Littlefuse closed their massive manufacturing facility in Mount Prospect, Il. and moved to China, so executives could continue to maintain enormous salaries. Now they are squeezing the remaining design engineers before all their work goes to China as well.
There was a post last week about a poorly chosen fuse type or value. Some of the posters had mentioned that correctly specifying a protection device can be a little difficult. Having a vendor for a partner will certainly make the selection easier and this is an excellent follow-up story to the previous posts.
Parker is right: Compressed design times are making life more difficult for all design engineers and that shows up in in areas like circuit protection, which end up being thought of as an afterthought.
Part of the trend you highlight is the importance of a vendor as a partner. This type of value add is both useful and necessary in the high speed world of design outlined in the article. When I have been involved as a field engineer in the past I found that briefing customers on new features was a great way to get new ideas. Often, while working with customers in these situations, and hearing their challenges, we were able to come up with ways to use features and functions that were not necessarily envisioned by the developers of the product, but which were valuable to the customer.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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