Engineering on-the-go21 February 2011
New technology can open the door for new business opportunities. The Engineering On-The-Go concept developed by Eurocom utilises its capable mobile hardware and optimizes the engineering process in a wide variety of industries. It can even shorten the design and development processes involved in dam projects
Various engineers come together to work on the different aspects of designing, building and operating a dam and its associated components. The team works together and utilises CAD/CAM software, calculates the water flow in CFD software, and runs analysis on the forces that play parts of the dam under various situations. All these activities are completed with the use of intense software programs that require high-end hardware to run them.
These activities are executed by different professionals from around the world. The inability of laptops to run these intense software programs, and store and process such large amounts of data, can force the engineering team to work on desktop workstations in their office. Capable mobile computing solutions would allow engineers to perform such activities in the field anywhere in the world.
Performing these engineering activities on-site is possible through Eurocom’s capable mobile hardware, says the company. Called Engineering On-The-Go it allows companies to: design or address problems anywhere in the world; offer engineering capacity onsite; receive feedback and make adjustments while being face to face with final users, customers, co-developers and other third parties; and reduce time and development costs for projects.
Engineering hardware requirements
To run the intense engineering software programs (for CAD, CAM, CFD, FEA, etc) four components are of the essence for your hardware: memory (RAM), storage, a graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU). RAM is necessary to make sure these programs can access the data it needs in a fast way to make them run smoothly. Most analytical programs load all your data and the program itself into RAM to perform its calculations. Besides improving the speed of the program, large amounts of RAM also allows you to run multiple operating systems on one unit (virtualisation).
The advantage of virtualisation is that you can run your applications in the operating system they perform best without having to buy multiple systems. When buying hardware for engineering software, besides the size of the drives, the speed is another important factor. You can choose between a mechanical drive, solid state drive and hybrid. To improve performance or redundancy of the drives one can choose to configure them in different configurations.
Another important aspect of hardware when using it for intense engineering activities is the GPU technology. This component is a specialised microprocessor that offloads and accelerates 3D or 2D graphics rendering from the CPU. For this you want a GPU that is dedicated to running OpenGL technology.
The last feature of your hardware that has a major impact on the performance of your engineering software is the CPU. The number of cores per CPU, the clock speed and the amount of cache are important indicators for the performance of this component.
To deploy the Engineering On-The-Go concept, you need capable mobile computing hardware. Some key specifications of the mobile workstation includes: up to 24GB of RAM; a six core Intel i7 980X Extreme processor or a CPU from the XEON 5500/5600 series with up to 12MB of cache and clocks speeds up to 3.33 GHz; up to 3.25TB of storage provided by four physical hard drives; very portable and weighing only 5.3kg including battery; units with up to 18.4-inch full HD displays.
Because no company is the same, Eurocom has defined three levels of Engineering On-The-Go implementations.
Engineering On-The-Go consultant
This can be applied by any size of company and only requires a relatively small investment in the acquisition of a mobile workstation for the engineer. This piece of equipment allows the user to perform on-the-go consulting activities or test his draft design with customers, co-developers, final users and other third parties in the field. The direct interaction can reduce the projects costs caused by miscommunications.
Engineering On-The-Go projects
The second level uses the concept that Eurocom has defined as RED-Team. RED-Team stands for Rapid Engineering Deployment and allows companies to deploy a complete team of developers, engineers and designers anywhere in the world. Next to an individual mobile workstation for each of the RED-Team members, the team is also equipped with a Eurocom mobile server to contain the master file set, back up the data and provide a network for the team members. In this form the company can decide whether or not they deploy a RED-Team at the customer site.
Engineering On-The-Go organisation
With the ultimate form of Engineering On-The-Go, the organisation transforms into a RED-Team enterprise and integrates this concept into their competitive strategy. Every project can be completed on location which makes a head office unnecessary.
Many innovative companies such as Apple, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft and Ericsson are currently using Eurocom Mobile Workstations to perform their engineering activities on location and have yielded the benefits of combining mobility and capacity.
Eurocom mobile workstations are also being utilised by engineers around the world to design, construct and service state-of-the-art power generation facilities. The power of the mobile work station allows engineers to have a fully mobile capability, enhancing productivity and reducing costs, by enabling them to perform their duties on site.
“Eurocom mobile workstations are designed for heavy-duty computing so they are built like heavy-duty trucks – portable yet extremely powerful with maximum upgradeability, expandability, and reliability,” says Mark Bialic, president of Eurocom. “It is designed for maximum performance and for the most demanding users. CAD/CAM designers and engineers who frequently travel, yet need access to powerful computing, are the core target for mobile workstations.”
For more details see www.eurocom.com