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4 design fails of the week

September 22, 2014 9:31 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Managing Editor, PD&D, @melfass | Blogs | Comments

After four reports of suspension fittings breaking during use, IKEA is recalling its GUNGGUNG child’s swing. In one of these incidents, a child fell and fractured a leg. The recall involves 2,000 units in the U.S., and 300 in Canada....

5 steps to developing an introvert's superpower

September 19, 2014 11:05 am | by Dave Gennrich, Mechanical Engineer & Project Manager, Design Concepts | Blogs | Comments

Do you know someone who can absorb a vast amount of complex information about a problem and...

5 things to look for when evaluating an engineering design firm

September 18, 2014 1:15 pm | by Doug Ringer, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

I’m a product management and development professional and I’ve worked with organizations such as...

A tech fix for texting while driving

September 18, 2014 9:09 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

By now, almost everybody with a cellphone and a car knows that it's a bad idea to text while you...

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Talent shortages? Blame salary, not just training

September 17, 2014 9:25 am | by Chris Fox, Editor, MNET | Blogs | Comments

As the economy has turned around and employers have been seeking to invest in fresh blood, a consistent tone of unemployable youth has been ringing from the manufacturing and engineering ranks. The skills gap is a growing problem as baby boomers ...

What year did the "modern era" begin?

September 15, 2014 8:37 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

What year do we give for the start of our modern society? Do we go back to the start of the Industrial Revolution or some later date? Before I answer that question, I first want to define the differences between past societies and our own....

The new backup imperative for manufacturers in the digital era

September 12, 2014 10:04 am | by Chris Grossman, Senior Vice President Enterprise Applications, Rand Secure Data | Blogs | Comments

The impact of the digital age in manufacturing and manufacturing design has driven the creation of electronically stored information (ESI) to never before seen levels. Just a few of the areas seeing a major increase in storage requirements include....

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Top technological discoveries of humankind

September 9, 2014 10:26 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Ever wonder what discovery or inventions created or started the foundations for today’s society? How far do we have to go back in our history to find the first person to use ideas that we take for granted today? How many things are just refinements....

The advanced materials revolution

September 3, 2014 2:33 pm | by Mike Collins, Author | Blogs | Comments

The invention of advanced materials is an area where the U.S. has not only been dominant, but has led the world through out the twentieth century. The creation of advanced materials has launched entirely new industries. Here are just a few of materials created by the U.S....

How much does fantasy football cost employers?

September 3, 2014 9:40 am | by Mike Hockett, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Last year nearly 26 million people in the United States played fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). That number figures to be even higher in 2014 for a virtual game that is no longer just a hobby — it’s a mega-revenue generating business....

How OLED lighting could "save" the OLED industry

August 26, 2014 10:58 am | by Lawrence Gasman, NanoMarkets | Blogs | Comments

Ever since LCD displays came to dominate the living room, the desktop and mobile communications, new technologies claiming superiority over LCD have made their pitches. Most have failed. Plasma displays (PDPs) and electrophoretic displays (EPDs) made waves for a while....

Technology: Our savior or our downfall?

August 25, 2014 10:15 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Probably one of those topics that people have been debating since someone brought back the first burning stick and started a fire.  “Progress, who needs it?”  Well, in a lot of ways, we all need it.  At our present world population figure of 7 billion and counting, we could hardly live without it....

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5 essential building blocks for a thriving work culture

August 20, 2014 8:35 am | by Adam Witty, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg. Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait....

5 ways to steal your innovations

August 19, 2014 2:38 pm | by Mike Collins | Blogs | Comments

It is the dream of most small manufacturers to invent a new product and sell it to a larger company to handle all of the manufacturing and marketing. The dream includes getting a big upfront payment and then relaxing as the royalty or other payments come in....

Energy: Magic or science?

August 18, 2014 9:08 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Energy: It is all around us; we use it every day. But let’s stick with electrical energy. We have many ways of generating this needed labor-saving device. You may question that, but think about it: Everything that we use every day is some type of labor-saving device, and it runs on some form of energy....

4 best practices for protecting trademarks when entering the Chinese market

August 14, 2014 3:33 pm | by Wendy Wu (MWE China), Jennifer Mikulina & Han Jason Yu | Articles | Comments

Working with a team of experienced trademark counsel in the U.S. and China is a critical to launching a successful expansion of a brand into China. This article provides a set of checklists to guide companies, including the preliminary steps....

6 reasons to consider overseas engineering jobs

August 14, 2014 8:23 am | by Matt Kelland, Engineerjobs.com | Blogs | Comments

How far would you travel for your dream job? To another city? Another state? Why limit yourself, when your skills are in demand, worldwide? Engineering principles don’t change at the border, so why not explore all your options and look for work....

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A toe above the competition: KEEN's story

August 12, 2014 12:27 pm | by Tia Nowack, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

In a Portland, Oregon headquarters that feels more like a tech startup than a shoe manufacturer, you’ll find one of the most innovative outdoor and utility footwear companies in the country. The floors and walls are made of reclaimed materials....

Israel's Iron Dome & the ethics of war

August 8, 2014 11:39 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

By many reports, the damage done by the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel would be much worse if it were not for Israel's air-defense system called Iron Dome. According to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), Iron Dome succeeds in intercepting about 80% of rockets that come within its zone of protection....

IDT lowers cost of test by adopting the NI Semiconductor Test System

August 7, 2014 10:41 am | by Glen E. Peer, Director of Test Engineering, Integrated Device Technology Inc. | Idt, National Instruments | Blogs | Comments

As the performance of IDT’s devices increases, it becomes more difficult to maintain the pace in the production test environment. Traditional ATE systems capable of meeting our high-performance measurement requirements are expensive and often include extra capabilities....

The Internet of EVERYthing will engage EVERYone

August 7, 2014 8:56 am | by Dan Miklovic, LNS Research | Blogs | Comments

IoT, the Internet of Things, is dominating the media these days. Some say IoT itself is probably a misnomer. For instance, futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil says it really ought to be the Internet of Everything (IoE). Whenever we hear IoT, the first thing many start talking about is M2M....

What you need to know about particle physics

August 6, 2014 8:02 am | by Mike Collins | Blogs | Comments

Just before World War II, Earnest Lawrence, a physicist at Cal-Tech, found out that German physicists had split an atom of uranium using a neutron to form two smaller nuclei and release the nuclear strong force. Lawrence then built a more advanced version of an accelerator....

Will medical devices and all-laser manufacturing advancements enable the age of longevity?

August 6, 2014 7:57 am | by Stefan Zschiegner, Raydiance | Blogs | Comments

Perhaps the only advances in medical technology which excite more than today’s minimally invasive devices and procedures are the ones that will come to market over the next several decades. Medical futurists speak with credibility about the prospect of human beings born today living 150 years....

Big guys finally see the “white”

August 4, 2014 7:35 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

More than one year after Soraa demonstrated it, the importance of whiteness rendering is now being noticed by the larger lighting manufacturers. Perhaps the most notable imitation, from Philips mixes in some violet-emitting with blue-emitting LEDs....

Display glass chamfer: Complex design challenge or all-laser solution?

July 31, 2014 8:22 am | by Dr. Michael M. Mielke, Chief Scientist, Raydiance | Blogs | Comments

Remember the Apple iPhone 5 video of Jony Ive describing his “diamond cut chamfered edges?” If you’re not a mechanical engineer, this may have been the first time you heard the term “chamfer.” It turns out that chamfers are critical design aspects of nearly all portable consumer devices, including smartphones and tablets....

The robot says you flunked: Algorithms vs. judgment

July 25, 2014 11:29 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

Harvard and MIT have teamed to develop an artificial-intelligence system that grades essay questions on exams. The way it works is this. First, a human grader manually grades a hundred essays, and feeds the essays and the grades to the computer. Then the computer allegedly learns to imitate the grader....

Thread paves the way for IEEE 802.15.4 and IPv6

July 24, 2014 3:28 pm | by Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak Technologies | Blogs | Comments

Recently, Google/Nest, together with Samsung, ARM, Yale Security and others, announced a new standard “Thread”. Sort of. Thread is not really a new standard, but more of an education and certification program that combines a set of existing standards into a “single” package....

Design to a standard

July 24, 2014 11:57 am | by Jonathan Seckler, PoE Subcommittee Marketing Chair, Ethernet Alliance; Product Marketing Director, Dell | Blogs | Comments

More and more often these days, developers have to design their solutions with communications in mind. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an expansion of the network concept — adding machine-to-machine communications to the network and broadening the possibilities for many consumer and enterprise applications....

Business at the expense of all else

July 22, 2014 12:38 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

I would never want to believe that a business, operated by intelligent and moral people, could sacrifice quality, and even ethics, to produce a product and complete a sale. Yet recently, I witnessed a business that was so desperate to make a few deadlines, it bypassed due diligence to get a product delivered....

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