How an Institute’s Culture is the Biggest Effect on Resilience
“Why does bad institutional culture harm resilience more than engineering or human errors?”
When infrastructure failures occur, the engineering or human failures are often the ones that are the most analyzed. However, new research has come out supporting a very different idea. It is the governing institutions culture that has the greatest impact. To illustrate, the Northern Californian utility Pacific Gas and Electricity had long neglected infrastructure repairs/upgrades and foliage trimming, ultimately leading to the great Camp Fire of November 2018. This is How an Institute’s Culture is the Biggest Effect on Resilience.
Digitization and Its Implications for Manufacturing
“What is digitization and how will it affect manufacturing?”
With the rise of the industrial internet of things, engineering processes are moving more and more towards the digital realm. This means that components once limited to the physical realm, such as mail and design models, are moving into the virtual one as e-mail and CAD. This digitization will have a lot of ramifications for the manufacturing sector, where processes will now be less prone to human error and move a lot faster while being more prone to cyber-security issues. This are the Implications for Manufacturing from Digitization.
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A Simple Reason Why Humanity Needs to be Less Wasteful to Curb Climate Catastrophe
“What is one tough thing humanity needs to adopt to fight climate change?”
Right now humanity is on track to shoot past a rise of 2-degree centigrade from pre-industrialization by 2030. And one of the primary reasons behind this is because human energy consumption and population has been rising over the years. Much of the global focus to fight this has been increasing technological energy efficiency. But according to the equation I = PAT, if population and affluence rise then it would offset more efficient technology. If humanity does not want to quickly decrease its population then it must change its culture of affluence. This is A Simple Reason Why Humanity Needs to be Less Wasteful to Curb Climate Catastrophe.
“How can we control the quality of manufactured products?”
When items are manufactured, they won’t be able to completely meet specifications. As a result, there might be some dysfunctional output. To ensure that all of those parts are filtered out, quality control can be used to monitor and modify the process as necessary.
Fault Detection and Diagnosis
“How can we monitor a facility for component breakdowns?”
When running industrial facilities, components are very prone to failure, which can cause large amounts of money and energy to be wasted. So how can we make sure that these facilities are protected from such failures? Well, what if we were to implement a network of sensors that would collect data from a facility, which would then be parsed through algorithms. If any of this data finds any strange patterns, it can sort out the underlying cause and solve any issues. This technology is known as Fault Detection and Diagnosis and is one of the most fascinating facets of industrial operations management.
“What if we quantified all of the energy used to create an item?”
In order to create a product, energy is required whether it be in the manufacturing process or in transportation logistics. One commonly used way to quantify this is through Life-cycle assessment. But what if we simply want to obtain a direct measurement of all of the energy used in a product? Well, this would simply entail summing up each part to create what engineers call the total embodied energy!
Variable Speed Drives
“How can we implement powerful yet controllable motors for industrial processes?”
Industrial motors are marvelous for being able to coordinate highly intricate processes in an efficient manner. However, sometimes we may need to adjust the speed on these machines using traditional models. So how can we use our knowledge of industrial control systems and our engineering mindset to achieve this? Well, let’s get down to the basics. We know that controllers can be used to provide feedback to electric devices, such as motors. So what if we were to simply implement a controller based motor into industrial processes? Well, this is the fundamental idea behind variable speed drives, which are commonly used as energy savers in pump and fan appliances.
“How can we fully analyze the environmental consequences of a product?”
Many new technologies such as electric vehicles market themselves as being sustainably built because they produce no emissions during operation. However, upon further inspection, we can see that these machines consume quite a lot of resources during manufacturing, putting their ecological value into question. So how can we completely analyze a material object for its environmental impact? Well, let’s use our engineering mindset to think about this. First, let’s look at the entire life process of such an object, from the resources required to manufacturing to shipment to operation and finally decomposition. Then, let’s quantify how the environment was harmed during each part of the cycle. This method is known as Life-cycle Assessment and is used by sustainably minded individuals and organizations to obtain the true environmental impact of materials. From now on, whenever you see that a company touts its product as sustainable, just keep in mind that it might be so for only one part of its entire process.