Initiative Insights

Measuring the Value of Simulation

Sometimes, life throws little surprises at you that end up helping you think hard about things. One such opportunity came upon me just a while ago. An associate of mine in the industry suggested to the folks at NAFEMs that I present during their North American conference in Washington DC. If you’re not familiar with NAFEMs, …

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The Disconnect between Traditional CAD and Design

In the past three years, we’ve seen more dramatic change to the CAD industry that we’ve seen in the prior ten. Direct modeling has taken hold in many mainstream CAD applications. There has been an admission that 2D is a valid form of design and not just some laggard characteristic. There’s been a literal explosion of capabilities all related to design and engineering. All of these changes hint that there was a prior problem with how traditional CAD served users.

Technologies are Pulling the Engineering Specification Apart

Not too long ago, two main deliverables fully described the design of a part: the drawing and the specification. The drawing provided a geometric representation of the part both nominally and from a manufactured tolerance perspective. The specification was a document that acted almost as a catch-all for everything else.

Previously couple of decades, the technologies accustomed to create, as well as allow it to be obsolete, has transformed significantly. Drafting turned into 2D and three dimensional modeling and also the drawing almost bec…

Rebalancing Engineering’s Physical and Digital Work

Sometimes, it’s interesting to sit back and look at how much things have changed. Lots of commonly held perceptions about engineering has changed over time. I’ve written about the evolving view of prestige of engineering. I’ve also touched on creativity in engineering. But I’ve come across an interesting, at least to me, counter-trend in engineering. …

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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.