Brief Information About Precision Machining And Activities That Make Businesses

One of the most important parts of building any type of equipment will need to expertise that is delivered through precision machining. Combining human talent with the latest technological advances engineers are able to produce highly intricate pieces that are used in a huge variety of items.

These parts are found in vehicles which are driven on the roads each day, aircraft carrying millions of passengers all around the world and even venturing into outer space. With life and death in the hands of the engineers they are meticulous to ensure their products are one hundred percent inspected before being allowed to leave the premises.

The machines are highly technical such as the CNC lathes, mills and drills. This precision machining machinery is able to produce one of designs as well as large batch deliveries for the larger jobs. Experts operate the machines through a number of different programs such as CAM or CAD. An eye for detail is essential with the public relying on the precision being perfect to ensure they are safe and will not cause any accidental harm especially when working for the defense of the country.

Smaller companies can also use these talents and precision machining to produce intricately detailed embellishments and creations. The lathes are able to produce the most amazing looking pieces that can be used to form the workings of a machine, or serve as decoration.

If you are interested at training to be a machinist you will need to look for a local college that offers CNC operator courses. These usually last around fifteen weeks and give you hands on training in a class environment. When you qualify in the skilled trade you will be able to apply for machinist jobs.

You will work together with expert computer programmers to produce items which are in demand through multiple industries. Being skilled means that you are more likely to land a job in this increasingly difficult job market, the qualification can make you stand out in the crowd.

Precision Machining Activities That Make The Business

You may have come across the term precision machining but have no idea what it is. You’ll actually be surprised to know how this industry has grown. Prototyping is one activity that happens once you walk into a machining shop. You will see prototypes.

These are really made to be models that are utilized to serve as samples of the shop’s products to customers. What you do as a customer is pick the prototype of your choice and the shop personnel will then go on and make a similar item as the one you chose.

Prototypes are made for items such as industrial machines, high tech equipment, and other items for used in the industry. Another term which you may also have heard of is fabrication. This is the kind of process wherein equipment is built and made from scratch with the use of raw materials.

Fabrication is one other thing that happens in machining shops. A customer may instead of choosing a prototype, bring a design or plan of his choice and the shop will then make a product like it and present it to the customer.

One more thing that precision machining shops can do is cutting tool blanking which is an important activity which someone in the shop really has to have the capacity to do.

precision machining shops are the ones people approach as they are capable of doing the job in a short time. Shops do cutting tool blanks by molding or shaping raw materials by basing the work on specifications that were given for the product.

All these activities mentioned are those that typically happen daily in these machine shops. They are the ones that keep these businesses alive. If you need any of their products or services, then contact your nearest machine shop to assist you with what you need.

Redefining Automotive Human Machine Interfaces

Human Machine Interfaces, or HMIs, traditionally consist of multiple systems which allow drivers to interact with their vehicle. In today’s automotive designs, the HMI also displays any feedback from the vehicle to the driver. This interaction begins the instant one unlocks the car door, continues while driving, and ends the moment the driver gets out and locks the car. It involves the optimal balance of the driver’s sensory inputs to make the driving experience both safe and enjoyable. Some of the more commonly recognized HMI system modules for enhancing the driver’s experience are keyless entry, power seats control, side mirror control, occupant detection, and most importantly, the vehicle’s center stack where the majority of human-machine interactions take place.

Today, more and more companies are venturing to introduce technologies one would expect to be consumer electronics features into vehicles. In addition, the HMI is being extended to allow drivers to control and access personal electronics devices, from cell phones to mp3 players, through the car’s infotainment system.

How drivers interact with these systems is also changing as mechanical buttons give way to capacitive touch inputs, resistive touch screens to capacitive touch screens, standard bulbs to high brightness LEDs, and standard color to color mixing solutions.

The automotive industry is going through a Human Machine Interface revolution that continues to change the way drivers and passengers interact with their cars. Looking back at some of the new products introduced during the past few years, and knowing what exists in the development pipeline, one can, with some confidence, project what features drivers might be able to select from when buying a new car.

One challenge the automotive market faces is how quickly it can adopt and adapt to these new technologies. Today, semiconductor companies offer a wide range of automotive qualified products with integrated development tools to empower automotive system designers to design-in, test, optimize, and launch designs one might otherwise only see in the consumer electronics arena. Capacitive touch technology, for example, offers flexibility and a high level of customization, enabling automotive designers to merge new features with already existing mechanical designs for functionality enhancement, button replacement, touchpad input device, capacitive touch screens, proximity sensing, or a combination thereof.

****Based on Cypress’ PSoC family of mixed signal array products, CapSense expands the standard analog programmability of PSoC by providing a flexible and cost effective means for implementing capacitive sensing, proximity detection, and capacitive touch screens on a single chip. Scope of integration depends on product used and internal chip resources available.

Button enhancement refers to the use of capacitive sense technology to complement or expand the functionality of traditional mechanical buttons. With the functional integration in infotainment modules, buttons can be programmed to match driver preferences. Capacitive sensing provides important value by adding another functional layer as simple as button function preview or proximity detection as described in the proximity sensing section below.

Button functions can range from radio station presets, saved playlists, and phone number speed dials, to favorite destinations in navigation systems. Capacitive touch can also be used as a redundancy safety feature to detect a stuck-switch failure mode for function-critical mechanical switches such as an ESC (Electronic Stability Control) Off switch.

Button Replacement
Button replacement is the full implementation of capacitive touch buttons with the removal of all mechanical components from the module switch panel as shown in Figure 2. Capacitive sensing, in this case, provides freedom of design by removing restrictions imposed by mechanical designs such as curvatures, overlay material, and most importantly, manufacturability of complex designs.

Proximity sensing can also be integrated to provide a higher level of integration by disabling controls or turning off panel backlighting until proximity is detected, at which point the system wakes up and returns to full operation. Another value is the added system reliability provided by the elimination of mechanical components which can fail over time and the ability to use a single-piece panel design that provides a sealed design against elements found in the passenger cabin (i.e., all liquids and particles such as dust). Button replacement does pose new design challenges, however, as it can be overcome. Mechanical buttons provide tactile feedback while capacitive touch-based designs rely on feedback from other human sensory inputs such as vision (LED button status) and hearing (buzzer).

Touchscreen and Touchpads
Although visually similar to capacitive touchscreens, resistive touchscreens still have mechanical properties – resistive touchscreens are based on pressure detection rather than touch sensing – which affect their durability and performance in automotive environments and over the life of the vehicle. Capacitive touchscreens will gain traction in new infotainment systems due to their durability over time and across the automotive temperature range as well as their resistance to scratches and higher transparency versus resistive touchscreens. As higher transparency is directly correlated to system power consumption since it requires lower backlighting intensity, this in turn reduces overall power consumption in systems where power management is highly complex due to the tight packaging and location of the electronic modules. Figure 3 shows an example implementation of a navigation unit with capacitive touch pads embedded in the bezel.

For center stack designs utilizing a mechanical input controller (joystick-like controller) rather than a touchscreen, touchpads offer, in addition to conventional menu control (similar to a laptop touchpad), extended features such as handwriting recognition and all the advantages a touch sense device offers compared to a mechanical design.

Proximity Sensing
Proximity sensing goes beyond button enhancement and button replacement. With proximity sensing, buttons can be completely removed, giving way to full design flexibility and module packaging as well as increased reliability. Proximity sensing applications are mainly tied to illumination control and can be implemented in dome light assemblies (see Figure 4), door pocket lighting applications, and storage compartments. User detection is another proximity sensing application when implemented in the door handle (passive keyless entry) and in the vehicle center stack (to detect whether the driver or passenger is reaching for the controls and to customize button functions accordingly.)

Conclusion
With the single concept of capacitive sensing, HMI designs will be re-invented without being limited by the constraints previously set by mechanical components. Time will tell how quickly and widely Tier 1 and OEM will adopt this technology, but seeing the traction capacitive sensing made in the consumer market, many car enthusiasts hope the process will be quick and across all major automotive platforms.

Capacitive Sensing – Ushering in a Revolution in Automotive HMI Design

Introduction

The increasing numbers of electronic systems in a car have ushered in a revolution which has transformed the car into a safe, luxurious and intelligent machine. One thing that has not changed however is the importance of human interaction with the car. This interaction defines the user experience and is a key marketing differentiation between different vehicles.

The systems measuring and tracking interactions of the user as well as providing feedback are collectively known as Automotive Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems. From the user’s perspective, this interaction maybe conscious – when he deliberately provides input to a system, or subconscious – when the system measures his intent without his knowledge.

Capacitive Sensing – Ushering in a revolution in Automotive HMI

Even with the inherent barriers in the adoption of new HMI technologies in the automotive environment, engineers are constantly trying to improve HMI systems to make them more intuitive, look cooler, and be more accurate. At the heart of this change are innovative human interaction sensing technologies which are enabling this evolution. One such technology is capacitive sensing which has revolutionized the design and implementation of HMI applications.

Very simply, a capacitive sensor is composed of a pair of adjacent electrodes.

When a human being (or any other conductive object) comes in proximity to these electrodes, there is additional capacitance between the electrodes and the object which can be measured to detect the object’s presence.

Using this technology, it is easy to build touch sensors acting as buttons, sliders, trackpads etc. Alternately capacitive sensing can also be used for proximity sensing where no contact is required between the sensor and the user’s body. This can be achieved by increasing the sensitivity of the sensors. Further, such sensors are non-line of sight; therefore, a single sensor is enough to detect approach in 3 dimensions.

Such a technology becomes even more powerful in conjunction with programmable mixed signal controllers. Such devices enable the measurement of capacitance intelligently enabling the detection of human proximity in terms of range, direction of approach, gesture recognition etc. They also enable the possibility of integrating other functions like controlling motors and LEDs to provide feedback to the user based on touch/proximity.

Center console design models:

The Brick Design Model

Center consoles have been traditionally designed using the brick design model. In this model, each center console component is a complete unit comprising of controls/switch panel as well as the actual electro mechanical box.

For example a center console is composed of a number of independent components comprising the HVAC, Audio, and Navigation units. Each individual component is a complete system comprising the controls, electronic components and mechanical actuators etc.

The limitations of such a design is that each system is developed in a silo, and the car manufacturer has only limited control in being able to provide a uniform look and feel. The designers also have limited freedom to design center consoles with restrictions on styling. There is also an increased cost adder to allow for tooling costs associated with additional grooves and harnesses. Due to an increased number of mechanical components, there is also an increased chance of failure.

The integrated design model

In the integrated design model, the control for all elements of the center console are unified into a single front panel with the actual electro-mechanical systems connected through a data bus. The distribution and integration of the control panel enables HMI designers with greater flexibility in styling as well as greater control over uniform look and feel. Such a design also reduces tooling charges and increases reliability. Because of integration and reduction of controls, such designs also reduce the total cost of systems.

The integrated design model is largely made possible because of capacitive touch sensing. Designers can integrate a flat panel with capacitive sensors, and have greater freedom to play around with curves thereby provide a better overall styling of front panels. Due to the reduced number of mechanical components and fewer grooves (which trap dust etc), such designs also enhance reliability and reduce system costs.

Conclusion

From making infotainment systems cooler to providing a reliable methodology for measuring liquid levels, capacitive sensing is proving to be an immensely popular and useful sensing technology for use in the automotive applications. Its potential is just beginning to be tapped with next generation mixed signal controllers which are designed for the automotive industry. As systems get more demanding, designers will find that this technology provides an effective sensing technology for a wide gamut of applications.