John, sounds like your class is just what is called for in terms of bringing a more practical approach to a modern engineering education. I hear over and over again from Design News engineering readers and the vendor community about how systems engineering principles are more important than ever. While it's obviously far from a new concept or discipline, it does appear organizations are still stymied by trying to collaborate between the separate disciplines of mechnical, electrical, and software. Perhaps arming the next-generation of engineers with hands-on experience and in-the-trenches best practices for cross-disciplineary work will finally remove the barriers to early collaboration and foster less iteration in design cycles.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.