Technology Insights

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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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. …

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.

Every Engineer’s Dirty Little Secret? The Stigma of 2D

A couple weeks ago, I attended Solidworks World over in San Antonio. While I was there, I got updates on several products and got to have some very frank conversations with users. Overall, it was a very good event. But the most poignant moment for me, thanks to the goodness of social media, didn’t happen in real-time or even face-to-face. It’s when I saw a picture of the back of a t-shirt someone wore at the show. It was tweeted and retweeted again and again on twitter. Here’s the link to the picture posted on Jeff’s Tool Shed blog, but to make it short, it said:

2D is for Sissies

The Intersection of Engineering IT and the Cloud

Seems nowadays its hard to read about engineering IT without coming across something about the cloud. And while it’s definitely an interesting concept, it hasn’t necessarily been explicitly clear what advantage or value it providers to designers, engineers or analysts. With ideas of IT related issues that have plagued engineering in the past, I started to think hard about the cloud.

What is the Killer App for the Modern Engineer?

A couple weeks ago, I asked a question that has been on my mind for a while: do engineers have the broadest reach within the enterprise? I’ve always thought there’s been a little bit of a misconception that an engineer’s sole focus is on new product development and more specifically, design work. Instead, just about every day for an engineer is a firedrill where they’re scrambling all over the company to resolve issues across a number of product’s lifecycles. So after coming to that conclusion, I started thinking about another question: what technology would best enable engineers to do their job?

PDM-less PLM: Is It Pragmatic or Just Problematic?

Since PLM was first conceived, it has almost been inseparable from PDM. The majority of PLM deployments included PDM as part of the PLM deployments. However, more recently, the idea that PDM must be deployed with PLM has been eschewed. Some new PLM solutions only offer plug-ins or integrations to 3rd party PDM systems, all of which is optional. Is this a good or bad idea?

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