Winners in the second annual LEAP Awards, celebrating the best components and services across the mechanical and electrical engineering design space, were unveiled on November 5, 2019. Across 13 categories, the judging panel awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze recognitions, as well as Honorable Mentions for certain submissions. The awards program is supported by three leading publications in the design engineering space: Design World, Fluid Power World, and EE World.
Paul J. Heney, Vice President, Editorial Director, Design World, said that the judging went smoothly this year. “Our judges, all of whom are independent engineering industry professionals, did a remarkable job in quickly turning around the scoring this year. We had a combination of judges from last year and some new blood in there, but luckily, we had the process down quite well after learning from the inaugural LEAP Awards in 2018.”
This year, the program changed from having a single declared winner in each category, to a medalist concept, with the potentials for a Gold, Silver and Bronze winner in any category, as well as Honorable Mentions. Depending on the scoring ranges, not all categories will necessarily have all medals awarded, and Honorable Mentions are also optional — and tied to how close an entry came to the medalist scores.
The winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Santa Clara, California, in conjunction with the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum and DeviceTalks West events, on December 9th. Information on how to register for the ceremony will be posted shortly.
The medalists in the Switches & Sensors category are as follows:
GOLD • Peratech • Peratech QTC-based EDGE Solution
Peratech’s EDGE solution is a mass-customized, plug-and-play, tactile-sensing module for the mobile and tablet market segments. EDGE is mechanically integrated into key areas of handheld devices to capture a user’s natural single-handed grip, ergonomic finger movements, intuitive presses and squeezes to control key functions. EDGE uses a combination of proprietary QTC force-sensing technology, embedded electronics and software algorithms to provide pressure measurement as a third dimension, supplementing the two dimensions offered by conventional touch-sensor arrays.
Additional functionality can be achieved with hard, soft or variable-pressure touches to bring an extra dimension to menu navigation, app control and gaming. EDGE-sensing not only solves current user experience limitations on today’s most advanced smartphone design, it also enables sensing under curved, foldable, and rollable display-based products. The solution also allows for greater device design freedom, such as the removal of physical buttons.
Silver • Omron Automation Americas • FHV7 industrial smart camera
Omron’s FHV7 is a modular smart camera with lens and lighting options that can be combined to achieve the optimal configuration for the customer’s application. Its modules include a liquid lens for superior autofocus and the industry’s first multi-color lighting that makes the illumination color adaptable to a variety of application needs.
Conventional smart cameras are limited in terms of lens and lighting, as they differ depending on the resolution of the image sensor and CPU performance. This makes it tricky to combine them optimally for customer applications or use them with excessive or insufficient specifications. The FHV7’s innovative capabilities enhance operational flexibility and support the design of advanced systems that utilize high-speed image processing.
The concept also solves problems relating to the need to review the mechanical design of a smart camera setup depending on the lens and lighting arrangement selected by the customer. By providing common external dimensions regardless of the lens/lighting combination, the FHV7 greatly reduces the man-hours required for system design.
Bronze • Monnit Corporation • ALTA Advanced Vibration Meter
The enterprise-grade ALTA Advanced Vibration Meter (AVM) is a wireless sensor for remotely monitoring oscillation on three axes. The turnkey AVM features a configurable frequency measurement range from 0.4 Hz–4,800 Hz (24 RPM–288,000 RPM). This range enables the sensor to capture a broad spectrum of vibration—from the subtle sway of a bridge and the seismic impact on a building to identifying abnormalities in high-RPM machinery.
The US-manufactured AVM uses an accelerometer to report on vibration acceleration, velocity, displacement, or acceleration peak, frequency (Hz/RPM), and crest factor on all three axes. AVM also reports duty cycle (how much of the report interval that vibration was present) and temperature. Beyond asset tracking, this data enables organizations to take preemptive action and gain deeper insight into operational and end-of-life analysis.
Via a Monnit Wireless Gateway and iMonnit (a cloud-based sensor configuration and management dashboard), AVM users can set measurement thresholds. Users may also specify who receives alerts if vibrations surpass predetermined levels. Alerts issued via text, email, or call enable on-site personnel to quickly catch and correct deviations to protect machinery, production runs, or the facility.