The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 1/23/2015 2 comments What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 1/22/2015 Post a comment Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
How Do You Get Started Designing with FPGAs? Here’s How
Guest Blogs 1/16/2015 2 comments If you are interested in adding FPGA technology to you engineering toolkit, grab some free tools and an evaluation kit and get started on your own FPGA project. It never hurts to expand your engineering toolbox, and FPGAs are only going to become more popular over the next few years.
Design Decisions: Use Epoxies to Protect Against Metal Corrosion
Guest Blogs 1/9/2015 Post a comment With the growing demand for new-age applications, corrosion has become an inherent problem. Not only do epoxies confer excellent corrosion resistance, they are also easy to handle and process. However, one must be mindful of selecting the right epoxy system along with the appropriate application techniques for best results.
Here's Your Chance to Learn About the Secrets of FPGAs
Guest Blogs 1/8/2015 Post a comment The secrets that programmable logic vendors use to create these amazing devices are typically not discussed in much detail by the manufacturers. But if you understand them you can typically figure out why your devices are performing the way they do.
Cold Flow Analysis for Diesel Engine Optimization
Guest Blogs 12/23/2014 3 comments The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
What’s Next in Programmable Devices?
Guest Blogs 12/11/2014 4 comments Programmable logic has come a long way from the simple devices we started out with. Remember Programmable Array Logic, or PALs? But where will we be in the next five to 10 years?
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 8 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
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.