Huntsville, AL (PressExposure) March 16, 2011 -- Programmable "correlated" electromagnet array technology from Correlated Magnetics Research (CMR) was recently selected by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers as one of the 2011Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture.
An annual effort of SME's Innovation Watch Committee of the Manufacturing Enterprise Council, this list showcases new and emerging technologies and processes that are already making a difference in manufacturing. "Our Committee's goal is to scan the vast technology landscape for cutting-edge innovations and to investigate ways they can be utilized," said committee member Christopher Kaye, director of innovative technology, US Endoscopy. The newly patented idea from CMR employs a surface array of electromagnets, a control system to vary the polarity of individual electromagnet elements in time, and a free-moving object programmed to attach precisely using correlated magnetics technology.
Using the control system to create and then "move" a pattern by discreet steps through the electromagnet array, the coded magnet device will correlate with (and bind to) the moving magnetic field pattern as shown in Figure-1. In this manner, objects can be transported from one point to another without mechanical means. The array can be any size and the surface can be arbitrary. Manufacturing and complex assembly operations that rely on robotic positioning and transport systems can deploy those systems in the vertical dimension or even make use of ceiling space.
"Manufacturing automation and mechanization is an obvious application for correlated magnetics enabled by electromagnet arrays," said correlated magnetics inventor and CMR CEO Larry Fullerton. "Prior to this, we have shown, with permanent magnets, the precision alignment control and benefits in tensile and shear strength for coupling correlated magnetic devices. Now, with a software-controlled electromagnet array, we can add the time dimension and substantially extend the capabilities of our technology."
Other innovations recognized this year include: quantum dots, microstructured molding tools, a remote-presence robot, super velcro using shape memory polymer, graphene - the strongest known material and Build To Demand - a capacity-driven production strategy.
Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture will be a central focus of the Manufacturing Velocity: SME Annual Conference scheduled for June 5-7, 2011, in a Seattle suburb. Attendees of this conference can learn more about the programmable electromagnetic array when CMR vice-president Ron Jewell presents Correlated Electromagnets and Manufacturing. The conference will bring together manufacturing professionals and leaders from throughout North America and beyond who are interested in innovations and exchanging ideas in one place.