In the futuristic world of Minority Report, billboards call Tom Cruise out by name to get his attention. Sounds far-fetched? Maybe not. Engineers here in the U.S. would likely balk at getting a message on their Blackberry from a vendor company. But we're hearing that some electronics companies increasingly are using text messaging to get the word out on new products to design engineers in Asia, particularly in countries like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, where engineers rely more on the web for getting information. "They surf websites, subscribe to electronics newsletters, and also attend on-line seminars," says Greta Pang, a Motorola employee based in Hong Kong. Engineers in China, though, prefer to get their new product info from print trade magazines. "They like reading the application articles and technology stories," observes Pang. And there's no spam.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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