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3/23/2009 | 5 MINUTE READ

News briefs -- March 24, 2009

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ACMA announces corrosion conference; AT&T to buy fleet of CNG vehicles; Automated Dynamics receives ISO certification; Delcam founder Donald Welbourn dies; Dieffenbacher, Fraunhofer intensify cooperation; DNB opens lightning lab; Ferarri working on hybrid prototype; Hybrid Plastics wins customer service award; IFAI accepting entries for fabrics competition; IPS names Harker & Associates as rep; Paratherm names Rich Clemens COO; Seminars for Engineers announces composites seminar.

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Improving performance and reducing costs through innovative uses of composite materials will be the focus of the Construction, Corrosion and Infrastructure Conference to be held April 29 to May 1 in Las Vegas, Nev., USA, announced the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).  Geared for manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and engineers, the conference will cover technical properties and advantages of composites in lean manufacturing. It includes education sessions from ACMA and The National Association of Corrosion Engineers International (NACE), as well as exhibits focused on the latest green solutions and networking opportunities. Visit www.acmanet.org/meetings/westerncon.cfm for more information.

Telecommunications company AT&T recently announced plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and approximately $215 million to begin replacing its passenger cars with alternative-fuel models. AT&T's investment represents the largest U.S. corporate commitment to CNG vehicles to date. The new deployments will bring AT&T's alternative-fuel fleet to more than 15,000 vehicles by 2019.

Automated fiber and tape placement system manufacturer Automated Dynamics (Schenectady, N.Y., USA) has received official Certificates of Conformance following assessment of its quality management systems and finding them in conformance with ISO 9001:2000. The Engineered Composite Structures business and the Affordable Automation for Composites business each received a Certificate of Conformance. The Certificates of Conformance were issued by STR-R Registered Company. Automated Dynamics will continue to improve its quality management systems, products and services to meet and exceed customer satisfaction.

Delcam (Birmingham, U.K.) has announced the death of Donald Welbourn, a key pioneer of CAD/CAM research and development in the U.K. His work led to the creation of CAD/CAM specialist Delcam and contributed to the establishment of Cambridge University as a major center for CAD/CAM research. Welbourn first became aware of the potential of computer-aided manufacturing in March 1965 when he heard a lecture to the Engineering Society on the early work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on computer-aided design. He was so fascinated by this that, the following morning, he caught the head of the Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED), Prof. J.F. Baker, and told him that the University must get started in this field.  Prof. Baker was enthusiastic, and by the end of the year, the U.K. Science Research Council had awarded a grant of £65,000 with which to start work on CAD.

At the start of 2009, cooperation partners Dieffenbacher and Fraunhofer ICT (Berghausen, Germany) intensified their collaboration in the development of fiber-composite solutions, creating a research and development alliance that takes into account new and constantly developing technologies. The relocation and development of a technology center, previously situated in Eppingen, will be complete by the start of 2010. From this point forward a development center located at a neutral site, is offering the opportunity to further developments of fiber-composite components in compression molding technology. The pooling of the activities of both institutions — from material and process research to product engineering and production-scale prototyping — is said to offer synergy effects that will lead to faster innovation and efficient transformation of research and development solutions into industrial products.

DNB Engineering (Fullerton, Calif., USA) has announced a full-service direct effect lightning laboratory that fully meets the requirements of DO-160, SAE ARP5412-5416, SAE AE4L, EUROCAE ED-14, MIL-STD-1757, and more. Recent capital improvements have expanded its capability to fully meet the new requirements of DO-160F, Section 23. Improvements include a new 3 million V Marx Generator that exceeds the specification for Voltage Waveform D with electrode separation of greater than 1m.  Voltage Waveform D is applicable to equipment designated with High Voltage Strike Attachment Test Categories 1A and 1B, such as radomes, propellers, lights, etc. Visit www.dnbenginc.com.

Officials at Fiat SpA’s Ferrari unit say the high-performance brand is testing a hybrid-electric drivetrain in a 599-based prototype vehicle. The company says the earliest such a model might be offered is 2015. Further, the company reports that if a hybrid is produced, it will maintain Ferrari-like performance. In the meantime, Ferrari says it may employ downsized turbocharged engines and regenerative braking to help it meet an internal goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions an average of 40 percent per vehicle.

Global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has presented Hybrid Plastics Inc. (Hattiesburg, Miss., USA) with its “2009 Global High Performance Fillers Customer Service Award.” Frost & Sullivan stated that “Hybrid Plastics’ customer service is unparalleled in the high-performance fillers market. The company is recognized for its rapid turnaround of unique new products according to customer requirements and the additional assistance provided to customers to enable them to optimally utilize these products.” Hybrid has developed a platform technology called POSS® (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane). It is a new nanotechnology based on silicon-derived building blocks that provide nanometer-scale control to improve the thermal and mechanical properties of traditional polymers while offering easy incorporation using existing manufacturing protocols.

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now accepting entries for the 2009 International Achievement Awards competition. Winning projects will be announced at the IFAI Expo 2009 in San Diego, Calif., USA. Designers, manufacturers or subcontractors of specialty fabric end products are encouraged to submit entries. Projects must fit into one of the 28 IAA categories, be an end product manufactured with a specialty fabric and must fulfill a client's specific need or provide a design solution. For more information, e-mail awards@ifai.com or visit www.ifai.com.

IPS Corp. (Gardena, Calif., USA) has named Harker & Associates (San Jose, Calif.) as its new independent sales representative for WELD-ON plastic adhesive and solvent cement products in California and Hawaii. IPS also has announced that The Plastics Group (Denver, Colo., USA) has expanded its sales territory for IPS WELD-ON plastic adhesive and solvent cement products to include the state of Nevada. The Plastics Group has been selling WELD-ON products for several years in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona.

Paratherm Corp. (West Conshohocken, Pa., USA) has named Rich Clements the new COO and vice president of operations. Clements was promoted after success as sales manager since 2007. Clements has already launched "Immersion Engineering," a new program that caters to solving customer system maintenance problems and emergencies. He will be managing Paratherm's day-to-day operations, drawing from his experiences in previous positions as product director, plant manager and plant engineer.

Seminars For Engineers USA (Madison, N.J., USA) has announced, in association with BTG Composites LLC, its 2009 Composite Materials Design, Testing and Fabrication seminar, April 15 to 16 in Baltimore, Md., USA. Focusing on composite design methodologies, NDT/NDI methods for locating composite defects, advanced manufacturing technologies, test methods and standards and failure criteria, Composite Materials Design, Testing and Fabrication also emphasizes practical design considerations for selecting materials to optimize design and application performance. For more information, visit www.seminarsforengineers.com/composites, or send e-mail to info@seminarsforengineers.com.