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Next Month’s Focus Test and Measurement Send News Releases For


ATX /MDM West


Product Preview VOLUME 32 - NUMBER 12


New Products This Issue


THE GLOBAL HI-TECH ELECTRONICS PUBLICATION December, 2017


Omron Acquires Microscan to Complete Machine Vision Portfolio


By Jacob Fattal, Publisher


APEM launches new series of versatile rocker switches. New products begin on…


Page 68


Optimal Creates Smart EMS Software


Renton, WA — Following the recent additions of Delta Tau Motion Con- trol and Adept Robotics, Omron Cor- poration has acquired industrial traceability and inspection provider Microscan. By adding Microscan to the Omron Group, Omron further ad- vances its interconnected, industrial


Internet of Things (IoT) barcode scanning and machine vision solu- tions. The acquisition was completed in early October 2017. Microscan has been manufac-


turing code scanning and decoding technology since 1982 and operates worldwide. The company offers a wide range of reading devices, in- cluding barcode readers, 2D barcode


readers and barcode verifiers. Mi- croscan also developed an advanced, proprietary algorithm, which enables the reading of codes that are directly engraved or printed on products — even those with rough, glossy or curved surfaces. Robb Black, CEO and COO of


Omron Americas, described the ac- quisition as a “synergistic move.” With Microscan’s numerous develop- ments in code reading and machine vision, Omron can now advertise it- self as a more complete solutions provider. Black specifically high- lighted the company’s track and trace capabilities, which was a key


Continued on page 8


Optimal Electronics' Optel software is designed to provide complete work order, panel and circuit level traceability throughout the factory. EMS section begins on…


Page 20 This Month's Focus: Components and Distribution


Inaugurating Omron’s acquisition of Microscan, executives from Omron Corp., Omron Industrial Automation and Microscan cut a ceremonial ribbon.


Fully-Integrated Circuits Printed on Fabric


Pennatronics evaluates EMS providers from multiple per- spectives; Pickering explores new applications for the reli- able reed relay; Aster enables NPI through test coverage. Special Features begin on……


Page 54


Cambridge, UK — Researchers have successfully incorporated washable, stretchable and breathable electron- ic circuits into fabric, opening up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable electronics. The cir- cuits were made with cheap, safe and environmentally-friendly inks, and printed using conventional inkjet printing techniques. The researchers, from the Uni-


versity of Cambridge, working with colleagues in Italy and China, have


demonstrated how graphene — a two-dimensional form of carbon — can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic cir- cuits that are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine. The new textile electronic de-


vices are based on low-cost, sustain- able and scalable inkjet printing of inks based on graphene and other two-dimensional materials, and are produced by standard processing techniques. The results have been published in the journal Nature Communications. Based on earlier work on the


formulation of graphene inks for printed electronics, the team de- signed low-boiling-point inks, which were directly printed onto polyester fabric. They found that modifying the roughness of the fabric improved the performance of the printed de-


Continued on page 8


Spinning Light Used to Make Ultra Sensitive Sensor


State College, PA — In London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, a whisper can be heard far across the circular whis- pering gallery as the sound curves around the walls. Now, an optical whispering gallery mode resonator developed by Penn State electrical engineers can spin light around the circumference of a tiny sphere mil- lions of times, creating an ultra-sen- sitive, microchip-based sensor for multiple applications. “Whispering gallery mode res-


onators, which are basically optical resonators, have been intensely stud- ied for at least 20 years,” says Srini- vas Tadigadapa, professor of electrical engineering. “What people have done is to take an optical fiber and touch the end with a blow torch. When the melted fiber re-condenses, it forms a sphere at the tip. This can be coupled to a light source to make a sensor.” The resulting type of sensor


consists of solid spheres and is not compatible with microfabrication methods, but recently, Tadigadapa and his team developed an innova- tive way to grow on-chip, glass, mi- crospherical shells with incredible sensitivity that can potentially be used for motion, temperature, pres- sure, or biochemical sensing. The hollow borosilicate glass


Continued on page 6


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