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News: Manufacturing & Development Showroom

Fraunhofer Institute FEP

Making a thinner glass

Fraunhofer Ultra Thin Glass - © Fraunhofer FEP / Photo: Jürgen Lösel

© Fraunhofer FEP / Photo: Jürgen Lösel

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute FEP are teaming up with Corning, an American manufacturer of glass and ceramics, to create ultrathin glass for sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll processes right through to application in organic electronics. Ultra-thin glass can be used as a substrate as well as for encapsulation in many smart products such as Smartphones, curved displays, OLED light sources and photovoltaics. Especially appealing is to use ultra-thin glass in wearable electronics as well as in intelligent micro-optics and touch-sensors. Moreover, ultrathin glass has excellent surface properties that considerably exceed the ones of conventional plastic films.


Liebherr

Smart Construction Trucks

Liebherr Autonom Truck
Forget self-driving cars: Liebherr, a manufacturer of heavy-duty construction vehicles, recently showed off a 320 ton hauling machine that comes equipped with sophisticated GPS gear and sensors that allow it to operate 24/7 without a human in or near it. Instead they are operated from a control center which can be a thousand miles away. Some of the areas that mining companies have to work in are in hostile or extremely remote areas, making it difficult to find qualified professionals to fill the jobs. The self-driving system also in creases productivity by approximately 12 percent, Liebherr claims. After all, an autonomous construction vehicle is not required to take occasional breaks and can’t call in sick to work. First public field trials are scheduled for 2018.

BigRep

LWorld‘s lrgest FDM 3D printed drone

BigRep 3D Printer
The Berlin technology startup BigRep has created the largest 3D printed drone in the world. Called Duster, the two meter-wide drone’s copter frame is reinforced with carbon threads and designed to accommodate eight electric motors and carry payloads of up to 60 kg. Flight time can be between seven and 40 minutes, but BigRep is working on new battery technology that will enable flights of up to 70 minutes. Duster was developed together with the drone specialists Robert Reichert of OiC Drones, a full-service drone provider, and is destined for use in the industrial sector and in agriculture.


 


University of Illinois

Revving up fiber networks

University of Illinois Hi-Speed Fiber

Need for speed: Milton Feng (r.) and his team are pushing the envolp for fibre (). cable

A team from the University of Illinois has successfully transmitted errorfree data at a rate of 57 gigabits per second (Gbps) through a fiber cable, thus creating a fast lane on the information superhighway. According to professor Milton Feng, the new technology, which is based on a special semiconductor laser, can operate at temperatures of up to 85 degrees, eliminating the need for additional cooling in hi-speed fiber networks. As big data has gotten bigger, the need has grown for a high-speed data transmission infrastructure that can accommodate the ever-growing volume of bits transferred from one place to another. Computing components grow warm over extended operation, as anyone who has worked on an hot laptop knows. Achieving high speeds at hightemperatures is tricky Feng admits. Besides, cooling systems cost money. Latin America are squeezing out weaker players and reducing profit margins of those that remain.

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