Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 6, 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Technology is at the forefront of the engineering industry, as businesses race to be leaders in innovation and offer the latest, cutting-edge products.
With the power to transform the industry, technology introduces innovative ideas, makes jobs safer and more efficient, and unlocks key insights with data.
Because of this, design engineers continually strive to foresee upcoming trends and capitalize on current leading trends.
Below, take a look at five top technology trends design engineers should keep top of mind.
What you don’t know could be costing you half a million dollars each year.
Chamberlain had been making the straight and curved arms in its garage door design the same way for years. But section modulus studies and finite element analysis revealed opportunities to cut material content—by 55%.
3D printing is the next industrial revolution. The additive manufacturing industry (also known as 3D printing) grew 26 percent to $5.2 billion in 2015, according to a Forbes breakdown of the Wohlers Report 2016. And the market is showing no signs of slowing down.
Controlling labor costs can be difficult, especially when you’re pressed for time and working with a tight budget.
Labor costs can account for 50 to 70 percent of a company’s entire warehouse budget, which is why it’s no surprise that there is immense pressure to adopt new cost-controlling processes.
Rapid, effective innovation is crucial for any engineer’s future, but it can be difficult when there is little time to keep up with daily industry news and advancements. Any time saving technique helps.
Luckily, social media offers an efficient way to keep up with industry best practices, breaking news, design competition announcements and more. LinkedIn and Twitter are teeming with resources for engineers, and if you follow the right accounts and groups, your feeds will always be full of information you can digest on the go.
Read on to discover the most fruitful engineering Twitter accounts to follow and LinkedIn groups to join so you never fall behind.
“Let’s schedule a brainstorm meeting to come up with some new ideas.”
How many times have you heard this phrase? We’ve all been subject to brainstorm meetings, and often the result is a lackluster, unfocused plan. Why does this happen?
With fewer internal resources and smaller engineering staffs, many manufacturing companies are now seeking outsourced partners to help them enhance engineering activities so they can concentrate their internal bandwidth on core competencies.
Roll forming is often viewed as a cost-prohibitive process for metal fabricators. Typically, metal fabricators turn to stamping, press braking and extrusions for their needs, and roll forming is cast aside without consideration.
Yet roll forming can be the most cost-effective method to achieving a quality product. Roll forming has the ability to reduce your product’s weight, simplify design and cut secondary fabrication needs that can be handled inline.
Even if you’ve never designed for roll forming, it may be time to consider what its capabilities can do for your bottom line. This roll forming guide has everything you need to determine whether roll forming is your best option, manage costs and take the next steps in designing a roll formed product.
Metal extrusion is a production process that has stood the test of time. Manufacturers have used the popular process as a common fallback method to create a variety of metal parts and products.
Low tooling costs and its success forming lightweight parts has made aluminum extrusion a trusted method for many engineers—especially engineers unfamiliar with an alternative process such as roll forming.
Maybe you don’t have experience designing parts and products for roll forming, or you’re not sure what products are appropriate for roll forming. Whatever the reason, roll forming’s ability to cut costs and increase efficiencies is worth taking the time to evaluate.
Managing metal fabrication costs can pose many challenges, such as fluctuating raw material prices, rising energy and transportation costs, and product design scope creep. Among these, avoiding scope creep can prove to be one of the toughest. However, by applying the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) approach, a project has a much better chance of being completed on time with minimal waste.