Xeikon Vectorizor

Xeikon NV, an innovator in digital color printing technology, introduced Xeikon Vectorizor, an innovative new software add-on to the Xeikon X-800 digital front-end that defines a new standard in communication with laser die cutting devices.

The new functionality brings the integration of Xeikon digital press technology and laser die cutting devices to the next level, creating new opportunities to further automate label production and increase productivity. Xeikon will demonstrate the patent pending Vectorizor software in the technology corner at Labelexpo Americas, taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago. Labelexpo Americas attendees can also visit the Xeikon booth to learn more.

Xeikon's patent pending Vectorizor enables the digital front-end to generate, next to the printable bitmaps, die cut files that can be used to connect to laser die cutting devices.

"Automation and integration are key in making the most out of digital printing," said Jeroen Van Bauwel, Xeikon's director of product marketing. "Now that laser die cutting is coming of age, there is a need to drive the die cutter automatically. Xeikon Vectorizor is the perfect tool for doing that. Our customers are driving us to innovate. Xeikon is continuously leveraging its intimate knowledge of its customers' opportunities and challenges to develop novel products tailored to specific needs in the market. Xeikon Vectorizor is a great example of that."

From JDF or PDF files generated by a Management Information System (MIS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, the Xeikon X-800 creates vector-based files to drive laser die cutting devices. These files contain the shape of "frames" and are transferred to the laser die cutting device. At the same time, barcodes are printed next to the labels telling the laser die cutting system which of the vector based shapes to use. Because every label can have a different shape, in the complete workflow, only the digital front-end knows what labels are positioned where on the web.

Japan's core private-sector machinery orders marked a second straight month-on-month rise in July, showing some resilience against the global slowdown thanks to relatively solid domestic demand, data from the Cabinet Office showed on Wednesday.

Core orders -- which exclude volatile demand from electric utilities and for ships -- rose 4.6% in July, following a 5.6% increase in June and a 14.8% slump in May.

The June figure also beat the median forecast in an MNI survey of economists for a 1.5% rise.

The sharp increase was led by a rebound in orders from the manufacturing sector including steel mills and electric machinery makers. Orders from non-manufacturers fell.

The Cabinet Office maintained its assessment, saying that "machinery orders are now showing ups and downs."

In the July-September quarter, core orders are projected to decline further by 1.2% following a 4.1% slide in the previous quarter, according to the recent government forecast.

Despite the solid increase, economists are not so optimistic about the near-term prospects in the face of slower global demand as well waning effects of government subsidies for buying low-emission vehicles and building energy-saving homes, which have spurred domestic demand.
タグ: cutting laser

First All-Optical Nanowire Switch

Computers may be getting faster every year, but those advances in computer speed could be dwarfed if their 1's and 0's were represented by bursts of light, instead of electricity.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made an important advance in this frontier of photonics, fashioning the first all-optical photonic switch out of cadmium sulfide nanowires. Moreover, they combined these photonic switches into a logic gate, a fundamental component of computer chips that process information.

The research was conducted by associate professor Ritesh Agarwal and graduate student Brian Piccione of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science. Post-doctoral fellows Chang-Hee Cho and Lambert van Vugt, also of the Materials Science Department, contributed to the study.

It was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The research team's innovation built upon their earlier research, which showed that their cadmium sulfide nanowires exhibited extremely strong light-matter coupling, making them especially efficient at manipulating light. This quality is crucial for the development of nanoscale photonic circuits, as existing mechanisms for controlling the flow of light are bulkier and require more energy than their electronic analogs.

"The biggest challenge for photonic structures on the nanoscale is getting the light in, manipulating it once it's there and then getting it out," Agarwal said. "Our major innovation was how we solved the first problem, in that it allowed us to use the nanowires themselves for an on-chip light source."

The research team began by precisely cutting a gap into a nanowire. They then pumped enough energy into the first nanowire segment that it began to emit laser light from its end and through the gap. Because the researchers started with a single nanowire, the two segment ends were perfectly matched, allowing the second segment to efficiently absorb and transmit the light down its length.

"Once we have the light in the second segment, we shine another light through the structure and turn off what is being transported through that wire," Agarwal said. "That's what makes it a switch."

The researchers were able to measure the intensity of the light coming out of the end of the second nanowire and to show that the switch could effectively represent the binary states used in logic devices.

"Putting switches together lets you make logic gates, and assembling logic gates allows you to do computation," Piccione said. "We used these optical switches to construct a NAND gate, which is a fundamental building block of modern computer processing."
タグ: laser

Why You Should be Glad the EU Banned the Incandescent Light Bulb

President Obama had a hard time selling the US's weatherization program to a sceptical Congress: insulation is a lot less attractive than visible clean tech like solar panels. So he relied on his charm, declaring memorably that insulation was, in fact, sexy. "Here's what's sexy about it -- saving money," he said, to laughter and applause.

Few are as charming as President Obama, and here's an even more difficult sell: getting the British press to believe that European ecodesign regulations, which ban energy-wasting products, are a good thing. There's formidable media opposition: the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, and Daily Express have all run stories gleefully telling people how they can get round the incandescent light bulb ban, which came into force on Saturday.

These aren't fairytale numbers either. Efficiency regulation works: the compulsory shift in 2005 to condensing boilers has saved UK consumers 800 million this year alone. But, unlike condensing boiler regulations, ecodesign regulations are decided in Europe and as a result are mired in Eurosceptic objection. The addition of Europe into the mix makes the largely uncontroversial - saving money - controversial.

In Japan, where there is no such controversy, the most efficient air conditioner is 20% more efficient than in the EU, largely because widespread public support allows the government to push manufacturers to make products more efficient. In the US, President Bush banned products with energy wasting standby modes 8 years before the EU managed it, because everyone agreed it was so obviously good for consumers.

In the UK, media campaigns against light bulb regulations and broader tabloid antipathy towards Europe sap the political will to push for better products. Even the most hardened British Europhile won't pick a fight with the Mail when those opposing regulations like the light bulbs ban pose as consumer champions, defending plucky homeowners from 'Eurocrats' bent on meddling.

The truth is that opposing efficiency just because it's decided in Brussels leaves consumers much worse off: an extra 158 worse off per household per year. This is gesture politics we can't afford in the UK, especially as the rising price of gas has just put energy bills up by another nine per cent, a trend which shows little sign of slowing.

The US and Japan rely heavily on efficiency regulation because it's common sense. Ecodesign gives consumers what they want - clean clothes, fast computers and warm homes - and a lower energy bill. You don't have to love the EU to love lower energy bills: be Eurosceptic, but don't be daft.

It also notes that with an electrification rate of 14 per cent, the income redistribution effect of the subsidy is directly regressive - to the benefit the richest households. "If the manufacturing industry could choose they would opt for more expensive, but reliable electricity services. The alternative cost of having your own diesel generation is phenomenal and highly prohibitive to business development," it adds.

Upon detailed assessment of possible energy efficiency undertakings in some selected areas, including free distribution of efficient light bulbs to households, the report indicates a saving potential of some 95 MW per annum.

In an interview with 'Daily News', the Norwegian Counsellor for Energy and Infrastructure, Mr Geir Yngve Hermansen, said the Planning Commission had recommended that on electricity tariff system development, the plan requires that the future tariff system should cover the generation, transmission, distribution costs and provide an acceptable rate of profit, while ultimately removing direct Government subsidies by 2025.

"Considering the current low quality of electricity services I would agree there will be some need for a gradual move towards cost reflective tariffs," he said. The Joint Energy Sector Review (JESR) however notes that the country's extensive gas resources, with promising signs of further discoveries being made, gives the country a significant comparative advantage in electricity generation within the region.

What Are Your Fall New Year’s Resolutions?

The unofficial last day of summer is here! Labor Day implies that summer is over and the school year is about to start. And for many of us this feels more like the beginning of a new year than January first.

Folks have been shopping for school supplies and school clothes for weeks. And many adults have begun to buy their fall and winter wardrobes. We begin to mentally change over the seasons.

Kids go from the carefree summer activities to settling down in school. I think that carries over to adulthood. Then we have kids of our own and the tradition continues.

So over the weekend I began my fall chore list for garden and house projects and then I thought about the personal things I have put off over the summer. Maybe I needed to return to Weight Watchers for a fall tune up. So my list grew.

I was creating New Year’s resolutions. First on my list was painting and putting away the porch furniture. Then I went looking for the Weight Watchers meeting schedule.

My list grew after the temperature hit 54 the other night. Our house was cold in the morning and I went looking for something warm to wear to church.

Added to the list was continuing to work on energy efficiency. We have done a lot but there is still more we can do. We have replaced all of our light bulbs with florescent and now my husband is considering LED lights.

When we built our home, we super insulated it with 6-inch walls but at times, the wind in January seems to whip through those walls. Saving money on fuel is going to be a priority as we head into winter.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, our winter will be colder and drier than normal, with below-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be from Christmas through early January and in mid-January and early, mid, and late February. The snowiest periods will be in mid-November, mid-to-late December, mid-to-late February, and early March.

You can do some things now to save money on energy this winter. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s website on how to begin.

You need a plan and the first thing you need to look at is how much are you spending on utilities. So what can you do to use less energy? I don’t want you to be cold this winter but I don’t want you to be broke either.

Is your attic insulated? Simply laying insulation up there can reduce your heat loss. How about your windows? Are they tight? Can you caulk them yourself? Do you need storm windows or new windows? Weather stripping? Check the doors. Do you need a storm door? Most of our energy loss is through our attics, windows and doors.

But even little things make a difference. A window AC that you leave installed all year should be covered and some weather stripping used. You might want to consider taking it out for the winter and re-installing it come next May.

Get an automatic thermostat that turns the heat up and down for you. Down at night and when you are gone during the day and up right before you wake up in the morning or get home to make it warm and toasty.

Reading by Sunlight in the Dark?

SolarFocus has recently developed this all-in-one unit to transform your Kindle into a lean, mean, energy-efficient reading machine. The SolarKindle Lighted Cover works as a classy protective cover, charger, and reading light all wrapped up in a hip little package.

The SolarKindle Lighted Cover is sleek, stylish, and sturdy. Your Kindle fits snugly into this case, as if it were part of the case itself. Once you slip your Kindle into the SolarKindle Lighted Cover, an LED light will blink red to let you know your Kindle is charging.

Built into the SolarKindle Lighted Cover is a high performance triple junction amorphous silicon solar panel, which is lightweight, flexible, and less than a millimeter in thickness. This solar panel is also very efficient- one hour of charging with the SolarKindle Lighted Cover in direct sunlight is almost three days worth of reading time on your Kindle.

The SolarKindle Lighted Cover is equipped with a 1500mA lithium reserve battery so you can charge your Kindle any time or place. An hour spent charging your Kindle from this reserve battery provides you with ten days of use!

Whether you charge the reserve battery through a USB port on your computer or leave it by your window to absorb sunlight, the SolarKindleLighted Cover’s LED indicator blinks green to let you know that the reserve battery is charging.

You can also check how much battery this lithium battery is currently holding by pressing the power button:

If your battery level is below 40 percent, the LED indicator displays a red light.

When the LED indicator shows up orange, you know that the battery is at 40-80 percent.

A solid green light on the LED indicator lets you know that the battery is fully charged.

The reserve battery that is used to charge your Kindle also powers the retractable LED lamp. This is important because the LED lamp does not use power from the Kindle itself. This LED lamp produces 800 lux at the center and illuminates the entire screen, making it possible for you to read clearly in the dark.

These standards are expected to improve the efficiency of lighting management, improve safety during nighttime activities, create energy-saving and a smart lighting environment, and explore high value-added business opportunities worldwide, the Institute for Information Industry (III) said recently.

The five sets of standards for Taiwan's light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products were approved by Taiwan's six major lighting associations after consultations, the institute said.

This will be a good time for Taiwan's LED industry to cement its competitiveness and expand demand as prices of LED lighting products continue to drop, the institute said.

Delta Electronics Inc., a Taiwan-based provider of energy-saving solutions, forecast in July that LED lighting product prices will fall 20 to 30 percent this year following a 40 percent drop globally last year.

LEDinside, a website dedicated to the LED industry, also said last month that the lowest price for an LED light bulb equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent bulb fell below US$10 in the U.S. for the first time ever in June.

The low price in the U.S. market could speed up the use of LED bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs and make LED a common form of lighting, LEDinside said.
タグ: LED