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Mechanical Engineering 2003

Mechanical Engineering 2003

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Published by max molenaar

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Published by: max molenaar on Apr 11, 2009
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07/23/2010

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This section waswritten byAssociate EditorJean Thilmany
computing
DigitalFactory toBecome theNorm
B
y 2005, plants won't be able to operate without firsttesting production runs by means of digital factorysoftware, according to Emmerich Schiller, who is directorof digital production planning in the passenger car divisionat DaimlerChrysler in Stuttgart, Germany.Schiller spoke at the Delmia user group meeting heldrecently in Stuttgart. Delmia makes digital factorysoftware."On the assumption that, in the long run, only five or sixcar manufacturers and about 1,000 suppliers will be leftby 2005, the crucial thing is to speed up production withfewer model ranges and more model variants," Schillersaid.Planners today spend more than 70 percent of their timecollecting, testing, and updating data, he said. In thefuture, those planners might be able to access the currentstate of the actual factory digitally—that is, to see adigital, working mockup that mirrors current factoryworkings. Planners could access the data from anywherethey happen to be, said Gunter Schmidgall of theautomaker's research and development arm.All factory data could be monitored continually, he added.
MoreClassroomLearningTime
M
aj. Steve Schweitzer, who teaches a computer-aideddesign course at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point,N.Y., thinks that professors should devote the most timepossible in the classroom to content, and students shouldspend less time learning how to use support technologies.For example, the more time professors spend explainingthe ins and outs of finite element analysis programs, theless time students will have to spend learning the theoriesand principles of engineering design and analysis,Schweitzer said.
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Schweitzer said he uses an FEA software package calledCosmos/DesignStar from Structural Research andAnalysis Corp. of Los Angeles. He said that students areable to pro-duce meaningful analyses after just a few lessons.
How toPerch aGlobeWithin aSkyscraper
T
he globe set within the newly completed Al-FaisaliahTower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was created and mountedin the building with the help of design software.
 Engineers used CAD software from TekCAD of Longwood, Fla., to design the 79-foot golden globe on the Al-Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
. The owner of themulti-use, 875-footskyscraper decidedto change theoriginal designsignificantly whilethe building was stillunder construction.The owner, Prince Bander, wanted a globe mountedpartway up the building. The building's contractor, TurnerInternational, brought in StarNet International Corp. of Longwood, Fla., specially for the globe. The companydesigns, engineers, and fabricates domes, spaceframes,and climatic envelopes.StarNet used CAD software called TekCAD from TekStarof Longwood, Fla., to develop and link the triangularfaces that make up the 79-foot golden globe.StarNet then worked with the consulting design team BuroHappold Engineers of Bath, England, to create a floatingglobe effect based on the CAD configuration.Before assembling the globe, StarNet engineers used amodel-building system that was included in the CAD
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software to make a one-meter prototype of the globe.With that prototype in hand, engineers were more easilyable to determine how to install the globe 584 feet high onthe building.
Testing aNewFairwayMowerDesign
T
o help test a new design, the John Deere Golf and Turf division turned recently to a consulting firm tied to itstechnology supplier. John Deere had redesigned a ball joint lift yoke on its line of lightweight fairway mowerswith the hope of improving the mowers' cuttingperformance, and grass-catching ability.Engineers in the division wanted to make sure the productwould work as designed. To that end, they worked withengineers at Manta Corp., who field-tested and analyzedthe design.In order to measure performance of the new design, theManta engineers collected data on how the mowerperformed on a variety of terrains. They also carried outfinite element analysis of the assembly to predict stressesfor unit load. Then, they combined the measured datawith the stress results and simulated a variety of scenariosto predict the useful life of the new design. For this, theyused software from International TechneGroup Inc. of Milford, Ohio, where Manta is also located. Manta is amajority-owned subsidiary of ITI.With the test results in hand, John Deere engineersdetermined that the new design would meet the company'srequirements.
PlasticsAnalysisAids CoinMechanisms
C
oin Acceptors Inc., a St. Louis maker of coinmechanisms, bill acceptors, and control systems for foodand beverage vending machines, has found a way aroundone of its engineering challenges: the molding of plasticparts that require close tolerances."Typically, coin changers are restricted in size and requiresmall and accurate components," said Max Molenaar,senior engineer at the company. He supervises the tooldesign and drafting departments as well as the model shopand prototyping and computer-aided engineering activities
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