The search is over
According to Design News' most recent survey, 88% of engineers polled said they use the Internet to locate suppliers, while 67% added that they share design files electronically with suppliers. Clearly, engineers want to find capable suppliers they can trust. At www.dnoemdirectory.com, visitors can search by products and services, company name, or brand name. Search alphabetically by product and you will find a list of total companies per category, as well as companies that provide e-mail and web addresses.
The auto inspiration
Want to know what inspired Chrysler design engineers to develop such a unique vehicle as the PT Cruiser? How about finding out what the next concept holds? At the Chrysler Design Institute (www.design.chrysler.com), visitors may feed their curiosity by going to the Vehicle Design area featuring the company's notable automobiles from then and now. Check out the images of the earlier vehicles, from the 1934 Chrysler Airflow and 1957 Chrysler Imperial to the 2004 Chrysler Crossfire. Visit the Design Influences part of the site for an idea of what inspires these engineers; then go to the Design Education area to see what our future engineers have in store with the "Build your dream vehicle" contest. The site is candy for the engineer's eyes.
GE Silicones' Technical Solutions Center (www.FluidFinder.com) offers users an online fluid molecule builder, regardless of previous chemical drawing software experience. Visitors simply choose a wizard from the choice of application, industry, or materials. Step two and three provide more industry and application options. Given the customized backbone diagram, the wizard then features a personalized solution for chemists' molecular requests. It's a no-brainer.
The NSK Technical E-Source Center (TeC) provides technical bearing and precision product information to design and maintenance professionals at its redeveloped website, www.tec.nsk.com. The site features six main categories: the E-catalog determines which ball screw, linear guide, or bearing a visitor needs; the Calculations section figures vibration frequencies, bearing life, and fits and clearances; the Troubleshooting section offers tips on how to avoid bearing failures and color photos depicting bearing failures, allowing visitors to self-diagnose bearing problems; the CAD data segment has downloadable drawings; the Library includes instruction manuals, articles, and reference materials; and the Handbook has suggestions on reducing downtime and maintenance costs. Bookmark this site as a reference guide for the next time you encounter bearing failure.
Plastics get a face-lift
Bayer Plastics has also redesigned its website (www.BayerPlastics.com). Users may still download application, processing, design, and product information, but now they can also search for information by industry and application, visit an FAQ section, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS), or use the material selection tool. When in doubt, take advantage of the "Click to Ask a Bayer Expert" feature if you have questions on the company's materials, markets, or advanced technologies.
Plenty of websites show visitors how to use something, be it the latest CAD program, a new kitchen appliance, or an assortment of machine tools. But fewer websites show how to use an instrument safely. At Moore Industries (www.miinet.com/approvals), visitors can check out the approvals section for hazardous area safety certifications and safety-related instrumentation. In addition to explaining the benefits of these certifications, the site also provides an E-Help Express section, designed to assist visitors via telephone or e-mail with any questions regarding installation assistance, specifying a product, price and delivery quotations, and requests for literature or a CD catalog.