Machine design january 2015

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Machine design january 2015

  2. 2. If you think that adding functionality to a fieldbus system requires an engineer who speaks C#, C++, or IEC 61131, we have news for you! Now, you can drastically reduce startup times on many common industry applications such as cranes, conveyors, and turntables - all with zero programming! Simply input your parameters into our inverter solution modules. Oh, and keep your existing PLC and fieldbus – our gateways speak your language. / 864-439-7537 ...NOT!
  3. 3. NEWS 17 ORION MOCKUP WIRED FOR DATA DURING SPLASHDOWN TESTS DEPARTMENTS 4 ON MACHINEDESIGN.COM 10 LETTERS 12 WHAT’S INSIDE Helical Gearboxes Handle Higher Torque with Less Noise DISTRIBUTION RESOURCE 53 DISTRIBUTORS TO HIRE, EXPAND MORE IN 2015 Bearings built for wind turbines FEATURES 30 THE RISE OF THE EXOSKELETONS Trends in sensors, power supplies, batteries, and other technologies are bringing even more potential to the field of developing exoskeletons. 36 QUANTUM COMPUTING 101 Here’s a look at the first commercial quantum computer. 42 PROGRAMMING A QUANTUM COMPUTER Walking through the steps for programming a quantum computer illustrates how they solve problems. COLUMNS 6 EDITORIAL Nominate a STEM Starter to Our March Bracket Madness 26 INTERVIEW Chuck Dolezalek — Banner Engineering Corp. 64 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Bradford L. Goldense — Do Your New Products Sell Like Hockey Sticks? PRODUCTS 59 NEW PRODUCTS 62 CLASSIFIEDS 62 AD INDEX 63 DATA FILES ON THE COVER: Cover image courtesy of Thinkstock. 30 36 42 Printed in U.S.A., Copyright © 2015. Penton Media, Inc.All rights reserved. MACHINE DESIGN (ISSN 0024-9114) is published monthly by Penton Media, Inc., 9800 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212. Paid subscriptions include issues 1-12. Rates: U.S.: $139/year; $199/two years. Canada/ Mexico: $159/year; $239/two years; All other countries: $199/year; $299/two years. Cost for back issues are U.S. $10.00 per copy plus tax, Canada $15.00 per issue plus tax, and Int’l $20.00 per issue. OEM Handbook and Supplier Directory, $50.00 plus tax. Prepaid subscription: Penton Media (MACHINE DESIGN), P.O. Box 2100, Skokie IL 60076-7800. Periodicals Postage Paid at Shawnee Mission, KS, and at additional mailing offices. Can GST #R126431964. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement No.40612608. Canada return address: IMEX Global Solutions, P.O. Box 25542, London, Ont., N6C 6B2. Digital subscription rates: U.S.: $69/year. Canada/Mexico: $79/year.All other countries: $99/year. Print/Digital combo subscription rates: U.S.: $174/year; $249/two years. Canada/Mexico: $199/year; $299/two years; All other countries: $249/year; $374/two years. POSTMASTER: Send change of address notice to Customer Service, MACHINE DESIGN, P.O. Box 2100, Skokie, IL 60076-7800. MachineDesignMagazine JOIN US ONLINE 2 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN InThis Issue JANUARY 2015 | VOLUME 87, ISSUE 1
  4. 4. Research, price, buy at: We make it easier to communicate Now with EtherNet/IP™ as a native protocol, we make it easier to connect the powerful, cost-effective Productivity3000 controller to your existing systems. Configurable as a Scanner, Adapter, or both simultane- ously, the P3-550 CPU supports Explicit or Implicit “I/O” messaging. Connect to EtherNet/IP enabled devices such as ControlLogix and CompactLogix controllers or Flex drives using the Productivity3000’s fill-in-the-blank style configuration and Message instructions. Whether you are configuring a new application or looking to expand an existing one, we can get you in control and connected for less. Performance + Value = CHECK OUT OUR PRICES Example System AutomationDirect Productivity3000 Allen-Bradley CompactLogix All prices are U.S. published prices. AutomationDirect prices are from October 2014 Price List. Allen-Bradley prices taken from 9/10/2014. 1 Thermocouple module from AB is 6-Ch vs. Productivity3000 8-Ch. Base (if required) 110VAC power supply CPU 16pt AC IN 16pt 24 VDC IN 32pt 24 VDC IN 32pt 24 VDC OUT 8pt Isolated Relay OUT 16 ch 0-20mA Analog IN 4 ch volt/mA Analog OUT 8 ch THM & mV IN1 $160.50 P3-08B $133.00 P3-01AC $599.00 P3-550 $121.00 P3-16NA $116.00 P3-16ND3 $158.00 P3-32ND3 $158.00 P3-32TD2 $96.00 P3-08TRS $309.50 P3-16AD-1 $249.00 P3-04DA $433.50 P3-08THM $560.00 1756-A10 $1,023.00 1756-PA75 $11,917.00 1756-L74 $421.50 1756-IA16 $343.50 1756-IB16 $432.50 1756-IB32 $611.00 1756-0B32 $427.50 1756-0X8I $1,413.00 1756-IF16 $1,092.00 1756-0F4 $2,519.00 1756-IT6I N/A N/A $406.50 1769-PA4 $5,928.00 1768-L45 $282.50 1769-IA16 $240.50 1769-IQ16 $423.00 1769-IQ32 $462.00 1769-OB32 $263.00 1769-OW8I $1,056.00 1769-IF16C $678.50 1769-OF4 $915.50 1769-IT6 Total System Price $2,533.50 $20,760.00$10,655.50 Allen-Bradley ControlLogix the #1 value in automation Order Today, Ships Today! *SeeourWebsitefordetailsandrestrictions. ©Copyright2014AutomationDirect,Cumming,GA USA. Allrightsreserved. 1-800-633-0405Alltrademarksarethepropertyoftheirrespectiveowners. COMMUNICATIONS Get the PRO in Other Controllers Drives Universal I/OEthernet Cable
  5. 5. GALLERY: THE FIRST EIGHT X AIRPLANES mach-1-almost-7#slide-0-field_images-38141 X (experimental) airplanes were built by aviation companies but were flown and maintained by NASA (or its predecessor, NACA), and the military. These planes, most of which were one-of-a-kind, were used to explore high-speed, high- altitude flight, as well as vertical takeoffs and launchings, new materials such as titanium, and variable-geometry wings. Here’s a look at the first 13 years of X airplanes, going from 1946 through 1959. VIDEO: ROBOT RECREATES “THE KARATE KID” scene-karate-kid Boston Dynamics and IHMC engineers showcased some impressive control algorithms and had some fun programming their humanoid ATLAS robot to recreate various poses whilst balanced on a stack of cinder blocks, including the crane kick stance made famous in “The Karate Kid.” WHATWASYOUR STEM STARTER? technology-engineering-or-math Maybe it was a microscope, Erector Set, crystal radio, or even something as simple as clay or Play-Doh. But it got your creative juices flowing and set you on a trajectory that carried you through engineering school and to a career in discovery, design, or testing. Machine Design is looking for the most popular and treasured Stem Starter as determined by you, our audience. Visit the blog to find out how to vote for your favorite. 3 MYTHS SURROUNDING LEDs Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are popping up in more and more places as companies and individuals try to save money and reduce energy consumption. But some people insist there are problems with them. In the latest installment of A Skepti- cal Engineer, Senior Staff Editor Steve Mraz shares three of the myths that have arisen around LEDs. join us on 4 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  6. 6. We love a good challenge. If you need a fluid handling component for whatever reason, no matter how extreme, talk to The Lee Company. We’ve been solving complex fluid control problems in all kinds of industries for more than 60 years. Our extensive family of precision fluid control products offers unsurpassed reliability in just about every configuration you could imagine, including: • Miniature Solenoid Valves • Fixed and Variable Volume Pumps • Atomizing and Dispense Nozzles • Micro Dispensing Valves • Integrated Fluidic Manifolds • Custom Engineered Designs We’re not just talking about off-the-shelf solutions, either. A Lee engineer will be happy to discuss your application, and develop a custom design if needed. From managing nanoliter droplets to creating fully integrated fluidic systems, we’re unsurpassed in breadth and experience to deliver the precise, reliable performance you require. Whatever problem you face, make the solution easy. Contact The Lee Company today. Go ahead, push us to your limits. Innovation in Miniature The Lee Company 2 Pettipaug Road | Westbrook, CT 06498-0424 Tel: 860-399-6281 | 800-533-7584 | W e s t b r o o k • L o n d o n • P a r i s • F r a n k f u r t • M i l a n • S t o c k h o l m SCAN THIS CODE See us at Lab Automation, Booth #326 and MD&M West, Booth #2082
  8. 8. How breakthroughs go from the drawing board to the operating room Got a great idea that will revolutionize a patient’s experience in the operating room? Not sure how to turn it into reality? Talk to us. For over 100 years, Schaeffler has been in the business of devel- oping and supplying bearing solutions that safely and efficiently support moving machine parts. When it comes to products that provide movement in medical technology applications, Schaeffler – together with our world-renowned INA, FAG & Barden brands – has decades of experience as both an engineering partner as well as a dependable supplier. We offer: • Comprehensive, application-driven engineering support and solutions throughout all phases of the product life cycle • State-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and cutting-edge materials & surface coatings • An expansive portfolio of nearly 40,000 products, ranging from standard bearings and mechanical components to sophisticated, smooth-running mechatronic systems Schaeffler engineering: greater than the sum of our parts. Superior-quality products. Comprehensive reliable solutions. Need more details? Contact a Schaeffler design engineer at 803-396-3643 or ©2013
  9. 9. Editorial STEPHEN MRAZ | Senior Staff Editor to our March Bracket Madness W hat got you started in engineering? In many cases, it was a parent who worked as an engineer that inspired your career choice. But there’s often a kit, toy, model, or tool that sparked a lifelong interest in cars and combustion engines, radios and electronics, or fireworks and rockets. Maybe it was a microscope or a telescope, a chemical kit or rock- polisher, or even something as simple as Play-Doh. But it got your imagina- tion working overtime and set you on a trajectory that carried you through engi- neering school and to a career in discov- ery, design, and testing. Let us know what so-called STEM Starter got you interested in science, tech- nology, engineering, or math so Machine Design can host another March Bracket Madness campaign, much like last year’s popular World’s Greatest Engineering Movie. This time we’re looking for the most popular and treasured STEM Start- er as determined by you, our audience. The first step is for you to remember the kit, toy, model, or tool you received for Christmas or a birthday, or perhaps you bought it with your own hard-earned money, that helped set you on your course as an engineer, designer, or scientist. Then send it to us via e-mail at Be sure to put STEM in the subject line, and perhaps add a short note as to what prompted your nominating it as a STEM Starter. By March we should have the brackets filled with a variety of interesting and memorable STEM Starters and then we will open the online voting. So let us know what you got you started in engineering. Nominate a STEM Starter ‘‘ We’re looking for the most popular and treasured STEM Starter: a kit, toy, model, or tool that helped set you on your course as an engineer, designer, or scientist. ’’ JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  10. 10. 800 453 6202 >> Accelerate your productivity at ©2013 National Instruments. All rights reserved. LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. 12118 Smarter Embedded Designs, Faster Deployment The combination of NI LabVIEW system design software and reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware helps small design teams with varied expertise develop demanding embedded applications in less time. Using this graphical system design approach, you can take advantage of the same integrated platform to program embedded processors and FPGAs for faster application development in industries ranging from energy to transportation, manufacturing, and life sciences. LabVIEW system design software offers ultimate flexibility through FPGA programming, simplifies code reuse, and helps you program the way you think–graphically.
  11. 11. COATEDBEARING CONUNDRUM I found Bob Budny’s article (“Fixing wind-turbine gearbox problems,” Oct. 9) very interesting. He is a mechanical designer and probably a good one, but he ventured off into metallurgy and that’s where he stubbed his toe a few times. First, at the beginning of the article on p. 54 is a photomicrograph of a met- allurgical phenomenon he calls “axial cracking.” He says, “This problem’s ul- timate source is a great modern puzzle of engineering and generates debate in the industry.” Actually, the defect is well known and commonly called a “butter- fly wing defect.” It is the result of plastic deformation of material in the path of the roller bearing in the presence of a non-metallic inclusion. This causes a crack and a localized recrystallization phenomenon, resulting in creation of nano-ferrite (the light etching material seen in the photomicrograph). Then on pages 60 and 62, he talks about the desirability of having retained austenite in the microstructure of the bearing race material. Wrong. Although he acknowledges the undesirability of the volumetric increase that accompa- nies the transformation of austenite to martensite, he neglects to mention that the freshly formed martensite is un- tempered and brittle, unable to sustain much strain without cracking. Also on p. 62, he recommends apply- ing a black oxide coating to the bearing elements to extend its service life. The black oxide commonly referred to is the coating that results from immers- ing parts in boiling solutions of alkaline salts, such as those used on commercial firearms and fastener industries. Those oxide films have not been shown to significantly improve the service life of dynamic machinery parts. A lesser-known black-oxide-coating method called “steam tempering” does have beneficial effects on break-in and service life of such parts. However, steam tempering is done at tempera- tures that would overtemper and soften rolling elements made of low alloy steel such as those used in the wind-turbine industry, and shorten their service lives. Switching to components made of tool steel (M50, T1) would allow for steam tempering without hurting mechanical properties. — Irving W. Glater From the author: The photomicrograph illustrates what has become known as an Irregular White Etching Area or irWEA. Although structurally similar to a classical butterfly wing defect in that it is composed of nano-ferrite, it does not have the regular butterfly wing shape, hence the “irregular” in the name. The presence of irWEAs has been associated with bearing failures that most often present themselves as axial cracks in the inner ring. Such defects are not always, or even usually, associated with the pres- ence of non-metallic inclusions and have been observed in bearings that have been subjected to contact stress much below that known to form butterflies. The discussion of optimum retained austenite levels in bearing inner rings was in the context of case-carburized inner rings. All case-carburized com- ponents have some amount of retained austenite, which is known to increase fracture toughness. There has been an ongoing debate about the optimum levels of retained austenite. The recommenda- tion made in the article was based on research involving field-tested bearings that proved adequate retained austenite plus adequate residual stress can make carburized bearings immune to irWEAs and axial cracks. And it is my experience that case- carburized bearings better resist the axial cracks discussed in the article than black-oxide coated bearings. It has been shown, however, that applying a black oxide coating can extend the life of a bearing against axial cracks. There are many other benefits of black-oxide coat- ings on bearings, such as improved run- in behavior, better corrosion resistance, improved resistance against scuffing, and reduction of chemical attack from oil ad- ditives. For these reasons, many bearing manufacturers offer black-oxide coated bearings as options. Such bearings are often specified for applications known to benefit from black-oxide coatings. However, black-oxide coatings are not enough to prevent axial cracks in through-hardened bearings, either martensitically hardened or bainitically hardened. And it takes carburized bear- ings to avoid irWEAs and axial cracks. Letters TO OXIDE OR NOT TO OXIDE? A reader believes he uncovered some met- allurgical problems with an article on black-oxide-coated bearings. But the author insists he is cor- rect and dealing with more up-to-date infor- mation.Which side do you come down on? Let us know.. 10 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  13. 13. THE NEW PE helical gearboxes from Stober Drives Inc. (, Maysville, Ky., handle more torque, generate less noise, and provide smoother motion than spur-gear units. The units come in four case sizes ranging from PE2 to PE5, and can have single or double stages with ratios from 3:1 to 100:1. Output torques range up to 310 Nm and input speed can be as high as 8000 rpm. Backlash ratings are as low as 8 arc minutes. The units can be ordered as in-line gear units with a motor adapter for third-party motors, a large motor input shaft option, or an integrated housing that mounts to the most popular motor dimensions. The gearboxes are said to have low friction levels and high shaft-load capacities, making them well suited for a variety of applications, including packaging and general automation. Edited by Stephen J. Mraz Helical gearboxes handle higher torque with less noise What’sInside Case- hardened gears AccurateAdapt couplings ensure precise motor installation Housing rated IP64 Planet carriers made of high-tensile material for higher torsional stiffness and tensile strength Motor can use plate for adaption or be integrally cast in the housing. Accurate and precise running Contactless sealing at input lowers losses Lubed for life with high- performance grease. Ductile machined housing JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  14. 14. Clearwater, Florida (800) 807-9166 MICROMO Piezo Motor Technology Powers Groundbreaking MRI Robot “Other companies sell rotary motors or modules. What we needed was to design an entire custom device. In terms of compact and self-contained performance, MICROMO has no competition.” —Greg Fischer, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor EXPLORE, BUILDAND BUY ONLINETODAY Check out MICROMO’s new MOTION SYSTEM SELECTOR. The Worcester Polytechnic Institute AIM Lab's Neurosurgery Robot for MRI guided brain cancer therapy utilizes Piezo LEGS® Rotary LR50 and Linear LL10 non-magnetic motors, the ideal solution for the requirements of MRI. Piezo LEGS® Rotary LR50 Piezo LEGS® Linear LL10 MICROMO partners with the robotics market to deliver the next generation of technologies. Not only does MICROMO offer the widest selection of the best motion system products on the market today, MICROMO provides a full range of engineering, design, testing, manufacturing and micro motion technical support services…right here in North America. Let’s get started and deliver your next great idea to market first. Delivery in three days or less is available for many products.
  15. 15. ^^^KPLXHJVT See our complete product line! +PL8HVMMLYZ TVYLNLHYIV_LZ WSZHWWSPJH[PVUL_WLYPLUJL[VOLSW ZLSLJ[[OLILZ[VULMVY`VYULLKZ Ř+3DSDFLW Ř0RWRUL]HGRU$GDSWHUV Ř5LJKW$QJOHRU,QOLQH Ř6KDIW0RXQW'HVLJQV Ř0XOWL6WDJH5DWLRV Ř0RGXODU'HVLJQ /LSPJHS.LHYTV[VYZ ŘVL]HVPP' Ř)UHWIUHHRQQHFWLRQ Ř1(0$RU,($GDSWHUV ŘRXSOLQJ,QSXW Ř$OXPLQXP+RXVLQJV Ř6LGH:RUP6XSSRUW VYT9LKJLYZ Ř3UHFLVLRQRU(FRQRP Ř,QOLQHRU5LJKW$QJOH ŘPP)UDPHV Ř/RZ%DFNODVK ŘDQG6WDJH5DWLRV Ř/XEULFDWHGIRU/LIH 7SHUL[HY`.LHYOLHKZ Ř%DFNODVK/HYHOV Ř6KDIWVRU+ROORZ%RUHV Ř6LQJOHRU'XDO2XWSXWV ŘVL]HVPP' ŘDSDFLW1P Ř+RXU5DWLQJV :LY]VVYT.LHYOLHKZ Ř6L]HV Ř+3DSDFLW Ř/RZ%DFNODVK2SWLRQ Ř5DWLRVIURPWR Ř2XWSXW6KDIW2SWLRQV Ř0DFKLQHG+RXVLQJV :WPYHS)L]LS.LHYIV_LZ Ř$GG2Q2SWLRQV Ř0RGLŵHG'LPHQVLRQV Ř+LJK6SHHG$SSOLFDWLRQV Ř6SHFLDO(QYLURQPHQWV Ř6SHFLDO'XW1HHGV ŘXVWRP'HVLJQV :WLJPHS+LZPNUZ Towering megawatt wind turbines need strong, large bearings to support their long blades as they rotate. To meet that growing need, engineers at The Timken Co. (, North Canton, Ohio, have designed UltraWind bearings, a line of tapered roller bearings that range up to 9.6 ft in diameter. They are well suited for multi- megawatt turbines both onshore and offshore. The new bearings feature two rows of tapered roller bearings with seals, lubrication, and condition monitoring. The unit’s pre-set internal clearance simplifies accurate assembly. A lighter, less-costly cage is optimized for capacity and roller retention in both steel and polymer versions. Raceway profiles control maximum stress levels and boost durability. The bearings have the highest life ratings in the industry, according to Germanischer Lloyd, a consulting firm that focuses on industry and energy. And the pre-loaded bearing maintains its high level of stiffness to manage motions of the main shaft and rotor. The bearing can be customized to suit specific design arrangements including variable bolt circles, shaft-mounted or shaft-less designs, and direct drive or geared wind turbines. Timken uses its proprietary Syber System Analysis to improve the main-shaft design, predict potential damage, and identify ways to reduce friction for each application. This can reduce the overall development time and capital equipment costs. In addition, with the recent opening of its wind energy test center, the company can now predict 20 years of field performance through a shortened five-month test cycle. Edited by Stephen J. Mraz What’s Inside Bearings built for wind turbines Spacers preset assembly position for easier installation Case-hardened steel inner ring improves reliability Steel or polymer retainers guide rollers Unitized carrier with seals is prelubed Variable bolt-hole arrangement JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  16. 16. 16 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN N ASA’s first test flight and splashdown of an Orion space capsule went well, thanks to three years of testing and simulated splashdowns of a realistic mockup in the agency’s Hydro Impact Basin at its Langley Research Center. To collect information from those preflight tests, NASA wired up an 18,000-lb Orion mockup with 320 strain gaug- es, pressure sensors, and accelerometers to capture data on the capsule’s responses to landing in water at up to 20 mph. The data was recorded on 40 TDAS Pro Sims from Diversified Technical Systems (www.dtsweb. com), Seal Beach, Calif. Each of these modules col- lected data from eight sensors or channels, storing up to 100 sec at 10,000 samples per sec per chan- nel on non-volatile flash memory. But the focus was on getting data from the 20-sec. splashdowns. The data recorders are small, measuring 5.4 × 4.8 × 1.4 inches and weighing 1.7 lb. The rugged devices had shock ratings up to 100 gs. All this let them be mounted close to the sensors they moni- tored without significantly changing the dynamics of the test. The recorders got the 12 to 15 V of power they needed from Smart Battery packs from DTS, but each unit also had inter- nal back-up batteries. After each test, which took up to eight hours of prep time, data was downloaded via USB to a com- puter. A computer was also used to set up each recorder’s sample rate, trigger, and record time. „ ORION MOCKUP wired for data during splashdown tests A mockup of NASA’s Orion space capsule was drop tested from a vari- ety of heights, speeds, and angles to determine the estimated vertical and horizontal velocities it will be going when it parachutes into the ocean. Data recorders monitored a wide variety of parameters to ensure the spacecraft would withstand the stresses of impact with the water. TDAS Pro Sim recorders from DTS were mounted onboard the Orion capsule to record data from a variety of sensors while the capsule was dropped in a pool of water. Each module in these racks store up to 100 seconds of data at 10,000 samples/sec per channel. Newer versions of the recorder, the Slice Pro, stores 400 times that amount; up to 11.5 hr at 10,000 samples/sec per channel. The mod- ules on the Orion were powered by a DTS Smart Battery.
  17. 17. 17GO TO MACHINEDESIGN.COM ELECTRONIC“SNIFFER”searches out nuclear devices Sandia researchers pose with MINER, a portable device that can detect and pinpoint the source of neutron emissions from nuclear weapons. THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO for the Dept. of Homeland Security is a briefcase-sized nuclear weapon at loose in a major US city. To counter this potential threat, engineers at Sandia National Laboratory have built a mobile imager of neutrons for emergency responders (MINER). It is a portable neutron scatter camera that detects fast neutrons emanating from nuclear materials. It should let police forces pinpoint the source of the neutrons at significant distances and despite shielding. MINER’s design is based on that of a larger scatter camera that stands 5-ft tall and requires a special power source. In contrast, MINER is about 3-ft tall and weighs 90 lbs. Inside, 16 proton-rich liquid scintillator detector cells circle a large cylinder. Neutrons travel through the cells, bouncing off protons like ping-pong balls. These interactions among the detector cells let the device calculate what direction those neutrons came from. Compared to other detec- tors, this technology lets MINER pick out the target radiation from background radiation and can measure the spectrum of neutrons being emitted. This lets it tell the difference between neutrons from plutonium, a threat, and americium-beryllium, a common commercial source of neutrons and not a threat. MINER also searches a 360° horizon. Other detectors have a narrow field of view and must be pointing in the source’s direction to pick it up. MINER can be set up and operating in 10 minutes and uses bat- tery power, which makes it more portable. In a field test set in downtown Chicago recently, MINER found a sealed radiation source in 30 minutes. In fact, the device could scan an entire side of a skyscraper at one time, quickly narrowing the search down to a single room. When the source was shielded, the search took a few hours. „ CLEANING UP coal emissions with electron beams SCIENTISTS AT THE Naval Research Laboratory are exploring the use of electron beam to reduce the amount of nitric acid and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emitted by coal-burning power plants. They have already shown that zapping NOx in the presence of nitrogen breaks apart the nitrogen and oxygen of the NOx and it reforms into pure nitrogen and oxygen. It takes about four electron volts (eV) to break the bonds in an NOx mol- ecule. They are now testing the technique on actual flue gas using a KrF laser fired at five pulses per second. Firing in pulses rather than a steady beam lets the laser operate work continually without overheating. This approach could prove useful and economical when the EPA comes out with tighter NOx emission restrictions. Current regulations restrict power-plant emissions to less than 100 ppm. New regulations are expected to restrict it further to less than 30 ppm. The current method of reducing NOx emissions, selective catalytic reduction, uses scrubbers, an expensive solution. They also consume up to 15% of the plant’s gener- ated electricity to run the scrubbers. And they create ammonium nitrate, an explosive by-product that must be disposed of. The new approach of firing lasers into the gas, on the other hand, uses only 10 to 20% of the cost of scrubbers for the energy and there are no by-products. „ A chemist at the NRL checks the KrF laser being used to clean up emissions from coal-burning power plants by destroying NOx in the flue gas.
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  19. 19. GO TO MACHINEDESIGN.COM News OAK RIDGE LAB moves to acquire Summit, a next-generation supercomputer RESEARCHERS AT OAK RIDGE National Laboratory will have a new supercomputer to work with in 2017 when IBM delivers Summit, a hybrid CPU/GPU computer. It will have at least five times the performance of Titan, the largest supercomputer currently housed at ORNL. Summit will use an open-architec- ture technology called OpenPOWER Foundation that is being developed by the major vendor, IBM, and com- ponent suppliers NVIDIA and Mella- nox. Software the supercomputer will run includes IBM XL, NVIDIA, and PGI environments supporting OpenMP and OpenACC programming, and IBM HPC software including Linux, Platform Computing LSF scheduler, resource manager, system manage- ment, and a GPFS parallel file system. From a hardware perspective, Summit builds on the hybrid multi- core architecture the lab pioneered with Titan. “The large, powerful nodes allow applications to achieve very high performance without having to scale to hundreds of thousands of Message Passing Interface tasks,” says the director of the Summit project at the OLCF, Buddy Bland. “The combination of very large memory per node and the powerful IBM POWER and NVIDIA processors pro- vides an ideal platform for data analysis as well as computation.” It will feature more than 3400 nodes, each with: t.VMUJQMF*#.1083QSPDFTTPSTBOE/7*%*7PMUB(16T t$16TBOE(16TDPOOFDUFEXJUIIJHITQFFE/7-JOL t-BSHFDPIFSFOUNFNPSZ.PSFUIBO(#PGDPNCJOFE%%3BOEIJHICBOEXJEUI memory, all directly addressable from the CPUs and GPUs. tOBEEJUJPOBM(#PG/73. XIJDIDBOCFDPOGJHVSFEBTFJUIFSBCVSTUCVGGFSPS extended memory. t0WFSUFSB'-014QFBLQFSGPSNBODF The areas and problems that will be explored with Summit include: COMBUSTION SCIENCE: Understanding combustion so that the efficiency of inter- OBMDPNCVTUJPOFOHJOFTDBOCFJODSFBTFECZXJUIMPXFSFNJTTJPOTCZVTJOH advanced fuels and new, low-temperature combustion concepts. CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE: Understanding the dynamic ecological and chemical evo- lution of the climate system with uncertainty quantification of the effects on regional and decadal scales. ENERGY STORAGE: Exploring chemical reactions at the atomic and molecular level required to design new materials for energy storage and engineer safe, large-format, durable, rechargeable batteries. NUCLEAR POWER: Simulating reactor-scale operations to determine safe, increased nuclear fuel burn times, power upgrades, and reactor lifetime extensions, and thereby reduce the volume of spent fuel. „ Supercomputers like Summit, the one ORNL will get in 2017, let researchers address challenging problems, such as recreating shear-waves shear-wave perturbations inside the Earth due to seismic activity
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  34. 34. TWICE THE FLOW MINIMAL PULSATION Compact KNF Boxer-type diaphragm liquid pumps feature two pump heads driven by one motor. The alternating pump head operation results in smooth, level flow – important for systems sensitive to pulsation. In individual mode, two different liquids can be transferred simultaneously, eliminating the need for a second pump. Both modes offer cost-savings potential. These pumps deliver volumes from 0.3 to 2.6 L/min; adjust to application needs with BLDC motor. QCompact design QChemically resistant QAdjustable flow rate QLong, maintenance-free lifetime Watch your next project flow with KNF. Learn more at KNF Neuberger, Inc. 609-890-8600 25GO TO MACHINEDESIGN.COM News In one application, a painless injection with a microneedle done every three to six months can replace daily administration of eye drops to stave off glaucoma. It is the second leading cause of blindness and affects about 2.2 million people in the U.S. It is hoped the injections will provide more consistent dosages and make it easier on patients who sometime neglect to apply eye drops daily. The drug is formulated to be relatively viscous, letting it stay where it is injected. In animal studies, research- ers could reduce intraocular pressure, the major symptom, using just 1% of the amount of dug used with eye drops. In the second application, a solid needle places precise amounts of a dry drug on injured area in the cornea. The needles are held in place for about a minute as the drug is absorbed. The anti-body-based drug inhibits growth of new blood vessels, a problem with neovascularization in which unwanted blood vessels impair vision. Although eye injections with hypodermic needles much larger than microneedles rou- tinely administer compounds into the center of eye, those needles are not designed for eye injections and are not the best for deliver- ing drugs to various parts of the eye. And eye drops are often unable to get the drugs where they need to go. Microneedles, however, can be tailored to penetrate the eye only as far as needed. For the glauco- ma drug, for instance, the needle is only about half a millimeter long, which is enough to penetrate through the sclera and outer layer of the eye to where it needs to be, the supraciliary space. „ BIOMEDICAL RESEARCHERS at the Georgia Institute of Technology have devised two new applications for using microneedles 400 to 700 microns long to help fight eye diseases. The small needles let doctors target the drug to specific areas of the eye, which should increase the drug’s effectiveness while limiting side effects and using less of the expensive drugs. MICRONEEDLES ACCURATELY DELIVER drugs to the eye A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper.
  35. 35. Interview CHUCK DOLEZALEK | Director of Engineering for Lighting Banner Engineering Corp. (, Minneapolis Light-Emitting Diode-Based Light Bulbs for Industry and Consumers Are LEDs ready for prime time? In other words, can they be economically used by industry and consumers? Definitely. You’ll notice whenever you visit any home improve- ment store or department that LED light bulbs are taking over the shelves that used to be filled with incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. What are the benefits of LED lighting to industry? Two of the major benefits are energy efficiency and longevity. Other benefits include durability and design flexibility. Addi- tionally, LED lights are eco-friendly; they are free of toxic mate- rials, like mercury, which is found in fluorescent bulbs. How long can a business/consumer expect the average LED to last? Are they good in all weather/environments? A typical lifetime listed by many manufacturers is 50,000 hours. There are LED luminaires designed for use in extreme outdoor conditions where temperature extremes, as well as exposure to rain, snow, and UV light from the sun, can be a challenge. Any idea of the payback period for LEDs? In other words, how long does a person or business have to use an LED to save enough money over conventional bulbs to make up for the difference in cost between conventional bulbs and LEDs? The payback period depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the bulb or fixture, the savings in cost of electricity, and the frequency of use. Payback periods are typically some- where between two and five years. Are LEDs safe? Are there any problems with overheating, EMF, or hazardous materials for recycling? LEDs are safe, but with any electronic product it is critical that the overall design meets the proper safety standards. Are there any downsides to LEDs? The main downside is the initial cost, but prices continue to drop, making it more attractive to make the switchover. And although LEDs excel in cold environments, like coolers or freezers, they struggle in high-temperature conditions, such as those found inside industrial or commercial ovens. LED lifetimes are significantly shorter in higher temperatures, and materials used ... have limitations compared to the glass, met- als, and ceramics used to make incandescent bulbs. How far will costs for LED bulbs drop? Costs have dropped significantly over the past few years. I expect that prices may continue to drop, but it is believed that the bigger changes will be increases in efficiency. Are all LEDs on the market of good quality? How can a busi- ness or consumer tell the difference between good ones and the not-so-good ones? Not all LEDs are high quality, but even with high-quality LEDs, overall fixture design is important. One key task of the fixture design is to keep the LED temperature within specifications. Other design considerations to take into account depend on the end application of the LED fixture. The requirements are much different for an LED light intended for a clean, dry envi- ronment, like an assembly station, as compared to a light for a CNC machining center that is regularly exposed to water or oil- based coolants. Having the proper approvals, like CE and UL, verify the design meets performance and safety requirements, but this doesn’t always mean that the light will last a long time. Are any technological changes/upgrades coming to LEDs? If so, what is pushing them and what benefits will they bring? LEDs are continually evolving. The efficiencies (lumens/watt) are increasing and the costs are continuing to decrease. There is a lot of competition among LED manufacturers to continue outdoing one another, which is great for luminaire manufactur- ers, because it gives them more choices and allows them to offer brighter and more efficient products. Where are most LEDs made? Any chance LED manufactur- ing will come to the U.S.? There is still a lot of the LED die being manufactured in the U.S., but for the most part, the packaging of the die into the final LED is done in Asia ... there is no reason to expect that to change. 26 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
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  39. 39. The Rise of the Exoskeletons Trendsinsensors,powersupplies,batteries,andothertechnologiesare bringing even more potential to the field of developing exoskeletons. E ngineers relied heavily on motion- control technology to develop the first wearable exoskeleton at Cornell University, the Hardiman-1, in 1965. (see image on p. 32) The arms, legs, and feet used electrohydraulic servos, while a hydromechanical servo controlled the hands. The hydraulics oper- ated off of a 3000-psi pump, letting the person in the suit lift up to 1500 lbs and walk at 1.7 mph. The suit itself, however, weighed almost 1500 lbs, making it too heavy and complex to warrant further funding. Since then, sensors, materials, drives, and power supplies have undergone a host of incremental innovations. Companies developing exoskele- tons no longer find it difficult to secure funding. Investors recognize that this technology has many potentially profitable applications. These include letting soldiers carry more weight for longer peri- ods of time, aiding senior citizens and others who suffer musculoskeletal injuries, and giving long- shoremen and warehouse workers a competitive advantage in the shipping and trucking industries. ADVANCING THE SENSOR The human body constantly senses its surroundings and itself to react properly in a wide variety of environments. A con- stant exchange of information flows between the sense organs, muscles, and brain. Similarly, exoskeletons require a flow of data between sensors and the central processor. Many types of sensors would be required for such a com- plex machine, and they would have to be small, efficient, and economical. Fortunately, the trends in sensors are in line with those needs. For example, the Nintendo Wii game controller was intro- duced with a new accelerometer from ST Microelectronics that was smaller, more sensitive, and demanded less power than previous designs. It was also developed with high-volume production in mind. The silicon wafer was increased from four inches in diameter to eight inches, allowing more “chips” to be made at once. The size of each sensor was also reduced with a new micro-surfacing process that made it possible for ST Microelectronics to make lots of accelerometers for just a few dollars per sensor. “The Wii controller grabbed the attention of cellphone com- panies,” said Tony Massimini, CTO of Semico Research. “They A paramedic uses the help from Strong Arm Technologies’ V-22 passive exoskeleton vest to reduce injuries while lifting a patient into the ambulance. JEFF KERNS | Technical Editor MedicalTechnology 30 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
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  41. 41. Medical Technology Multiple microphones use sen- sor fusion for audio beaming. For communication devices, this utiliz- es multiple microphones to reduce background noise by using soft- ware and algorithms to locate and identify which sound is meant to be heard. This technology is being used to locate objects in a defined space. Audio equipment able to perform this accurate detection of sound can cost over $150 and need a few man hours to set up. Eventually this equipment could be replaced with the technology in a modern- day smartphone. Unfortunately, sensor fusion often requires two chips, and customers are stuck with the size and cost of those two chips. To get around this hurdle, companies like mCube are fabricating chips directly on top of the inte- grated circuits in standard complementary-metal-oxide semi- conductor facilities to lower cost and size. POWER AND DRIVES To make a viable exoskeleton, engineers need motors or some other actuators that function quickly to prevent interference with the user’s natural motions. Hydraulics seems like a good way to gain mechanical advantage. Lockheed Martin, for exam- ple, has used them in its Human Universal Load Carrier suit. Today, hydraulics can provide the desired exosuit’s character- istics with open- or closed-loop control. Using both gives users hard set variables (open-loop) and dynamic variables (closed- loop) that adjust as needed. Electric actuators, another good option, offer features such as variable speed and efficient opera- tion. They are also becoming more “intelligent,” thanks to the addi- tion of sensors, microprocessors, and software. Although hydraulics looks like the most common drive for exoskel- etons, some designers still use elec- tric actuators. Many engineers use both to better combine synthetic and natural motion. With technology becoming increasingly mobile, battery density has increased over the last decade. In 2007, for example, batteries with an energy density of 600 Wh/L cost realized sensors could add value while maintaining a competitive pro- duction cost.” The digital frontier was begin- ning to take hold at this time and it was necessary to develop the abil- ity to communicate between digital and analog components. One of the ways that was done was with sen- sors called MEMS (micro-electrical- mechanical systems). They gener- ally range from 0.02 to 1.0 mm in size, but include electromechanical components range from 0.001 to 1.0 mm. The development of MEMS has resulted in countless innovations and improvements in sensor technology. For example, ST’s MEMS digital and analog accelerometers can detect up to ±400g, and measure 2 × 2 × 1 mm. The Kinetis KL02 from Freescale Semiconductor measures less than 2 × 2 × 0.6 mm, while the VL6180X module from STS, which measures 4.8 × 2.8 × 1.0 mm, is an optical sensor that accurately measure distances up to 10 cm. These improvements mean that multiple sensors can fit in one package. This further reduces size and cost when using “sensor fusion.” Sensor fusion lets two or more sensors work together to improve accuracy or add capabilities. For example, adding a gyroscope to an accelerometer lets the accelerometer compensate for drift and be more precise. Sensor fusion can also add features without adding more sensors, for example, combining an accelerometer with a magnetometer creates an emulated gyroscope. Cyberdyne’s HAL is helping therapy patients walk and be more independent. Hardiman Prototype arm 1970, courtesy of Chris Hunter, Curator of the miSci (Museum of Innovation and Science, formerly the Schenectady Museum in Schenectady, NY) .” 32 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  42. 42. maxon EC motor and controller: Dynamic, intelligent, linked. maxon motor is the world’s leading sup- plier of high-precision drives and systems of up to 500 watts power output. Rely on the quality of the highly specialized solu- tions which we develop with and for you. The maxon product range is built on an extensive modular system, encompass- ing: brushless and brushed DC motors with the ironless maxon winding, plan- etary, spur and special gearheads, feed- back devices and control electronics. maxon drives in arm prostheses. When it really matters. Medical technology also relies on our drive systems. They are used, for instance, in modern arm prostheses which enables the wearer to make precise movements. Medical Technology ing factors in exoskeleton development, especially improved hydraulics, and elec- tromyographic (EMG) control, which lets patients control electronics by con- tracting and relaxing specific muscles. Advances in EMG allow the machine to get ahead of the human in the control loop, thereby reducing lag and the asso- ciated metabolic cost of tightening and releasing muscles. The main problem with EMGs is that it can be difficult to translate their analog frequencies to a drive or digital system. A muscle pulse wavers and can even switch polarity. Rectification, pulse- width modulation, and algorithms are used to “smooth” these signals. EMG electrodes have been made more sensitive and capable of detecting faint electric pulses through the skin. This is leading defense contractors to work on controls in which human pilots interact with computers to control aircraft by flex- ing muscles. This technology has caught the eyes of computer gaming companies. YEI Technology, for example, recently introduced PrioVR, a full-body EMG suit. The company’s goal is to have it to market for under $400, and an upper- about $1,000/kW-hr. By 2013, density had gone to 1,400 Wh/L at a cost of $300/kW-hr. The higher a battery’s voltage, the shorter its lifespan tends to be. To sidestep this conundrum, engineers have developed higher-capacity electrodes and anodes. They’ve also devised better chemistries for batteries. Lithium-ion cells, for example, have the highest specific capacity (3,860 mAh/gm). But there are safety concerns about lithium batteries’ charging/discharg- ing cycles. They suffer from thermal runaway and could cause fires. New carbon nano-composites are helping isolate the cul- prit: lithium deposits that build up on the electrode. DEVELOPMENTS AND MARKETS Lockheed Martin says advances in motion control are driv- A GENERAL COMPARISON OF ACCELEROMETERS FROM 2004 TO TODAY Accelerometers 2004 Today Size 5 × 5 × 1.8 mm 2 × 2 × 1.7 Current 4000 microamps 100 micro- amps Volt 5 V 1.8 V Cost +$2 per sensor in bulk order $0.30 per sensor in bulk order This table shows how MEMS accelerometers have improved over the last decade. 34 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  43. 43. body suit for under $270. The equipment could control a video character or an exoskeleton. ReWalk built an exoskeleton that received FDA approval to be sold as the first motorized device that will act as an exo- skeleton for people with lower body paralysis due to spinal cord injury. And in 2009, Cyberdyne said it would build 400 of its Hybrid Assistive Limb suits per year and license them to hospitals for $2,000/month for rehab. Three years later, 130 medical institu- tions were using it. There are also several robotic com- panies designing and prototyping exo- skeletons that could prevent debilitat- ing muscle injuries, the most common type of on-the-job injury. In 2011, inju- ries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, and carrying cost businesses $14 billion, which was up from $8 bil- lion just two years prior to that in 2009. These injuries and costs are driving the need for exoskeletons that serve as lift- assistance devices. Another factor driving demand for exoskeletons is the price of fuel. Although gasoline prices are currently low and going lower, higher prices will likely return. This could lead to more U.S.-based shipping lines. To stay com- petitive, longshoremen wearing exo- skeletons could be used to load and unload cargo without undue exhaustion or injury. Shipping and global competition will make exoskeletons necessary, according to Sean Petterson, CEO of Strong Arm Technologies. Many companies, includ- ing Strong Arm Technologies, are work- ing on passive and soft exoskeletons to promote proper posture and form for lifting. With modern materials, some of these devices, like Arm Strong Technol- ogy’s V-22, weigh only a few pounds but can lift hundreds. In September 2014, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Associa- tion gave $2.9 million to researchers at Harvard to develop soft exoskeletons that are comfortable enough to be worn under clothing and reduce exhaustion and injury associated with walking long distances carrying up to 100 lb. However, costs and design limitations could hamper prog- ress in this area, according to the Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering published information on associated design restraints, and costs that might stand in the way of exoskel- eton development. Despite these hurdles, the report notes that with 3D printing and rapid prototyping, exoskeletons might soon be a reality. 35GO TO MACHINEDESIGN.COM
  44. 44. Quantum Computing Q uantum computing could change the face of computing over the coming decades, especially when it comes to quickly solv- ing certain classes of problems such as optimization, code cracking (cryptogra- phy), and machine learning. Google and Lockheed Martin have already climbed aboard the bandwagon, each purchasing and now experimenting with a quantum computer from D-Wave Systems. However, quantum computing and its reliance on quantum mechanics and esoteric phenomenon such as superpo- sition and entanglement, however, make it difficult for most people to under- stand it. But then most people have no trouble using today’s “conventional” computers despite knowing little about transistors, tunneling, or n- and p-type semiconductor materials and compilers. So here’s a look at the basics of quan- tum computing. (Another article in this issue, Programming a Quantum Com- puter, further explores and explains quantum computing.) THE THEORY Quantum computers use an entirely different approach to problem solving than classical computers. An analogy is a landscape with mountains and valleys. Solving an optimization problem can be thought of as trying to find the lowest point on that landscape. Every possible solution is mapped to a set of coordinates on the landscape, and the altitude of the landscape at those coordinates is the “energy’” or “cost” of the solution at that point. The goal is to find the lowest point on the map and get the associated coordinates, since this gives the lowest energy or best solution to the problem. Classical computers can only “walk over this landscape.” Quantum com- puters, on the other hand, can tunnel through it, letting them find the lowest point more quickly. In fact, they con- sider all possibilities simultaneously and determine the lowest-energy required to form those solutions. Because quantum computers are probabilistic rather than deterministic, E.D. DAHL | Senior Research Scientist D-Wave Systems, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada ComputerTechnology 101 The heart of the D-Wave quantum com- puter lies inside the gold box, the 512-qubit Vesuvius processor. The 10-ft-tall D-Wave Two, D Wave Systems commercial quantum computer, has its roots in a 16-qubit processor built in 2006. It led to the firm’s 28-qubit processor in 2007, and then its 128-qubit processor in 2010. The Two’s 512-qubit processor was completed in 2013. Here’s a look at the first commercial quantum computer. 36 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
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  46. 46. Find the thermal solution for your application, contact Watlow today. MULTICOIL™ electric heaters feature a built-in thermocouple EZ-ZONE® PM temperature controller reduces system complexity and cost of ownership Budget constraints? Limited resources? Project complexity? Watlow makes it possible. Standard thermocouple RTDs are accurate and repeatable temperature sensing products 1/8 FIREROD® cartridge heaters provide maximum performance when space is limited Bring us If your thermal application seems impossible to solve, because of... your thermal challenge Watlow® offers... 1 Dependable, high quality products 1 Over 400 technical resources worldwide providing customized and standard thermal solutions to a diverse group of industries 1 90 years of industry experience understanding and solving the complexities of thermal systems 1 Dedication to research and the development of innovative technologies Silicone rubber heaters are noted for their excellent circuit pattern, repeatability and superior heat transfer Computer Technology they return many good answers in a short amount of time — 10,000 answers in one second on the D-Wave 2 computer. This not only gives users the best solution or single answer, but also a host of other alternatives to consider. To program a quantum computer, users map problems into this search for the lowest point. Users interact with the computer by connecting to it over a network, as they often do with traditional computers. Problems are sent to a server interface that turns the optimization program into machine code to be programmed onto the chip. NOT QUITE READY FOR PRIME TIME IT WILL BE quite a few years, more like decades, before everyone has a quantum- computing laptop or cell phone. The require- ments for the support hardware are simply too daunting. For example, D Wave’s current commercial computer, the D-Wave Two, needs its qubits (or niobium wire loops) to be kept as cold as possible, with as little exposure to ther- mal noise or thermal vibrations as possible. This translates into –273°C, or 0.02° above absolute zero. To handle that task, it uses a dedicated closed-cycle dilution refrigerator. It consumes much of the 15.5 kW of power needed to run the 512-qubit machine. Keeping the processors cold minimizes thermal noise — a must for inducing or set- ting the stage for quantum phenomenon. The processor is also kept in a near-vacuum to eliminate interference with stray molecules. Vacuum is said to be one ten-billionth that of atmospheric pressure. The processor is also shielded from mag- netic fields, a step to prevent the Earth’s magnetic field from interfering with those in the niobium loops. D-Wave Two’s shielding knocks the Earth’s magnetic field down by a factor of 50,000. Engineers also had to con- struct a way to get 192 lines into the proces- sor and one fiber-optic feed out of it without breaking the magnetic or pressure seals. A technician wires the D-Wave computer. 38 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
  47. 47. Fabco-Air solves problems. Let us help! Providing best-in-class products, solutions, and support in the pneumatics industry Helping to Build Industry for over Air Prep Slides Cylinders Grippers Multi-Power® Sensors Valves Rotary Actuators Crimpers Rod Locks Home of the Original PANCAKE® Compact Air Cylinder it’s a 0. When the current travels in both directions, it’s a qubit. The programming model used in D-Wave computers does not let programmers directly control the current flowing through these qubits. Instead, they influence the qubits and the computer responds to those influences. Programmers influence qubits in two ways. First, each qubit has an associated weight which is part of each QMI and under ministically on this state, transform- ing the contents of a few registers or memory locations at a time. Quantum computers like the D-Wave, however, have no registers or memory locations and, therefore, do not possess anything analogous to state. Also, as noted before, instructions for quantum computers are not deterministic; instead, they return probabilistic results. If quantum computers have no reg- isters or memory locations, how do we learn anything from executing a QMI? The answer is that the computer returns samples from a distribution as a side effect of executing the QMI. To explain what these samples are and how this distribution is defined, we must intro- duce several entities that are key to the D-Wave programming model. The first such entity is the qubit, which is simply a variable (q) that has a value from the set {0, 1}. Qubits hold information in quantum computers. Each qubit’s behavior is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics and it lets them be in a “superposition” state—that is, both a 0 and a 1 at the same time until an outside event causes the qubit to “col- lapse” into either a 0 or a 1. This prop- erty is unlike anything in our everyday lives and completely nonintuitive. But it forms the basis upon which all quantum computers will be built and how they solve problems. In the D-Wave computer, loops of niobium wire measuring 2 microns in diameter and 700 microns in circumfer- ence serve as a qubits. After the loops are supercooled, two currents can be generated that circle each loop in oppo- site directions. When the current travels in one direction, it’s considered to be a 1; when it travels the opposite direction, The system then executes one or more “quantum machine instructions” (QMI) to generate results. QUANTUM BASICS Classical computers consist of registers and memories. The collective contents of these devices are referred to as the computer’s state. Instructions for the computer act deter- GO TO MACHINEDESIGN.COM
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  50. 50. Walking through the steps for programming a quantum computer illustrates how they solve problems. P rogramming quantum com- puters is vastly different than programming con- ventional ones. To get a better idea of what it could be like, this article steps through the process of programming a quantum comput- er, a D-Wave System Two, using the direct embedded method to solve a rela- tively simple problem. THE PROBLEM Map coloring is a type of combinato- rial optimization problem. For this prob- lem, the goal is to color the 13 territories and provinces of Canada so that no two regions shar- ing a border are the same color, and regions touching only at one or more isolated points, such as Nunavit and Saskatch- ewan, are not considered to share borders. There are also a limited number of colors, C. The programming involves variables defined in the glossa- ry and the objective function described in the previous article: O(a,b;q)=∑N i=1 aiqi +∑i,jbij qiqj Next, choose a correspondence or encoding between colors for a region and the qubit values. After fixing the encoding, work out the form of a quantum machine instruction (QMI) that will provide valid colorings. This task breaks down into four steps: 1. Turn on one of several qubits. 2. Map a single region to a unit cell. 3. Implement constraints using couplers. 4. Clone neighbors to meet similar constraints. Using unary encoding for the possible colors for each region, assign C qubits to each region of the map. If the ith color is assigned to a region, then the ith qubit (qi) associated with that region will have the value 1 in our samples (or results from the quantum computer) and the other (C – 1) qubits associated with that region will have the value 0. TURN ON ONE OF C QUBITS First, solve the simpler problem of turning on just one qubit in a two-qubit system. For a two-qubit system, the objective thus becomes: E. D. DAHL | Senior Research Scientist D-Wave Systems, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada ComputerTechnology Prince Edward Island Yukon Northwest Territory Nunavik British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Nova Scotia The goal of this problem is to color the map of Canada so that border- ing provinces and territories are different colors. Programming a QUANTUM COMPUTER 42 JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN
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  52. 52. THIN ENOUGH? BXR Brakes · Up to 480 in-lbs static · Up to a 1.125'' bore · 19 watts or less · Produced for over 10 years Our Innovative design features a very thin profile, reducing weight and saving space. For more information: Call: 800.533.1731 Computer Technology O(a, b; q) = a1q1 + a2q2 + b12q1q2 The four possible states in the distribu- tion are listed in the Two-Qubit System table. Choose a1, a2 and b12 values so that the dis- tribution consists of the states with q1 = 0 and q2 = 1, and the one in which q1 = 1 and q2 = 0. The other two states in which qi is equal 0 or 1 should not be in the distribution. To make encodings of either color equal- ly likely in the distribution, a1 must equal a2. These values also need to be less than 0 so that the state characterized by q1 = 0 and q2 = 0 will not appear. Therefore: a1 = a2 0 To eliminate the state in which q1 and q2 equal 1 from the distribution requires that: a1+ a2 + b12 = 0 A solution to these equations is: a1= −1, a2 = −1, and b12 = 2 Substituting those values for a1, a2, and b12 into the Two-Qubit System table shows that the objective value is minimized for the two states in which one q1 value is 1 and the other is 0. This means samples from the distribution generated by the QMI will consist solely of these two states. These coefficient values would be enough if the map had only two colors, but most maps require more colors. Therefore we must generalize to the case where C qubits represent the possible colors assigned to a region. The ultimate goal is to find values of ai and bij coefficients that will yield a distribution over those samples that have exactly one qubit turned on (equal to 1) and the other C − 1 qubits turned off (equal to 0). To solve this problem, take a clue from the two-qubit problem. In that problem, two states needed exactly one qubit turned on to be equally represented in the dis- tribution and thus we set a1 = a2. The solution is symmetric if the two qubits are interchanged, as expected. Now apply this principle to the case with three colors, along with a corresponding number of qubits to simplify the constraints. If C = 3, then there are three qubits. The corresponding objective function is: O(a, b ; q) = a1q1 + a2q2 + a3q3 + b12q1q2 + b13q1q3 + b23q2q3 C=2 C=4C=3 Connectivity of Qubits and Couplers GLOSSARY COUPLER: A variable (b) that defines how two qubits i, j affect each other. For example, coupler bij determines how qi affects qj. QUBIT: A variable (q) that has a value from the set {0, 1}. QUANTUM MACHINE INSTRUCTION (QMI): A restatement of the problem to be solved. The computer comes up with a distribution of qubit values that minimize the value of the QMI. STRENGTH: Defines the coupler relationship between qubits and provides another way to influence qubits. A coupler connecting qubits qi and qj has a strength of b and is denoted bij. WEIGHT: In the QMI, each qubit (q) is given a weight (a) as one way of influencing qubits. For example, qubit, qi has a weight of ai. In these diagrams, each vertex represents a qubit and each edge represents a coupler between qubits. Two-Qubit System table q1 q2 O(a,b:q) 0 0 0 0 1 a2 1 0 a1 1 1 a1+a2+b12 This table shows the possible qubit states and the objective in a two-qubit system. JANUARY 2015 MACHINE DESIGN