Category: Company Blog

For Your Hazardous Computing Needs

 

Steadlands have teamed up with HazardEx, a leading magazine in the field of hazardous environments and industrial computing, to bring Daisy Data to the attention of all their readers.

We have an advertisement placed in their magazine. Read their magazine online, here. You will find our ad on page 11.

And take a look at this page, dedicated to Daisy Data Displays on the HazardEx website.

 

Road Safety Hits The Road

Steadlands relationship and representation of Luxembourgish automotive technology pioneers, IEE, spans for over over 20 years.

It really is an honour to represent a company involved in new, up and coming safety technologies for the motor industry.

On the 25 and 26 April 2017, we hosted the IEE Technology Roadshow at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

This event will always be special to me, my first ever day at Steadlands was setting up the original roadshow and learning about IEE’s products and innovations back in 2015.

It was amazing to come back, this time armed with plenty of key contacts and product knowledge, being competent at presenting products instead of feeling a little out of my depth and anxious.

Having so much know-how for technology and commercial commodities in one room is rare and very useful for clients and potential clients alike.

The idea of the Technology Roadshow is to invite contacts from all UK car manufacturers to come down to the Roadshow to view not only current trending technologies, but also to get a glimpse into what is coming soon.

This time IEE were accompanied by MSL, one of their manufacturing partners. MSL are based in France and produce parts solely for the automotive sector.

We had Radar, Gesture Recognition, 3D and 2D camera, Capacitive and heat products on show amongst others, featuring two amazing demonstrator cars which our clients were more than impressed with.

Some of the other guys and myself even managed to spend a short amount of time in the Museum itself, learning about the history of British Motor Vehicles and taking a few photos of some of the amazing exhibits on show.  The highlights for me were the V6 Austin Metro Group B Rally Car from 1984 and 16 of serious car collector James Hull’s collection including an amazing John Coombs Jaguar E-Type from the 1960’s.  It really is an amazing venue and a must for anyone interested in motoring.

 

For further information on IEE’s products or Steadlands, please visit https://steadlands.com/ or email me: [email protected]

What Is a Thermoelectric Cooler?

Before we can go into detail about what a Thermoelectric Cooler is and does, we need to take a quick history lesson.

The thermoelectric phenomenon behind TEC technology was first discovered by a French physicist and meteorologist named Jean Peltier. This Peltier effect is such that whenever a direct current is passed through the circuit of different conductors, heat is either absorbed or released at the conductors’ junctions, depending on the current’s polarity. The amount of heat generated or absorbed is proportional to the current that is passed through the conductors.

Thanks to work completed by Russian academic, A.F. Iotte and his colleagues, semiconducting alloys were created, allowing us to apply the Peltier effect in practise, and begin full scale production of thermoelectric refrigerating devices for wide use in various fields of industry.

The basic thermoelectric cooler unit is a thermocouple consisting of p- and n-type semiconductor elements, or pellets. Copper commutation tabs are used to interconnect pellets that are traditionally made of a Bismuth Telluride-based alloy.

So, your typical thermoelectric cooler consists of thermocouples connected electrically in series and sandwiched between two Aluminium Oxide ceramic plates. The number of thermocouples will vary greatly, ranging from several elements to hundreds of units. This allows Kryotherm to construct a thermoelectric cooler with a desired cooling capacity ranging from fractions of a Watt, through to hundreds of Watts.

When a direct current moves across a thermoelectric cooler (also called a Peltier cooler), it causes a difference in temperature between the two sides of the thermoelectric cooler. This results in one side being cooled (the ‘cold’ side), and the other being heated (the ‘hot’ side). If the heat generated on the ‘hot’ side of the thermoelectric cooler is dissipated properly through the use of heatsinks, then the temperature of the ‘cold’ side will be a lot colder than the ambient room temperature, by a factor of up to dozens of degrees.

Kryotherm’s TECs are even used in the creation of satellites, to help protect delicate machinery from the cold of space.

Kryotherm single stage thermoelectric coolers allows for temperature difference of 74-76 degrees Kelvin. For greater differences, multi stage thermoelectric coolers are used. For example, the maximum temperate difference of one of the serial Kryotherm thermoelectric coolers is 140 degrees Kelvin.

Part of the Daisy Chain

For over three decades, Daisy Data Displays has been one of the leading manufacturers of toughened or ruggedized computer hardware. Over the years since they were founded, they have spread their reach over four key sectors.

Military

Rugged computers designed to meet MIL-STDs, as well as related standards for temperature variance and shock resistance, these machines are built for military or marine applications. The various models are available off the shelf, but can also be customised, just the way you want it.

Oil and Gas

Daisy Data’s industrial computers delivery the critical performance necessary to keep oil and gas operations running smoothly. Daisy Data personnel work closely with their counterparts in the oil and gas industry to ensure that their ruggedized computers and displays operate efficiently and safely on offshore rigs and remote pipeline operations.

Food and Pharmaceutical

Daisy Data Displays provide food and pharmaceutical companies with computers and displays that have been independently tested and certified for use in aseptic areas, and other hazardous locations. They are specifically designed to withstand corrosive chemicals used in decontamination processes. Oversized touchscreen displays allow operators to collect data more accurately, and experience seamless process control.

Flight Simulation

The flight simulation industry uses Daisy Data’s computers and displays for training purposes. They rely on features such as integrated touchscreens, or impact-resistant viewing windows. The industry has even gone so far as to utilize some NVIA-compatible displays, for use with night vision goggles.

It doesn’t really matter which industry you are in though, Daisy Data Displays will work closely with you to solve problems you might be facing by manufacturing industrial computing solutions that not only fit your needs, but are also intrinsically safe, and meet specific standards and certifications, including MIL-STD, FM/UL, ISO 9001, and IECEx QAR.

 

If you are not sure what all these hazard ratings mean, check out one of our other articles, Finding NEMA, by clicking on this link.

Davies Molding Dailies

Davies Molding Banner

Davies Molding make daily announcements through social media. We will select some of the best and periodically include them here on the Steadlands website.

Davies Molding Goes Metric!

First and foremost, by popular demand, Davies Molding have expanded their capabilities and are introducing metric measurements to complement the imperial measurements already available. This is now spreading across their products, and will eventually cover the majority of their product ranges.

 

Get A Grip!

Davies Molding announce the expansion of their range of Two Point Pull Handles. Molded with a glass reinforced Nylon substrate and a Thermoplastic Elastomer rubber (TPE) overmold to provide extra comfort and style, they also have a non-slip comfortable grip that is both durable, and scratch-resistant.

New support for this range means they are now available in multiple centre-to-centre dimensions, and come in six colours.

Davies Molding Handles

 

Keep Your Distance!

Davies Molding has launched the SH1000 series, a durable and versatile range of insulating stand off spacers capable of withstanding up to 130°C. The series has multiple combinations of male and female inserts, and is available at a variety of spacing lengths, to fit whatever gap you need.

These standoffs consist of molded-in metal inserts with a Nylon UL94 V-2 hexagon spacer body. This hybrid design produces higher tensile/shear strength, and exceptional insulation. As mentioned earlier, it can handle temperatures of up to 130°C. With the default components in this range, the spacing gap can be between 10mm and 85mm.

Davies Molding SH1000

Davies Molding are world leaders in molded solutions, and offer a range of products including handles and spacers like those mentioned here, as well as control and clamping knobs, enclosures, containers, and more. For more information on these, or any of Davies Molding‘s products, please call us on (+44) (0) 1670 361261, or email Jimmy by clicking here.

 

Paper-Lite NHS – How Can We Help?

paper-lite nhs

In this time of austerity, especially where the NHS are concerned, what can be done to help reduce costs? Aiming for a paper-lite NHS could be a good start.

With an esignature pad on their desk, and Diktamen installed on their PCs or mobiles, doctors will see an increase in their productivity, meaning they can deal with patients without having to constantly stop to type up notes, and without having to deal with printers for prescription slips.

Unsure what esignatures are? Find out here.

Instead, any notes the doctor wishes to make will be made verbally, with Diktamen whisking away their words to a transcription team who will type them up and apply them to the correct patient file; and any letter or prescription that needs to be signed can be dealt with electronically, allowing for faster communication between the doctors and the pharmacists, or the doctors and their patients, since letters and prescriptions can now be emailed to their final destination, instead of having to rely on the postal service, or sending out a member of staff in their car.

Learn more about Diktamen here.

Our esignature solutions could also be installed at the pharmacists, meaning that any prescriptions can now be created, sent, dispensed, and signed by both doctor and patient, all electronically. This completely cuts out printing costs, and increases the speed at which a prescription can be dispensed.

All of our esignature solutions are legally binding, capable of being held up as evidence in court. Click here to learn more about esignatures and their legality.

So not only would a paper-lite NHS make life easier for your doctors, and the pharmacists, but streamlining the care process will also mean your patients are happier and, we hope, healthier.

If you are still unsure if this is the right path for you to take, might I recommend you take a look at one of our other articles – The Paper-Lite Office? It goes into a bit more detail about why you should consider reducing your paper usage.

eSignature Verification – ePad/IntegriSign

Say you’ve used an ePad-Ink to sign a Word document. What do you then do for esignature verification?

The signature is now bound to the spreadsheet, and will be able to verify whichever worksheets were selected for authentication.  If you double click on the signature, it will tell you if the document is verified (and thus has not been altered), or if the document has been altered at all, in which case, the signature is invalidated.

IntegriSign eSignature Verification 1

 

If a spreadsheet has been altered, the esignature verification will be invalidated. You can tell at a glance is the signature is valid or not. If invalid, it appears with a cross through the signature, like so.

IntegriSign eSignature Verification 2

If a signature is invalidated, you cannot remove the invalidation by removing the changes made. Once invalidated, it is always invalidated.

Give Doctors the help they need to keep our health service listed among the best in the world.

Diktamen

At a time when public spending is decreasing, and the NHS is in the middle of a crisis, why should you think about investing in something new? What could possibly save you enough time or money to make it worthwhile?

The answer is Diktamen.

Diktamen is a digital dictation tool that installs onto your smartphone or PC, and links whatever you dictate into it through to a team of transcribers who will take what you say, and apply it your Hospital Information System.

This will free your user from their keyboard, allowing them to spend that time focused on the most important aspect of their job – their patient. What’s more, Diktamen is simple to install and use, meaning you don’t need to worry about your IT being out of action for long while the software is configured, and you don’t need excessive or expensive training so your staff can use it.

Diktamen also works on the go, meaning it is just as simple for Doctors to update the records of patients they need to visit at home, as it is to update those who visit the surgery. Thanks to the Diktamen system, there is no delay in having these mobile notes added to the transcription queue.

As soon as your dictation is complete, it enters the transcription queue, where it will be assigned to a transcriber depending on how busy the system is, and the priority of the document. You can even use the Diktamen app to keep track of your note’s progress towards the Hospital Information System.

Diktamen’s transcription service is just as important to the success of this program as is its app. Not only can it be used to streamline your own in-house transcription process to make it more efficient, but also offers on-demand access to an outsourced transcription team to help manage and eliminate overflow or backlog queues. Even the outsourcing is handled in-house, with your doctors deciding exactly how long it is acceptable for a document or note to stay in the transcription queue before being automatically outsourced.

Because we understand how important it is to properly allocate resources within the healthcare system, we offer a bespoke service that will provide a solution that has been tailored specifically for your organization, complete with system monitoring tools.

Removal of unnecessary features means that we limit any excess costs that would normally be associated with a more bloated piece of software, and also means we can provide you with higher quality and more comprehensive workflow documentation. This will allow your administrators to examine the system, identify potential flaws or bottlenecks, and make appropriate changes to counter them.

This system is already seeing use across 200 organisations in Europe, with over 14,000 users. Now, Diktamen is coming to the UK, where it is time for a rethink in the way our surgeries work. Please contact Jimmy Craik for more details.

From Head to Hand – Custom Molding

Davies custom molding

Every great idea, no matter how simple or complex, starts life as a thought. Davies Molding, with their custom molding service, can help you build the plastic parts for your great idea, exactly the way you need them, at every step of the way.

Design

Based on your input, Davies’ engineering staff can help you create the exact look, feel, and dimensions of your ideal plastic part. Utilizing the latest CAD and 3D modelling software, they can easily make changes to be sure the part will meet your specifications. Davies Molding engineers can then lead the design into production by ensuring that high quality molds and tools are created to produce the best possible custom molded part for your needs.

Prototype

Your concept can ‘come to life’ as it is transformed into a 3D image. By specifying colours, materials, drilling, or other operations, you can digitally view the entire part from any perspective. They can even provide rapid prototypes so that real examples of parts can be evaluated before putting tool to steel.

Production

Davies Molding understands that quality and on-time delivery are essential to your business. Both Steadlands and Davies will provide you with a first class service that will stay within your budget. After your product is finished, the service doesn’t stop there. We can ensure that parts can be ordered at any time, at any quantity you choose. We will work with you to ensure that your product is made with the quality and care that is needed for your continued success.

Portfolio

Davies Molding have created thousands of parts, in all different shapes and sizes – no project is too big for them to handle, and with both thermoplastic and thermoset molding techniques, you can get exactly the shape you are looking for.

Previously manufactured bespoke parts include mounts, for surveillance cameras and other video equipment, handles for high end ovens used in hospitals and nursing homes, and drip trays, as used to collect grease in fast food restaurants.

Thermoset or Thermoplastic?

What’s the difference? A thermoplastic is a material that becomes soft and malleable when heated, and goes rigid when cooled. You can repeat this process, heating it, reshaping it, cooling it, a number of times without changing the chemical makeup of the plastic.

Pros
High Impact Strength
Attractive Surface Finish
Recyclable/Reusable
No Emissions
Can bond to other thermoplastics
Can be molded or shaped by reheating
Cons
Typically will soften with heat
More difficult to prototype
Short workable pot life, with some exceptions
A thermoset, on the other hand, undergoes permanent chemical change when it is treated with heat, catalysts, or ultraviolet light, which fixes its new shape, and cannot then be changed. Once you’ve set its shape, there is no going back.
Pros
Easy to process and laminate
May not need heat or pressure to form
Typically inexpensive
Typically stronger than thermoplastics
Better suited to higher temperatures
Cons
Often release emissions known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Non-recyclable, and cannot be reclaimed easily

Options

Davies Molding offer a wide variety of secondary operations after molding your part, to save you both time and costs of shipping your part to another vendor for these services. These include:

Drilling
Hot Stamping
Hydrographic Printing
Chrome Plating
Silk Screen
Machining
Pad Printing
Bagging
Turning
Packaging
Laser Engraving
Assembly
Custom Colour Matching
Ultrasonic Welding
Branding
Kitting
Buff and Polish
Paint Fill
Vacuum Metalizing
Tapping
Decorative Pointers
Paint Coatings
Sand Blasting
3D CAD Imaging
Decorative Inlays

Thermoset: An Alternative to Metal

Thermoset plastics are successfully replacing traditional metal materials, where they provide value through improved performance at a lower cost.

Thermoset plastics are well suited to demanding requirements because they have the capacity to withstand heat and pressure for long periods of time without failure, they are impact resistant, and they have exceptional electrical insulating properties. Their dimensional stability, creep resistance, chemical resistance, stiffness, and high temperature capabilities make them the preferred material where reliable performance in adverse conditions is imperative and can be used as a cost-saving alternative to metals.

Why Davies Molding?

If this hasn’t persuaded you that Davies Molding is the right choice for your custom plastic molding needs, what else can we say to convince you? How about if we point out a couple of extra facts about Davies Molding?

Best Fit Manufacturing – By choosing Davies Molding as your manufacturing partner, you will have one point-of-contact for all the services you need, in just one vendor. Services such as mold design and development, production supervision and quality control can all be handled by Davies, making your project simple and easy to manage.

Risk Mitigation – You will have access to a global operations network, and a well documented, thorough disaster recovery program that minimizes risk from any disruptive factos in producing your product.

IP Protection – Davies Molding maintain a high level of controls throughout the development process to ensure your assets are protected. This has led to them being trusted by all manner of clients over the past 80 years.

Supply Chain Compression – This is, quite simply, the elimination of unnecessary steps in the logistics chain that lead to the manufacture of your product. With Davies handling all of your molding and manufacturing requirements, your quality assurance, inventory maintenance, and shipping costs will be reduced, and your time to market minimized.

Comprehensive Quality Assurance – With end-to-end, single-source responsibility for manufacturing and delivery, Davies’ strict quality auditing throughout the entire molding and manufacturing process, and adherence to REACH, ROHS, and Conflict Materials requirements are all major advantages to make sure your part is produced right the first time.

Force Sensing Resistors – What Are They?

Force Sensing Resistors were invented in 1977 by Franklin Eventoff, the man who would later, in 1985, go on to found Interlink Electronics, a key global manufacturer of FSRs for whom we are the sole UK distributer.

Force Sensing Resistors, or FSRs as they tend to be known, are constructed of a pair of polymer layers, held a hairsbreadth apart. One layer contains printed electrodes, and the other is covered by a conductive surface, so when pressure is applied to the FSR, the two layers meet, resulting in a variable resistance based on the amount of pressure applied.

In the forty years since they were invented, Force Sensing Resistors have found use in many different industries around the globe, jumping from the food industry, to the medical profession, through to musical instruments, and pretty much everywhere in between. Even in just one of these industries, the use of FSRs is widely different. For example, in the medical profession, Force Sensing Resistors are used to create mats that lie on beds, to allow nurses to know if someone has accidentally slipped off, or even moved. The same FSRs are also used to control prosthetic limbs, and have even been converted into shoes to help teach people how to walk again.

With six different models, the Force Sensing Resistors from Interlink Electronics are available to cover just about any niche you can think of, and their tiny cross section of about half a millimeter means they can be concealed in practically any surface, granting that surface area the ability to control whatever it is you have your FSRs connected to.

Force Sensing Resistors come in several shapes and sizes. With the smallest active surface area being just 5mm across, you can fit the FSR400 into just about any application. There is also available a larger circle, the FSR402. Both types are available with either a long or short tail attached to them which run out to solder tags. Going larger still, you have the FSR406, a square that is perfect for working into an array, and the FSR408, a long strip which can be cut down to size.

I can think of only three products launched in 1977, the Force Sensing Resistor, the Post-It Note, and the movie, Star Wars. It must have been a good year, since all three of these went onto bigger and better things.

May the Force Sensing Resistor be with you!