Our very own Stephen Warde has been interviewed for the blog of one of the major providers of CAD/PLM software. Speaking to PTC, Steve highlights the difficulties faced by design engineers and the impact materials have on the ultimate cost and performance of a product.
“Are you innovating with intent?” seems like a simple question but if your company doesn’t have a good materials information strategy in place, the answer will most likely be “No”. In our latest blog post, you’ll discover how companies like Ethicon Endo-Surgery are innovating and raising their materials IQ.
Welcome to the third in our series in which we meet the Granta team. We spoke with our colleague Rhys to find out everything, from what he most enjoys about being a Software Tester to which historical figure provides him with a daily dose of inspiration. We’re always looking for like-minded individuals who have passion and drive to make positive changes to our software development; take a look at our current opportunities if you think this could be you.
“My typical day encompasses a wide range of manual and automated testing. One minute I might be verifying the functionality of a new interactive feature, while the next I’ll find myself working on code to deploy and configure our products on virtual machines via TeamCity. Working closely with the developers within an Agile environment, I know my input is always valued during our sprint planning meetings, and my regular involvement in maintaining JIRA issues helps to create an audit trail of how we are constantly improving our software.
Successful products require Engineers and Designers to collaborate, often around materials choices: balancing performance with aesthetics for the ideal product experience. Engineering curricula don’t always recognise the importance of this connection. Engineers and Designers get only a limited understanding of each other’s work, while Materials is often an under-appreciated subject. Cambridge Engineering Professor, Mike Ashby, published the book “Materials and Design” in 2009 and has worked on several learning tools to inspire Design and Engineering students about each other’s subjects, and about materials. But it has proved hard to marry the quantitative engineering perspective with descriptions of aesthetics that are often variable and culturally-dependent.
At Granta, we recently ran a survey to explore the challenges of teaching sustainable development. Key findings, from 200 plus responses, indicated that academics would welcome more case studies with real data, and a global perspective on interlinked environmental and social impacts. The feedback was consistent with my own experience, as a PhD at the Centre for Sustainable Development where I did research in social and environmental impact assessment tools. I was also closely involved in teaching, and subsequently co-developed a start-up company focusing on software and learning. From these experiences, it was clear that software can have a large impact on teaching and outreach. I’m now working as Development Manager and Sustainability Consultant in the Education Team at Granta, collaborating with the academic community and Professor Mike Ashby to develop teaching resources that support the sustainable development subject-area.
Simulation engineers are often desperate for sophisticated material properties to support their temperature dependent and/or non-linear material models, enabling more accurate simulation and validation of product performance.
If you are in the ‘material authority’ role in your company, either as a materials specialist or a member of the simulation team who has acquired this responsibility, you will need to respond! I’ve worked with many people in this role who are dedicating a lot of time to queries from design and simulation engineers about how materials will perform under various conditions, or which is the best material to use in certain operating conditions and environments.
The 2016 Material Intelligence seminar (and associated 5th North European Granta User Group meeting) was hosted by Rolls-Royce in Derby, UK, earlier this month. One (perhaps rather obvious!) message came through to me loud-and-clear: when you’re trying to figure out how to get the best from a technology, nothing beats hearing from those who are already doing it.
Amandeep Mhay, project leader of the enterprise materials information management project at Rolls-Royce, shared experience of rolling out this program over 12 years. A phased approach has grown usage from a few tens of engineers in one business unit to thousands enterprise-wide. The system collates, tracks, and qualifies vital materials information, and makes it available in a controlled manner. Its homepage is one of the top ten accessed web pages across Rolls-Royce and cost benefits are estimated at £6.9m per annum.