January 29, 2010
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Another batch of DE’s Fast Apps has been posted, and the editors at DE have come up with four good and fast reads for your reading pleasure today.
On the CAE front, the first article is for you people into Pad Over Active structures, ILD layers, and all that submicron-sized stuff that goes into chip manufacturing. Richly illustrated, this article shows you how COMSOL simulations can help reduce stress in wafer manufacturing. And I mean all sorts of stress reduction: Saving money so that the pencil necks get off engineering’s case, better quality control so that the manager doesn’t freak out, and a more robust chip to be proud of.
With the America’s Cup yacht Race about to begin in February, you’ll find a timely interview with one of the smart people who used STAR-CCM+ from CD-adapco to optimize what is called a rigid wing for the BMW Oracle Racing team. This thing is fascinating: it’s 80 percent larger than a 747’s wing and it stands straight up out of the boat. This is a must read even if you’re like me and you don’t know from sailing unless you’re talking Wal-Mart.
In another realm, rapid prototyping presents a conundrum for many companies: Do we spend the money to get our own machine or do we pay a third-party service bureau to make our prototypes? The answer really depends on your needs. Spacelabs Healthcare decided that it would be more cost-efficient in the long run to get themselves a Fortus rapid prototyping system from Stratasys and make the test designs themselves. Cost-efficiency turned out to be half the win. The Fortus also freed the engineers to be more innovative.
The last article in this edition of Fast Apps is about a medical device manufacturer leveraging PLM to get engineering, manufacturing, quality control, and marketing to collaborate and deliver a better product to market faster. What’s really interesting to me here is that Wright Medical Technology uses Teamcenter and NX from Siemens, not just for product development and data and medical records management, but also for compliance and meeting FDA regulatory requirements. The last two, of course, are invaluable yet non value-add processes that demand huge resources from all medical device manufacturers. Efficiencies there drop profit right to the bottom line.
So, there’s your quick skinny on the latest additions to DE’s special Fast Apps section. I hope you enjoy today’s Fast Apps as much as I did.
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering