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Nano-technology to Change Manufacturing Techniques

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has declared the 2011 list of “Innovations That Could Change The Way You Manufacture,” to commend inventions and production.

Graphene, discovered this year, is a carbon sheet measuring an atom thick. This lightweight material conducts electricity and is being deployed in sensors, super-fast electronic switches, aircraft braking platforms and touch screens. Companies such as IBM and Bell Helicopter have already started using it. Angstron Materials is one of the producers of this material.

Programmable magnets have the ability to maneuver magnetic fields. They are used in precision switches, snowboard bindings, and spinal implants. Heat can eliminate a magnetic field, so the material can be redeveloped to feature multiple north and south poles of varying strengths. Correlated Magnetics is a manufacturer of these magnets.

The Build to Demand (BTD) process can alter production processes. It helps suppliers combat fluctuating demand to provide services at minimal component and production costs. The solution was designed by John Deere Horicon Works in the early 2000s in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Microstructured molding tools enhance surface capabilities of molded products with features such as superhydrophobic, less friction, less fluid drag, and more heat transfer. This minimizes microstructure production costs. Designed by Hoowaki, the solution was launched in 2010.

Programming light with quantum dots helps producers to decide the color of the light produced. They offer bright pictures, low power consumption and enhanced clarity. Manufacturers include QD Vision and Weinberg Medical Physics. The panel also has an Innovation Watch List where promising technologies in their nascent stages are listed.

The publication will be introduced at the Manufacturing Velocity: SME Annual Conference to be held between June 5 and 7, near Seattle. The conference will provide a platform for manufacturers and others interested in inventions to exchange ideas.



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