Machine Design

Looking Back 7/23/2009

10 YEARS AGO —JULY 22, 1999
E-stop switch failures can cost lives: Sunnyvalebased IDEC Corp. designed a tamperproof emergency-stop switch with all components solidly molded into the body so the contacts cannot be removed or vibrate out. Moreover, no parts can be snapped on or screwed in and the switches cannot be removed from the front of the panel. The new switch cannot be jammed with an object, and it has a direct mechanical link between the pushbutton and switch contacts. Safety-conscious companies such as General Motors and Toyota are adapting their high reliability Unibody E-switch to prevent these kinds of failures and ensure a safer workplace.

30 YEARS AGO — JULY 26, 1979
Home Appliances – Improving the Good Life: MACHINE DESIGN takes a look at changes over the past 50 years in home appliances. The industry is a major competitor for America’s disposable income as well as a major factor in determining our style of living. Chore-tackling appliances have created freedom to do more than housework. The marketplace determines what appliances are needed. Appliance makers rethink existing products and refine them or develop new ones. This process of innovation brings products such as dishwashers and microwave ovens that were first thought of as luxury items, but are now necessities as the good life becomes even better.

50 YEARS AGO — JULY 23, 1959
Transducers get workout in new pressure scanner: Up to 160 industrial pressures are read by 16 transducers in a new pressure scanner. Although designed for a specific wind-tunnel application, in which 10 pressures are scanned by each of the 16 transducers in the system, it can be used in any pressure-instrumentation system. Designed by Datex Corp., Monrovia, Calif., each of the scanner’s four rotors will accept four flush-diaphragm transducers, and 40 pressure-line inputs can be connected to each of four stators. Pressure inputs can range from 0 to 100 psia.

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