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Forget About the Cool Factor – 3D Printing Saves Time & Money
Guest Blogs 
11/19/2014  1 comment
Iterative design — the cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product — existed long before additive manufacturing, but it has never been as efficient and approachable as it is today with 3D printing.
Did You Know that Time Constants May Not Be Constant?
Guest Blogs 
11/17/2014  Post a comment
People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 
11/13/2014  4 comments
At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
What About Crowdsourcing New Components?
Guest Blogs 
11/11/2014  2 comments
The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
Does it Still Make Sense to Go Offshore?
Guest Blogs 
11/3/2014  5 comments
It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
354 Reasons Why Audi's SQ5 Is Worth a Look
Guest Blogs 
10/23/2014  1 comment
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Top 3 Reasons to Outsource 3D Printing
Guest Blogs 
10/14/2014  2 comments
As additive manufacturing (including 3D printing) becomes increasingly popular among businesses as a quick and easy solution to creating and evaluating prototypes and end-use products, the debate about whether to outsource production or to purchase equipment for in-house use is at the forefront of industry discussions.
Engineering a High-Performance Barricade for Heightened Security
Guest Blogs 
10/9/2014  3 comments
With increasing terrorist threats overseas, organizations are thinking about how best to defend themselves here and abroad. Engineering can play a role, especially when it comes to putting a barrier between yourself and the bad guys.
Rapid Prototyping for Consumer Products
Guest Blogs 
10/7/2014  3 comments
Time to market is everything, but at the same time, you can’t sacrifice quality for speed. That’s where additive manufacturing comes into play.
CFD Analysis: Making Better Buildings
Guest Blogs 
10/1/2014  3 comments
In the last few years, use of CFD in building design has increased manifolds. Computational fluid dynamics is effective in analyzing the flow and thermal properties of air within spaces. It can be used in buildings to find the best measures for comfortable temperature at low energy use.
An Engineer's Understanding of 'Feature-Advantage-Benefit'
Guest Blogs 
9/19/2014  11 comments
Feature-advantage-benefit could help engineers in how we approach design problems, how we sell our ideas to management, and how we market ourselves when it comes to jobs.
Automotive Subsystems & Network-on-Chip Technology
Guest Blogs 
9/19/2014  2 comments
Many diverse markets take advantage of semiconductor IP; so many that no one can recite the entire list without leaving off several. So why do we track all the vertical markets? They all have a unique set of requirements and value attributes differently. One major vertical market segment is automotive.
Video: BMW's i3 Electric Car Fuels Up With a Home Depot Generator
Guest Blogs 
9/17/2014  42 comments
Watch BMW's newest electric car, the i3, being charged with an everyday Home Depot-rented, gas-powered generator.
Strength & Stiffness: What’s the Difference?
Guest Blogs 
9/17/2014  8 comments
Asking yourself the simple question, “Is this a strength problem or a stiffness problem?” can prevent many design mistakes.
How to Harpoon a Comet
Guest Blogs 
9/12/2014  10 comments
In November, a European space probe will try to land on the surface of a comet moving at about 84,000 mph and rotating with a period of 12.7 hours. Many factors make positioning the probe for the landing an engineering challenge.
Commonly Found Mistakes in Power Distribution Systems
Guest Blogs 
9/10/2014  4 comments
Mistakes in power distributions are not all that common, but they do exist. We look at some of these mistakes and disaster scenarios with the intention being to inform readers to be wary of repeating such mistakes when designing their power distribution system.
Understanding Case Hardening of Steel
Guest Blogs 
9/4/2014  2 comments
What do gears, bearings, and shafts have in common? For one thing, they're often made out of steel. For another, they're subject to a failure mode known as rolling contact fatigue.
Model-Based Design of a Smart Emergency Response System
Guest Blogs 
8/28/2014  Post a comment
The Smart Emergency Response System capitalizes on the latest advancements in cyber-physical systems to connect autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles, rescue dogs, robots, and a high-performance computing mission control center into a realistic vision.
Market Your Business Using Portable Display Stands
Guest Blogs 
8/27/2014  6 comments
Businesses cutting across industries are increasingly making use of portable display stands in the UK for marketing.
Plastic Bearings Put to the Test in North American Tour
Guest Blogs 
8/15/2014  6 comments
Igus retrofitted a car with 56 of its plastic iglide bearings to celebrate the brand's 30th anniversary. The car is currently being driven across the US and Canada.
The Iceberg Ship: A Cautionary Tale
Guest Blogs 
8/13/2014  3 comments
The first and most obvious lesson of the following story is to remember to consider creep, along with all other potential failure modes.
The Next Generation of Design Challenges: Home Healthcare
Guest Blogs 
8/11/2014  11 comments
Medical devices will look and feel different in the next 20 years, because, as design and product development people, our criteria are changing.
Top Myths About Stainless Steel
Guest Blogs 
8/6/2014  52 comments
The properties of stainless steel make it well suited for a wide range of applications, but many of the things engineers think they know about stainless steel aren’t true.
Gears in Motion Control Systems
Guest Blogs 
6/30/2014  17 comments
It seems that gears have been around forever -- what could be new?
Zero-Net Energy Buildings Are Game Changers in Green Engineering
Guest Blogs 
6/25/2014  8 comments
The use of ZNE technology buildings not only reduces cost and creates renewable energy, but it can give a boost to the economy. The implementation and execution will require a workforce, which means the result can be increased employment.
Use CFD to Design an Environmentally Friendly Car
Guest Blogs 
6/23/2014  2 comments
The use of CFD is more profound in automobile design because of the diverse physics involved. It can be used to optimize components for downsizing and reducing the environmental footprint while maintaining or improving operational efficiency.
Mobile Apps Speed Up Production
Guest Blogs 
6/9/2014  4 comments
A Detroit automaker was struggling with a semi-manual, labor-intensive parts receiving process. Workers had enter parts into a spreadsheet manually at a stationary workstation. This stopped the receiving process dead in its tracks. A better system was needed.
Realize the Importance of an Explosion-Proof Casing
Guest Blogs 
6/6/2014  2 comments
Pressure sensors can be used in a wide range of applications. It’s imperative that they’re suited for use in hazardous situations and are fully compliant with one of several protection standards.
Turn Serial Devices Into IoT-Connected Devices
Guest Blogs 
6/5/2014  2 comments
We’ve all heard about how the Internet of Things will revolutionize our lives by having every asset connected to the cloud and data instantly available for analysis and display. The first step is to get those devices connected so that they can send data. The second step is for the device to know when it needs to send that data.
Sizing of Fluid Power Components Matters
Guest Blogs 
6/3/2014  Post a comment
For high-performance motion, the natural frequency of the system needs to be three to four times higher than the desired frequency of motion. In simple terms, the system needs to be designed to move faster than it will actually be required to move to compensate for changes in pressure.
Why the Goodman Diagram Is Not So Good
Guest Blogs 
5/30/2014  5 comments
It's time for the Goodman diagram to be retired. More accurate equations are available and are just as easy to use.
Design a Crankless Engine
Guest Blogs 
5/29/2014  27 comments
Since the invention of the internal-combustion engine, a Slider Crank mechanism has been used to transfer power from the combustion chamber through the piston to the connecting rod to the crankshaft. Over time, many changes have occurred in the combustion chamber to improve power and reduce emissions.
The Importance of UAVs
Guest Blogs 
5/28/2014  5 comments
Control is the defining enabler for UAV technologies.
Don’t Go Halfway to Closed-Loop Control
Guest Blogs 
5/27/2014  1 comment
Closed-loop control of a single servo-quality proportional valve based on position and pressure/force is not hard to do -- if you plan ahead.
The Ever-Increasing Value of Modeling
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  4 comments
Engineers should have the necessary mathematical skills to solve numerical problems. Without underestimating the value of solving skills, it will be more beneficial to new engineers if future textbooks devote a majority of their pages to modeling and interpreting the results.
Congress Is Working on an Energy Bill… Again
Guest Blogs 
5/14/2014  6 comments
Congress is once again working on the bi-partisan Shaheen-Portman bill that will bring forth many energy efficiency measures to add as many as 190,000 jobs and save as much as 12 quads of energy by 2030.
May Is National Electrical Safety Month
Guest Blogs 
5/12/2014  3 comments
National Electrical Safety month is in full swing, so this is a good time for reviewing electrical safety practices.
Don't Leave Fluid Power Component Selection to Chance
Guest Blogs 
5/8/2014  6 comments
There’s a science to constructing optimally performing systems.
'Necessary & Sufficient' Cover the Safety Level
Guest Blogs 
5/7/2014  10 comments
There are many basic principles and maxims that engineers can use to solve simple problems. One trick is to ask at least two questions. First, what is necessary to satisfy the requirement? Second, what is sufficient to satisfy the requirement?
Options for Switch-Mode Power Supply Design
Guest Blogs 
5/5/2014  1 comment
With renewed demand for LED lighting solutions in recent years, there are several options to get started with building a power supply. Consider the following tips, specific to electrical power supply.
Migrating Legacy Devices to the IIoT
Guest Blogs 
5/2/2014  3 comments
Following on the heels of breathless coverage of consumer Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is now also garnering some well-deserved attention.
Fluid Power Is Alive & Well in the Era of Energy Conservation
Guest Blogs 
5/1/2014  2 comments
Despite what some people think, fluid power systems are capable of very high-performance motion control. A well-designed, closed-loop hydraulic actuator can do things that motors can't do economically and reliably, such as positioning very heavy loads with a 10-micron resolution or better.
What Tech Is Next for Industrial Electric Motors?
Guest Blogs 
4/30/2014  10 comments
Three-phase squirrel-cage AC induction motors are the workhorses for the industrial market. However, their development is reaching the limits of physics for efficiency. A new technology must be adopted to reach the next levels.
How to Introduce CAE Simulation Into the Product Development Process
Guest Blogs 
4/29/2014  6 comments
There are lots of ways to get started, and the best method for implementation depends on many factors.
Get Ready for Heterogeneous Computing
Guest Blogs 
4/28/2014  4 comments
Heterogeneous computing -- parallel use of specialized processors alongside a CPU -- will be the basis for many future embedded systems.
'Control, Control, You Must Learn Control'
Guest Blogs 
4/18/2014  5 comments
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Want a Better Coffee Maker? Try the IoT
Guest Blogs 
4/17/2014  8 comments
Connected sensor-enabled applications will improve the consumer experience -- and generate new revenue streams.
Continued Collaboration Is Needed to Combat Counterfeiting
Guest Blogs 
4/14/2014  4 comments
As an industry, we now need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly identify and report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, design engineers, industry organizations, and government.
Your Customers May Be Clueless, but You Needn't Be
Guest Blogs 
4/11/2014  6 comments
It’s your job to find the right people, ask the right questions, to dig deeper, and properly prepare your users so they can provide you the most useful and productive answers possible.
Lightweighting: The Future of Aluminum
Guest Blogs 
4/10/2014  3 comments
The shift to aluminum is gaining momentum and the demand from automakers for aluminum is soaring, "expecting to reach one billion pounds this year, up from 200 million in 2012, and to grow by more than 30% annually through 2020."
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