Mechatronics Zone Blog

The Digital Twin Can Improve Production and Reduce Downtime

By Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette | January 4, 2018

A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset. But it’s a lot more than that. The digital twin is a combination of IoT, machine learning, and AI put together to create a replica of your physical machine. It will analyze and predict the impact of actions on that machine.

Artificial Organ Models 3D-Printed with Lifelike Characteristics

By Elizabeth Montalbano | January 4, 2018

3D printing already is being used in medicine to provide physician guidance for how to treat actual patients by practicing on prototype models fabricated using this process.

Now this practice being taken to the next level thanks to a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota, who have 3D-printed lifelike artificial-organ models that mimic the exact anatomical structure, mechanical properties, and look and feel of real organs.

Look Ahead: 10 Areas of Advancing Engineering for 2018

By Design News Staff | January 3, 2018

2018 Look AheadThe new year is here and already proving to offer significant opportunities and advances on 2017.

Before you dive too deeply into 2018, prepare yourself for what will surely be an innovative year full of opportunities and challenges.

Evaluating the Business Impact of Industrial IoT

By Alan Griffiths | January 3, 2018

Most of the technology used in IoT solutions has been around for some time. A recent trend driving its growth is commercial: the reduced cost of sensors and the affordability of cloud computing. Yet companies must still assess the business value that can be achieved before deciding to go ahead with a project. Technology providers need to understand this before investing in solution development. Manufacturing companies are benefiting from IoT in a number of ways, and technology vendors are providing solutions that are having an effect on the market.

Onward to 5G, 6G, and Beyond

By Sylvie Barak | January 2, 2018

There’s no denying the dramatic ways in which mobile and wireless computing have changed the world; whether in how people work, learn, play or socialize. Many can’t get through a productive day without mobile connectivity, and yet, technologically, we’re still at the very earliest stages of “continuous computing” or “ubiquitous connectivity” or any of the plethora of monikers used to describe our always-on, always-connected future.

Using Digital Twins to Reduce Costs in Machine Commissioning

By Paul Goossens | January 2, 2018

The push to develop and release disruptive products ahead of the competition can come unstuck during the early commissioning phases of product development. Too often, design problems only come to light as components or subsystems are being integrated into the machine during the first customer build, forcing the need for late-stage design changes that cause costs to escalate and projects to overrun significantly.

Boom in Robot Advances Expected Over Next Three Years

By Rob Spiegel | January 1, 2018


Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

10 Automotive Startups to Watch in 2018

By Chris Wiltz | December 29, 2017


Tiny, Ring-Like Device Allows for Control of Wearables

By Elizabeth Montalbano | December 29, 2017

Wearable technology is increasingly becoming popular in the form of fitness monitors and smartwatches. But due to their small surfaces, controlling wearables isn’t always user-friendly.

Enter an idea from researchers at Saarland University in Germany, which proposes to use tiny wearable devices that can be worn on the body and need only be manipulated by one finger to control different wearables from one interface.

China, Tesla Will Set Pace of EV Battery Production in 2018

By Charles Murray | December 28, 2017

Electric vehicle battery production will rise in 2018, but the degree to which it rises will depend largely on two wild card factors – China and the Tesla Model 3.

If China continues its government push to sell more electric vehicles, and if Tesla climbs out of its so-called “production hell,” the increases could be big. If neither happens, the battery industry will still see a healthy percentage growth, but one based on small overall volumes.