www.engineeringnews.co.nz 11 New JD Neuhaus Group website As a leading German manufacturer of pneumatic and hydraulic hoists and crane systems, the J D Neuhaus Group (JDN) has improved its innovative website. Its well-known address www.jdngroup.com incorporates many improvements. It is more user-friendly, more informative and better structured, while being technically and graphically optimised, to represent state-of-the-art operation. Conversion to a responsive web design enables the content to adapt automatically to the size of the screen being used, and the whole content can now also be viewed more efficiently on tablets and smartphones. The horizontal navigation has also been reduced to emphasise the menus for 'Products,' 'Service' and 'Company.' As the service and company sections of the site had already been re-launched towards the end of 2016, the website now presents itself with a modern look, feel and operation in a full screen mode. Also new is the news slider on the homepage and underneath, the most important image themes of the JDN Group will be on offer. Cotton candy leads to circuits that dissolve Building transient electronics is usually about doing something to make them stop working: blast them with light, soak them with acid, dunk them in water. Professor Leon Bellan’s idea is to dissolve them with neglect; stop applying heat, and they come apart. Using silver nanowires embedded in a polymer that dissolves in water below 32 degrees Celsius — between body and room temperature — Mr Bellan and mechanical engineering graduate student Xin Zhang made a simple circuit board that, so far, just turns on an LED light. Its potential applications are far more promising. “Let’s say you use this technology to make an RFID wireless tag,” says Mr Bellan, assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University. “You could implant important information in a person, and body temperature would keep it intact. If the tag were removed or the bearer died, it would dissolve. You could use it for implanted medical devices as well – to cause them to disintegrate, it would only require applying ice to the skin.” In the lab, his tiny circuit boards stay operational in water warmed by a hot plate. Turn off the hot plate, and they start dissolving in minutes. Using a special polymer and a cotton candy machine purchased from a department store, he spun networks of threads comparable in size, density and complexity to capillaries – the tiny conduits that deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells. Mr Bellan’s cotton candy-like fibre networks can be embedded in materials that mimic the extracellular matrix and then be triggered to dissolve away, potentially producing capillary systems for artificial organs. He’s using the same triggering system to produce transient electronics. In this system, the silver nanowires are held together in the polymer so that they touch, and as long as the polymer doesn’t dissolve, the nanowires will form a path to conduct electricity similar to the traces on a circuit board. Trigger the polymer to dissolve by lowering the temperature, and the nanowire network disintegrates, destroying the conductive path. The next steps are integrating semiconductors to make transistors and ensuring users can interact wirelessly with the device. N E W S Engineering in demand Engineering, IT and sales are just three of the skills sought by the 48% of employers in New Zealand who say they’ll increase permanent staff levels in the year ahead. According to recruiting experts Hays, vacancy activity will also be evident in operational management, construction, marketing, human resources and office support. “Improved market conditions across New Zealand are leading to increasing vacancy activity,” says Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand. “The industrial and construction sectors are major drivers thanks to large infrastructure projects, while general business confidence and a strong economic trading environment are seeing market growth and associated job creation.
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