HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

Materials Buyers Are Multitaskers

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Materials selection
Nancy Golden   10/23/2012 6:08:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting article, Ann and really great news about the "return to quality" revolution. I am really not surprised at the increasing roles that design engineers are playing in selecting materials. From my past experience, most companies utilize engineering talent wherever it is found, when there is a need to be met. As a test engineer I was on occasion software programmer, hardware designer, product/parts purchaser, fixture designer, software trainer, webmaster, and technical writer...but I also had other engineers to consult with when I was treading in unfamiliar territory.

I think for a design engineer to be able to have a hand in materials selection is a wonderful thing. They have true ownership and experience to back their choices - any engineer that I am acquainted with is multi-disciplined by nature. But I also agree with Dave that their expertise will be limited. The design engineer teamed up with a materials engineer would be the ideal.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Materials selection
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2012 4:10:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave, thanks for your input. I was surprised to find out how many design engineers listed materials engineering or manufacturing engineering as a second job function that they were clearly not formally trained in, as well as how many are responsible for determining/deciding on materials.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Materials selection
Dave Palmer   10/23/2012 2:45:44 PM
NO RATINGS
I am a materials engineer for an outboard engine manufacturer.  Sometimes people ask me what part of the engine I'm responsible for.  I tell them, "Everything that's made out of anything."

Materials selection is an important task, because everything has to be made out of something.  You only need to take a glance at the Made by Monkeys and Sherlock Ohms blogs to see the consequences of making something out of the wrong material.

As Ann's article points out, there are a huge number of considerations that have to be weighed when selecting the proper material for an application.  Some companies expect design engineers to be able to take care of materials selection on their own.  In my experience, this is both unrealistic and inefficient.  

Expecting each individual design engineer to accumulate enough materials knowledge to handle any given situation (in addition to the mechanical, electrical, thermal, CAD, and CAE knowlege they need) is unreasonable.  With the exception of a few rare geniuses, most people are simply not capable of being experts in all of these disciplines.  Besides, there is simply not enough time in a 24-hour day.  Having one or more degreed and experienced materials engineers, preferably with a well-equipped materials lab, is far more efficient.

For companies that can't afford this, seeking out a materials engineering consultant may be a good investment.  The cost of doing so may be far less than the cost of making something out of the wrong material.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Say goodbye to silos
Beth Stackpole   10/23/2012 8:44:00 AM
NO RATINGS
Very interesting survey results, Ann. With the renewed focus on manufacturing excellence and quality, it makes sense that engineers can no longer make decisions in silos. Also, today's competitive products don't just demand the least expensive materials, but the most efficient and cost effective materials. There's definitely a difference.

Based on the sentiments that the survey bore out, it's heartening to see the design tool vendors keeping up, offering capabilities that can help leverage simulation as a means of exploring optimal materials choices as well as serving up tighter integration with manufacturing and sourcing systems as part of breaking down silos.

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
A new thermoplastic composite for high-speed, high-volume injection molding has tensile strength that's close to, and sometimes better than, either lay-up composites or metals.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 18 - 22, Embedded Software Development With Python & the Raspberry Pi
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


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.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service