Initiative Insights

How Many of Today’s Products Are Truly “Engineered?”

Curious question, right? For those that are in engineering and have been exposed to the development of various types of products, you might have pondered this question before. It’s hard not to see other design and engineering processes and wonder what is the same or different. But for me, it’s a little different. In the …

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Offline or Inline Technology Development: Which Do You Use?

Quite a few years ago, I remember taking a road trip in the summer. Not a family road trip to see the Grand Canyon or an all nighter drive to New Orleans. No, this one was for work. I visited a number of manufacturers at the time, taking tours of their facilities and conducting interviews …

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Today’s ‘Jacked-Up’ Metrics for Engineering Productivity

How does your management team track the progress of engineering projects? I’ve been asking that question a lot lately. And the more answers I get the more I become intrigued. You see I’ve been looking at how engineering projects are assessed alongside how executives are making the decisions to continue to fund them or not. …

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Agile Development for Mechatronics Products?

“We don’t have enough engineers.” That’s was the takeaway headline, according to a Computerworld article, from Obama’s speech back in the middle of June. For anyone that’s been tracking the STEM shortfall issue, that might not come as a terrible surprise. Yet there was one other issue I came across in this summary that did …

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Integrating Simulation and Test: From Conflict to Collaboration

There’s nothing quite like a good old war between departments, is there? As disruptive as it can be, conflict between organizations happens all too often. And engineering’s had more than its fair share. But instead of focusing on how engineering’s agenda might be at odds with another department like manufacturing or procurement, I’d like to hone in on a dynamic within the engineering organization between the simulation office and the test lab.

The State of Paperless: More Feasible Than Ever?

Going paperless. What a vision, right? Some ten years ago, the concept of taking product development completely electronic seemed like some far off and unobtainable goal. But fast forward to today and it doesn’t seem quite so far out of reach.

Is Teamwork the Key to Simulation Driven Design?

Back at the beginning of December, I published a post titled The Very Real Skillset Challenges of Simulation Drive Design. It identified four main areas of knowledge or skills needed to really make a simulation driven design initiative successful including. It also looked at some typical engineer roles and their ability to gain and keep these four types of skills or knowledge.

The Very Real Skillset Challenges to Simulation Driven Design

It feels like we’ve been talking about simulation driven design for a really really long time. Doesn’t it? The whole idea is to setup and run simulations of a product’s performance early in the design cycle and base design decisions off those results. This approach is in contrast to using simulation towards the end of the design cycle, prior to prototype and testing or even just prior to design release, to validate and verify product performance. It might seem like a nuanced difference to some, but theoretically it can make a huge difference.

More Reclamation Work for Collaboration: Providing a Product Development Context

In the last post on collaboration, we covered a lot of issues surrounding collaboration. It’s been overused. It’s been used without specificity. As a result, we all cringe a little bit whenever we hear it being trotted out to describe another process or set of engineering software.

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