Tradeshowing in your cube
So now that your company might be feeling a bit of the economic strain and cutting budgets left and right, you likely will not be hitting as many tradeshows as in the past, right? It doesn't have to be this way. Design News is hosting the SupplyChainLinkExpo, its first virtual conference and tradeshow, on October 17-18. Attend seminars, find product information, and participate in industry roundtable discussions, but do it all for FREE and from the comfort of your desktop. The tradeshow will feature five interactive, multimedia pavilions, representing areas of Design, Plan, Source, Make, and Move. Find more information through www.supplychainlinkexpo.com, or in the Other News section on www.designnews.com, but whatever you do, keep October 17-18 open for a virtual visit.
Look it up
Even the most experienced engineer may stumble upon a new word that has yet to make it to her vocabulary. DRM Associates hosts an integrated product development glossary at http://members.aol.com /drmassoc/glossary.html. Consisting largely of acronyms, the lingo dictionary also includes terms like flip chip, as in "the pro-cess for mounting an IC chip metalization down with no bonding wires." Some terms contain links to longer explanations and applications.
Use the freebie tools
Repeat after me: the Web is our friend. It helps us out, so long as we know enough to go to it. At Space Age Controls' site (www.spaceagecontrol.com), every visitor may take advantage of the online calculators and tools to measure thermal effect, displacement cable sag, or sinusoidal motion. Simply input your related data and the calculator determines the answer for you. And the best part is that it converts measurements to either metric or imperial units.
How would you like to receive free CAD drawings, customized to your specifications? At Advanced Interconnection (www.advintcorp.com), the website configures your application's exact socket, adapter, or connector. I chose BGA sockets, listed under BGA socketing systems, which listed information regarding socket adapter systems. By then hitting the Configurator button and filling in the information, the site creates a representative image. The complete CAD drawing is available on a .pdf file.
Don't be scared off by Moldflow's request for login information in order to access the several "zones" that the company offers, including simulation, materials, consulting, events, and the latest addition, the Knowledge Zone. At www.plasticszone.com, the Knowledge Zone is the go-to site for plastic part development. Visitors may search for a particular material, compare suppliers, and gather development advice using evaluation tools. To ease the plastic development search, a wizard appears on the site and directs design and manufacturing issues.
Listen to VIC
VIC, as in Emhart Fastening Teknologies' Virtual Innovation Center (www.emhart.com), narrows product searches, while recommending parts for fastening and assembly technology processes. Should you use VIC, you'll weed through thousands of products and get a 2D or 3D solid model CAD drawing in return. The site also contains product videos and fastener wizards, as well as a free conversion calculator.