Ann, this is a great idea. I, too, am impressed by the level of expertise, knowledge and creativity of our readers. To be able to leverage this in a forum would be helpful to everyone. Perhaps the forum could have topics similar to ones on the Design News site (ie, Automation and Control, Design Hardware and Software etc.) and people could submit ideas and comments, or discuss projects they're working on and seek input on design issues.
I don't think you will find businesses and companies eager to trade comments and suggestions and ideas.
To an engineer, sharing ideas is altruism. To a business it is (potentially) giving away intellectual property.
I think that fundamentally Design News is already about sharing ideas for solving design problems. Most of the articles are promoting new ideas and products. They get commented on, etc. Walah! You already have what you are proposing to make!
ttemple, thanks for your feedback. The whole point of this idea is that although we do gets lots of comments of this kind, they're hard to find within all these threads and some not even germane to the topic of the article they're attached to. I also think it should be primarily engineer-focused, and if companies want to participate, great, but they're not likely to be the main users, although their individual engineers might.
Ann, I think you're onto something but the question is how to introduce topics for specific comment that would be more effective than the current model without getting so general that it degrades and loses focus.
Companies desire to sell good ideas, not give them away. Once an idea is developed and protected, this is an excellent forum for introducing products. Many of the articles here are product introduction type articles.
I think engineers should be careful about what they post on this type of outlet, especially if it could be considered intellectual property of their employer. I frequently post opinions and thoughts on experiences from my past lives, but I wouldn't divulge anything that might compromise the competitive position of my employer, or might be construed as intellectual property. I also try not to divulge information that I would not have been allowed to share from old employers.
Many engineers are forced to sign confidentiality agreements, etc., which are designed to prevent a company from bleeding intellectual property.
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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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.