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In Brief
Published:  01 November, 2002

In Brief

Emerson has joined forces with Dana Corporation to develop advanced actuator technologies for the automotive market. The partners will focus initially on electric steering components including motors and controls, and electric power packs for electro-hydraulic power steering. The headquarters for the operation will be in Feltham, Middlesex, with extra manufacturing facilities in Slovakia.

The UK Health and Safety Executive has published new guidance on reducing noise from CNC punch presses, which can expose workers to noise levels up to 100dB(A). An estimated 170,000 people in the UK suffer from work-related hearing problems, with up to 36% of them working in engineering. The free publication (Engineering Information Sheet 39) identifies sources of noise, details several noise control techniques, and provides case studies and advice on buying CNC presses. Order on 44 (0) 1787 88165 or via www.hsebooks.co.uk

A US company is developing a powertrain for hybrid electric vehicles based on 800V semiconductors. Dr Alex Severinsky, chief executive of the Paice Corporation, says that the high-voltage devices will make hybrid vehicles economically viable. He asserts that the company`s Hyperdrive power train will deliver fuel economy improvements of more than 50%, boost vehicle performance and reduce emissions to negligible levels.

The American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) claims to have developed a new generation of high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wires that exceed performance targets set by the US Department of Energy. The DOE had challenged US industry to produce 10m lengths of tape-shaped HTS wire with a minimum performance of 50A per centimetre of width. AMSC says its has developed a wire that carries 100A/cm, 15 months ahead of the DOE deadline. AMSC chief executive Greg Yurek says that production process could be scaled up to produce HTS wire with a better price-performance ratio than copper.

DaimlerChrysler expects to be the first manufacturer to put a fleet of fuel-cell-powered passenger vehicles on the road when it starts field testing of hydrogen-powered cars next year. The vehicles, propelled by 65kW electric motors, will accelerate up to 96.5km/h (60mph) in about 16s, and have a top speed of around 140km/h. There will be no greenhouse emissions and the vehicles will be extremely quiet

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