Category Archives: Construction

Updates from SIEMENS

Modeling the truck as a whole: Scania uses LMS Imagine.Lab Amesim for testing approach
SIEMENS – Just how do you design a truck?

And especially a truck that needs to haul loads of timber out of snowy Scandinavian forests or coal out of dusty, unpredictable Indonesian mines?

Or, simply be able to run dependably 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the highway?

Precision is the answer for Scania. Obtaining this precision equals the right type of design early in the process. This is just one of the reasons why this global truck manufacturer uses LMS Imagine.Lab™ software. The engineering team counts on this tool to simulate the entire vehicle dynamics, including the hydraulics and the driveline, and to couple various systems such as electronics to create a “virtual” truck.

A leader in the truck and bus market, the Swedish multinational was founded in 1891. Since then, the company has produced and delivered more than 1,400,000 trucks and buses for heavy transportation. You can imagine that a lot has changed since Gustaf Eriksson designed a usable petrol engine in 1902, the year the company manufactured its first truck. more>


The business case for urban regeneration


By Howard Bassford – The garden city must be locally led, with a strong local jobs offer that is “linked by rapid transport providing a full range of employment opportunities”.

The growing number of one person households is more easily accommodated in denser areas too.

That in turn results in opportunities for new products – the company that owns or manages the home you rent can be as important as the bank or energy company that you use.

A healthy PRS (private rented sector) begets competition, and that drives service standards and quality housing stock. more>

Updates from GE

Why The Queen Smashed A Perfectly Good Bottle of Whisky on Her Navy’s Largest Ship

GE – The whisky came from a special barrel set aside in 1980, when the Queen came to Bowmore, her first and only visit to a whisky distillery in an official capacity.

The 65,000-ton steel ship was assembled in Rosyth, Scotland, hence the use of whiskey instead of champagne. It is the first of two ships in the Royal Navy’s new class of aircraft carriers called the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC). When completed, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be the second largest aircraft carriers in the world after America’s Nimitz Class ships.

The British vessels will also be the world’s first all-electric aircraft carriers. They will rely on technology from GE’s Power Conversion unit, which built the aircraft carrier’s integrated full electric propulsion systems and electrical power control and management systems.

The electrical systems allowed ship builders to shrink the overall size of the cables, equipment and propulsion machinery that power the propellers, and leave more room for crew and aircraft. The Royal Navy will be also able to operate the vessels more efficiently. more>

12 Tips for Designing an Open-Ended Project

By John Kamensky – How do you tackle a large-scale, complex challenge that evolves over time, involves thousands of stakeholders, and where there is no clear solution?

For example, is there a road map for how the Internet evolved? Could we do it again?

Traditionally, leaders use hierarchical “closed system” approaches to solve large, complicated problems. A closed project has a defined staff, budget and outcome, and uses hierarchy and logic models to direct activities. It is particularly appropriate for problems with known solutions and stable environments, such as the development of a major highway project.

But today there are instances when a problem is so complex, that it demands another approach. David Witzel calls this an “open project” approach. more>

Keeping a city-by-the-sea from becoming a city in it


By James Sanders and Jesse M. Keenan – Unlike the great capitals of Europe, New York does not sit snugly inland along a winding river. Instead it opens directly onto one of the world’s great oceans, a geographic advantage that helped propel the city to pre-eminence. Even by the 1820s, when Frances Trollope [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] was writing, the city’s proximity to the Atlantic had made it by far the busiest port in the nation.

New York is also Amsterdam — holding back the sea. Since its founding in the early 17th century as New Amsterdam, New York has shared with its namesake the distinctive Dutch instinct to create land by reclaiming it from the sea. more>

Updates from GE

French Landfill is Using Remains of the Past to Illuminate the Future
GE – The giant Plessis-Gassot landfill has gobbled up millions of tons of refuse thrown out by generations of Parisians. That trash is now playing a bright role in France’s renewable energy future. It supplies the country’s largest landfill power plant with enough methane-rich biogas (also called landfill gas) to generate electricity for more than 40,000 French homes.

The plant also gives off enough heat to make the nearby town of Plessis-Gassot the first French municipality with a district heating system fueled by landfill gas. The town hall, church, community hall and residences connected to its heat pipes could see their heating bills fall by a whopping 92 percent as a result.

France plans to generate 23 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. They include solar and wind power, but also biomass and landfill gas.

The gas is produced when anaerobic bacteria decompose organic waste in an airless environment, like deep inside a compact mountain of trash. Landfill gas contains mostly energy-rich methane mixed with impurities like carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It is similar in composition to natural gas, but dirtier.

The Plessis-Gassot power plant is using 10 advanced Jenbacher gas engines to produce the heat and electricity. Using landfill gas to make electricity is not a new idea, but the engines, which are manufactured by GE in Austria, can be up to 42 percent efficient in converting gas to power. (The system total efficiency including heat is 85 percent.) They replace an older boiler system that was 22 percent efficient. more>

Updates from GE

These Lights Will Make Les Bleus Look Blue and the Canarinho Look Canary

GE – The lights that GE installed at the stadiums use electric metal halide lamps that emit light very close to the near-perfect white light produced by incandescent light bulbs. But they are much more efficient and durable.

Each fixture holds a reflector with a mirror-like aluminum coating and a special glass lens that trains the light beam on a specific point on the pitch.

“The lamp and the optics are the secret sauce,” lighting engineer Sergio Binda, who works as a marketing director at GE Lighting Latin America, says. “We use special software to achieve the best geometry and increase the intensity of the lamp.”

The lighting team worked closely with scientists at GE Global Research to develop precise and highly efficient flood lights that make colors look natural.

“Light is electromagnetic radiation and each color corresponds to a specific wavelength,” Binda says. “We see colors when those wavelengths bounce off a specific surface, like a jersey. But if your light source does not generate, say, a true red wavelength, then it can’t bounce off and you won’t see that color on the jersey.” more>