Author Archive

Mechatronics Management (Part 2): Electrical Aspects

This series of four posts looks at the management of items, data and bills of material for mechatronic products. It is split into mechanical aspects, electrical aspects, software aspects and integrated aspects. In the minds of many, managing electrical aspects of products has, well, already be done. Meaning there have been approaches and technologies that …

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The Biggest Loser of the STEM Shortfall?

It’s now been over a week since I got back from Arizona, and COFES is still on my mind. To get an idea of what it is and what it is all about, head on over to Monica Schnitger’s Hot Topics post on COFES 2011: Desert, Ideas and Horses to get a broad overview. But …

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3D CAD Model Gears and Drawing

Mechatronics Management (Part 1): Mechanical Aspects

For the past three years, I’ve headed out to Phoenix AZ for the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software to talk with numerous providers and users of engineering software. The discussions are always pretty forward-looking, almost bleeding edge instead of leading edge. In the analyst briefing on System Modeling and Analysis, which was led by Allan Behren (who goes by the twitter handle @AllanBehrens), one of the engineering IT leader for For, Richard Riff, made a statement that made my ears perk up (the following is a paraphrase).

The PLM Misnomer: What We Know It Isn’t

Seems there’s been a lot of buzz lately about what exactly PLM is. Jim Brown and I went back and forth in the comments of one of my posts. Jim also had a good post in response to one of my earlier posts. There was a good post on why you need PDM and PLM by SPK and associates. …

Are You Losing the War for Engineering Talent?

I have to admit, I am ready to move on past all of the talk about the recession and recovery. But there’s some good news that deserves some attention. Most notably, some relatively recent research is showing that executives at manufacturers are planning on hiring again. An article in Industryweek titled Manufacturers Expecting to Hire …

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The Next Disruptive Wave for CAD Applications?

The last few years in CAD have been invigorating, haven’t they? Most recently, there’s been a scramble to get direct modeling functionality out in front of both CAD Specialists and many other roles to expand the use of 3D. And before that there was an ongoing effort by many to improve the usability of CAD software which mostly came in the form of where icons are at or how small dialog boxes can be.

3D CAD Model Gear

Siemens PLM and Synchronous Technology in Solid Edge

There certainly has been a lot going on in the CAD industry of late. It seems as if just about everyone has been talking about adding or integrating direct modeling into what they offer. Thinking back, direct modeling and feature-history modeling have both been around for some time. But the first software provider to really …

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The Fading Prestige of Engineering

Thinking back, I distinctly remember my original impression of engineers. Mainly it came from TV shows about NASA engineers working on the space program. They were designing and developing amazing technology to let the astronauts survive the radiation, vacuum and coldness of space. I remember simply being in awe of their work. At that time, being an engineer was highly prestigious. Those that went into the profession were kind of put on a pedestal.

Macro and Micro Product Development

Can process really differentiate your company? I know. It’s an longtime debate. In fact, thinking back several years now, I remember it almost as an ongoing joke. And the story would always be the same. Folks from a software provider would sit down with a customer to talk about their processes. The people from the manufacturer would always declare with a laugh: “our process is totally unique. You will have never seen anything like what we do as a process because it’s what differentiates us in the market.”