Design News, January 2013

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Your Partner in Custom Plastic Components Precision Plastic Machining Complex Plastic Injection Molding Quick Turnaround Prototyping Custom Plastic Couplings, Adapters, Bearings, Fittings and More! Plastic Injection Molding to +/-.001. Custom Plastic Connectors, Insulator, Caps, Poppets and More The use of the A123 nanophosphate battery came as a surprise to some, given the fact that A123 filed for bankruptcy in October. GM had said in 2011, however, that it planned to employ an A123 lithium-ion battery. "The bankruptcy proceedings have no effect on the development of the battery," Bluhm told us. Since announcing the Chevy Spark in late 2011, GM has said the vehicle will be partially targeted toward buyers in Asia, where smaller vehicles are more accepted. "When you get into the mega-cities and the shorter driving commutes that they have in those regions, the Spark EV might be a better fit than a vehicle like the Volt," a GM spokesman told Design News in 2011. Industry analysts believe GM's introduction of the Spark EV is also an effort to comply with California's looming ZEV mandate. "There's an argument that they're selling them in markets outside California, so it's supposedly not just a compliance issue," Kevin See, an analyst for Lux Research, said. "But the ZEV mandate really is the primary reason for rolling it out. Obviously, that's why it's coming out in California first." The rollout comes at a time when battery-electric vehicles are still struggling. A study by J.D. Power released in November contended that American consumers still have little interest in EVs, and will continue to be uninterested for some time to come. Nissan sold just 6,791 Leafs through October, according to See believes that the low sales figures will continue with the Spark. "My response is a shrug of the shoulders," See told us. "They're not going to sell a ton of Spark EVs." — Charles Murray, Senior Technical Editor, Electronics & Test For More Information: Patrick Plastics Corp. 505 Wegner Drive West Chicago, IL 60185 Contact: Shawn Healy P: 630.639.5011 F: 630.639.5016 630-639-5011 General Motors: A123 Systems Inc.: Lux Research: Electronics & Test Bodkin Develops Homemade Explosive Detector Bodkin's explosive detection keeps soldiers at a distance. Terrorism and homemade explosive devices are nothing new. They tend to go hand in hand, and are steadily gaining momentum in their deployment (terrorism in one form or another) all over the globe. IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), pipe bombs, and other homemade incendiaries are showing up in places other than the battlefield at such an alarming rate that the DOD (Department of Defense) has taken notice. The government entity recently awarded Massachusetts-based Bodkin Design and Engineering $890,000 to develop a specialized sensor to detect explosive materials. There are many methods employed today that security personnel have at their disposal to detect explosives, or explosive-related threats, such as dogs, X-ray machines, and spectrometry devices. Biotech firm Incentinal has even done research using trained honey bees, which are monitored by advanced software that looks for "adverse effects" in their behavior when they come in contact with explosive residue (apparently the bees are more sensitive than dogs in terms of smell). None of the current methods of explosive detection employed today, however, have the capability of real-time identification, which can be both aggravating and deadly for those in the military. The ROE (Rules Of Engagement/s) for combatants deployed in war zones are extremely strict, even for SOF (Special Operations Forces), so much so that it's not uncommon to have JAG (Judge Advocate General or military lawyer) officers accompany soldiers on mission deployments. They're there to make sure soldiers don't engage "suspected" insurgents that could be civilians, even Design News | jaNuary 2013 | www.d esign n –34–

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