RA McDonald, Inc

Ideas Made Real:

  • industrial/mechanical design for portable strain-gauge scale
  • industrial/mechanical design for machine vision computer

About the Project:

RA McDonald was a venture-capital-funded company created to capitalize on Reagan era initiatives to stimulate research and development into new and innovative (and sometimes risky) technologies. There were several projects developed. They ranged from a high speed, fully automated, fine-leak detection system that employed a near perfect vacuum coupled with a Helium Mass Spectrometer to detect breaches in 300mm DIP packages for Texas Instruments to a much simpler gross leak detection system that used elevated temperature Fluorinert as a  non-conductive heating medium. The more notable projects were a portable scale system developed to weigh race cars and a machine-vision system that was able to match specified shapes in real-time video images using multiple templates from multiple cameras in real time. For the last two projects Doug was responsible for all of the mechanical design including printed circuit board designs.