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Mechanical Engineering. 2006;128(08):26-28. doi:10.1115/1.2006-AUG-1.
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This paper provides examples to show the importance of blueprints in improving working of a company. In order to blueprint, managers need intricate workings of how projects get done. They must know exactly how engineering works with the manufacturing, marketing, and IT departments, as everything is interconnected. As project manager at BAE Systems Naval Ships in Glasgow, Scotland, Scott Jamieson oversees the creation of two landing-ship docks for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Jamieson reviews his advance blueprint all the time to make sure his team uses its time effectively. He compares the initial blueprint against the present project to ensure that the plan is still pertinent. Another blueprint success example is its extensive usage in aerospace projects. According to Jack Gallagher, executive director for the Bell/Agusta 609 Tiltrotor, aerospace projects are so large that it is easy for company executives and managers to lose control. A blueprint helps to keep all aspects of a huge project on track.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2006;128(08):30-31. doi:10.1115/1.2006-AUG-2.
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This article deals with various ways of handling bosses. There are times when a manager does not or would not communicate properly to an employee. There are also times when a co-worker is closer to the manager than the employee himself, and this co-worker allocates tasks. This scenario most of the time becomes frustrating and unacceptable by employees who do not get their task allocations or other valuable information from their managers, rather receiving it from some other subordinate. In this scenario, the author suggests it is better to talk to the subordinate clearly that enough is enough and any task allocated by him/her or information will not be accepted. It might create some problems for the employee; however, it may happen that the manager gets a clarity that the employee must be talked to directly rather than through a subordinate.

Topics: Risk
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2006;128(08):32-33. doi:10.1115/1.2006-AUG-3.
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This paper provides detailed features of a new software that can help unearth design and manufacturing issues before they snowball into big warranty problems. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has delivered a closed-loop solution that spans manufacturing and parts traceability to warranty claims and customer satisfaction. The heart of the system is PolyVista's analytics software, which searches for patterns in warranty claims. PolyVista provides a step change from conventional analytics. It does an excellent job applying computer muscle to the analysis of massive amounts of data—as long as the data has been structured first. The company now uses warranty feedback to rank its top vendors, and it encourages its buyers to purchase parts from them. The solution has worked well enough for HP to package it to sell to other discrete manufacturers, while it is not cheap.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2006;128(08):34-37. doi:10.1115/1.2006-AUG-4.
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This paper discusses use of reverse engineering by various mechanical engineering companies and its benefits. The paper points out that reverse engineering—tearing down mechanical devices—is a natural way to learn how things work. Reverse engineering lies at the very heart of the profession. The paper also presents the ADXL330 case study, which shows how semiconductor technology does more for less money. With its 3-axis sensing, the ADXL330 is the first step toward cheap, low-power gyroscopes. It can provide motion-sensitive flip-wrist scrolling in mobile phones or image stabilization in digital cameras. Like many microelectromechanical systems, Analog Devices' ADXL330 has much larger features than modern integrated circuits. Chipworks focused on changes that have transformed reverse engineering of computer chips. The paper suggests that the ability of Chipworks and other companies like it to probe the micro and nanoscale world of today's silicon technology does provide valuable insights.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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