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Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #9 – “LEDs are expensive”

June 24, 2013 9:00 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

“Ten bucks for a light bulb?!”, exclaims my daughter in response to my estimate of the ‘tipping point’ price for LED-based lighting products for the residential consumer. She, like many consumers, has yet to internalize that the real cost of ‘inexpensive’ conventional light bulbs is energy consumption, and that LEDs pay back on this aspect right away.

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #10 – “LEDs are dangerous”

June 21, 2013 2:06 pm | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

Any time a new, disruptive technology enters the public sphere, concern is raised about almost every conceivable aspect. This is especially the case for lighting wherein each and every one of us has a base of experience and, likely, some opinions. While it is certainly prudent to scrutinize any new technology from a health and use perspective...

Google Glass meets “smart” health

June 18, 2013 9:24 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Google Glass is a huge step forward, but trendy eyewear isn’t everything. Sometimes, you gotta think about health. “Smart” eyewear has just collided with smart vision correction — and no, I’m not talking about the prescription-based versions of Google Glass that are in development.

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The everyday usefulness of the problem statement

June 10, 2013 1:32 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

Last week, I wrote about how our continuous improvement and process improvement tools and methods can be used any time and discussed the Parameter Diagram or P-diagram as an example. Let’s continue that thread and look at the ubiquitous usefulness of the problem statement.

Yes, manufacturing is back in the U.S.

June 10, 2013 10:56 am | by Harry Moser, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

PD&D Executive Editor David Mantey recently published the article “Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?” The article offers some good insight on the reshoring debate, as well as some common misinterpretation of the subject. Mr. Mantey and his subject Mr. Young acknowledge that reshoring, or not offshoring, has become a viable alternative in the consciousness of the business world.

Capturing lost revenue: 5 steps for semiconductor companies

June 5, 2013 9:17 am | by Greenberg, senior director of business development at Model N Inc. | Blogs | Comments

The global economy is on the upswing in 2013, which means semiconductor companies have a great opportunity to reap the benefits. According to analyst firm IHS, revenue is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year after two straight years of decline.

Lower healthcare costs could mean less human interaction

May 20, 2013 3:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

For those who live alone, good medical care is all the more important. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business is growing, and the prevalence of wireless connectivity could push down the price of healthcare for the elderly, especially — but at the greater cost of human interaction.

Dealing with counterfeits in the market

May 16, 2013 2:53 pm | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications, Rochester Electronics | Blogs | Comments

Counterfeiters are adaptable and constantly incorporating solutions that can void the latest countermeasures adopted by the electronics manufacturers and their supply chain. In some cases, the counterfeits are very hard to differentiate from the original component.

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Welcoming grandma into our virtual future

May 16, 2013 1:27 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

A virtual reality (VR) headset by the name of Oculus Rift made a big splash on Kickstarter, raising a stellar $2.43 million to get development kits into the hands and on the noggins of game developers. And now that the units have started to ship, people in the gaming community are getting treated to video after video of people wearing the goggles and trying to explain just how floored they are....

Much ado about nothing: The impact of the medical device excise tax

May 15, 2013 1:32 pm | by Michael Lewis, Writer, Money Crashers Personal Finance | Blogs | Comments

Students of military strategy learn quickly the advantages of choosing when and where to fight, rather than wasting resources on trivial issues. An impartial observer would wonder about the wisdom of the excessive rhetoric, over-the-top hyperbole, and political posturing surrounding the medical device excess tax.

Open innovation spurs ultimate American success

May 14, 2013 4:35 pm | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

Under Armour is always a great example of innovation as a whole. The company began with an idea, a need and pure hunger to be the best, and it has become the ultimate American success story. UA has a candid approach to roundtable conversations. They sit down and talk about a technology’s strengths and weaknesses; ponder the potential length of time-to-market; and have heart-to-heart conversations to explain the contract.

Syria’s Internet silence could happen to us

May 14, 2013 10:08 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

On Tuesday, May 7, Syria disappeared from the Internet. It went offline in a targeted act of censorship, yet the blanket of silence fell over the entire country. While severe government crackdowns often happen halfway across the globe, the ripple effect is spreading farther all the time.

Respect for trial & error, & success

May 13, 2013 9:14 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

There are many ways we transform questions and uncertainty into confidence, new products, or innovative solutions. Experimentation and trial is one that many seem compelled to avoid. Give respect to the power of trial and experimentation, and to its risks. Right now I’m working on a project with a friend of mine and it strikes me how differently we approach the development of our vision.

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Nowhere to run

May 13, 2013 9:04 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Karma certainly is a swift vixen, isn't she? I was a few hours removed from editing Meaghan Ziemba’s column, Smartphone Shakes, for the latest issue of Wireless Design & Development magazine (PD&D’s sister) when I was retelling the story of her troubles following an incident involving a barroom toilet and her smartphone — nothing pairs well with such sleazy settings, particularly electronics.

Should engineers be licensed: A process improvement perspective

May 8, 2013 9:29 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

In his article, “Should Engineers Be Licensed,” posted on www.pddnet.com Monday, April 22, Karl Stephen presented an interesting question that generated a great many comments and some debate among readers.  Perhaps a way to answer the question is to answer the question phrased differently.

The web after 20 years: It’s not so different

May 6, 2013 4:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

On April 30, the World Wide Web turned 20. Oh, how the years pass us by. When we think about how people use the Internet today, some of us cringe. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pervade every virtual inch, enticing thousands to waste countless hours of their lives....

A tale of two lamps

April 30, 2013 4:19 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

A few months ago, my wife bought a lamp at an office-supply place to light up the table where my father-in-law plays dominoes with us. He’s 87 and his eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so having lots of light in the right place is important. The ceiling light doesn’t quite do the job.

‘Internet Of Things’: An opportunity for intelligent device manufacturers

April 29, 2013 3:25 pm | by Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy, Flexera Software | Blogs | Comments

The “Internet of Things” is a phrase used to describe how the internet will link traditional smart devices, and a wide range of additional physical assets to allow these endpoints to generate and share data. Nearly every product will have an IP address and communication capability — not just networking and telecommunications devices...

Guns are only as ‘smart’ as we are

April 29, 2013 9:48 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

I’m uncomfortable with the phrase "smart gun." Maybe that’s because the words make me think of Skynet in Terminator, or the great lesson to man about the dangers of artificial intelligence gussied up in a blockbuster action-movie franchise. While it’s probably not going to rebel and nearly exterminate all of mankind, in the wrong hands, real-world technology can become a tool for evil.

Going through smartphone withdrawal

April 25, 2013 9:34 am | by Meaghan Ziemba, Editor, WDD | Blogs | Comments

I recently attended a concert in Madison, WI. I placed my phone in my back pocket to avoid carrying a purse and to have it easily accessible when I wanted to update my status and snap a few photos. Unfortunately, after a visit to the facilities and a horrifying plop, I knew that I was in trouble.

Please turn out the lights

April 24, 2013 9:18 am | by Krystal Gabert, Editor, Food Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

When I was a child, my brother and I would play a little game, flipping on light switches and counting the minutes until my dad turned them off. He told us that someday we’d pay the electric bill and he’d have the last laugh, watching us pad around turning out lights just like he had.

Should engineers be licensed?

April 22, 2013 2:20 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

Not long after I chose electrical engineering as a major in college, someone asked me if I was planning to take the EIT exam. What was that? It stands for “engineer in training” and it is the customary first step in obtaining a Professional Engineer (PE) license. To the best of my recollection, it didn’t cost that much and I went ahead and took it....

Ubiquitous computing: A gadget for every body part

April 19, 2013 12:50 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

As a culture, we’re obsessed with cool gadgets, and we’ve come a long way from the household coffeemaker. Now we’re creating motion-sense devices that can control others from afar with just a flick of the wrist. Enter the Myo armband, which shows how dependent on technology we’ve become. We want to do everything with one fancy gizmo.

We all need Google Fiber

April 15, 2013 1:16 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Almost a year ago, Google launched its first broadband internet network, Google Fiber, in Kansas City (the Kansas and Missouri versions both), with speeds that severely overshadowed currently-available cable and DSL providers for a fraction of the cost. Consumers were able to sign up for 1 gigabit download speeds for a mere $70 a month.

Silicon Valley has nothing on manufacturing

April 12, 2013 5:45 pm | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturing floors don’t have Lego stations and pool tables — and yes, OSHA may take issue with throwing empty cans from the mini bar into the same bin as the scrap metal from the lathe, but that doesn’t mean that the industry has any fewer engineers flocking to it.

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