Stratolaunch’s ginormous twin-fuselage airplane emerged from its hanger for the first time in late May. Previously known as Vulcan Aerospace, the Stratolaunch aircraft had its scaffolding removed and achieved its first weight-on-wheels. The vehicle clocked in at approximately 500,000 lbs, perhaps signalling that like many of us it needs to cut back on all those heavy IPAs.

Equally impressive is the wingspan, clocking in with the world’s largest at 385 feet. By comparison, a National Football League field spans 360 feet.

Tooling manufacturing – a vital industrial sector

A wide range of industries rely on tooling production. For industrial molds, 41% of production is sold to the motor vehicle industry, 16% to electronics manufacturers, and 14% to appliance makers.

Toolmakers face key issues from complexity of new products, globalization, increasing quality requirements…
(Source: Congressional Research Service, The Tool and Die Industry)

87 acres of rough roads and engineering prowess are now open in Central Oregon. Daimler Trucks has developed a new testing ground in Madras after two years and nearly $19 million in investment.

The High Desert Proving Grounds will test the durability and fuel efficiency of Daimler Truck brands, including Freightliner. By locating the track near its Portland headquarters, it shows the truck maker's commitment to its Oregon engineering team.

Daimler is one of the largest users of NX, and for both simulation and mechanical engineers, the testing grounds should be an exciting proving center. As Applied CAx’s CAE expert always says, “validation is gold.” Seeing your designs and analyses get the shake-and-bake equivalent of 1.2 million road miles in just 6 months should help confirm usage of many engineering environments.

Evolving market opportunities for electronics companies.

In the coming years trends in automotive electronics, smart homes and the Internet of Things will transform the electronics industry. Engineers will be required to develop new products and solutions to meet evolving consumer needs.

Check out this infographic that highlights design opportunities and challenges for electronics companies. We end by providing PDFs detailing real world engineering teams improving efficiencies by up to 50%.

Modern jet engines are getting bigger and also lighter. For example, years ago it was common to use titanium or stainless steel as blade-out containment materials. These large diameter and thick rings can now be replaced by modern carbon fiber composites; however, manufacturing large diameter composites with tight tolerances is difficult.

One of the key challenges is maintaining tight tolerance during heating (curing) and cooling (mandrel removal) process. In a recent CFD project for a Tier 1 aerospace manufacturer, we used STAR CCM+ to simulate the thermal-flow process of cooling the composite mandrel down to room temperature. STAR was particularly suited for this project given its advanced polyhedral meshing technology coupled with a fast MPP thermal-flow solver (High Performance Computing (HPC)). Results in this CFD consulting project were verified against prior experience and hand calculations.