Sept. 11, 2008
When Fredric J. Baur died earlier this year, he wanted his final resting place to reflect his greatest accomplishment — he designed the tubular Pringles potato crisp container.

Designer “Buried” in His Work

He asked that some of his ashes be put in one of the iconic containers and buried with an urn containing the rest.

Baur had worked for Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble Co. as an organic chemist and food-storage technician who specialized in R&D and quality control. In 1966, Baur filed to patent the tubular Pringles container as well as the method of packaging the curved, stacked chips in the container. The patent was granted in 1970.

It’s a Gas!

The Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CACAGI) is looking for engineering undergrads to submit innovative designs that use compressed air or gas as the power source for its second annual Innovation Awards contest. The contest is designed to increase awareness and the use of compressed air and gas as a power source.

After a successful first year, the contest has been expanded to include invitations to as many as 15 universities. Teams from each school are given the option to choose a design using compressed air or gas as the power source in one of these device categories: Machine Tool Application, Motion Control Device, Consumer Product, and other.

The teams have five months to conceive and design their application. Essays with supporting calculations, schematic drawings, and/or product renderings are due by March 16, 2009. Designs will be judged on innovation, marketability, and presentation.

The first place team will receive $10,500 to be divided between the students and school; second place receives $5,500.

Virginia Tech took first place last year with an air-powered serpentine robot for inspecting unsafe or hard-to-reach areas such as bridge structures, tall utility poles, or even scaffolding or girders in construction sites.

Tailored Arrivals

The recent deployment of Tailored Arrivals, an Air Traffic Management (ATM) approach created by Boeing, reduced fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions. Tailored Arrivals let aircraft use air-to-ground data links to descend into an airport with minimal air-traffic control intervention. The technology was supplied by FAA and NASA. FA’s Ocean 21 system delivers data to and streamlines communications between flight crews and air-traffic controllers with the help of NASA’s En-route Descent Advisor (EDA), which computes fuel-efficient descents.

Taking part in the deployment were United Airlines, Air New Zealand, and Japan Airlines, which completed 57 flights into San Francisco International Airport using continuous descent instead of the currently used series of level segments. The airlines used Boeing 777-200ER and 747-400 planes. Fuel consumption during descents was reduced by 1,303 lb/flight (34%) for the 777s and 2,291lb (39%) for the 747s. Total carbon emissions fell by more than 500,000 lb. An additional 119 flights that only partially used the approach had fuel savings of 379 lb/flight for 777s and 1,100lb/flight for 747s.

Later this year, Miami International Airport will use the Tailored Arrivals procedures as part of a joint FAA-European Commission initiative. (See Machine Design, 9/13/07, p. 80 for more on this topic.)

Tailored Arrival continuous-descent approaches use data-linked 4D paths shaped for local constraints and timed for merging traffic.

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