I agree with your point, Rich, that we are still in the beginning stages of multidisciplinary design--or at least making multidisciplinary design work effectively. From what I can gather, engineers still tend to gravitate to their respective corners and comfortable choice of tool sets and there is still a great number of hurdles to cross before software, hardware, electrical, and other types of engineers are collaborating as a highly integrated unit and at ease moving between disciplines.
I think some of the newer tools, that create bridges between these previously siloed areas, will definitely help, as will new university curriculum and training that focuses not only on the technical cross-domain engineering expertise, but also on the cultural and organizational challenges required to foster a multidisciplinary approach. The complexity of today's products demand this shift in practice so I think, it's not an if, but a when.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
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