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Mind Your P’s

Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye

Posted Aug 13, 2010

No one really knows where the term “mind your P’s and Q’s” came from or what it really means. I always thought it had something to do with being polite and saying thank you. But in a recent article by Erich Buergel, our division General Manager, he talked about the 3 P’s of the business world and why we should mind them in our quest for greater productivity. They are (in no particular order) People, Processes and Platforms.

In the article, Erich mentioned that having “People” who have been properly trained and are motivated use the right tools and technology (AKA “Platform”) was important but is not enough. You also need the right “Processes”. It is only thru achieving the perfect balance in the trinity of People, Platform and Processes that we get the ultimate in Productivity.

Achieving optimum performance. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

Achieving optimum performance. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

In a lot of ways, this concept truly and well can be applied to the world of engineering. The world of CFD simulation mostly affects two sections of the pie – the Process and the Platform. In our corner of the world, the People portion of the equation is easy. You hire talented design engineers and thermal specialists who are subject-matter experts. Job done. But the other two are slightly more complicated. You invest in a CFD simulation tool and use the same design-to-manufacturing process you’ve used for years. Despite that, sometimes you may find that all is not well in Camelot:

  • The software may be too difficult to use for design engineers or it may be too simple for your analysis team
  • The software may give you the wrong answers because the user hasn’t learned the black art of meshing and doesn’t have access to a powerful enough automatic mesher
  • You may find that the tool you’ve bought disrupts your design process/flow instead of fitting within it

The only surefire way of ensuring that the Platform and the Process pieces of the pie are also optimized is by spending a bit more time thinking about who will be using the software, how they will use it and how the software tool you invest in fits into your process. This task is not as easy as it seems but it is well worth the effort.

Because we strongly believe in this concept, all of our product lines have been designed with this trinity in mind. FloEFD, FloTHERM and FloVENT have been all designed with the needs of the design engineer in mind; therefore, they offer the right platform and level of functionality. Lastly they naturally fit in the design process. We are also probably the only organization that will take the time to truly understand not only your platform needs but also your processes as well to ensure a successful implementation.

If you would like to learn more about how we achieve the right mix, then please read Erich’s article titled “Innovation in an Uncertain Economy” in it’s entirely. It was published in the August issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine but if you don’t have a hardcopy of the magazine, then please follow this link.

Until next time,

Design Engineer, CFD, FloVENT

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About Nazita Saye

Nazita SayeI have been involved with the CFD user community in one shape or another since 1999 -- when the NIKA team first introduced FloWorks to the engineering community. Over the years I've seen the market evolve and I still marvel at the wide range of products that are being designed with our tools. As the Manager of External Communications for the Mechanical Analysis Division at Mentor, it is my privilege to bring some of our customer stories to you. Visit CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

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