0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):24-29. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper discusses the impact of the transfer of research and development (R&D) resources to low-wage countries. This transfer may promise major changes for engineers in developed nations. Offshoring is reaching critical mass in many engineering fields. Offshore engineers are bright, highly motivated, and have climbed the skill ladder rapidly. Multinational companies believe that offshoring enables them to reduce costs to consumers, increase market share, and use profits to create more high-paying jobs. European and Japanese engineers tend to have more job protection than American engineers, and US corporations are believed to be in the forefront of offshoring. The paper also highlights that for many companies, offshoring engineering is an extension of outsourcing, a business model that calls for companies to concentrate on core businesses and contract peripheral projects to vendors. Classical economists defend offshoring by calling on a centuries-old principle called comparative advantage. It states that countries are better off when they trade without restrictions, so each trading partner can specialize in what it does best rather than try to hang onto floundering industries.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):32-33. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This review emphasizes on the importance of communication between business performing parties. According to a survey, many business owners who work with mainland Chinese suppliers report that consistent quality is their biggest challenge. The biggest challenge in doing business in China is quality, reliability, and delivery. The survey shows that though the cost is quite low, but that is part of the problem. Companies are constantly being disappointed by their Chinese suppliers because they are taking shortcuts that have not been approved to save money. This has resulted in product yield loss and reliability problems. According to an application engineer, most Westerners think that most Asians speak English, which is a big misunderstanding. The person who works in overseas marketing does, but the engineers and quality control people do not. Westerners make their presentations, unaware they are not being understood 100%. Asians have a lot of ideas, but it is hard to explain over the language barrier.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):34-37. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This review explores the prospects of using product lifecycle management (PLM) as an end-to-end solution. The components of PLM provide significant value, but there are no fully integrated offerings on the market that perfectly cover every aspect of product lifecycle, according to a report. In the absence of an end-to-end tracking system, one trend coming to prominence is the use of PLM as the complete system of record for all product data. Though a study concluded that PLM still has a way to go in terms of tracking product design from early inception right through sales to reclamation, it is becoming the main go-to source for a large amount of product data. Experts believe that PLM still has a way to go in terms of tracking product design from early inception right through sales to reclamation; however, it is becoming the main go-to source for a large amount of product data. Software developers are working to create tools that can incorporate ever more of the big picture and make it accessible to engineers.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):38-41. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This article reviews features of a new American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard named PCC-3-2007 Inspection Planning Using Risk-Based Methods, which aims to make method of inspection available to a wider group of industries. Petroleum and power businesses enhance efficiency by weighing their risks and keeping watch. PCC-3 provides guidance by listing the many parameters that influence the damage mechanisms as well as many parameters that can influence the rate of damage. The standard provides a table with listings of possible damage mechanisms along with their definitions, common attributes, and references. PCC-3 provides planning details to develop consequence scenarios with different associated probabilities. The framers of ASME’s standard believe that proper applications of the new PCC-3 can lead to major cost savings and allow for application of technically based engineering judgments on expenditures for large capital, inspection, and safety improvements for most industries.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):46-48. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-5.
FREE TO VIEW

This review explores the use of computation fluid dynamics (CFD) tools embedded in its computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a right mix of gas and air for a wide range of applications. The new tools provide the ability to evaluate the performance of many potential alternatives in the initial stages of the design process. Early stage analysis makes it possible to improve the performance of the product and resolve design problems quickly and before large sums have been spent on a design that must be changed. The review also discusses that several best practices can help ensure the accuracy of CFD gas and air mixing simulation. The utilization of native 3D data places a premium on the quality of the solid model. The newest generation of CFD software contains sophisticated automatic control functions that make it possible to converge to a solution in almost every application without the need for manual tuning. CFD simulation in the preliminary stages in the design of products involving gas mixing can save time and money. Best practices tuned for the requirements of a particular industry can help design engineers avoid analysis mistakes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):53. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-7.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper discusses the concept of MTU Aero Engines’ high-speed low-pressure turbine for the geared turbofan, which is based on the European Union research program ‘Clean’. Under the program, MTU developed the high-speed low-pressure turbine, the turbine centre frame, and an integrated heat exchanger. The paper also highlights that Pratt & Whitney, launched its geared turbofan (GTF) demonstrator project and asked MTU to be a partner. MTU has secured a 15 percent stake in either GTF version, which brings its high-speed low-pressure turbine, plus the first four stages of the high-pressure compressor.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(03):54-55. doi:10.1115/1.2009-MAR-8.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses benefits and challenges of Pressure-Gain Combustion Systems for Gas Turbines. The article also highlights that one approach to substantially improve gas turbine thermal efficiency is to replace the nearly constant pressure combustion process with some form of pressure-gain heat release such as either a constant volume or detonative mode of combustion. These systems commonly possess some form of rotating inlet valve design to control the filling process for an annular array of combustors and maintain the appropriate amount of inlet isolation. Although evaluation of turbine life and performance needs to continue, turbine efficiencies approaching values comparable to those of steady-state operation have been reported. The article concludes that the collaborative efforts, such as listed in the article, are ultimately required in times of reduced funding for continued technology development. Even with the risks and challenges associated with this technology, a high payoff potential exists with hybrid gas turbine architectures.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In