More “smart” means more computing which means more heat, greater thermo-structural challenges, and greater fatigue or expansion issues that can affect product performance and quality. This doesn’t just affect small equipment. One of Hexagon’s customers, Analog Way, had to deal with 2Kw of heat generated from driving the highest resolution video display in the history of Times Square – that’s as much as an electric fire.Intuitively, it’s also an issue at the nanoscale, with components and integrated circuits. The number of transistors that can fit into a microprocessor reached more than 10 billion in 2017. For context, it was less than 10,000 in 1971. In fact, today, some transistors are 14 nanometres across; barely 14 times bigger than a DNA molecule. Now, imagine that being affected by tough environmental conditions, such as those under your car hood, or in the hold of an aircraft.Although Hexagon helps others design products using software, it’s beholden to some of the same challenges, as it is also a manufacturer. Its Leica laser scanners are accurate to the point of being able to hit a target the size of a football goal in Barcelona, from Munich. They’re increasingly being pushed into smaller and smaller packages while also introducing smarter and smarter electronics. This leads to some incredible challenges when it comes to maintaining accuracy, as the equipment undergoes thermo-structural tension.
Read the full article in the May issue of PBSI
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