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Metal Additive Manufacturing in the Valve Industry

Metal Additive Manufacturing in the Valve Industry

Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a f...

The Past, Present and Future of Fire Testing

The Past, Present and Future of Fire Testing

Because so many of the applications wher...

Advancements in Blue Laser Scanning

Advancements in Blue Laser Scanning

As the industrial world continues to exp...

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Industry Headlines

IHS: Manufacturing at Strongest Level Since Sept. 2014

Thursday, 24 May 2018  |  Chris Guy

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI registered 56.6 in May, up fractionally from 56.5 in April, to signal the strongest im...

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Industry Headlines

Curtiss-Wright Supporting Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier Program

2 DAYS AGO

Curtiss-Wright has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $85 million to provide main propulsion steam turbines and auxiliary equipment for the U.S. Navy’s Ford-class aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80). The award was received from Huntington Ingalls, Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) ...

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Crane Celebrates Opening of New Plant in India

2 DAYS AGO

Crane ChemPharma & Energy celebrated the inauguration of its newest location, an aseptic diaphragm valve factory in Satara, India. Crane invited hundreds of customers and industry stakeholders to participate in a day-long event complete with a tour of the new plant and luncheon held on May 10, 201...

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LNG, Ethanol Sellers Buoyed by China Trade Talk

1 DAY AGO

“China's interest in reducing its trade surplus with the United States through increased energy imports could advance plans for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and ethanol sales, said analysts and energy executives involved in developing new LNG facilities.”

Reuters  reports th...

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Chemical Activity Up as Pace of Growth Slows

1 DAY AGO

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), rose 0.1% on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis in May to 121.9. The barometer is up 3.9% on a 3MMA compared to a year earlier. The unadjusted CAB showed a second consecutive month of gains, up 0.2% in May and also...

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IHS: Manufacturing at Strongest Level Since Sept. 2014

23 HOURS AGO

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI registered 56.6 in May, up fractionally from 56.5 in April, to signal the strongest improvement in business conditions since September 2014 . May data revealed relatively strong rises in both manufacturing production and incoming new busi...

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Philly Fed: Manufacturing Activity Up in May Survey

3 DAYS AGO

The Philadelphia Fed’s monthly survey indicate a pickup in growth for the region’s manufacturing sector. The indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all improved from their readings last month. The indexes for prices paid and received continued to suggest price ...

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Solving the Problems in Front of You

vmsum11_social_media

Engineers are problem solvers and today, they have some pretty amazing tools to help them with that problem solving. Here’s an example from a recent trip.

I went to a station to refill a rental car with gas before returning it to the agency. As usual, I guessed the wrong side for the gas tank and had to circle around to put the car at the right angle to pump the gas. I couldn’t figure out where the latch to open the gas cap was located, and there was no owner’s manual in the glove box to help.

On my smart phone, I did a quick Google search by voice command using the car make, model and “gas tank door latch” as keywords. The results were an online forum with my answer: the door was latched magnetically and required a gentle push to open. This simple voice search saved me 5 to 10 minutes of hunting around for a non-existent latch and a lot of frustration.

These searches from our PCs, phones, tablets and other devices help us solve problems quickly and painlessly every day. Google and the other search engines, along with the right selection and number of keywords, often help us get an answer to a problem in front of us. Although it’s not foolproof, most times, these methods of finding what we need work great.


IN THE INBOX

For businesses, an important issue today with searching is that a lot of wisdom is trapped in email inboxes and “sent items” folders. Desktop indexing and search software such as the search built into PC operating systems or desktop search applications can find some information. But such tools don’t help us with the information that hasn’t reached our inboxes.

Different approaches ranging from content management systems to blogs, wikis, online collaboration and community software are being tried as search destinations with varying degrees of success. The key element to that success seems to be the number of people willing to participate in each approach and the community that naturally forms from this participation.

Metcalfe’s Law states that: “The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).” Robert Metcalfe, who is responsible for that principle, also offered this:

…a more insightful and, I think, important contribution to the conversation — that to understand the value of a social network we need to consider not just the number of users but also the affinity between the members of the network.

My take on this is that the fastest path to the information you need is to solve the problem in front of you. If a Google search or question posed to your immediate colleague does not yield a quick answer, you should try your social network. That is, provided you’ve built this network to sufficient size to realize the exponential effects described by Metcalfe’s Law.

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