October 2009 Blog Posts (34)

More sustainable software

Earlier this month I blogged about SolidWorks' sustainable software features that are embedded in SolidWorks. Well, now Autodesk joined the bandwagon. While Inventor 2010 does not have sustainability features built-in as a standalone product, it recently announced that it joined forces with an outfit called Sustainable Minds -- a software firm that just launched its "life cycle assessment" product called Sustainable Minds Release 1.0.



It is reported that the interoperability between… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on October 29, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

An engineering toolbar full of useful design resources.

conduit.com

We've recently created a toolbar for engineers that is full of useful design resources. This is a great way to keep these resources handy. I used http://www.conduit.com to make it.



The really cool part is that after you install it, it will automatically stay up to date as we add new… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on October 27, 2009 at 4:57pm — 1 Comment

Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson, & Bill Nye Rapping about the Universe

This is a great music video composed of clips of famous scientists talking about the universe. T-Pain's auto-tune effect has been laid over the clips to really give it a "hip" feel. Pretty funny. I dig the song too!









Engineers: Let Industrial Interface help you Source Products & Services: The quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to source industrial products and services,… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on October 26, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Hybrid race

I just learned that General Motors Company (GM) developed its Two-Mode Hybrid power­train control system using Model-Based Design. By using math and simulation-based tools from The MathWorks, GM designed the powertrain prototype within 9 months, slashing 24 months off the expected development time. The complex control system is currently in production for the GMC Sierra Hybrid, GMC Yukon Hybrid, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Chevy Silverado Hybrid, and Cadillac Escalade Hybrid vehicles. The Two-Mode… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on October 26, 2009 at 10:00am — 5 Comments

Study focuses on reducing battery costs for plug-ins and hybrid vehicles

I just read some news about a study conducted by the Aluminum Association and Ricardo, a technical research outfit, that states using high strength, low weight aluminum over heavier steel structures for plug-in electric and hybrid cars can cut vehical price by reducing the battery energy requirements and associated costs. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of vehicle weight reductions on electric vehicle performance, range, and battery size. The study also tested the role of… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on October 23, 2009 at 10:07am — No Comments

Applied Science International, LLC. (ASI) LAUNCHES EXTREME LOADING® for STRUCTURES - VERSION 3.0

September 3, 2009 -- Durham, NC, September 3, 2009 - Applied Science International, LLC announced the launch of Extreme Loading for Structures Version 3.0. Extreme Loading® for Structures Software (ELS®) is based on the Applied Element Method (AEM) of analysis, the only method of analysis that automatically calculates the initiation and propagation of cracks, the separation of elements, and all impending collisions.



Armed with Extreme Loading® for Structures v3.0 structural engineers… Continue

Added by Ayman ElFouly on October 23, 2009 at 7:26am — No Comments

Challenge conventional thinking!

One of my hobbies is questioning conventional thinking. Recent news about bailout bank CEOs pay provides an example. Conventional thinking says that there are a limited number of skilled executives who can lead a company to growth and profit. As with any resource, when supply is viewed as scarce, its price goes up. Hence, conventional thinking says we have to pay these CEOs lots of money.



But who says talented executives are in scarce supply? Who benefits from that viewpoint? The… Continue

Added by Leslie Langnau on October 23, 2009 at 6:49am — 2 Comments

Manageable 3D modeling for Waterjet Machining

As a user, how do you handle the challenge of upgrading your CAD system from 2D and DXF to a modern 3D modeler with capability to import major types of native CAD models from outside systems? And how would you handle this challenge if you were installing the new CAD modelers on dozens of waterjet machining systems for outside users?



That's the challenge faced when Flow Corp. realized that their existing software fell short of new needs. Designed years ago, the existing CAD software… Continue

Added by Larry Boulden on October 21, 2009 at 12:02pm — No Comments

Valves for subsea service applications

I just read about new subsea valves from Innovative Pressure Technologies. The company says the valves offer smooth, low-torque performance in subsea applications and are available with a T-handle for manual operation, paddle handle for ROV operation, or hydraulic actuator for remote operation. The new products feature a floating ball design for operation at 3000 PSI to 6000 PSI, and a trunnion ball design for use at up to 15,000… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on October 21, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

A mechatronic design approach enables packaging machines to do more with less

For packaging machinery, a mechatronics approach will help you reduce inertias that usually require extra energy to overcome; improve control system response, which can eliminate the practice of oversizing motors; decrease or eliminate compressed air; and reduce heat and shock loadings, among other benefits.



Take air-actuated devices, for example. Compressed air is widely recognized as costly to produce, and it consumes electrical energy better used directly for actuation. Then you… Continue

Added by Leslie Langnau on October 20, 2009 at 6:23am — No Comments

Stunning Pictures of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

Attached Message Part_6



These pictures have been going around the web in an email, so I thought I'd share them here as well. It's always neat to see construction like this. This is the official Hoover Damn Bypass Project website.







Attached Message Part_1



Attached Message Part_2



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Attached Message Part





Engineers: Let… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on October 19, 2009 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Texas Instrument Your Way™ micro-site dedicated to Engineering using TI High-Performance Analog Products

That High Performance Analog » Your Way™ micro-site offers Product Information, Application/Industry Knowledge, Technical Support, & more. Take a quick look!!!…



Continue

Added by John J. Currid on October 19, 2009 at 6:50am — No Comments

TI launches E2E (Engineer-to-Engineer) Network dedicated to Engineers

TI invites you to freely and openly interact with your peer Engineers, TI Engineers, and other experts in order to ask questions, share knowledge, explore ideas, and help solve problems with their NEW E2E Network!



http://e2e.ti.com/…



Continue

Added by John J. Currid on October 19, 2009 at 6:44am — No Comments

Top Ten Ways Being An Engineer Improves Your Daily Routine

stratego



10. Time Management and Planning

This is only #10 because I think lots of professions train us to be effective time managers.



9. Being Logical

I can't tell you how many times I've heard two people arguing about something and thought, "That doesn't make any sense. Actually, neither one of them make any sense." Lawyers run into this thought constantly as well.



8. Puzzles and Strategic… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on October 16, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

San Jose Medical Device Design Engineering Firm Launches New Website: www.proengineerportal.com



San Jose Medical Device Design Engineering Firm Launches New Website: www.proengineerportal.com



We, at ProengineerPortal, help to transport product design ideas for medical device instruments to market by providing outsource engineering services. Our mechanical and design engineers provide a full range of medical product development services to startups, OEM’s… Continue

Added by David Eldridge on October 16, 2009 at 11:53am — No Comments

Premium Sourcing Case Study: Cable Assembly Case Study

SoPark Cable Assembly 1



This is a case study from our Premium Sourcing Service.



Issue: A $200M high tech manufacturing company was having delivery problems from a mechanical cable assembly source. The cable was used on various table support structures. My duty was to locate another source who could deliver on time without compromising quality.



Action: I contacted 55 mechanical… Continue

Added by Chris Powell on October 15, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Geothermal gaining ground

The first US geothermal power plants were built in 1962 at The Geysers dry steam bed in California. The heat that is used for energy there is steam, not hot water. By 1990, 26 power plants were built in the location for a capacity of approximately 2,000 MW. Today, The Geysers has a capacity of 850 MW which meets nearly 70% of the average electrical demand for California's North Coast area.



Geothermal energy has the potential to play a big role in moving countries toward a cleaner,… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on October 15, 2009 at 10:38am — No Comments

At what price profit?

How far should a company go for profit? Is defective product ever a good defense for profit? These are questions I’m pondering as I listen to the latest news about another (yes, another) defective product from China. This time the product is drywall. (Previous examples of defective product from China include pet food tainted with rat poison; toys painted with lead-based paint; and tainted baby formula that killed a number of babies in China.) Apparently, homebuilders have been buying drywall… Continue

Added by Leslie Langnau on October 15, 2009 at 7:10am — 3 Comments

How a Turbine Works

A fellow Engineering Exchange (EX) member recently asked me if I could expand on a previous post and describe a bit how a steam turbine works. Therefore, I will divert from my usual posts concerning wind power production and go in to some detail about other forms such as coal, gas, and nuclear power production.



The three above mentioned power sources, coal, natural gas, and nuclear fusion are the three most common sources of steam generated electricity.



The first step of… Continue

Added by Taylor Johnson on October 14, 2009 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Premium Sourcing Case Study: Plastic Tile Case Study

outgassingdefect



This is a case study from our Premium Sourcing Service.



Issue: Optical table manufacturer was experiencing out-gassing from within the table. The smell was much like a new car. These molecules would then deposit on the optics mounted atop and literally cloud the research. The source of this gas was styrene in a plastic tile between the honeycomb substructure and the surface plate.… Continue

Added by Chris Powell on October 14, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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