Lasers and high-performance cutting

Written by Carolyn Griffith

Continued from page 1
Most cutting systems, Momany says, are driven by Hewlett Packard Graphical Language (HPGL), whose limitations render it unable to handle ULDB-sized projects. "With HPGL, you lose accuracy over long lengths of material…you run out of math; you run out of decimal points," he elaborates. EdgeWISE engineers have developed a new data processing technology that can achieve accuracy out to 16 or more decimal places. "And with HPGL, at 3,000 inches,repparttar system would just stop, and you’d have to re-sendrepparttar 133544 images—but it wouldn’t have any way of knowing where it had left off," Momany says, noting that 3,000 inches, or 250 feet, is less than one-halfrepparttar 133545 length of a ULDB gore. "Our system can just keep on going." As Momany explainsrepparttar 133546 SDC’s advantages forrepparttar 133547 NASA application, he keeps bumping into his company’s own "cutting edge" issues: proprietary technologies, which he doesn’t dare explain in excessive detail. EdgeWISE is currently patentingrepparttar 133548 SDC system, with between 15 and 20 individual processes listed as claims onrepparttar 133549 application; this is one of four patent applicationsrepparttar 133550 company has going, and Momany expects to initiate another two sometime this year. (The tiny company, byrepparttar 133551 way, employs three full-time and two part-time workers, and uses five to seven contractors.) As it turned out, EdgeWISE’s SDC system was able to come darn close torepparttar 133552 original tolerance requirement, at +/- .3 inches; but, as NASA, Dimension Polyant and Raven Industries continue to tinker withrepparttar 133553 composition ofrepparttar 133554 balloon fabric, new hurdles emerge. Simply cutting one lobe downrepparttar 133555 middle ofrepparttar 133556 run of fabric results in 40 percent waste, so EdgeWISE designedrepparttar 133557 system to cut half lobes down each straight edge, to be sewn together afterward, cutting waste down to only 14 percent. This meansrepparttar 133558 system must be able to detectrepparttar 133559 fabric edge, which was no problem withrepparttar 133560 earlier translucent material. The most recent version of fabric, however, is transparent, so edge detection becomes a bigger problem.

Performance and perforation Momany suggests thatrepparttar 133561 SDC system would be suitable for a variety of applications with simple cutting patterns requiring high volume throughput, such as automotive air bags. The RFL system is faster than a flatbed, andrepparttar 133562 SDC is faster yet, able to handle 350 or more linear feet of material per minute. In addition torepparttar 133563 advantage of taking up much less floor space than flatbed systems,repparttar 133564 roll-feed SDC allows for faster throughput without increasing safety compliance issues orrepparttar 133565 need for training. "We try to make every machine using a Class One laser beam—as safe as your laser printer," Momany notes. By definition, Class One beams are totally enclosed. If, for example,repparttar 133566 ULDB gores were to be cut with a laser moving over a flatbed, "to move 600 feet, it would have to be a Class Four beam—and everyone inrepparttar 133567 room would have to be laser-trained and wearing goggles," he explains. Now, EdgeWISE is working on adapting laser cutting technology to perforation applications. "We can take 60-inch-wide material and perforate it with a quarter inch separatingrepparttar 133568 holes in a row, and a quarter inch separatingrepparttar 133569 rows, at 85 feet per minute—that’s a half-million holes a minute," Momany says, noting that one client, an aerospace company, usesrepparttar 133570 resulting perforated material to filter resin evenly onto parts that must be glued together. "The limitation on most perforation operations is mechanical; it’s like they’re using a rotary pincushion, andrepparttar 133571 needles break allrepparttar 133572 time," Momany says. It’s not uncommon for needle breakage to occur several times a week, or even daily, resulting in four to eight hours of downtime each time. "The laser perforation could be used in manufacturing disposable diapers, band-aids, all kinds of geotextiles." While in Momany’s view it’s EdgeWISE’s small size and flexibility that enables it to take on these kinds of problem-solving challenges, he also admits thatrepparttar 133573 aerospace client was originally nervous aboutrepparttar 133574 reliability of such a tiny supplier. The ULDB Project provided a needed dose of credibility. "When you say you’re working with NASA, that tends to get people’s attention," he concludes.

Reprinted with permission from Industrial Fabric Products Review April 2000. Copyright ® 2000 by Industrial Fabrics Association International. Industrial Fabric Products Review

Carolyn Griffith is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, Minn. She also authored the October 1999 article "Near-Space Balloons: NASA’s New Workhorses."

Understanding Regulated and Non-regulated Charges to Your Phone Bills

Written by Karen Thatcher

Continued from page 1

Non-Regulated Charges

Various price schedules and rates are applied to non-regulated offerings, in accordance with current business and competitive conditions. Keep in mind that all non-regulated charges are subject to rapid change and negotiation, although some are traditionally fixed for a year at a time.

Prices and rates for non-regulated items must be obtained from suppliers. The following services are unregulated in most states:

Terminal and switching equipment, and ancillary items. Pay telephones. Some service enhancements, such as wire maintenance and voice mail boxes Directory advertising, bold listings, street directories Sale of "foreign" directories. Many kinds of studies and some technical service matters, some corridor and other services.

In Part II, we will look atrepparttar taxes - federal, state and local - that are imposed on bothrepparttar 133543 regulated, and non-regulated portions of your bills. Included will berepparttar 133544 three "rules-of-thumb" for taxes, along withrepparttar 133545 specifics on what these taxes are andrepparttar 133546 purpose for which they are paid, and, who is exempt from them.

Karen Thatcher is President of TelCon Associates, a 30 year old telecom consulting and management firm. TelCon Associates helps companies gain control and reduce telecom/IT spending through a guaranteed cost-reduction consulting process. To receive a free CD-ROM entitled, Telecom Tips and Strategies for Businesses, visit

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