Andrey Popov/Dreamstime
Engineer in physical pain

Design Insights: Feeling the Pain, Cutting the Carbon Cord, Focus on Pneumatics

March 3, 2021
A review of the day’s top trends and news from Machine Design editors.

Design Insights is a new daily column recapping some of the trends and highlights from Machine Design editors:

Feeling the Pain

A recent Machine Design article, “Pain Points for Mechanical Engineers,” struck a cord with our audience. Mitch Maiman, president and cofounder of Intelligent Product Solutions, a product design and development firm, talked about four key areas where innovative technology bumps up against years of experience.

Here’s one note from Maiman on the topic of simulation software: “If the simulation models are not constructed with the right boundary conditions, they will quickly generate beautiful results that in no way represent the design’s real-world performance.”

Those insights brought readers to comment on our website. One wrote, “Good engineering is to not only understanding how to bring it to life, but also to keep it alive.”

Another reader noted simply, “Testing and measuring components when first available, is imperative. There cannot be too much testing.”

I’d also mention that comments are welcome on all Machine Design articles. Share your comments at the end of articles, as we review those every day to refine our content to meet the interests of our audience.

A Zero-Net-Carbon Future?

Schroeder Industries marks its 75th anniversary this year, but the filtration manufacturing and engineering company already is looking a decade ahead. Company officials announced Tuesday its plans to be Zero-Net-Carbon (ZNC) by 2030.

ZNC may seem like an almost impossible goal to achieve, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves in our 75 years of experience,” Schroeder officials said in a press release. “As an American manufacturer to some of the most versatile ‘green material’, it is our goal to spread the word and share the technology proven to support ZNC initiatives for 2030 and beyond.”

The company initiative includes sharing information around the topic area with customers and other manufacturers, improving products and introducing new products to make the existing use of fossil fuels more efficient and working on own manufacturing facilities to make them carbon-neutral.

We hope to be emissions free/no carbon footprint by 2030. But before then, we will be doing whatever we can to get us there as soon as possible,” company officials added. “At Schroeder Industries, we know there is no Planet B, and we’re here to help us not need one.”

A Focus on Pneumatics

The quarterly virtual conference co-presented by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium (FPIC) takes place Thurs., March 4 starting with a virtual networking session at 8 a.m. Central. The topic for this session is Advanced Technologies for Improving Pneumatic Systems Efficiency.”

The content presentations will focus on using pneumatics and compressed air more efficiently and effectively. Compressed air is often an overlooked utility. There’s seldom one big compressed air leak, and when there is, you can hear it and feel it. Plant managers have told me over the years that their most effective leak detection system is going into a quiet plant on a Sunday morning and listening for the telltale hiss of leaks.

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