Letter From The President: Tomorrowland is Today at CES 2019
What’s the best part about Las Vegas? Is it the world-class dining, the nightlife, the celebrity performers? For me, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in January. It’s getting a glimpse of what our homes and workplaces will look like in the future. I’m old enough to remember the Monsanto “House of the Future” exhibit at Disneyland. It was so exciting to think that, one day, we’d have a television set in every room! And an all-electric kitchen! Being at CES is like being in that old Disneyland exhibit – seeing things that are tantalizingly close, but not quite ready for prime time.
Rendering of Disneyland's Monsanto "House of the Future" Circa 1956
A few years ago, curved video displays stole the show. That year, everything was curved – from living room displays, to smartphone displays, to wearable fitness devices. Another year, it was 4K displays, with unbelievable video resolution. You could see every hair on that bumblebee’s leg! And each snowflake! Hover boards made their debut one year. 3D printers got their start. The first year, they actually printed a plastic bust of Yoda, right before your eyes! They got better the second year, printing useful things, like bicycle parts. One year, CES did a retrospective on all the technology that was first shown there, including compact discs, camcorders, DVDs, HDTV, and internet gaming, to name a few.
This year? In 2019, we saw 5G, the latest generation of mobile communication, with its high data rate, energy savings, and massive connectivity potential. We saw 8K ultra-high definition displays (sorry, 4K! You’re SO last year). 8K pixels are indistinguishable to the human eye when viewed at a typical distance from the display. And some video displays were so sharply curved that they nearly seemed folded back on themselves.
Whill makes personal electric vehicles for people who have difficulty walking.
They showed off their autonomous B2B EVs that help people navigate in places like airports, amusement parks and shopping centers.
Two things really caught my eye at this year’s show. One was a
self-driving wheelchair that maneuvers its human passenger around obstacles in their path. The other was a new technology that allows a video display to be created from micro LED video “tiles”, each 1” x 1”, and built into any existing space. In other words, no preset aspect ratio. Have an extra space you need to fill?
Put in these video tiles. Presto! Instant ultra-high-def display,
wherever you like.
Samsung debuts their "Wall" made up of 1" x 1" micro-LEDs. You can take these small tiles and custom-build a TV (display) to nearly any size or aspect ratio you want.
Of course, the show is very crowded, and there are long lines to see some of the most popular items. Sony showcased a new 360-degree sound technology in a demo booth. Being
a music aficionado, I wanted to experience it, but the line was about an hour long. There was more visible security this year than I recall, with dozens of uniformed police roaming the exhibit halls
with their trusty K9 units alongside. The monorail serving the convention center was packed each day. Show visitors are generally patient and polite, although the backpack crowd started getting on my
Don’t they know they take up about twice their regular space? They turn around quickly and - wham! – someone gets smacked. (Usually me).
To me, CES is worth the hassle and expense. For a few days, I’m a kid again, looking at what the world will be like when I grow up. It’s not fine art, it may not help save the whales, but it sure
is a lot of fun. And fun is what Las Vegas
is all about, right?
President, Q-Mark Manufacturing Inc.
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Video: Design Your Own Probe™ in Minutes Online
Manufacturing Manager, Clint Clark of Q-mark Manufacturing walks us through how to Design Your Own Probe™ online. Design Your Own Probe™ is an interactive online tool that allows customers to design, proof and order their custom part online in just a few minutes.
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Q-Mark Manufacturing Inc. is proud to announce our latest partnership with trusted distributor Ragot CAD/CAM Services. They will be servicing Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Canada.
Ragot CAD/CAM Services brings:
- 20 Years of Experience
- Added Value Support: Full training and tech support for all products
- Reliable Service: Speedy, local support
- Tri-Lingual Services: French, English, Spanish
- Memberships and Accreditations: CFIB, New Brunswick Metalworking Association, CME, APCC.
Paul Ragot founded Ragot CAD/CAM Services in 1998. As a value-added reseller of Mastercam, and other add-on software, they offer full technical support and training for all their products.
In 2008, Ragot CAD/CAM Services added Contract Measuring to their list of services. Their ROMER portable CMM allows us to measure both complex and oversize parts — like propeller blades, vehicle exteriors, and welding fixtures.
About Paul Ragot
Paul Ragot is known throughout Atlantic Canada as the go-to expert for CAD/CAM/ DNC software solutions and portable CMM measuring services.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Paul has 20 years experience using CAD/CAM software — with the last 10 years focused on CNC programming of 2 to 5 axis CNC milling machines, 2 to 9 axis mill-turn lathes, and wood routers.
Ragot CAD/CAM Services works with clients from all industries:
- Green Energy
- Food Industry
- Auto Racing
Q-Mark Product Spotlight September 2018
The Spotlight this month is our booth at IMTS! Visit us at 135501 and let us show you are newest products.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight July 2018
Diamond Sphere Styli
Diamond sphere styli are steadily increasing in popularity among CMM users. Q-Mark is pleased to offer precision diamond styli in nearly any standard thread size and configuration. Diamond styli are an excellent choice for demanding applications. Their performance is unmatched when measuring hard, abrasive, or very soft surfaces. They are available in two types: solid diamond, and diamond coated spheres. Please contact Q-Mark for assistance with your measurement challenge.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight June 2018
Q-Mark clients are creative. They constantly offer us ideas for new or improved products, ideas that spring from real-life, on-the-job issues. A prime example is the Cube Squared (Fig. 1, above), a hand-held gadget that squares adapter plate cubes to a CMM’s X and Y axes in less than one minute. And, as if that wasn’t a good enough idea, someone else suggested making it adjustable to any angle. So, the Cube Squared Plus was born (Fig. 2, above). The Cube Squared Plus sets the cube to any angle between zero and ninety degrees. Both Cube Squared designs are popular with CMM operators all over the world. And, both were proposed by Q-Mark clients.
Several items in our catalog were originally suggested by clients. I’m grateful to folks who take the time and effort to describe their ideas to us. It’s said that ideas are among the most important things on earth. Everything begins with an idea.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight May 2018
Cylinder styli are used to measure edge features, like sheet metal edges, stampings, or thin lands between grooves. We manufacture cylindrical styli from stainless steel, carbide, and ruby. They are available in all thread sizes. We have a wide selection of standard diameters and lengths, or they can be manufactured to your specifications.
Please note that cylinder styli are not suitable for high-accuracy work, because their form is less precise than our spherical styli. In addition, cylindrical styli require a special calibration routine. Just click on the FAQ tab on our website (www.cmms.com) for help with calibrating a cylinder stylus.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight April 2018
Electrically Conductive Styli
Many probe systems use a mechanical switch to sense when they “touch” a surface. A few, however, rely on an electrical signal to confirm contact. These probe heads use electrically conductive styli. Q-Mark makes a full selection of styli that are electrically conductive. We use carbide spheres, one-piece stainless steel base and stem, and an electrically conductive bonding agent to bond the sphere to the stem. Our electrically conductive styli work with any probe system.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight March 2018
Small Calibration Spheres
Small diameter calibration spheres are essential when qualifying small diameter styli. They allow the stylus to reach more of the sphere’s surface, giving better qualification values. They also reduce the possibility of “shanking out” the stylus during qualification. This helps reduce breakage.
Shown here are 5.0 and 8.0 mm ruby calibration spheres. They are Grade 5, serialized, and furnished with laboratory certs as to form and diameter. Their stainless steel stems have M6 threads.
We offer Grade 5 calibration spheres in diameters ranging from 5.0 mm to 30.0 mm. When qualifying small diameter tips, always use a small diameter calibration sphere.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight February 2018
Q-MARK THREAD CARD
End the guesswork over the correct thread and ball sizes for your probe system. Our thread card has ten tapped holes between M2 and 3/8”-24 to check the thread size, and ten holes ranging from 1.0 to 6.0 mm to gage the ball size. A built-in 40 mm engraved scale confirms the stylus length. We make these from aircraft grade aluminum that is anodized and laser engraved. Protective slip cover included.
They're available at www.probe.tips. Just type "thread card" in the search box.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight January 2018
SILICON NITRIDE BALLS
What is silicon nitride?
Silicon nitride is an extremely hard hybrid ceramic (Si3N4) with a very low coefficient of friction. It’s used in high-speed spindle bearings and aircraft flap actuators to provide longer service life in demanding environments.
Why are silicon nitride styli better than ruby styli?
When ruby balls touch soft materials - aluminum, for example - they tend to accumulate tiny bits of the material on the ball. Over time, this build-up of metal on the ball can result in measurement errors. When this happens, the stylus must be discarded.
When ruby balls are used on hard or abrasive materials, they can develop flat spots caused by wear. When a flat spot appears, the stylus must be discarded.
Silicon nitride has a significantly lower coefficient of friction than ruby. It's extremely hard, too - about 78 Rc. Therefore, silicon nitride balls exhibit less wear and don't tend to accumulate material on their surface like ruby balls. Our clients report up to 5 times longer tool life in demanding applications using silicon nitride balls instead of ruby.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight December 2017
Ever-increasing accuracy requirements are driving probe sensor technology to higher levels of sensitivity. In many cases, this drive has reduced the amount of stylus weight that a probe sensor will tolerate. Q-Mark has responded to this need by producing a full line of ultra-light styli and stylus extensions.
In the pictures, three Q-Mark styli plus one 50 mm extension (Figure 1) weigh 4.40 grams, combined. By contrast, a newly minted nickel (Figure 2) weighs over half a gram more.
We achieve this extraordinary weight reduction by incorporating titanium and carbon fiber elements in our products. Since we do all the manufacturing and assembly, we can monitor the product weight at every step of the process. Titanium and carbon fiber offer the added benefit of very high stiffness-to-weight ratios.
If your CMM needs to go on a weight-loss campaign for the sake of accuracy, turn to Q-Mark for immediate gratification.
Q-Mark Product Spotlight November 2017
Disk styli are used to probe interior grooves. The fascinating thing about disk styli is that there are seemingly no two alike. As part geometry varies, so do disk stylus dimensions. We get requests for custom disks, like the one pictured, nearly every day. Visit our website, www.cmms.com, and click on the tab “Design Your Own”. You’ll have it in a surprisingly short time.