The May/June 2016 of AZ Business Magazine focuses on innovation and technology business in Arizona. This includes our contribution to the discussion “Large tech companies are critical to a startup community.” In this article I make a case for remembering the big guys out there that train, spawn, fund, and even buy the startups that are out there.
This was the opening line from a presentation given by the VP of sales for a major engineering software company. It got my attention because it wasn’t hype or hyperbole. He was just pointing out the obvious. Over the past two years the signs have been there. Smart devices will connected to the internet, and older devices will be made smart and then connected. Those that don’t, will no longer be competitive.
It is not all about smart thermostats. Far from it. I went to IoT world in San Jose last week and saw a lot of people scrambling to find their solution. And a few that found them. The best example was an older letter stamping machine, you can guess at the manufacturer, that plugged a modular device from Electric Imp in to their controller and boom – they were connected. Some back end programming and they now had a competitive IoT device.
When we visit customers, we will often ask them what their IoT Strategy is. The answers vary from “we don’t really think our products have an IoT play” to existing products on the market. The focus in the media is on consumer IoT products, but the bigger push right now is for industrial Internet, where machines used in manufacturing, energy generation, raw material extraction, and processing are smart and connected.
Customers from consumers to other companies will be requiring the benefits of IoT devices as they look to replace older hardware. That is why every company that makes physical products needs to develop an IoT strategy.
PADT Can Help
We have been helping our customers define and implement their approach to IoT well, since before it was called the Internet of Things. From assisting semiconductor companies that make MEMS sensors to making smart medical devices we are plugged in to what is needed to make IoT work.
There you can find some basic information about how PADT is a more comprehensive and technically capable solution then most design houses that claim to have IoT solutions. We are uniquely qualified to make sure the “Thing” in your IoT strategy is designed and manufactured right.
- My cat didn’t preheat the oven: Is your company ready for the Internet of Things?
- Sensors and controls: Making a product smart enough for the Internet of Things
- Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal
- How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device
- Security: This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things
Simulation can play a big role in almost every aspect of making your IoT device development faster and more productive. PADT uses ANSYS, Inc.’s comprehensive Multiphysics simulation tool set to model everything from the chip to the embedded system software.
We highly recommend this white paper, “Engineering the Internet of Things”
We also have a recording of a very popular webinar that we did: “Engineering the Internet of Things Devices with ANSYS Simulation”
and this video on how ANSYS can drive your IoT Design:
For detailed examples, check out the ANSYS IoT Landing page to get a feel for why so many companies are driving their design with ANSYS simulation software: www.ansys.com/iot
Talking is the Best Approach
We hope that you find all of the material above, and the information we will provide in the coming months useful. But they are no substitute for giving us a call or sending us an email and setting up a face-to-face to talk about your IoT strategy and device development needs. If you are doing the work in-house, we have the hardware and software tools you need to be successful. If you need outside help, you won’t find engineers with more applicable experience.
Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email email@example.com.
This is our final post in a series on The Internet of Things, or IoT. In “This is the biggest challenge for the Internet of Things” I take a look at the monster that keeps IoT companies up at night – Security. In the end, security is a big concern when designing your IoT device, but one that can be easily addressed with the right experts, systems, and planning.
Ken Morgan and Mark Asher of Money Radio interviewed PADT’s Eric Miller to learn more about what we do here and how “We Make Innovation Work” as part of the Business Leader Spotlight.
Listen to the interview here:
PADT’s Ward Rand and Eric Miller were interviewed recently by Chris Gilfallan of “The Record Reporter” about what PADT does and how it impacts the local product development and intellectual property community. It ended up being a great overview and is aimed at helping the Arizona legal profession understand a bit more about what we do. If you have a subscription you can read the article here.
The next step in our look at the Internet of Things, or IoT, is what to do with all that data. Having sensors track something is great, but it makes a lot of ones and zeros. Saying “it is Big Data” doesn’t solve the problem. “How to deal with all that data from your Internet of Things device” I take a look at how planning and using the right tools can give you a handle for this critical part of IoT products.
For several years now PADT has 3D Printed special thank you awards for the fantastic companies that sponsor the Arizona SciTech Festival. This year we decided to stick with the color of the Stratasys Connex3 but add some moving parts. This gear design spins around and was made as one part, we just wash the support material out of the gaps between parts.
This is a great example of going directly from a CAD model to a custom part. Each award has the recipient’s name printed on the smaller gear. Everything was designed in an hour or so and it took about another hour to add in the 30 or so names. We think these may be the best awards we have made so far.
Here is a video showing off how they spin:
Awards are kind of simple and fun. But the same technology is applied by PADT to help our customers design and build better medical devices, rockets, aircraft engines, computers, and pretty much any physical product you can think of. Give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how “We Make Innovation Work”
In this second article on the Internet of Things, or IoT, we take a look at ways you can connect a smart device to the internet. “Connectivity: What makes the Internet of Things a big deal” gives some basic information on options and talks about the important decisions you need to make when developing your connectivity plan.
PADT talks a lot about synergy as a key strength and a key element of the value we provide to our customers. Our three departments, Manufacturing, Services, and Sales, are in constant communication, always leveraging one another’s expertise to solve problems. Strong internal relationships — a consequence of being under the same roof — precipitate easy and abundant information and resource sharing. Communication, paradigm, alignment, synergy: clear as day.
But what does any of that mean?
When a PADT product development customer meets us for the first time, he or she may be shown a slide that looks like this:
Strong bilateral communication among the Product Development, 3D Printing, and Analysis groups means that the project is enriched by contributions from experts across several fields, multiplying the value we add in the development process. For instance, the product will likely someday run into a sticky problem without a clear solution. PADT can attack it from multiple angles, such as design adjustment, finite element analysis (FEA) optimization, and the iterative testing of 3D printed prototypes.
Ok, but still: what does any of that mean?
A longtime customer of PADT’s product development group recently ran into an urgent problem without a clear path to a solution. Their manufacturing partner called them and said that a particular subassembly in their design will cost three times more than expected, which would raise the price of the product above the maximum the market would bear. PADT was presented with the problem: how do we reduce the subassembly cost by 66% while maintaining overall performance, and how do we confidently select a solution in under a week?
PADT’s three engineering groups jumped in to help.
The Product Development group held a brainstorming session and came out with two adjustments to bring overall cost down. First, the subassembly of three bonded unique steel parts would be replaced by a single injection molded plastic part. This change reduces component cost to within the target, but also significantly reduces the final assembly’s structural integrity.
Secondly, a plastic stiffener truss was added between components to mitigate the reduction in overall stiffness. This change adds a little assembly cost, but also significantly increases the final assembly’s structural integrity, which had been weakened by the first change.
The Analysis group conducted a series of FEA simulations, first to determine the increased bending under load and second to select a material to balance the conflicting requirements for stiffness, strength, and cost. After multiple simulation iterations, it was determined that Product Development had selected a permissible path forward and that a glass-filled polypropylene provides the best combination of the three parameters.
The 3D Printing group then printed the new design for qualitative “look and feel” testing and quantitative force/deflection study. The group was able to closely match the properties of the selected material from their collection of printable filaments and top-shelf industrial printers, reproducing even the fine details — subtle fillets, radii — that boost strength but are missed with lower quality printers. Through prototype tests, it was determined that Analysis selected an appropriate material and Product Development selected an appropriate design.
In the end, PADT was able to confidently select a solution to the customer’s unique cost problem in under a week. Thanks to the synergy of three groups — Product Development, Analysis, and 3D Printing — the customer was able to stay on schedule and enter the market at a relevant price.
So how can PADT help my product?
PADT’s system for delivering services is a textbook example of synergy in action, and it represents a uniquely effective solution to your company’s product problems. Whether you’re in concept design or high-volume production, PADT will tailor-make a solution that fits your budget, schedule, and technical requirements.
Give us a call at 1–800–293-PADT or email email@example.com.
Over the past two academic semesters (2015/16), I had the opportunity to work closely with six senior-year undergraduate engineering students from the Arizona State University (ASU), as their industry adviser on an eProject (similar to a Capstone or Senior Design project). The area we wanted to explore with the students was in 3D printed lattice structures, and more specifically, address the material modeling aspects of these structures. PADT provided access to our 3D printing equipment and materials, ASU to their mechanical testing and characterization facilities and we both used ANSYS for simulation, as well as a weekly meeting with a whiteboard to discuss our ideas.
While there are several efforts ongoing in developing design and optimization software for lattice structures, there has been little progress in developing a robust, validated material model that accurately describes how these structures behave – this is what our eProject set out to do. The complex internal meso- and microstructure of these structures makes them particularly sensitive to process variables such as build orientation, layer thickness, deposition or fusion width etc., none of which are accounted for in models for lattice structures available today. As a result, the use of published values for bulk materials are not accurately predictive of true lattice structure behavior.
In this work, we combined analytical, experimental and numerical techniques to extract and validate material parameters that describe mechanical response of lattice structures. We demonstrated our approach on regular honeycomb structures of ULTEM-9085 material, made with the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. Our results showed that we were able to predict low strain responses within 5-10% error, compared to 40-60% error with the use of bulk properties.
This work is to be presented in full at the upcoming RAPID conference on May 18, 2016 (details at this link) and has also been accepted for full length paper submission to the SFF Symposium. We are also submitting a research proposal that builds on this work and extends it into more complex geometries, metals and failure modeling. If you are interested in the findings of this work and/or would like to collaborate, please meet us at RAPID or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With the introduction of the new ANSYS Mechanical Enterprise, many add-on products that had to be purchased separate, are now included. In these webinars PADT’s engineers will provide an overview of the key applications that users now have easy access to.
Each product will be reviewed by one of PADT’s engineers. The will share the functionality of each tool, discuss some lessons we have learned in using and supporting each tool, and provide a short demonstration. Each session will have time for Questions and Answers.
Sign up for the one you want, or all three. Everyone that registers will receive a link to the recording and to a copy of the slides. So register even if you can not make the specific dates.
Here are the times and links to register:
Overview of ANSYS Rigid Body Dynamics (RBD) and ANSYS Explicit STR
May 19, 2016 (Thu)
11:00 am MST & PDT / 12:00 pm MDT
Overview of ANSYS SpaceClaim and ANSYS AIM
May 24, 2016 (Tue)
11:00 am MST & PDT / 12:00 pm MDT
Overview of ANSYS Customization Toolkit (ACT) and ANSYS DesignXplorer (DX)
May 26, 2016 (Thu)
11:00 am MST & PDT / 12:00 pm MDT
We hope to see you online. If you have any questions, contact us at email@example.com or call 480.813.4884.
April was a busy month, but May looks a bit more normal. We hope to see some of you at the following PADT events happening in the next 5 or 6 week. You can also get a summary of what happened in April below.
May 11: Internet of Things World
Santa Clara, CA
A couple of us are headed to Santa Clara for this gigantic event. No booth, we will be walking around and checking it out. With so much of our work turning towards support IoT, we felt this was a good place to network and find other partners. Look for us if you are there… we will of course have PADT shirts on.
May 16-19: RAPID Show
The other big Additive Manufacturing show in the US is Rapid, held in Orlando, FL this year. PADT will be presenting at least one, and perhaps two times at this event. We will also be hanging out with Stratasys and other partners in the exhibit area.
May 23: National SBIR/STTR Conference
National Harbor, Maryland
PADT will be visiting this years gathering on SBIR and STTR contracts. It is a great opportunity to meet the program officers that are in charge of projects we are applying for as well as a place to meet other companies like PADT that are strong participants in the program.
We have 4 fantastic webinars for May. All PADT webinars are recorded, so even if you can’t make the specified time register and we will send you a link to the recoreding.
|Thursday, May 19, 11:00 AM
Overview of ANSYS Rigid Body Dynamics (RBD) and ANSYS Explicit STR
RegisterFriday, May 20, 1:00 PM
The Stratasys J750 – A new revolutionary full color 3D Printer
Tuesday, May 24, 10:00 AM Phx
Thursday, May 26, 10:00 AM Phx
April Events in Review
April matched March in the number of events. We made a lot of new contacts and were able to learn about some new industries and people.
Our 3D printing sales and services team got off to a great start at this years AMUG Annual Meeting in St. Luis. PADT’s Dhruv Bhate gave two very well received presentations. Besides catching up with customers and partners, the team was able to check out the latest technologies in Additive Manufacturing
The RevAZ team at the Arizona Commerce Authority was nice enough to let PADT host their seminar on Additive Manufacturing and the Navy SBIR Program. We had a great turnout of over 30 people for the seminar put on by Jonathan Leggett, the NAVSEA SBIR Program Manager on how to better utilize the SBIR program. This was followed by one-on-one discussions with John and people from RevAZ.
This year’s Space Symposium in Colorado Springs was fantastic. The best part was meeting Bill Nye and learning more about the mission to mars. Even better was having our customers from different Aerospace companies meet in our booth and interact.
The Tucson tech community provided a great audience for our Lunch & Learn with the AZ Technology Council on “Innovation is easier said than done: Why skipping product simulation is no longer an option” Dan Hartman gave a great talk on the subject.
Flownex shined at this year the SMR 2016 conference in Atlanta. Many people in the nuclear field were able to see Flownex for the first time and get a feel for how powerful it is for designing a modular reactor.
There were two lectures to students in April. Dhruv Bhate crossed the valley and gave an inspirational talk to students at Peoria High School. As always, the students questions and feedback were fantastic. Later in the month, Ted Harris headed down to the University of Arizona in Tucson to talk to an engineering class about Finite Element Analysis.
April also saw the start of a new initiative at PADT, Design Days. This is where some of our product development engineers visit incubators and offer up free advice for an hour. Nothing too complicated, just one-on-one time for Startups with an experienced engineer. We started at NACET in Flagstaff where we met some great inventors. Next was a larger event at CEI in Phoenix followed by sessions at Chandler Innovations.
The last big event in a busy month was the AZBio Expo in Phoenix. As always, this event is packed full of people in the Arizona Biotech space. We caught up with long time customers and met some new people. The talks were informative and at time entertaining.
Product Development is a key part of what PADT does, but we often struggle with sharing what we do in this area and why we do it better. We are engineers. To help, we put together this video that asks our engineers the key questions that customers ask every day, and their answers truly do show how “We Make Innovation Work.”
See something you like or have more questions, give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things, or IoT. This is the first of four posts that look at what IoT is and how your products can take advantage of it. We start with “Sensors and controls: Making a product smart enough for the Internet of Things” to understand what makes a product smart, the first step in enabling a product for the IoT.