What are Rapid Prototyping Machines

Rapid prototyping is quite a recent invention. The first machine hit the markets in the late 1980s. The early rapid prototyping process derived its name from the activities and the purpose for which the earlier machines were utilized.

What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping refers to physical objects that are automatically constructed with the aid of additive manufacturing technology. In its earlier days, was applied to production of models and prototype parts. But nowadays, with the advancement in technology, rapid prototyping is used widely for many applications that include manufacturing production-quality parts. The manufacturing of these quality parts however, are very small in numbers. Apart from industrial applications, it is also used in sculpting. The application of rapid prototyping in sculpting is to generate fine arts exhibitions.

Rapid prototyping as mentioned earlier, involves the use of additive manufacturing technology, which actually takes the virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software (AMS). These designs are further transformed into thin, virtual, horizontal cross sections, and then the process of creating successive layers continues till the model is complete. On completion of the model, one may find that the virtual model is almost same as the physical model. Over here, a process called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) takes place, wherein the final product is same as the image created. Once the layers which correspond to the virtual cross section from CAD are formed, they are either joined or fused automatically to yield the final shape. Additive fabrication has the benefit of creating any shape or geometric feature.

Working of Rapid Prototyping Machines
CAD software and the rapid prototyping machine are connected with a data interface that is called the STL file format. This STL file format enables the approximation of a shape of a part or the entire assembly using triangular facets. Smaller the facet, higher is the quality surface. One should consider the meaning of the word rapid as ‘relative’, as the construction process of a model with contemporary methods can take up a long time, which can be several hours to several days. It actually depends upon the complexity and size of the model. The method used over here also plays an important role. Sometimes, the type of machine being used also influences the time taken for the creation of a new model, though the additive systems are applied. Even here, the size and the number of models to be created play an equally important role.

There are some other techniques that are used in the construction of parts. The technique used in solid free-form fabrication involves the use of two materials in the construction of parts. One of it is the building material of that part, and the other is the support material. The use of support material is to provide support to the projecting features during construction.

In case of manufacturing polymer products in higher quantities, a process called traditional injection molding is more feasible in terms of cost, but when it comes to manufacturing parts in smaller volumes, the application of additive fabrication is recommended more and is cost-effective.

Prototyping Technologies
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS): This technology involves the use of high power laser for the fusion of tiny particles of plastic, metal, etc., into a mass that represents a desired 3D object through the help of a SLS machine. This is an additive manufacturing technique. Materials used in this technique are metal powders and thermoplastics.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM): This additive manufacturing technology was invented in the late 1980s by S. Scott Crump, and is used for applications like modeling, prototyping, and production. This technology involves the use of eutectic metals and thermoplastics.

Stereo lithography (SL): This also is an additive manufacturing technology, and is used for production of models, patterns, etc., through the Stereo lithography machine. Photopolymer is the principle material used in this technique.

Laminated object manufacturing (LOM): Paper material is the base material used in this technology. In this method, layers of adhesive-coated plastic, paper or metal laminates are fused together, and cut into shape with the aid of a knife or a laser cutter.

3D Printing: This too is an additive manufacturing technology, and involves the use of various materials. In this technology, successive layers of material create a 3D object. 3D printing technology actually is said to be more affordable, easy to use, and speedy than the additive manufacturing technologies. Though production applications are actually dominated by the additive manufacturing technologies, 3D has a great potential to prove useful in production applications.

Rapid prototyping, is now entering into rapid manufacturing, which is more advanced as compared to rapid prototyping machines, as it can be used for large products. This is an additive fabrication technique, that would be applied to the manufacturing of solid objects. This process involves the sequential delivery of energy, material (material sometimes may not be used) to the specified points in space, in order to produce a particular part. Rapid manufacturing is an advanced form of this technology.

Speech Rate Conversion Technology

The world is moving at a faster pace. Transportation is faster, communication is faster, and so on. Some even feel that people are speaking faster. This makes it hard for some of us to keep pace. The Science and Technical Research Laboratories of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, has developed a device that they feel will help (at least with how fast people seem to be talking). They’ve created a speech rate conversion technology that is designed to be used in a couple of different ways.

Have you ever listened to a recording played at a fast speed? This is commonly done in video or audio editing to search through a large volume of material in a short time. Normally, when speech is sped up, the pitch is also changed, causing the recorded voices to sound like the chipmunk characters that some of us listened to, or watched, as children. Even when the pitch is shifted to restore it to its original level, it is often difficult to understand the individual words. The system designed by Japan’s STRL has changed that.

Their new technology maintains the original timber and pitch of the speech, while playing it back at a faster rate. The playback rate is varied adaptively, which allows listeners to comprehend what is being said even at speeds that are five times the normal rate.

This system also benefits elderly listeners by slowing down radio broadcasts or the audio in television programs. It is common for older people to have some degree of hearing impairment, for various reasons. This disability might include a difficulty in perceiving specific frequencies, a weaker cognitive capacity, or a problem understanding speech with a large amount of background noise. It has also been found that with age comes a decreased ability to comprehend rapid speech. At the same time, the population statistics of many countries have forecast that twenty years from now, twenty five percent of the radio and television audience will be sixty five years of age or older. In order to reach this audience, STRL felt that something had to be done. Since it seemed unlikely that television announcers would slow down, they applied the speech rate conversion technology to solve this problem. Again, the pitch and timber are maintained, while the rate of speech is adjusted. By shortening the pauses between sentences, the slowed speech can be presented in real time. In addition to the Japanese language, it can be used for English, German, Chinese, French, and other languages. The technology is used on NHK’s online news service, and has also been incorporated into several consumer radio and television systems. As a result, they won an Asahi Shimbun Invention Award in 2008.

The world continues to speed up, and we continue to age. Whether you’re working at a job where you need to search through large quantities of video or audio material, or you would just like to be able to understand what the news announcer is saying, this new speech rate conversion technology may make your life a little easier.

Handheld PC

Hand held PC is a computer that can be held in hand and to be held in hand a PC has to be small enough. Therefore it can be concluded that a Handheld PC is a small computer that is portable, lightweight and designed in such a way that it can handle your day-to-day schedule. If we look at the handheld PCs that are in the market now, it can be seen that they have features like the calendar and address book and these PCs actually function like Personal Information Manager (PIM). In fact Handheld PCs are also commonly known as personal Digital Assistant. Due to the lightweight and small size they are also known as Palmtops.

What will the Handheld PC do for me if I have one?

If you own a handheld PC, it can store all your important information and manage them and can also execute application software. It performs tasks such as storing information about your contacts, making a list of things that has to be done, maintaining your appointments and also giving you reminders regarding each of them. It also takes notes and performs calculations.

Handheld PCs have the ability to run special and specific software applications like Windows Mobile devices, which are available with smaller versions of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Outlook like mainstream computers includes e-mail and PIM functions, apart from Windows Media Player and voice memo recording.You can also run various software that can include games, multimedia, expense, diet and exercise, travel, medical, time and billing, and reference.

How does the Handheld PC work?

Microprocessors
Unlike usual desktop and laptops, handheld PCs or palmtops are strengthened by the presence of microprocessors which coordinates between all the functions as per the programmed instructions. These PCs use smaller and cheaper microprocessors. Although these microprocessors work slower than the usual PCs, their work potential is sufficient for the tasks that are meant to be done by them. There are benefits of small size and price and these benefits of using these.

Memory
Handheld PCs do not have a hard disk. Since it stores only basic programs like address book, calendar, memo pad and operating system, the purpose can be served by a read-only memory (ROM) chip, which remains entire even when the machine is shut down. Any data and any number of programs that you add later can be stored in the Pc’s random-access memory (RAM). Information that is there in RAM is only available when the device is switched on. Due to their innovative design, handheld PCs keep data safe in RAM because they keep on drawing small amounts of power from the batteries even when the device is turned off.

Operating System
The operating system contains a list of instructions which are already programmed and that tell the microprocessor the work it is supposed to do, how and when. The operating systems used by Handheld PCs are not as complicated as the ones used by Desktop PCs. The former has fewer instructions, which actually requires lesser memory.

Display
Handheld PCs use LCD that is Liquid crystal display but not only as an output device since in this case they are used as output as well as input device. Most of these have color displays.

Handheld PCs have been far more popular when they first arrived in the market than now as most of the features are available in cellular phones. As a result, people have stopped buying these gadgets. Several companies that took keen interest in this industry are gradually going out of it since the demand is decreasing by and by.

Touchscreen Technology

A touchscreen is a device which allows users to control a personal computer by simply touching the display screen. This type of input is suitable for a large number of computing applications. Most PC systems use a touchscreen as easily as other input devices, such as trackballs or touchpads.

How Touchscreens Work
A touchscreen has 3 main components: a touch sensor, a controller, and a software driver. To make a complete touch input system, a touchscreen is combined with a display and a PC or other device.

1. Touchscreen Sensor
This is a glass plate having a touch responsive surface. The sensor is positioned over a display screen, so that the responsive area of the plate covers the maximum viewable area of the video screen. There are a number of touch sensor technologies available in the market today, each using a different approach to detect touch input. The sensor has an electric current or signal passing through it and touching the screen causes a change in the voltage or signal. This voltage or signal change is used to find out the location of the touch to the screen.

2. Controller
The controller used in a touchscreen is a small PC card that interconnects between the touch sensor and the PC. The controller takes data from the touch sensor and converts it into information that PC can understand. For integrated monitors, the controller is usually installed inside the monitor, or is placed in a plastic case for external touch add-ons/overlays. The controller is useful to determine what type of interface/connection you will need on the PC. Integrated touch monitors are provided with an extra cable connection on the back for the touchscreen. Controllers are available by connecting to a Serial/COM port (PC) or to a USB port (PC or Macintosh).

3. Software Driver
The driver is software for the PC system that permits the touchscreen and computer to work together. It tells the operating system of the computer how to interpret the touch event information that is sent from the controller. Today’s touchscreen drivers are a mouse-emulation type driver. This makes touching the screen the same as clicking your mouse at the same location on the screen. This permits the touchscreen to work with existing software and provide new applications to be developed without the need for touchscreen-specific programming. Some devices such as thin client terminals, DVD players, and specialized computer systems either do not use software drivers, or they have their own in-built drivers.

Uses of Touchscreens
Touchscreens are one of the simplest PC interfaces to use, making it the interface of choice for a large number of applications. The following are some of the uses of a touchscreen.

1. Public Information Displays
Tourism displays, trade show displays, information kiosks, and other electronic displays are used by large number of people who have little or no computing experience. The touchscreen interface is easier to use than other input devices, especially for novice users. It is useful to make your information more easily accessible by allowing users to navigate your presentation by simply touching the display screen.

2. Retail and Restaurant Systems
In the retail or restaurant environment, touchscreen systems are easy to use so employees can get work done faster, and also training time can be reduced for new employees. As input is present right on the screen, valuable counter space can be saved. Touchscreens can be used in order entry stations, cash registers, seating, reservation systems, and more.

3. Control and Automation Systems
Touchscreens are useful in systems ranging from industrial process control to home automation. Valuable workspace can be saved by integrating the input device with the display. In real-time, by simply touching the screen and with a graphical interface, operators can monitor and control complex operations.

4. Computer-based Training
The touchscreen interface is more user-friendly than other input devices, so overall training time for computer novices, and therefore training expense, can be reduced. It can also more useful to make learning more fun and interactive, which can lead to a more beneficial training experience for both students and educators.

5. Assistive Technology
The touchscreen interface is very useful for those having difficulty using other input devices such as a mouse or keyboard. When used with software such as on-screen keyboards or other assistive technology, they can help make computing resources more available to people who have difficulty using computers.

Plasma: Basics, Applications, and Diagnostics

The three states of matter include solids, liquids, and gases. However, plasma, as we all know, is the fourth state of matter, in which matter exists as electrons and ions. So it is an electrified gas with both positive ions and negative electrons moving freely. This usually happens when a gas is given more energy and the negatively charged electrons, which are held by the pull of the nucleus, break free.

In a more focused way, plasma can be defined as a partially ionized gas, a mixture of electrons, atomic ions, molecular ions, neutral atoms, and molecules in the ground and excited states. The negative and positive charges compensate each other, and thus, most of them are electrically neutral. This is known as the property of quasi-neutrality. The presence of the charged particles in the plasma causes it to have a high electrical conductivity.

The motion of the particles in the plasma can cause local concentrations of positive and negative electric charges. These charge concentrations create long-ranged Coulombic field that affect the motion of charged particles far away from the charge concentrations. Thus, elements affect each other, even at large separations, giving plasma its characteristic collective behavior. In a more rigorous way, plasma can be defined as a quasi-neutral gas of charged and neutral particles characterized by a collective behavior.

In a plasma, both ions and electrons are free to move about, while in a gas they are bonded to the atom. This happens when we heat and energize the gas to much higher temperatures; and when the temperature is brought down the electrons and ions bond back to form individual atoms.

(Energy in) (Energy out)
Gas—–> Plasma —-> Gas

Plasma state has more energy content than the solid, liquid, and gaseous states, hence, it is known as the fourth state of matter. The dynamics of motion of plasma are unique compared to other states of matter. In the case of a neutral particle collision between two particles, each particle moves undisturbed until it makes a collision with the other. While in the case of plasma it is much different. As they consist charged particles, their movement causes separation between the charges giving rise to electrical fields and the charged particle motion giving rise to a magnetic field. These forces affect the motion of other particle and gives rise to long range forces in a plasma which add to the complexity of its behavior.

It was Irving Langmuir, Nobel Prize laureate who gave plasma its name. While working on rarefied gas discharges, he observed an electric oscillation in them and referred to them as ‘plasma oscillations’. Since then, the word ‘plasma’ (which means ‘moldable substance’) has been used to represent conducting gas, and because it has properties that are quite different from those of ordinary neutral gases, plasma has acquired the nature called the fourth state of matter.

Plasma Sources

‘99% of matter in the universe exists in the plasma state’.

► On a clear sunny day, just look up towards the sun. Our Sun, powered by nuclear fusion is a giant phenomenon of seemingly endless plasma activity.

► A neon sign or a fluorescent lamp is also a plasma phenomena, in which the gas becomes a conducting plasma when a voltage is applied across it.

► Lightning occurs when there is a heavy potential difference in the clouds and they finally discharge causing a heavy current to flow.

► Welding is a phenomenon similar to lightning, and the bright arc we see is nothing but the plasma produced when a current flows through the gap between the electrode and the substrate.

► The gaseous nebulae and the glow of the aurora borealis are amongst the other several places we encounter plasma.

Plasma Generation

Plasma is usually obtained when sufficient energy, higher than the ionization energy, is added to atoms of a gas, causing ionization and production of ions and electrons. Parallel and concomitant to the ionization occur the opposite process of recombination of electrons with ions to form neutral atoms or molecules. Though we could also make plasma by heating a gas to very high temperatures, it would not be a good way to do so as the container itself would heat up and vaporize and ionize. Due to this reason we usually make plasma by heating a gas to moderate temperatures and driving a current through it or using radio frequency waves to energize it. Although they are commonly produced by electric discharges in gases, plasma can also be obtained when sufficient energy is provided to a liquid or a solid to cause its vaporization and ionization.

The most commonly used method of generating and sustaining a low-temperature plasma for technological and technical application is by applying an electric field to a neutral gas. Any volume of a neutral gas always contains a few electrons and ions that are formed, for example, as the result of the interaction of cosmic rays or radioactive radiation with the gas. These free charge carriers are accelerated by the electric field and new charged particles may be created when these charge carriers collide with atoms and molecules in the gas or with the surfaces of the electrodes. This leads to an avalanche of charged particles that is eventually balanced by charge carrier losses, so that a steady-state plasma develops.

There are various other ways to supply the necessary energy for plasma generation to a neutral gas. One possibility is to supply thermal energy, for example in flames, where exothermic chemical reactions of the molecules are used as the prime energy source. Adiabatic compression of the gas is also capable of gas heating up to the point of plasma generation. Yet another way to supply energy to a gas reservoir is via energetic beams that moderate in a gas volume. Beams of neutral particles have the added advantage of being unperturbed by electric and magnetic fields. Neutral beams are primarily used for sustaining plasma or for plasma heating in fusion devices.

Plasma Applications

Plasma, apart from their use in achieving thermonuclear fusion, have several industrial and commercial application:

1. Processes like plasma etching and deposition find their use in semiconductor industry. The utility and flexibility of plasma technology stems from the fact that it can be used to modify a variety of surfaces under precisely controlled conditions, without the safety hazards and liquid waste associated with wet processes.

2. They could be used for surface treating, thin film deposition, and other plasma processing techniques (Plasma Nitriding, Plasma Diffusion, Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition, Plasma Ion Implantation, etc.)

3. Plasma Propulsion and Thrusters

4. Plasma Arcs used for cutting, drilling and welding processes.

5. Modification of surfaces by plasma

6. In plasma chemistry―transforming specific compounds, production of precursors, production of excimers, clean-up of gases, flue gases, diesel exhaust.

7. Plasma techniques could be used to treat fibers and textile more quantitatively and selectively.

8. Plasma finds application in sterilizing water and air purification.

9. Plasma displays, high intensity discharge, neon and fluorescent lamps.

10. Hardening processes for industrial tools.

Plasma Diagnostics

To understand better the behavior of plasma, every experiment must incorporate different means of sampling and monitoring its properties. Plasma diagnostics refers to the techniques used to gather information about laboratory plasma and other ones. We could say that progress in plasma research can be measured by the stage of development of its measurement techniques and the adequacy of accompanying theoretical interpretation.

Diagnostics help us measure both the large-scale properties (the macroscopic properties) as well the properties at much smaller scale (the microscopic properties) which arise due to atomic processes. Thus, total current through the plasma, the voltage across it, its conductivity, all refer to its macroscopic properties; microscopic measurements include spectral line measurement, microwave, X-ray, and other techniques. Of the hundreds of diagnostics used, given below are some of them.

1. Magnetic Probe
A magnetic probe is used to measure the magnetic field of a plasma. This simplest arrangement involves a sensor which is usually a light-gage wire, placed according to the direction of the field to be measured. It’s possible to measure the field in all directions by appropriate positioning of the probe. The basic principle underlying the probe is the variation of the magnetic field (dB/dt) that induces a voltage across the loop. The signal is then integrated to get the value of B(t) characteristics of position of the coil.

2. Rogowski Coil
A Rogowski coil gives a direct measurement of the total current flowing through is center. As shown in the figure, it is a solenoidal coil whose ends are brought around together to form a torus. The voltage output of the coil can be integrated to give a signal proportional to I.

3. Langmuir Probe
A Langmuir probe is a small conductive electrode used to measure the density, temperature, and electric potential (voltage) of a plasma. Langmuir could be used to diagnose the particle distribution functions within a plasma by insertion of a probe that could directly sense the particle fluxes.

4. Far Infrared and Interferometry
Real-time density profile measurements have been identified as essential for advanced fusion tokamak operation. Multichannel Far Infrared (FIR) Interferometry is a proven method for measuring density profiles.

5. Reflectometry
Plasmas are dispersive media whose refractive index is a function of plasma density; higher frequency radiation reflects from higher density plasma layers. Reflectometry, as its name suggests, exploits the reflection of electromagnetic waves from plasma cut-offs to either measure density profiles or spatially resolve density fluctuations.

6. Electron Cyclotron Emission Imaging
Electrons that gyrate around magnetic field lines give rise to emission at harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency. If the electrons are sufficiently hot and sufficiently dense, then the plasma is considered optically thick. Under these conditions, the electron cyclotron emission (ECE) is directly proportional to the electron temperature and independent of all other plasma parameters. As the electron cyclotron frequency is proportional to the total magnetic field, the emissions at a given frequency are emitted from a very specific layer of the plasma corresponding to a given magnetic field. Measuring the emission power as a function of frequency allows the electron temperature to be computed as a function of plasma radius. Spatially imaging the emission onto an array of detectors expands the capabilities of ECE radiometry to include ECE imaging.

7. Bolometry
It is a technique which involves the direct measurement of radiation loss. Most bolometers consist of an absorbing element designed to absorb all the incident energy, whose temperature rise, measured by some appropriately sensitive method, is then equal to the total energy flux divided by the bolometer’s thermal capacity.

8. Microwave Techniques
These techniques involve measuring plasma properties through the interaction of electromagnetic fields with the free charges of the plasma.

Radio Frequency Smart Sensors

A RF Smart Monitor System is designed to allow the user to remotely collect machine vibration and temperature data without the need for cabling. This system, which is designed to monitor a wide variety of machine components, consists of following things:

1. Battery-powered sensors, which are placed on machine components and collect/process vibration and temperature data.
2. One or more RF Transceivers, each of which are able to remotely communicate with up to 64 sensors via radio.
3. RBMware 4.20 or later to create the database and analyze the Smart Sensor data.
4. A CSI Model 2120 or Handheld Personal Computer (HPC) to communicate with RBMware and the RF Transceiver.

This system is designed to smoothly integrate with RBMware 4.20 or later. Databases and routes are created in RBMware and downloaded to the 2120 or HPC. Four measurement points (vibration, PeakVue, temperature, and battery life) are generated with each sensor created in RBMware. Once a route has been created, the user downloads this information into a 2120 or HPC. The user then connects the 2120 or HPC to the RF Transceiver and requests data from the remotely-located sensors specified in the route. The transceiver then transmits a message to the selected sensors directing them to collect and process the data based on analysis parameters established in RBMware. When complete, each sensor remotely transmits vibration, PeakVue, temperature, and battery life data back to the 2120 or HPC via the transceiver. The collected data is then downloaded to RBMware for trending and analysis.

This system’s advantage is its wireless remote access capability, which is accomplished via a robust form of radio communications known as spread spectrum. This digital modulation technique has been widely used due to its immunity to interference. Spread spectrum systems are also very unlikely to cause interference with other radio systems, even other spread spectrum devices. Interference issues are minimized with this technique because the signal of interest is encoded with a lengthy digital pattern that approximates white noise. Consequently, the resulting signal looks like low-energy, band-limited white noise that can only be interpreted by a receiver that uses the same digital pattern to decode the signal. While the signal is relatively low power, long range communication is attainable due to the frequency of operation (2.4 GHz). The typical range achievable between an RF Smart Sensor and an RF Transceiver is approximately 300 feet. In addition, this form of communication does not require line-of-sight between the sensors and transceivers. This allows the sensors to be placed at the most ideal locations on the machine to maximize sensitivity to vibration and temperature signals. Another advantage of this modulation scheme is that no site license is required.

During the beta test phase of this product, RF Smart Monitoring Systems were evaluated at several industrial facilities on a variety of machines. One prime application of this technology highlighted during the testing phase is the use of this technology on machines that are either hard or dangerous to access. Machines in elevated locations (i.e. cooling towers) where the analyst was required to climb a ladder to reach the site, or machines located in hazardous locations (i.e. Class I, Div. II areas) are examples of such a scenario. Another use of this technology is on machines that have a range of motion (i.e., robots, accumulators, machine tools, cranes, etc.), where gaining access is difficult and routing cables is nearly impossible. Machines that fall in this category often are not analyzed for extended periods of time since they must typically be taken out of service prior to being surveyed. As this technology becomes widely used, other unique applications will undoubtedly be uncovered. In fact, the beta program highlighted new concepts that are now under consideration.

Capabilities of RF Smart Sensors

1. A high-quality 10 mV/g accelerometer and temperature sensor
2. Analog circuitry to condition the vibration signal as well as generate a PeakVue signal
3. Digital circuitry to process the vibration and temperature signals
4. An energy and power dense lithium C-cell battery for long life
5. A 2.4 GHz spread spectrum radio transmitter/receiver with antenna

The battery life under normal conditions is expected to be one year or greater, even with a full set of data being collected once per day. In addition, this device is mechanically designed to withstand the harsh conditions encountered in a typical plant environment. Even with all the functionality built into the sensor, it is only approximately 4″ tall and 2.5″ in diameter.

In terms of measurement point setup, the sensor is capable of:

1. Vibration data displayed in acceleration, velocity, or displacement
2. Pre-set sensor power on/off, measurement point sensitivity, auto-ranging
3. Single analog integration and double digital integration
4. Pre-set analog overall mode override

All other measurement point setup options in RBMware are supported in the usual manner. In terms of analysis parameter setup, the RF Smart Sensor has the following capabilities:

1. A series of pre-set Fmax values ranging from approximately 39 Hz to 9375 Hz (RBMware and the 2120 plotting functions will select the nearest Fmax which exceeds that of the RF Smart Sensor).
2. Up to 1600 lines of resolution, ten averages, and twelve analysis parameters (Hz INT, Order INT, HFD, Hz vHFD, MP Wave, P-P Wave, and Crest).
3. Analog pre-processing with a fixed high-pass filter setting of 2.5 KHz.

Note that the sensor Fmax values in Hz are: 39.06, 58.59, 78.13, 117.19, 195.31, 191.97, 390.63, 585.94, 781.25, 1171.9, 1562.5, 2343.8, 4687.5, 6250.0, and 9375.0. Also note that spectral weighting, 1/3 octave analysis, SST, special time waveform collection, and demodulation in the envelope demodulator are not supported. All other analysis parameter options in RBMware are supported in the usual manner.

Finally, supported alarm limit set unit codes are VELOC, DISPL, ACCEL, HFD, TEMP (overall only), W-ACC, and W-VEL. Additionally, only the four absolute alarms are supported for the alarm type. All other alarm limit setup options are also supported.

Spinach Computing

Green Machines

That lightning-like response―a hundred times faster than a silicon solar cell―may signal a bright future for plant-based electronics, says ORNL physicist Elias Greenbaum. In 1985, Greenbaum invented a way (now patented) to precipitate platinum onto the photosynthetic membranes from spinach, thus turning them into tiny electrical switches. These ‘platinized chloroplasts’, Greenbaum believes, could become the building blocks of artificial retinas for robotic vision systems, or even of speed-of-light optical computers.

Robert Birge, director of the Center for Molecular Electronics at Syracuse University, says Greenbaum’s membranes have ‘significant potential’ for artificial vision. “They’re very efficient,” he says. “They produce a highly characteristic electrical signal, and the response times are excellent―faster than the human retina.”

In fact, Birge―developer of a way to use proteins for data storage―foresees a veritable green wave of bioelectronics within a decade or so. Already, he says, Mitsubishi is close to introducing an optical disk based on light-sensitive biological pigments.

According to Birge, nature’s electronics are not just faster than silicon electronics, they’re also potentially cheaper and―as you might expect―far easier on the environment. The reason for their advantages, he says, is this: They have a billion-year head start over silicon semiconductors. “Five to seven years ago,” Birge notes, “people assumed that these biological molecules could not possibly be as efficient as the molecules people design from scratch in the laboratory. They also assumed that these molecules would be easily damaged by light or heat. What Eli has shown is that quite the opposite is true.”

Spinach Protein Finds New Use
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have found a new use for spinach―electronic components.

The scientists say that a protein in spinach has the ability to convert photons from the Sun into electrical energy. When spinach proteins are arranged in an ordered fashion on a flat surface, they create an electronic component called a diode (similar to a one-way valve for electric current). These diodes could be combined with other components to make switches such as the ones that store and manipulate all information in a computer. Spinach proteins are much more environment friendly than the often toxic materials that go into the making of computer chips. The era of spinach-based electronics may be on the horizon. Spinach? It may seem tough to swallow, but researchers at the ‘Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee’ have been exploring ways to use microscopic protein structures from spinach leaves as electronic devices.

The Oak Ridge team previously had found how to extract and isolate the tiny spinach proteins, which are part of the plant’s photosynthetic machinery for converting sunlight into chemical energy. The protein structure, called Photo System-I, can generate a light-induced flow of electricity in a few trillionths of a second.

Now, the researchers say, they have found how to attach the protein structures to a gold-plated surface and orient them in specified directions. That is an advance, they say, toward making simple electronic switches and logic circuits like those on silicon computer chips.

The natural protein structures do offer several potential advantages, Green Baum said, including smaller size and probably faster response times than the circuits etched in today’s silicon-based computer chips. The spinach-derived structures being manipulated by the Oak Ridge team are only six nanometers across. (A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.)

Why Choose Spinach?
It contains more of the protein structures than other plants, Lee said, and they are relatively easy to extract from spinach leaves. Also, spinach is inexpensively available at the supermarket.

The team needs very little of the leafy green plants for its work. “We only need a little bit, maybe half a bunch,” Lee said, “and then we eat the other half.” That half bunch of spinach, less than a pound, is enough to keep the team supplied with research material for about three months, Lee said.

Computer Technology Topics

The 21st century is the age of computer technology and it has brought about a fundamental change in every facet of our life. It has largely influenced the way we communicate and the way information exchange is facilitated in today’s world. An emergent phenomenon, that is a byproduct of advances in computer networking technology, is the Internet. It has truly transformed the world into a global village, with every part of the world linked to its vast network. This happened out of the evolution of the field of information technology (IT).

Topics About Computer Technology

If you are planning to pursue a career in information technology. You have a lot to learn. This is a compendium of many computer related topics, that will provide you with an idea about the things you need to know, as you become a part of the large community of technologists.

It involves information about the history of computers, as well as topics on new technologies. It’s singularly impossible to cover each and every topic related to these fields, in one article. That’s why, I have provided links to detailed articles, on various technological trends.

History Topics
Programmable computers have been in development since the 1930s. Within seven to eight decades, they have evolved from the early vacuum tube based four-story machines, to the laptops and supercomputers of today. The development of operating systems and establishment of software development industries, combined with advances in semiconductor physics, have led to the portable PC revolution we see today. If you are researching their history, here are some interesting topics to read.

– When was the First Computer Made
– History of Computers
– Who Made the First Computer
– Intel Microprocessor History
– History of Microprocessors
– History of Macintosh Computers
– Computer History: Full Timeline
– Evolution of Computers

Hardware
Computer hardware provides the functionality needed to drive the juggernaut of information technology, that is taking the world by storm. Here are some related topics that include information about everything, ranging from processors to data storage devices.

Processor

– Best Processor
– What are Computer Chips Made Of
– AMD Vs. Intel Processors
– Intel Core i3 Vs. i5 Vs. i7
– 32 Bit Vs. 64 Bit Processors
– Intel Core i3 Vs. Core 2 Duo
– Quad Core Vs. Dual Core
– What is Processor Cache
– i3 Vs. Dual Core
– Intel Vs. AMD Processor Comparison

Motherboard

– Best Motherboard Brand
– Motherboard Types
– What is a Motherboard

Memory

– Computer Memory Types
– How Does Computer Memory Work
– Computer Memory Test
– What is Virtual Memory
– How to Check RAM
– What is RAM

Hard Drives

– Hard Drive Types
– How to Use an External Hard Drive
– How to Check Hard Drive Space
– How to Repair Bad Sectors on a Hard Drive
– How to Clean a Hard Drive

Data Storage

– Data Storage Types
– Types of Databases
– RAID 5 Vs. RAID 1
– RAID Levels Explained
– Advantages of Relational Databases

Repair

– Computer Freezes After Startup
– Print Screen Not Working
– System Restore Does Not Work
– High CPU Usage Problem
– Boot Up Problems
– Fix Cyclic Redundancy Check Error

The range of topics provided above are testimony to the complexity involved in this field. Computers are taking over most of the data processing jobs in the field of finance. Through the integration of advanced electronics and computing technology, robotics is emerging as a field of the future. The ultimate dream of computer technologists is developing an artificial intelligence; an artificial mind that will be able to think and figure out things on its own. While it still remains a very distant dream, smart machines and robots, with limited analytical capabilities, have already been developed. It is safe to conclude that the future of computing technology is very promising.

Importance of Information Technology

Information technology pertains to the study, design, and development of computer systems (hardware and software) and networks, which are used for obtaining, processing, and distributing data. This field has been growing at a very fast pace over the last few years, and according to experts, this growth is expected to remain stable. Millions of jobs have been created by IT, and hence, today, it is essential for everyone to understand what information technology is, and how it plays a vital role in every aspect of modern-day life.

Why is Information Technology Important in Business?

Information technology today is essential in ensuring the smooth functioning of all the departments in a company, such as the human resource department, finance department, manufacturing department and in security related purposes.

Many different businesses require specialized software-packages for satisfying their operational as well as functional needs. The major companies sign deals with the software manufacturing companies to purchase their products along with their yearly updates. Some even get specific software designed according to their individual needs.

The manufacturing and production companies, such as those in the automobile sector, use IT and software products to get rid of any sort of errors or mistakes, in the proper functioning of the tools used for designing and manufacturing purposes. Further, thanks to the developments in the information technology sector, these companies are able to keep themselves aware of the changes in the global markets.

The software applications and the hardware devices are known to be the main elements required for the use of information technology. The web browsers, the operating systems, ERP’s and special purpose applications are the software which are used in information technology.

IT plays an important role in easily solving the mathematical problems especially in engineering and in the project management system. It has great use in the automated production of sensitive information, up-gradation of the important business processes, and streamlining of the various business processes. It also plays an important role in the areas of communication and automated administration of entire systems.

Importance of Information Technology in Management

Information Technology has a significant presence in the management of various organizations. It helps the managers in adapting to the new business processes, and also for predicting the possible impacts of newer technologies.

The managers can benefit from the efficiently prepared computer packages and the electronically stored confidential information. With just a single click of the mouse, they can have the relevant information in front of their screen.

However, to be able to handle these software packages in a better way, the managers have to undergo quality training in the use of information technology. Taking this need into consideration, many corporate organizations can be seen taking special efforts for the development of these skills, via training programs prepared by experienced software professionals.

Importance of Information Technology in Education

Information technology has made its presence in the educational sector too. It helps the students as well as the teachers in studying the course material easily, by enabling faster access to information from across the globe, on a number of different topics.

Studying the subjects with the help of on-line libraries and dictionaries, has made grasping and learning easier for the students. The inclusion of information technology in the syllabus of schools, colleges and universities, has helped them in understanding their subjects well, and for getting their basics and fundamentals cleared.

The on-line grading system, used by many educational centers, is a boon for the parents, as it helps them keep track of their children’s performances and progress. IT based communication systems such as emails, SMS, etc., can also be used to forward the details of the attendance record of the children to their parents or guardians.

Thus, the applications of the IT sector today, are visible in many different fields, ranging from industrial, managerial, to educational. With newer innovations and developments happening daily, the IT sector is expected to grow at an even faster pace in the coming years, thereby creating ample opportunities for deserving candidates, improving the different processes and procedures, and further enriching our lives.

Impact of Information Technology on Business

Information technology is a wide field, and has enabled organizations across the world to work in an efficient manner. It plays a very important role in effective management and running of a business. The use of IT in organizations is inevitable, be it any type of company like manufacturing or medicinal sector. It has contributed largely to the process advancements in organizations. In this write-up, you will understand the impact of information technology on business.

Basic Elements

Software and Applications

Software is an important part of IT, which relates to computer applications that enable a company to generate, store, program, and retrieve data as and when needed. There are many software developed for different purposes. All operations in the business sector are carried out by software that are assigned for executing specific tasks. Without these computer applications, the trade wouldn’t have been able to carry out their functions in a proper and efficient manner. Operating systems, ERPs, special purpose applications, and web browsers are some examples of different software.

There are some software, which are exclusively built to contribute to the proper collaborative working of all sections of the businesses, which are known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These are complex applications, which enable people to efficiently manage all functions and operations of all processes.

Hardware Devices

These are various computer equipment that house the software. Devices like microcomputers, mid-size servers, and huge mainframe systems are some examples of hardware. Businesses have to maintain a huge collection of important data. For this purpose, they employ these devices, which are responsible for storing confidential company data and retrieving it back when required. Other hardware devices include network devices that are used for providing Internet access to work and communicate expeditiously. There are even devices, which enable manufacturing tools and equipment to work accurately in the industrial sector.

Influence of IT

Small scale ventures need to buy software packages that would cater to their specific management, operational, and functional needs. For this purpose, they need to approach firms and IT manufacturers who deal in such software applications. Other IT services include Internet marketing and email marketing, web hosting and promotions, and maintaining client networks. Larger ventures, on the other hand, have their own operational and functional employees who develop software applications and work on several IT needs. They usually purchase ERP software to coordinate different processes and functions into a single application, which is actually more convenient.

The manufacturing sector may make use of servers and databases to store their vast data regarding inventory, B2B, B2C, FMCG (in the retail sector), etc. Automobile manufacturers use computers to guide manufacturing and designing tools to function in a precise manner, ruling out the possibilities of any human error. Businesses all around the globe have to take the aid of IT in some way or the other to keep themselves in sync with the market and the world. There are several departments in organizations, such as HR and recruitment, finance and payroll, administration, and security. All these departments utilize IT to carry out their respective operations in a productive manner and efficient manner.

The role of IT in entrepreneurship is certainly of a great importance, which enables businesses to effectively and successfully plan, manage, execute strategies which lead to profit. Moreover, the impact of information technology on business is on the rise, as several advancements are focused on to be implemented in various business processes.