Guest Post by Tiffany Bailey
Your company probably has standardized processes and tools for bug tracking, document management and retention, design, project management, and more. But if you don't have a standardized approach when it comes to developing, sharing, and storing design intent and engineering calculations, then you’re at risk of losing some of your most important intellectual property.
Your business depends on having accurate, accessible, and standardized engineering data.
No one wants to spend hours manually re-calculating formulas or searching through complex spreadsheet data.
In a recent presentation, Andy McGough, Mathcad Product Manager, explained how you can standardize your engineering calculations using math software, specifically, PTC Mathcad. According to McGough, there are 3 main reasons to safeguard your engineering data with Mathcad. Let’s look at them.
Using multiple tools spread across several departments to manage information leads to productivity issues. Information might be stored in different formats and locations. You might have engineering data in spreadsheets, reference manuals, text documents, programs, and more. The formats don’t play well together, and managing the information is difficult and time consuming. Not only is it hard finding and validating information that’s spread over several systems, but you might end up manually sorting through and combining information from various tools to create one deliverable.
Disparate systems also hurt productivity when it comes time to bring new resources into a project. Conversely, standardized processes and tools keep things running smoothly and save everyone time and effort.
Without a consistent system for creating and storing engineering calculations, collaboration and knowledge capture are difficult, and perhaps even impossible in some cases. Flaws in capturing and communicating engineering calculations in a transparent way often leads to errors and rework:
Capturing ideas is simple with an application like Mathcad. Calculations are easy for an author to write and they’re easy for a reviewer to understand. Engineers work within a document-oriented environment to create calculations, write documentation, insert graphics, and visualize results using a variety of plots and charts. With Mathcad, it’s easy to quickly capture a thought or assumption, and easy to build models to test hypotheses. Because Mathcad uses natural math notation to create calculations, where the math is always understandable and transparent, it’s easy to validate an engineering design or calculation workflow created with Mathcad.
Engineering processes (and data created as part of those processes) should support business initiatives. Design intent and customer specifications need to be shared and used by stakeholders throughout the design process. As a result, engineering data needs to be accessible and consumable by those outside of the engineering department.
With Mathcad, departments and entire companies can standardize their calculations. Mathcad was designed with the goal that any engineer could pick it up and create calculations within just 15 minutes. The Mathcad equation editor is intuitive and easy to use. But, better yet, the resulting calculations are easy to read by those outside of the engineering team.
Mathcad worksheets are editable and automatically update to reflect changes to calculations—making collaboration and validation a breeze.
With Mathcad, you can analyze, solve, document, and share your engineering data in a reliable and repeatable way. It’s an application that allows your whole team to create, validate, and share calculations and engineering intent. It combines the ease and familiarity of an engineering notebook with an intuitive user interface and powerful mathematical engine.
Check out McGough’s presentation, Mathcad – Get it Right. In addition to discussion on standardizing engineering calculations,you’ll see the Mathcad calculation editor and worksheets in action.