Initiative Insights

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 …

Agile Development for Mechatronics Products? Read More »

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.

Email is Not Enough: Why Product Development Needs More for Collaboration

Do you remember when you first got email? Mine was through work and I remember something clicking in my head when I realized what it meant. It’s changed the way we work. We no longer had to get on the phone to communicate remotely. It enabled faster and more accurate decisions.

Are Manufacturers Skirting the Edge of Engineering Negligence?

Is the design engineer extinct? Perhaps, but I don’t think that’s the point. Are all of the activities that need to be performed in the development cycle getting done? I believe the answer is a resounding yes. I think the subtle theme in Matt’s article that’s never quite expressly said is whether or not those activities are being done by qualified individuals.

A Framework to Reclaim a Tarnished Yet Worthy Term: Collaboration

How do you feel about the term collaboration? I know. I know. The ‘sigh and roll your eyes’ reaction is a pretty common one. And in fact I react that way myself more often than not. Over the past ten years, collaboration has been used left, right and center to describe just about anything and everything in the product development realm. And as a result, no one really knows what it means anymore. Ask ten people for a definition of collaboration and you’ll get twenty back.

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