By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Good technical blogs eschew histrionics and impart information that will give you an idea or two that you can use in your work. See Kenneth Wong’s Virtual Desktop on the DE site or hit the link over there and go to the subject of today’s Check It Out write-up to see what I mean.
It ain’t fancy with frills, but the Knovel blog is a clean, straightforward collection of case studies on engineering—mechanical, sustainable, structural, and chemical engineering—as well as PLM. Now, the thing to understand here is that I’m told that, while Knovel posts these case studies, they are not about Knovel’s customers or even Knovel software. This blog is simply an assemblage of shared engineering know-how that you can read and comment upon.
The blog is something of an open demo about a part of Knovel itself. Knovel, a web-based application, integrates technical information with analytical and search tools. What Knovel the company does is work with professional societies, publishers, and discipline experts to help them select technical content that they then pull together in a central repository. You subscribe to Knovel and use its tools to search—text, numbers, tables, graphs, whatever—for the information you need to do your job. Knovel even has fully documented Mathcad worksheets of engineering calculations you can get at.
The underlying idea is two-fold. First, with information and answers that you trust, you can be more innovative. Remember the expression “garbage in/garbage out”? Knovel’s novel idea is “good info in/good results out.” Second, finding the right piece of data that you need when you need it is not only worth the price of admission, but a valuable addition to your productivity.
They must be doing something right. A contact at Knovel tells me that its data resources are deployed at more than 300 outfits including 73 Fortune 500 companies, seven of the top 15 engineering design companies, six of the top 10 oil and gas super-biggies, and 12 of the top 15 engineering schools in the U.S.
In the end, today’s Check It Out is really just a teaser of what you can find on Knovel. But it’s a teaser well worth giving a go. Check it out and read what you will. It’s an enjoyable place to browse around.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering