following truck. Using that information, along with data gathered from its own collection of radars, cameras, and other sensors, the second truck can safely trail close behind the first, forming a single-driver platoon.
 
Peloton founder Josh Switkes has been planning on the autonomous vehicle problem for decades. While finishing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 2006, he worked for Volkswagen in Germany, performing experiments on how drivers respond to autonomous vehicles. There were, of course, no fully-functioning autonomous vehicles back then, so Switkes hid behind a one-way mirror in the back seat, ready to take control of the car. A VW colleague rode as a passenger, while the test subject sat in the driver’s seat. The test subject was told to push a button on the dash at any time to activate the car’s self-driving system (which was actually the hidden Switkes).
 
Switkes found that it only took about 10 seconds after pushing the button before the human driver would take his or her hands off the wheel and turn to chat with the VW employee sitting in the passenger seat. That kind of trust, he says, looked good for future attempts to market self-driving technology, but not so good for road safety, at least in the short run.
 
Ever since, Switkes says, “I haven’t been a fan of Level 2 or 3 autonomy because if people think a car can drive on its own, they will trust it to do that without really assessing the system.” (Level 2 autonomous vehicles have automated acceleration, deceleration, and some steering, like lane maintenance. Level 3 autonomous vehicles drive themselves in normal conditions, but require a driver to quickly intervene in case of emergency.)
 
Platooning, nevertheless, a concept that his Ph.D. advisor had earlier discovered as part of a smart highway project, captured Switkes’ attention. It seemed to be a trouble that could be solved sooner than Level 5 autonomy (fully autonomous in all driving conditions), yet didn’t require that a human driver be on constant alert, even when the vehicle is driving itself. Instead, one vehicle would have a fully engaged human driver, while one vehicle would have no human at all. “A lot of the tech challenges get dramatically simpler when you are following another vehicle,” Switkes says. “You aren’t worrying about what is way ahead—just about not hitting the car in front of you, and watching for other vehicles that might try to get in between you and that car.”
 
In 2011, brainstorming about startup possibilities with friends, the discussion transformed to platooning. Switkes started looking at possible market opportunities, and trucking stood out. He filed for a lot of patents that year on automated following technology.
 
Understanding nothing about trucking, Switkes also got a learner’s permit to allow him to get behind the wheel of large trucks and better empathize with truck drivers. The experience was daunting. “It’s really scary out there,” he says. He included Peloton in 2013 and got his first round of funding that year. Ever since then, the company has collected UA $80 million in investment. Its L1 Platoon Pro is currently legal in 22 states and is now being tested by six trucking companies, Switkes says.
 
The new L4 automatic following system is not quite yet street legal, and is at this time being tested on closed tracks.
 

Google Now Allows Users To Auto-delete User Data

Jul 19, 2019
Google Now Allows Users To Auto-delete User Data
View Full Size
Google is rendering it possible for Android and iOS users to auto-delete location history and activity data starting today. Although the search giant currently offered the ability to turn on or off the Location History and Web & App Activity straight from the Google Account, such as the option to manually delete the data recorded, there was one feature that makes it a lot quicker to eliminate this data.
 
Starting today, a new set of auto-delete controls are available in the Google app, which will enable users to manage their data convenient than before. Just choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved, and any data that’s older than that will be automatically deleted from your account.
 
Google claims that you’ll be able to set a time limit for how long your activity data to be saved from anywhere between 3 and 18 months, so there is that.
 
Based upon Google, users should start seeing the new auto-delete controls soon, and that they will come first to Location History and Web & App Activity. A much wider rollout should happen in the coming weeks, so if you do not see the new feature straight away, you will have to wait.
 

Applied Materialsí» New Memory Machines

Jul 19, 2019
Applied Materialsí» New Memory Machines
View Full Size
Chip equipment giant Applied Materials wants foundry companies to know for certain that it feels their pain. Continuing down the traditional Moore's Law path of expanding the density of transistors on a chip is far too expensive for all but the three richest players—Intel, Samsung, and TSMC. So to maintain the customers coming, other foundries can preferably add new features, such as the ability to embed new non-volatile memories—RRAM, phase change memory, and MRAM—right on the processor. The trouble is, those are incredibly hard things to make at scale. So Applied has manufactured a pair of machines that boost throughput by more than an order of magnitude. It introduced the machines on 9 July at Semicon West, in San Francisco.
 
Establishing embedded spin-torque transfer MRAM—a two-terminal device that stores data in the materials’ magnetic orientation—is a primarily difficult task. “MRAM is a complex stack,” says Kevin Moraes, vice president of metal deposition at Applied Materials. Each cell has “30-plus layers and 10-plus materials. Some are just a couple angstroms thick; even fractional variation can have a strong effect.”
 
Building it requires countless passes through physical vapor deposition (PVD) tools. Hard drive manufacturers have had the ability to make that structures for their read heads, but the volume of those devices is so low that they could afford to use a low-yield, and therefore expensive, process, says Moraes.
 
Yet when nonvolatile memory is just one part of a larger—and potentially expensive—piece of logic, you need a high-yield and high-throughput process. Inside a single vacuum system, Applied Materials’ new Endura Clover system integrates nine PVD tools, each of which can deposit five different materials. The system even includes an atomic-precision metrology unit, so the thicknesses of the deposited materials can be measured without the need to leave the vacuum environment.
 
Phase change RAM (PCRAM) and resistive RAM are slightly less complicated to construct than MRAM. PCRAM stores its bit as the crystal state of material, which is resistive in its amorphous state and more conductive in its crystalline state. RRAM’s information is also placed as a resistance, but it changes according to a conductive bridge that forms through an otherwise resistive material. The Endura Impluse, Applied’s solution for those two memory technologies, is also a nine-PVD machine with integrated metrology.
 
Moraes revealed that some customers already were installing the two tools. Though he wouldn’t name them, it looks likely that GlobalFoundries is among them. Diversifying its offerings to include embedded nonvolatile memories was a key strategy for the company when its leadership decided to abandon the manufacturing nodes at 7-nanometers and below. The company began offering embedded MRAM in 2018. The company already manufactures chips for stand-alone MRAM producer Everspin, which recently began pilot production of a 1-gigabit chip. GlobalFoundries isn’t alone among the majors in embedding MRAM, of course. TSMC, Intel, and Samsung have also developed it.
 
Embedded nonvolatile memories are also crucial to some kinds of neuromorphic and deep learning accelerators. For neuromorphic chips, the memory cells encode the values of the neural network’s synapses. In deep learning, they form the backbone of the multiply and accumulate circuits that are the basis for AI inferencing. “IBM has been spearheading R&D of new memories for many years, and we see the need for these technologies increasing as the AI era demands improvements in chip performance and efficiency,” Mukesh Khare, vice president for semiconductors and AI hardware and systems at IBM Research said in a press release.
 

Apple Decision Forces Intel To Auction Its Smartphone Modem Patents

Jul 19, 2019
Apple Decision Forces Intel To Auction Its Smartphone Modem Patents
View Full Size
Intel affirmed programs to exit the smartphone business a couple of months ago, yet somehow news about the auction of its smartphone modem assets come forth only today. The announcement follows Apple’s decision to buy 5G smartphone modems from Qualcomm rather from Intel.
 
Even though the US company said it will continue to produce 4G smartphone modems and honor all orders, it is not going to invest in 5G modem product line following the announcement. In its place, Intel will shift focus on its 5G network business, which is assumed to grow in the coming years
 
Based upon a new report from IAM, Intel has decided to auction all its IP relating to cellular wireless connectivity. There are no less than 8,500 patents that Intel is now looking to sell with the intention to recover some of the resources it invested. The report also states that Intel is introducing this auction separate to its efforts to sell the smartphone modem division, planning that a potential buyer for both will appear.
 
Intel’s failure to meet Apple’s deadlines proved to be fatal for the business in the end, as the Cupertino-based company concluded to make sure it’s got enough 5G modems in 2020. Left without the main client for its smartphone modem division, Intel is pressured to cut its losses and refocus on those businesses that obviously bring much more money.
 

Tmall Global Launches New English-language Website

Jul 18, 2019
Tmall Global Launches New English-language Website
View Full Size
Tmall Global today founded its first English-language website to lure more merchants and businesses from around the world to join China’s largest cross-border online shopping platform. The portal makes it simpler and easier for sellers of all sizes to capitalize on burgeoning demand from Chinese consumers for high-quality imported products.
 
Tmall Global already features 20,000 international brands in over 4,000 categories from 77 countries and regions. This outreach aims to make Tmall more fascinating to small, medium-sized and niche brands from other countries with products that would sate the demands of China’s post-1995 generation.
 
The website details Tmall Global and the solutions it offers to overseas merchants entering the China market. It includes steps on how to open a flagship store on Tmall Global and tap direct import tools, such as Tmall Overseas Fulfillment (TOF), a new initiative launched later last year to provide international merchants a low-cost, low-risk way to take a first step toward selling to China before making a more full-fledged market entry.
 
The portal site also provides tools that streamline the process to join Tmall Global. Businesses who want to open a flagship store can fill out a questionnaire and input basic information about their operation. That information will be pre-screened, and qualifying applicants will be contacted within 72 hours. Apart from offering assistance during the onboarding process, Tmall Global will also advise merchants on how to optimize their operations after they establish a presence on the platform.
 
“Tmall Global’s mission is to connect high-quality international brands across the globe with Chinese consumers. We believe the launch of this English-language website will expedite the process for brands and merchants to introduce their products to Chinese consumers. The website will widen our reach to merchants, especially to those medium and small sized businesses around the world,” said Yi Qian, Deputy General Manager of Tmall Global.
 
Together with English, Tmall Global plans to launch other language versions of its entry portal for merchants, particularly Spanish, Japanese and Korean.
 
Tmall Global has notched impressive growth in the past year and looks to continue the strong momentum. In 2018, the number of new flagship store openings on Tmall Global doubled from the earlier year, and that growth rate is predicted to accelerate further this year.
 

Indian Cities Now Plan To Buy Thousands Of Electric Buses

Jul 18, 2019
Indian Cities Now Plan To Buy Thousands Of Electric Buses
View Full Size
With the launch of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme in India, some cities are planning to launch thousands of electric buses over the next few years.
 
A variety of large and small Indian cities are planning to acquire electric buses through the FAME-II scheme, with the continued push to reduce dependence on petroleum imports and reduce air pollution. The sudden jump in news stories about planned procurement of electric buses is the result of a financial subsidy worth Rs 2,500 crore (US$360 million), offered by the central government.
 
In March, India’s capital city announced plans to add 1,000 electric buses into its public transport fleet over the next few years. The first batch of 375 electric buses is estimated to arrive by the end of this year; a tender for this has already been floated. Electric buses are essential to Delhi’s long-term efforts to reduce air pollution. Other measures include a ban on aging diesel vehicles and the introduction of fuel that causes lower vehicular emissions.
 
A new metropolitan city, Mumbai, is also thinking about to buy a large number of electric buses. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) plans to procure 500 buses over the next year, including 80 buses by this year’s end. The transport authority already operates six electric buses. 
 
India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru, announced plans to remodel its entire fleet of public transport buses to electric by 2030. The city presently operates nearly 6,500 buses powered by internal combustion engines. The medium-term target is the induction of 1,500 electric buses. The city plans to procure 500 buses within a year.
 
Another southern state in India, Andhra Pradesh, also stated plans to procure 350 electric buses to be integrated across five cities. Delhi’s neighboring city of Gurugram also plans to acquire 100 electric buses while Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is planning to issue an expression of interest to acquire 300 electric buses. Ahmedabad already operates 12 electric buses.
 
All these cities are looking to take advantage of the subsidy being offered by the central government under the FAME-II scheme. The central government plans to disburse subsidies worth Rs 10,000 crore (US$1.4 billion) to aid procurement of electric vehicles for commercial use. An expression of interest issued by the Department of Heavy Industries in June called upon up to 40 cities submit proposals to avail subsidies for the purchase of 5,000 electric buses.
 

Better Security for OneDrive with Personal Vault on Android and iOS

Jul 18, 2019
Better Security for OneDrive with Personal Vault on Android and iOS
View Full Size
Microsoft has just stated it is building OneDrive more secure with the addition of Personal Vault, a shielded area that can only be accessed by the owner of the account, which features a strong authentication method or a second step of identity affirmation.
 
The new OneDrive Personal Vault is only accessible thru the following authentication methods: fingerprint, face, PIN or code sent via email or SMS. Besides that, Microsoft says that all locked files in Personal Vault have an added layer of security, but remain easy to access on PC or smartphones.
 
If you’re using the Microsoft Authenticator app, you will be happy to learn that it’s perfectly usable with OneDrive’s new Personal Vault, so you’ll be able to unlock it using this special app. There is even a neat feature that allows OneDrive users to scan and shoot pictures specifically into Personal Vault. Simply use OneDrive app to scan documents, take pictures, or shoot video instantly from within Personal Vault and they will remain securely locked, but easy to access at the same time.
 
Apparently, Personal Vault uses more than just two-step verification to keep files safe and private, but you will have to enable encryption your iOS or Android device to benefit from an extra layer of security. In the same piece of news, Microsoft announced that it’s increasing the OneDrive standalone storage plan from 50GB to 100GB at no additional charge. Also, all Office 365 subscribers are offered a new option to add more storage when they need it.
 
Source: TRONSERVE

Apple Tests AirPods Production in Vietnam as It Cuts China Reliance

Jul 18, 2019
Apple Tests AirPods Production in Vietnam as It Cuts China Reliance
View Full Size
Apple is planning to start trial production of its popular AirPods wireless earphones in Vietnam being the company accelerates plans to diversify manufacturing of its consumer electronics lineup beyond China, Nikkei Asian Review has learned.
 
China's Goertek, one of Apple's key contract manufacturers, this summer will likely begin testing the resilience of its manufacturing processes for the newest generation of AirPods at the company's audio factory in northern Vietnam, two sources with knowledge of the plan said.
 
This is likely to mark the first production of the wireless earbuds - which came to market in 2016 - outside of the world's second-largest economy. They are Apple's swiftest growing product, racking up 35 million shipments last year against 20 million in 2017.
 
Apple has written to components suppliers, asking them to support Goertek's efforts regardless of initially very small volumes, according to a communication seen by the Nikkei Asian Review. 'Suppliers are requested to keep the pricing unchanged for the trial production stage, but this can be reviewed once volumes are increased,' said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the communication.
 
'The initial output will be limited, but it is easy to increase capacity once all the manufacturing procedures are running smoothly,' the person said. Goertek didn't respond to Nikkei's request for comments. Apple has long sourced its traditional EarPods - connected to the iPhone with wires - in Vietnam. But, until now, AirPods have been made in China by suppliers Inventec, Luxshare-ICT and Goertek. Apple resisted to comment on production plans for AirPods.
 
However, the move to start trial manufacture, often a precursor to mass production, in Vietnam comes as Apple explores with suppliers the outcomes of sourcing 15% to 30% of its output other than China, where cost and manpower advantages have begun to vanish. Nikkei Asian Review reported last month that the California tech giant had asked suppliers to examine the costs of such diversification.
 
AirPods are the world's best selling wireless earbuds, with 60% of the market, and opened a new consumer electronics category when they were launched in late 2016. Samsung, Huawei and some other traditional audio brands for instance Jabra and Bose have all competed to introduce equal wireless earphones. Global shipments of all wireless earbuds are forecast to surge from 48 million pairs in 2018 to 129 million pairs by 2020, according to Counterpoint.
 
The strong growth momentum brings Apple the chance to accelerate diversification of production outside of China without the need of actually reducing volumes there. 'It’s very likely that Apple will adopt the 'China plus one' strategy when it comes to diversification efforts,' said Chiu Shih-fang, a supply chain analyst at Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. That suggested the company would improve production in countries outside China without limiting Chinese volume greatly at the start.
 
'Reducing significant volumes inside China is too sensitive now for Apple, as well as for its suppliers,' said Chiu. Moreover, initial diversification would involve 'shipping some half-finished goods to the new destination and then assembling all these together. It will not build all the things from the beginning to the end.'
 
Apple is sensitive to any concept that it might not be as committed to the country which has been a pillar of its success over recent decades. China has firmly backed Apple's manufacturing base, offering generous support for factories, infrastructure and energy and manpower costs. During the last two decades the company's presence has helped to create a high quality and deeply connected supply chain in a position to mobilizing hundreds of thousands of skilled workers and components at short notice.
 
But, China's low birthrate, ascending labor costs and the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have triggered Apple to review its reliance on Chinese factories, the Nikkei Asian Review first reported last month. Vietnam has appeared as a powerful alternative, thanks to the geographical proximity to China that benefits logistics, and to its lower cost, but tremendously skilled labor.
 
However, with just 95 million people - roughly one-fifteenth the Chinese population - Vietnam's workforce is constrained, and there are currently evidences of possible labor lacks and rising wage costs as many companies move there to get away from the fallout from U.S.-China trade tensions. President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Vietnam ahead of last month's Group of 20 summit has triggered concern among those looking to diversify to the Southeast Asian country. 'Many tech players are relocating or increasing production [in Vietnam] to avoid tariffs, given that it is close to China, and has a relatively complete supply chain compared with other Southeast Asian countries,' said Karen Ma, an analyst specializing in emerging markets at Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute. 'However, everyone is now worried that Vietnam could become overheated and might soon suffer labor shortages, as well as increased production costs.'
 

Nanofabrica Promotes Innovation in Micro Manufacturing

Jul 18, 2019
Nanofabrica Promotes Innovation in Micro Manufacturing
View Full Size
Earlier this year, Tel-Aviv based additive manufacturing innovator, Nanofabrica, commercially launched its micro 3D printing technology that reaches micron-level consistency over a build cover of 5cm x 5 cm x 10 cm. This ground-breaking technology now offers a workable mass production alternative to regular manufacturing processes such as micro molding, and its characteristics open up the opportunity for major development in product design and development.
 
It is time for companies associated in the manufacture of micro parts and components or larger parts with micron tolerances to re-assess the possibilities that exist as an additive manufacturing technology enters the micro manufacturing arena.
 
Nanofabrica's technology is letting manufacturers to disrupt the way that a product is fashioned, developed, and manufactured, key among the possibilities being the opportunity to take advantage of the way in which additive manufacturing allows for the design and production of extremely complex geometries at no additional cost.
 
Nanofabrica's technology is also much more agile and flexible than standard alternative manufacturing technologies, the needs for no tooling meaning that designs can be modified with little expense, and the potential for mass choices is now open to players in the micro manufacturing sector.
 
Through the use of a micro additive manufacturing procedure, manufacturers can also optimize workflow, the technology producing less scrap and fewer tools than conventional manufacturing functions. It also promotes the reduction of iterative strategy, assembly, and inventory. This means that important operating cost benefits are now attainable at the micro manufacturing level.
 
While the Nanofabrica micron-level additive manufacturing process can cater for high volume applications (multiple thousands of small parts and components fitting easily in the machine's build envelope), the introduction of a 3D printing solution for micro manufacturers also means that OEMs are able to reduce the reliability on economies of scale, as the technology makes full production runs measured in thousands as inexpensive as producing one. The Nanofabrica technology makes low to medium-volume production runs possible that have previously been uneconomic due to the high tooling and set-up costs linked with traditional manufacturing alternatives.
 
Until now, additive manufacturing has not been able to attain the exacting preciseness and resolution that is involved by manufacturers at the forefront of miniaturization and micro manufacturing.
 
Nanofabrica's micro AM technology appeals to an array of manufacturers that up until now have not been able to cost-effectively or efficiently fulfil design intent using conventional manufacturing processes. In addition, being agnostic to part complication, and therefore helping the manufacture of hollow structures, holes, complicated interior details, and atypical shapes, Nanofabrica's micro AM technology is advertising innovation and therefore is perfectly described a true enabling technology.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Swarm Robots Mimic Ant Jaws to Flip and Jump

Jul 18, 2019
Swarm Robots Mimic Ant Jaws to Flip and Jump
View Full Size
Small robots are appealing because they’re simple, cheap, and it’s easy to make a lot of them. Unfortunately, being simple and cheap means that each robot separately can’t do a whole lot. To make up for this, you can do what insects do—leverage that ease and low-cost to just make a huge swarm of simple robots, and together, they can cooperate to carry out relatively complex tasks.
 
Using pests as an illustration does set a bit of an unjust expectancy for the poor robots, since insects are (let’s be honest) generally smarter and much more adaptable than a robot on their scale could ever hope to be. Most robots with insect-like capabilities (like DASH and its family) are really too big and complex to be turned into swarms, because to make a vast amount of small robots, things like motors aren’t going to work because they’re too expensive.
 
The query, then, is to how to make a swarm of cheap small robots with insect-like mobility that don’t need motors to get around, and Jamie Paik’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab at EPFL has an answer, motivated by trap-jaw ants.
 
Let’s talk about trap-jaw ants for just a second, because they’re crazy. You can understand this 2006 paper about them if you’re specifically curious in insane ants (and who isn’t!), but if you just want to hear the insane bit, it’s that trap-jaw ants can fire themselves into the air by biting the ground (!). In just 0.06 millisecond, their half-millimeter long mandibles can close at a top speed of 64 meters per second, which works out to an acceleration of about 100,000 g’s. Biting the ground causes the ant’s head to snap back with a force of 300 times the body weight of the ant itself, which launches the ant upwards. The ants can fly 8 centimeters vertically, and up to 15 cm horizontally—this is a lot, for an ant that’s just a few millimeters long.
 
Trap-jaw ants can fire independently into the air by biting the ground, causing the ant’s head to snap back with a force of 300 times the body weight of the ant itself
EPFL’s robots, also known as Tribots, look practically nothing at all like trap-jaw ants, which for me I am fine with. They’re about 5 cm tall, weighing 10 grams each, and can be built on a flat sheet, and then folded into a tripod shape, origami-style. Or maybe it’s kirigami, because there’s some cutting involved. The Tribots are fully autonomous, meaning they have onboard power and control, including proximity sensors that allow them to detect objects and avoid them.
 
Staying away from objects is where the trap-jaw ants come in. Using two unique shape-memory actuators (a spring and a latch, similar to how the ant’s jaw works), the Tribots can move around using a bunch of different methods that can adapt to the terrain that they’re on, including:
 
Vertical jumping for height
Horizontal jumping for distance
Somersault jumping to clear obstacles
Walking on textured terrain with short hops (called 'flic-flac' walking)
Crawling on flat surfaces
 
Tribot’s maximum vertical dive is 14 cm (2.5 times its height), and horizontally it can jump about 23 cm (almost 4 times its length). Tribot is actually quite reliable in these movements, with a cost of transport much lower than similarly-sized robots, on par with insects themselves.
 
Working together, small groups of Tribots can complete tasks that a single robot couldn’t do alone. One instance is pushing a heavy object a set distance. It turns out that you need five Tribots for this task—a leader robot, two worker robots, a monitor robot to evaluate the distance that the object has been pushed, and then a messenger robot to relay communications around the obstacle.
 
The researchers know that the current version of the hardware is minimal in pretty much every way (mobility, sensing, and computation), but it does a practical job of representing what’s possible with the idea. The plan going ahead is to speed up manufacturing in order to 'enable on-demand, ’push-button-manufactured’' robots.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

LASER COMPONENTS Wins í░Best of Sensorsí▒ 2019 Award

Jul 18, 2019
LASER COMPONENTS Wins í░Best of Sensorsí▒ 2019 Award
View Full Size
Bedford, NH: LASER COMPONENTS, skilled provider of components and services in the laser and optoelectronics industry, has been known as a 'Best of Sensors' 2019 Award winner in the Automotive/Autonomous category. The company's QuickSwitch Pulsed Laser Diode (PLD) was recognized as one of the Innovative Products of the Year 2019 which highlights cutting-edge advancements and successes that are transferring the sensors industry forward. Across fourteen categories, the prestigious awards were provided by the Editor of FierceElectronics during Sensors Expo & Conference 2019, held June 25-27, 2019 in San Jose, California.
 
Based on LASER COMPONENTS' proprietary compact hybrid configuration that integrates a 905 nm laser diode, switch and capacitor inside a TO56 metal housing, QuickSwitch can create in one second up to 200,000 laser pulses with a typical duration of 2.5 ns. This is currently the smartest hybrid PLD solution available on the market allowing to compile data faster and higher resolution in laser-based distance measurement (LiDAR) applications that are finding their way into passenger vehicles. In the race to safer driving, automotive LiDAR sensor manufacturers will benefit from QuickSwitch to design more sensitive systems that warn drivers of hazards earlier, avoid collision, and ultimately facilitate autonomous drive.
 
'Our engineers' innovative method to minimize the inductance loop and to optimize the circuit layout for driving PLDs with fast rise times and short pulses is setting us apart from conventional designs,' says Mr. Matt Robinson, Sales Director of LASER COMPONENTS USA. 'We are honored to receive this award in recognition of their dedication to deliver a unique product that meets current and future market needs,' Robinson added.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Sandvik acquires 30% stake in 3D printing firm BeamIT

Jul 18, 2019
Sandvik acquires 30% stake in 3D printing firm BeamIT
View Full Size
BeamIT specialises in metal components for industries such as automotive, energy and aerospace. With over 20 Powder Bed Fusion printers, the company produces parts through DMLS, EBM and SLS methods.
 
Kristian Egeberg, President of the Additive Manufacturing department in Sandvik said: “The AM sector is establishing fast and there is a need for AM-specialist-partners with the advanced skills and resources needed to help industrial customers develop and launch their AM programs. With this investment we provide our consumers with the opportunity to access the complementary and combined power of Sandvik and Beam IT.”
 
In its 12 July press production, Sandvik said that Beam IT had revenues of around $7.5mn with 38 employees. The purchase price was not disclosed, though Sandvik can enhance its stake over time.
 
“The investment in Beam IT will complement our current offer in Additive Manufacturing,” said Lars Bergström, President of Sandvik Machining Solutions. “It is also in line with Sandvik’s strategic ambition to become a leading solution provider for the wider component manufacturing industry.”



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Vodafone Launches 5G in Germany

Jul 17, 2019
Vodafone Launches 5G in Germany
View Full Size
Vodafone said on Tuesday it was launching 5G services in Germany, taking on Deutsche Telekom by promoting less expensive deals and attaining more cities than the market leader that went live last week.
 
Vodafone, which has already introduced limited 5G services in its British home market, is switching on 5G antennae in 20 German towns and cities - a figure that Deutsche Telekom only expects to reach next year. 
 
It will offer new 5G offers for smartphone users initiating at 14.99 euros per month for the first year. Its infinite 5G data plan is priced at 80 euros, lower than Deutsche Telekom's own deal at 85 euros. 'We are democratising 5G,' Vodafone's Germany chief Hannes Ametsreiter said in a statement. 'With us, 5G isn't just a technology only for high earners.'
 
Networks conducting on 5G provide noticeably faster download speeds when compared with existing 4G services, while latency - or reaction time - is reduced to milliseconds. That can power multi-player video games or devices and sensors connected to the industrial internet.
 
Vodafone said its 5G services would actually be available to customers much faster than Deutsche Telekom's, with existing customers able to switch over plans from Wednesday at a monthly cost of 5 euros or, for some high-end tariffs, for free. It is also advertising 5G-designed smartphones, providing the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G from Wednesday and Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G to follow, together with the Gigacube 5G home router from Huawei.
 
Vodafone, like some other German network operators, continues to rely on network gear from Huawei, the Chinese technology giant that has been sanctioned by the United States because of perceived security risks. The company continues to pursue a dual vendor strategy for its networks, utilising Huawei and Sweden's Ericsson, a spokesman said. Vodafone's 5G network will cover 25 cities, 25 municipalities and 10 industrial parks by the end of this year. It will reach 10 million users by the end of 2020, and 20 million by the end of 2021, the company said.
 
Source: TRONSERVE

Non-Transparent, Active ETFs May Be a Big Hit with Financial Advisors

Jul 17, 2019
Non-Transparent, Active ETFs May Be a Big Hit with Financial Advisors
View Full Size
Actively managed non-transparent ETFs freshly got the go-ahead from U.S. regulators, and from the original reactions, financial advisors seem to be interested in the newly adapted investment vehicle. According to a recent Broadridge Financial Solutions research, over four in five or 83% of financial advisors presented they are hoping their favorite active mutual funds may become available in a non-transparent ETF structure.
 
The Securities and Exchange Commission lately accepted the actively managed non-transparent ETF structure through the Precidian ActiveShares exemptive relief filing in June 2019, authorizing fund managers to disclose holdings on a quarterly basis or eventually keeping holdings more confidential than with traditional transparent ETFs. This is observed as a way for active fund managers to better guard their secret sauce against front runners or would-be investors that would make use of an active fund manager’s investment methodology.
 
But the Broadridge survey also reported that many financial advisors still exhibit a low level of awareness of the recently accepted ActiveShares ETF structure, but they find the concept and definition of active non-transparent ETFs appealing. Relating to the findings, only 4% of advisors said they were “very familiar” with ActiveShares while 37% of respondents were fully not aware and another 37% have heard of the name but know nothing about the technology.
 
Nevertheless, when introduced with the idea of the active non-transparent ETF structure, 85% of advisors stated that they were interested in the concept. “There is a clear awareness and learning curve among financial advisors given how recently the SEC has approved active nontransparent ETF technology,” Matthew Schiffman, principal for Distribution Insight, Broadridge Financial Solutions, said in a note. “What is interesting is the level of comfort advisors already have with the concept of active, opaque ETFs – and how quickly they would plan to allocate assets to these products.”
 
Looking ahead, 22% of participants reported they would use such non-transparent products within 12 months and an additional 64% showed motivation to do so immediately after 12 months of introduction to the market. Around 46% of advisors foresee allocating new, not-yet-invested assets to nontransparent ETFs. In addition, 63% of advisors estimated active non-transparent ETF assets being re-allocated from actively managed open-end mutual funds.
 
Among the top concerns among advisors, most people singled out that active non-transparent ETFs are too new and untested in the market. “Active nontransparent ETFs are likely to be additive to the asset management landscape, as the advisors we surveyed expect to allocate entirely new assets as well as assets from other ETFs and passive open-end mutual funds,” Schiffman added. “Asset managers shouldn’t let this moment pass, as they now have a prime opportunity to further engage with advisors, primarily through wholesalers and other one-to-one channels.”
 
Source: TRONSERVE

No Restrictions on Huawei in Brazil

Jul 17, 2019
No Restrictions on Huawei in Brazil
View Full Size
China's Huawei will not be restricted in Brazil where plans are under way to open a 5G network, the country's vice-president mentioned Monday, opposing US pressure to ban the firm.
 
Huawei, a leader in next-generation 5G wireless technology, is prohibited from establishing 5G networks in the United States over concerns about its links to the government in Beijing and possible security threats.
 
The administration of President Donald Trump is endeavoring to persuade its allies to do the same.
 
But Hamilton Mourao, who is regarded an average voice in President Jair Bolsonaro's government, told reporters Brazil's ties with its biggest trade partner China could not be 'disregarded.' 'There is no veto of Huawei in Brazil. Huawei has been here for 10 years,' Mr Mourao said.
 
An auction of 5G spectrum is supposed to be held next year. Mr Bolsonaro railed against China during last year's election campaign, but has transformed his tune since getting into office in January.
 
Brazil has sought to keep itself from the ongoing US-China trade war trying to stay onside with both countries. 'We are experiencing a moment of instability, of competition between countries, a return to a certain protectionism,' Mr Mourao said. Brazil, he added, has to adopt a position that is both 'flexible and pragmatic.'
 
Source: TRONSERVE

China's Xiaomi Continues Chip Strategy Revamp with Investment in Semiconductor Designer

Jul 17, 2019
China's Xiaomi Continues Chip Strategy Revamp with Investment in Semiconductor Designer
View Full Size
China’s Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK) has taken a stake of around 6% in compatriot chip designer VeriSilicon Holdings Co Ltd, as the smartphone maker revamps its years-long pursuance of profits in semiconductors in which it sees as central to driving innovation. The investment comes as the government identifies chips as one of many areas whereby it wants the country to become more self-reliant under its “Made in China 2025” initiative.
 
In a filing to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) published online on Thursday, VeriSilicon reported a fund run by Xiaomi became its second-largest external shareholder in June. Xiaomi Corp verified the investment to Reuters. None of the companies disclosed its monetary value.
 
VeriSilicon’s biggest exterior shareholder is the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, a centralized, national-level fund for the domestic semiconductor industry, popularly known as “The Big Fund”. The firm is based in Shanghai and has research and development hubs at home and in the United States. It mainly works as a contractor to other chip companies, helping them complete additional parts of semiconductor design.
 
Xiaomi expanded rapidly since launching its first smartphone at the beginning of the decade, growing to be the fourth-biggest seller worldwide in the first quarter of this year, exhibited latest data from researcher IDC. At the same time, it has had less success in chips.
 
The company opened a semiconductor division in 2014 and three years later unveiled its first system-on-a-chip, the Surge S1. The chip featured in Xiaomi’s Mi 5C smartphone but yet wasn't rolled out more extensively.
 
After that, there were no great chip announcements until April when an internal memo stated that Xiaomi would spin off part of its chip division into a subsidiary called Big Fish focused on making chips for internet-of-things devices. Xiaomi just isn't alone in its chip objectives. Huawei’s chip-making HiSilicon subsidiary makes Kirin processors for its own smartphones, which experts said are nearly competitive with top-of-the-line chips from U.S. leader Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O).
 
In the greater tech sphere, e-commerce major Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) last year bought Chinese chipmaker C-Sky. Its chief technology officer later said the firm will release its first artificial intelligence chip in the second half of 2019. Adding impetus to such initiatives is a trade war with the United States involving import tariffs imposed on technology goods and services, while a U.S. ban on supplying Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd due to national security concerns has also disturbed the industry. Xiaomi is set to announce quarterly earnings results in the second half of August, marking the firm’s first reporting period one full year after it listed in Hong Kong. In that time, the smartphone vendor’s market value has fallen from $54 billion upon listing to its current HK$245.5 billion ($31.40 billion).
 
Source: TRONSERVE

Bosch sells packaging machinery arm

Jul 17, 2019
Bosch sells packaging machinery arm
View Full Size
Bosch Packaging Technology will keep all its affiliates across 15 countries. The Waiblingen, Germany based company will become part of a newly incorporated organization, with CVC having been picked as the buyer thanks to its industrial expertise and growth strategy. The sale was driven by consolidation at the business, with an improved drive for digitalization.
 
Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the supervisory board Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH, said: “With its feel in growing companies over the long term, its broad industrial expertise, and its viable strategy for taking the division forward, CVC was the right choice for us. The growth concept it has presented, as well as the investments it plans to make, are very promising. For Packaging Technology and all its associates, our aim was to find a trusted new owner with a long-term approach, under whose leadership the business can develop successfully. We have accomplished just that.”
 
A price was not disclosed, but the deal is supposed to close at the end of the year subject to antitrust and other approvals.
 
Dr. Alexander Dibelius, Managing Partner of CVC, said: “Bosch Packaging Technology is a strong firm in an attractive market with long-term growth prospects. Packaging Technology has an ideal standing for quality and innovation, a broad product range, a global footprint, and experienced associates. Together with the management team, we will work to take the business forward in the years ahead, and to make it even more aggressive.”



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

PMMI Foundation Supports the Next Generation Workforce

Jul 17, 2019
PMMI Foundation Supports the Next Generation Workforce
View Full Size
Reston, Va.; July 16, 2019 - The PMMI Foundation, a part of PMMI, The Association for labels and Processing Technologies, announces the winners of three $5,000 scholarships to pupils mastering food and beverage processing, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering at four-year PMMI Education partners.
 
The recipients of these scholarships are:
•              Daniel Mauger, Purdue University Northwest, Electrical Engineering Technology
•              Hitech Moryani, Illinois Institute of Technology, Food Process Engineering
•              Jacob Zaguri, University of Illinois at Chicago, Mechanical Engineering
'These students represent the great potential of the next generation workforce to transform the packaging and processing industry,' says Kate Fiorianti, senior education manager, PMMI. 'The application criteria, which contains notable industry involvement, means we are recognizing the best and cleverest and giving them resources to transfer academic success into professional excellence.'
 
The PMMI Foundation awards over $200,000 in funds each year to students enrolled in PMMI Education Partner programs, demonstrating PMMI's commitment to developing future leaders of the packaging and processing industry.
 
There are various opportunities to lead to the PMMI Foundation at the upcoming PACK EXPO Las Vegas and co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept. 23-25, 2019; Las Vegas Convention Center). Proceeds from The Amazing Packaging Race and the CareerLink LIVE @ PACK EXPO interview and networking event provide right to PMMI's scholarship offerings. The PMMI Foundation also allows donations to support its endeavours. To donate, mail checks to PMMI Education & Training Foundation, P.O. Box 791042, Baltimore, MD 21279-1042.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Eclipse Automation Expands into Europe to Support the Growing Automation Market

Jul 17, 2019
Eclipse Automation Expands into Europe to Support the Growing Automation Market
View Full Size
Eclipse Automation of Cambridge, Ontario, today announced the acquisition of Transmoduls Ltd., located in Veszprém, Hungary. Transmoduls is at the forefront of manufacturing turnkey, feature-rich automation possibilities for the automotive, electronics, food and medical markets. With facilities in Canada and the United States, Eclipse delivers proven custom automation solutions combining design, engineering, manufacturing, integration and aftercare for complex production, lean manufacturing and modern circulation.
 
'The Transmoduls acquisition provides an enjoyable opportunity for Eclipse,' explains Steve Mai, President and CEO, Eclipse Automation. 'We are specifically pleased to have found a strong business partner to give our company the means to support its growth approach. This expansion will enable Eclipse to broaden internal capacity and increase entry into new and adjacent global markets. We welcome all 161 highly-skilled Transmoduls employees to the Eclipse organization.'
 
Since 2016, Eclipse and Transmoduls have worked in partnership with the Smart Automation Group and have an established customer-centric relationship and long-term familiarity with one another.
'There are complementing factors in bringing the two companies closer together,' states Márton András Maár, Founder and President, Transmoduls Ltd., 'and additional capabilities and resources will extend the Transmoduls offering to enhance our complete solutions approach.'
 
'Our prevalent international customers will have an immediate advantage as the merge will boost our service in Europe and abroad,' says Lajos Sari, Co-Founder and Vice-President, Transmoduls Ltd., 'it will also maintain the improving requirements in electronics technology for the auto market.'
 
'We look onward to opportunities ahead as we meet new customers and are well-positioned to grow in foreign markets,' mentions Gilles Blouin, Director of Business Development, Eclipse Automation. 'As a global player this is a normal reference of our international work with a trusted partner. We will continue to build our framework with favorable proximity to our customers and to also support large-scale intercontinental programs.'
 
As Eclipse grows into central Europe, it will continue to build on its success formula of know-how, flexibility and an unlimited menu of proven responsive automation technology. Transmoduls Ltd. will continue to operate under its own name and branding will continue with Eclipse Automation.



This article is originally posted on Tronserve.com

Watch World Champion Soccer Robots Take on Humans at RoboCup

Jul 17, 2019
Watch World Champion Soccer Robots Take on Humans at RoboCup
View Full Size
 
RoboCup 2019 took place earlier this month down in Sydney, Australia. While there are many different events including RoboCup@Home, RoboCup Rescue, and a bunch of different soccer leagues, one of the most interesting events is middle-size league (MSL), where mobile robots each about the size of a fire hydrant play soccer using a regular size FIFA soccer ball. The robots are fully autonomous, making their own decisions in real time about when to dribble, pass, and shoot.
 
The long-term goal of RoboCup is this:
 
By the midst of the 21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of FIFA, against the winner of the most past World Cup.
 
While the robots are certainly not there yet, they're surely getting closer.
 
Even if you’re not a particular fan of soccer, it’s significant to watch the robots coordinate with each other, setting up multi passes and changing tactics on the fly in response to the movements of the other team. And the ability of these robots to shoot precisely is world-class (like, human world-class), as they’re seemingly able to put the ball in whatever corner of the goal they choose with split-second timing.
 
While the robots are probably not there yet, they're undoubtedly getting closer.
 
Even if you’re not a particular fan of soccer, it’s amazing to watch the robots correlate with each other, setting up multiple passes and changing methods on the fly in response to the movements of the other team. And the means of these robots to shoot precisely is world-class (like, human world-class), as they’re seemingly able to put the ball in whatever corner of the goal they choose with split-second timing.
 



This article is originally post Tronserve.com

You have 0 items in you cart. Would you like to checkout now?
0 items
Switch to Mobile Version