The difficulty of producing modern aircraft has gotten plenty of attention over the last year. On a large plane like the Airbus A380, one of the biggest challenges comes with wings. They are huge, carry thousands of gallons of fuel and they must be rigid yet slightly flexible.
Airbus turned to Electroimpact Inc. to get a material handling system that could provide a stable control system for wing assemblies. One of the key elements is to position six panel loader arms precisely. Integrated encoder position sensors from MTS Systems Corp.’s Sensors Div. help maintain precision down to 1 mm accuracy, checking position every 4 msec.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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