|digital tools and references|
|Tracking Components||Capability: Parts & Vendors 3.0 helps
keep track of materials, sources, and costs at the component level.
Cross-referencing and search tools put component cost, inventory, and
ordering information on the desktop. Links to CAD files allow users to
look at complete specifications of assemblies, subassemblies, and
individual components. Graphic icons have been included for easy
reference, and the list trees are now expandable. Made-from links and
minimum-stock-level flags notify when components need to be reordered.
When a design is complete, the program brings all information together to
buy or kit parts for the finished units.
Hardware: IBM-compatible PC operating in Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0
Developer: Trilogy Design, Box 2270, Grass Valley, CA 95945; (916) 273-1985; fax (916) 477-9106
Cost: $99/$299, two single-user editions; $499/$1,400, six-user
|Motion Control||Capability: The MINT Interface
Library is available to speed the interface of MINT-compatible motion
controllers with 16- or 32-bit Windows-application software. A choice of
operation modes enables system builders to use the host PC for system
control or communicate with an autonomous motion-control subsystem.
MINT provides commands for x-y tables, flying shears, splines, and software cams. The PC and motion controller are treated as discrete intelligent subsystems, communicating via mailboxes or terminal I/O. Programmers can off-load complex motion-control tasks onto the controller's dedicated processor, allowing the PC to be used for man-machine interface and supervisory functions. MINT-compatible C language routines allow programs to be embedded in the motion controller. MINT-language functions can be called on the motion controller from rapid-application-development environments for Windows, such as Visual BASIC, Visual C++, Borland C++, and Delphi.
Hardware: Any DOS platform
Developer: Optimised Control Inc., 3923 Coconut Palm Dr., Suite 107, Tampa, FL 33619; (813) 626-0780; fax (813) 626-0361; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
|Engineers used PostWorks to create a solid
model of this machine tool that dynamically simulates the machine's
Capability: PostWorks is a two- to 10-axis postprocessor and postprocessor generator designed to replace mainframe-based postprocessors. It converts output from CAM systems (including CATIA CL files) into numerical-control (NC) data files that can be used to run NC devices, such as mills, lathes, lasers, coordinate-measuring machines, mill turns, ultrasonic cutters, and routers. The postprocessor analyzes input-cutter locations and creates spline data (in the form of a nonuniform rational B-spline curve) for the machine controller. The creation of a spline reduces the amount of data sent to the machine and creates a smoother pass than linear interpolation (similar to circular interpolation).
PostWorks analyzes cutter-location data output by all CAM systems and uses its own curve-fitting algorithms to create spline interpolation. Cylindrical and polar interpolations are available for mill-turn machines.
Hardware:IBM-compatible PC operating in MS-DOS; Unix workstation by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Silicon Graphics, or Sun; Digital Equipment Corp. VMS platform
Developer: Numerical Control Computer Sciences, 2600 Michelson Dr., 17th Floor, Irvine, CA 92612; (714) 553-1077; fax (714) 553-1911; e-mail email@example.com
Cost: $5,000 to $11,000, depending on platform and number of
|Automotive Designs||Capability: MATRIXx and BetterState
products for embedded-control application specification and implementation
will support Siemens Semiconductor Group's TriCore 32-bit Core
architecture, which is based on a multitasking engine that uses dense
on-chip memory and nanosecond context switching to support control and
digital-signal-processor tasks with a single processor core. The 32-bit
architecture expands the design flexibility and potential performance of
real-time embedded systems by enabling virtual-multiprocessor single-chip
designs. MATRIXx and BetterState design tools provide a comprehensive
design environment for large-scale distributed engineering projects
typical of automotive power-train and vehicle stability-management
applications. An array of fixed-point development tools facilitate the
rapid development of production-ready designs.
Hardware: Unix workstation running Windows 95 or Windows NT
Developer: Integrated Systems Inc., 201 Moffett Park Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94089; (408) 542-1500; fax (408) 542-1950
Cost: $2,495, BetterState editor and one-language code
generator. Contact Integrated Systems for MATRIXx modules, configurations,
|Contour and Vector Plotting||Capability: DF_Contour generates graphs
and contours from numerical and experimental data. It produces color
graphic representations of data types including vector and scalar fields,
shapes, curves, and markers. (A one-word descriptor is required at the
beginning of each data set so that the program can identify the type of
data.) DF_Contour generates a screen animation of a succession of color
maps. A user-generated ASCII file format is recognized for input of data.
Hardware: IBM-compatible PC operating in Windows 95 or Windows NT
Developer: Dynaflow Inc., 7210 Pindell School Rd., Fulton, MD 20759; (301) 604-3688; fax (301) 604-3689; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $65, single-user version
|Thermal Properties||Capability: Capability: QT Pro2 is a
comprehensive thermal-system modeling program that combines an array of
practical engineering models with an extensive thermal-property database.
A fully functional evaluation version of QT Pro2 is available free of
charge on the World Wide Web for immediate download. With this Web-based
version of QT Pro2, the user can elect to purchase only software modules
that are of interest.
QT Pro2 comes with a database of thermodynamic and thermophysical material properties for water and steam, air, refrigerants, hydrocarbons, alloys, ceramics, common fuels, liquid metals, plastics, solvents, glasses, inorganics, and insulations. The database has flexible lookup features that enable users to tabulate, graph, and export material properties in the preferred units.
The software also analyzes thermal models using automated worksheets tailored for each modeling situation. Worksheets are included for the analysis of combustion, compression, expansion, heat addition, throttling, steady and unsteady conduction, convection, radiation, boiling, and condensation processes. Each worksheet queries the user for required and optional data, has a descriptive schematic defining model input and output parameters, and provides seamless links to property selection lists. Analysis output is tabulated in a spreadsheet format that can be plotted, linked to other worksheets, or exported into other Windows programs.
QT Pro2 includes a unit-conversion utility with 40 physical quantities and 370 different units. The user specifies the known quantity in the known unit, and the program provides that value in all other unit groupings.
Hardware:IBM-compatible PC operating in Windows 3.1 or later, Windows 95, or Windows NT
Developer: Thermoflow Inc., 60 Walnut St., Wellesley, MA 02181; fax (781) 237-5621; e-mail email@example.com; World Wide Web www.thermoflow.com
Cost: $40 to $162, depending on the selected modules; full
pricing details are available on the company's Web site
|Online Periodic Table||Capability: Periodic Table for
Windows 95 is a comprehensive, computerized version of the 108-element
periodic table. A click on any element displays information in both
standard and SI units, including atomic weight and number, thermal
conductivity, density, electronegativity, and melting and boiling
temperatures. The data can be printed or cut and pasted into other
documents. The program offers a wealth of information stored in an
easy-to-use format that can eliminate the time-consuming search for data
in reference texts.
Hardware: IBM-compatible 486 PC or higher with 4 MB of RAM and 3.5-inch floppy-disk drive, operating in Windows 95 or Windows NT
Developer: Dale Young, Box 577, Horn Lake, MS 38637-0577; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $49.95, single-user copy
|Embedding Java||Capability: A scaled subset of
PERC, picoPERC has been designed as the smallest Java-compatible
environment on the market for deeply embedded applications. It saves
memory by eliminating unnecessary functions from the load image and using
explicit memory management. Real-time tasking is provided by low-level
tasks that are simpler than Java's standard thread implementation. The
picoPERC environment requires a combined total of less than 64 kilobytes
of ROM and RAM, compared with the 512-kilobyte footprint that Sun
Microsystems has projected for its smallest Java configuration.
Hardware: IBM-compatible PC
Developer: NewMonics Inc., 2501 N. Loop Dr., Suite 614A, Ames, IA 50010; (515) 296-0897; fax (515) 296-9910
Cost: $10,000, annual license fee for picoPERC system-integration kit that includes unlimited distribution of run-time environment.
© 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers