3D Simulation Goes Mainstream
Blog 3/30/2015 Post a comment Simulation is no longer reserved for large automotive and aerospace companies. Even small companies in the life sciences are now benefiting from simulation.
'Spare Parts' Celebrates Immigrant Teens Who Beat MIT in Underwater Robotics Contest
STEM Connection 3/27/2015 5 comments What makes this movie stand out from the typical high school sports story is that the teenagers are undocumented immigrants, and the big game is a NASA-sponsored marine robotics competition. Like many other Hollywood movies, however, Spare Parts only tells part of the story. What the film shows -- and doesn’t show -- raises important issues affecting STEM education in the US.
3M Sharpens Assembly Focus on Info & Access to Experts
Engineering Materials 3/27/2015 Post a comment Instead of sifting through huge amounts of technical data looking for answers to assembly problems, engineers can now benefit from 3M's new initiative -- 3M Assembly Solutions. The company has organized its wealth of adhesive and tape solutions into six typical application areas, making it easier to find the best products to solve their real-world assembly and bonding problems.
Don’t Let Load Dump Damage Your Automotive Electronics Circuits
Guest Blogs 3/27/2015 1 comment Load dump occurs when a discharged battery is disconnected while the alternator is generating current and other loads remain on the alternator circuit. If left alone, the electrical spikes and transients will be transmitted along the power line, leading to malfunctions in individual electronics/sensors or permanent damage to the vehicle’s electronic system. Bottom line: An uncontrolled load dump threatens the overall safety and reliability of the vehicle.
Vehicle Reliability Is Up, Especially in Powertrain
Automotive News 3/26/2015 8 comments Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
9 Next-Gen Materials from NPE2015
Engineering Materials 3/26/2015 3 comments Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
China Aims for Industry 4.0 by 2025
Blog 3/26/2015 Post a comment In a speech at China's National People’s Congress in Beijing this month, Premier Li Keqiang laid out plans to revamp the country's manufacturing infrastructure with advanced technology.
The Smart Oil Field
Blog 3/25/2015 Post a comment Active data management within the smart oil field is resulting in a push for more open standards, vendor cooperation, and wireless networking solutions.
Slideshow: The Best and Worst of Automotive Reliability
Automotive News 3/24/2015 12 comments As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
PlastiVan Drives Kids' Interest in Plastics
STEM Connection 3/24/2015 1 comment A program to educate kids about the science and technology of plastics as well how they can have future careers in the field has received a $200,000 funding boost from the National Plastics Center to expand
At NPE2015, Transparent and Plastic Klear Can Looks to Eat Away at Metal
Guest Blogs 3/23/2015 8 comments Of the products and technologies on display at the NPE2015 plastics expo in Orlando, Fla., this week, one in particular could dramatically change segments of food packaging – Klear Can. It's a transparent plastic can with a metal top and pull tab for fruits, vegetables, and meats that competes with metal cans.
NASCAR Puts Kids on STEM Fast Track
STEM Connection 3/23/2015 Post a comment Lots of kids enjoy playing with toy race cars, and some may even dream of being race car drivers when they grow up. NASCAR is taking inspiration from this interest with the launch of an in-school and online learning platform for STEM education, the first ever from the sport of racing.
How Low Can You Go? Getting the most out of Low Power MCUs
Guest Blogs 3/23/2015 Post a comment Some power-aware features are just showing up in tools, but it can still be a difficult task to determine where your design is the most power efficient and where it needs some help. Making sure your design is power efficient should become easier as tools catch up.
Getting Your Hands on the Cypress PSoC
Blog 3/23/2015 Post a comment The Programmable System-on-Chip BLE dev kit from Cypress Semiconductor only costs $49, and the kit makes it easy to build sophisticated devices such as glucose and heart-rate monitors. Learn more about it and how to use it during an upcoming Continuing Education Center course.
Mechanical Engineer Salaries in 15 US Cities
Blog 3/20/2015 1 comment If you’re a mechanical engineer, your salary will probably be determined largely by where you live-- and not just by region. Salaries can vary greatly within the same state, according to Glassdoor.com. Salary levels don’t seem to be set by cost of living -- ME salaries are high in Seattle yet low in New York City. Beyond all else, competition for engineers is probably the strongest factor.
NPE2015: 5 Must-See Exhibits
Blog 3/20/2015 Post a comment All indications are that this year's NPE event, which begins Monday, March 23 in Orlando, Fla., will be the largest in its history: More exhibitors, more international participation, and more attendees.
DoE Energy Rule Will Lead to Bigger, Expensive Motors
Guest Blogs 3/20/2015 10 comments In early March, the US Department of Energy put new energy efficiency rules into effect for small, general-purpose electric motors. The agency says these revised regulations will save approximately 2.6 quads of energy and result in approximately $35 billion in energy savings from motors shipped between 2015 and 2044.
Manufacturing Boom a Fake? No Way
Electronics News 3/19/2015 14 comments Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
7 Silent Project Killers
Blog 3/19/2015 2 comments There are few things more discouraging to an engineer than pouring their heart, sweat and tears into a project only to have it fail. Failure can and does provide insights and growth experiences to those involved but the loss of time and effort can strike a devastating blow. There are many reasons that an embedded systems project can fail but there are seven key indicators that a project is dying a slow and silent death.
GE Gets Scientific About BBQ
Blog 3/19/2015 2 comments Nothing says Texas better than BBQ, and that’s where General Electric chose to hang its hat at SXSW, with a BBQ Research Center a short walk from Austin’s Convention Center to lure the hungry crowds. Hard to miss with its 12-foot super smoker, the firm said it was seeking whether it could use sensors and biofeedback to engineer the perfect plate of ribs.
How EE Salaries Rank in 15 US Cities
Blog 3/18/2015 5 comments If you’re an electrical engineering, your salary may depend significantly on where you live -- and that’s not just by region. Salaries vary greatly even within the same state, according to Glassdoor.com.
Q&A with David Goldberg: Universities Must Change to Keep Up with ‘Era of Design’
Blog 3/18/2015 15 comments Following a course that was established nine centuries ago, the type of education potential engineers and other students are getting at traditional universities just isn’t cutting it anymore. That’s the opinion of David Goldberg, founder of ThreeJoy Associates Inc., emeritus professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and distinguished academic partner of Olin College.
The Gigantic Impact of UX/UI Design on Internet of Things Applications
Guest Blogs 3/18/2015 1 comment Elegantly conceived UX/UI design is critical to the success of Internet of Things technology -- for ease of use, analysis and review, and both machines and humans to “see” and use data in purposeful ways. The best UX/UI designers are doing just that: designing the entire experience for fluidity, clarity, and meaning. Otherwise, IoT will be just a perfect storm of too much useless information.
Place and Route Algorithms for FPGAs: How Do They Do That?
Guest Blogs 3/17/2015 Post a comment The next time you run an FPGA compile chain from a high level language through synthesis and the back-end FPGA manufacturer tools, give a nod to the Place and Route algorithm doing all the heavy lifting. Now if we could just find a way to use negotiated congestion to solve our evening highway commute problems, life would be even better.
A Peek Into Cypress’ BLE Pioneer Kit for IoT
Guest Blogs 3/17/2015 4 comments With the Internet of Things (IoT) being one of today’s most important tech trends, development and prototyping work with low-power wireless sensor-based systems in electronics and home appliances, as well as automotive and industrial control products, will only grow in our increasingly connected world. Cypress Semiconductor created the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Pioneer Kit to enable system designers to start that work.
The Path to Innovation Success Is Never Straight
Blog 3/16/2015 7 comments Conventional wisdom in product design, development, and engineering dictates a certain order of movement: You listen to customers and look at their application needs, perform market research, collaborate with them on conceptualization and feasibility, and go through the rest of the engineering design wringer and -- voila -- you have a product innovation or, better yet, an innovative product.
If a major catastrophe strikes your area, will you be prepared? Do you know how to modify the tech you've already got or MacGyver what you need to fit your own situation? A free, five-day Continuing Education Center course starting April 6 will show you how.
NanoSteel Co., which develops high-performance steel alloys, began producing steel powders for additive manufacturing (AM) last year and now supplies them commercially for freeform laser deposition and laser powder bed fusion processes.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.