A manufacturer of electronic fixtures for the trucking industry was unable to determine the proper epoxy resin for use as a potting compound in a new product. The development team spent several weeks gathering samples from suppliers, only to have the materials react explosively to a plastic used in the product. Even the suppliers were stymied. A call to an Expert Engine expert led to the identification of several specialists in epoxy resin chemistry. In the course of a 35-minute call, the expert explained why their initial choices had exploded. He then suggested an ideal resin for the application that would comply with regulatory standards and eliminate the need for lab testing. The team leader credited the expert’s ready answers with keeping the project alive at its most critical juncture and enabling the completion of a successful new product.
Engine clients report tremendous value in working with our experts to address their diverse needs for expertise. Our experts currently cover over 30,000 areas of expertise, and we are adding new experts and areas every day. Below are examples of the range of both Corporate Success and Legal Success you can achieve by taking the first step of submitting an expert request.
Lowering the temperature inside a cast aluminum housing that contained an electronic throttle system was proving to be quite a challenge for a project leader and staff at a specialty controls manufacturer. Faced with redesigning the entire unit, they decided to run the problem by an Expert Engine expert. They were soon on the phone with a renowned expert in heat transfer whose advice was simple and direct: “Paint the inside of the housing black.” He explained that the darker color would absorb the heat and make it dissipate faster from the housing, thus lowering the unit’s operating temperature. The problem was solved that afternoon with a $3 can of black spray paint.
To better serve its internal and external clients, a product development team wanted to learn what other companies were doing in the critical area of testing processes and procedures. Via the Expert Engine network, a leading authority in product development process control was tapped. Using a best practices questionnaire drafted by the expert, the company interviewed technical managers at companies across multiple industries. The expert was then called upon to analyze all interview findings and prepare an informative summary, complete with recommendations for streamlining and improving the team’s testing processes.
When a maker of implantable telemetry devices that enable researchers to humanely monitor vital signs of laboratory animals experienced a failure in the process that adheres a bio-compatible film to the device’s plastic housing, assembly operations came to a halt. The firm’s director of quality and productivity found an Expert Engine expert, an authority in adhesion and surface chemistry. The expert explained the chemistry behind the current surface-treatment method. He then recommended an alternative thermal-based process that would yield the desired adhesion and coating thickness. The expert’s suggestions were implemented, saving thousands of dollars in downtime and streamlining the company’s assembly operation by greatly reducing rework. The expert’s ideas also improved the biocompatibility of the company’s product line.
You wouldn’t think squeezing an extra half-gram of ointment into a two-gram tube would be such a big deal, but the 25% to 50% “giveaway” volume was costing a major pharmaceutical producer dearly. Recognizing that the problem was inherent in the tube filler design, the equipment engineer in charge sought the advice of an Expert Engine expert. A quick search put him in touch with an expert in metered pump applications involving high-viscosity fluids. After listening to the problem, he told the engineer about a metering pump manufacturer that could ensure precision filling within .03percent of the 2-gram allotment. The new meter was installed. Following initial debugging and optimization, the new meter led to a highly precise filling operation that is saving the company an estimated $1 million a year.
Engineers at a heart valve manufacturer overcame a seal problem by calling an Expert Engine expert in submarine technology. The solution led to a better, safer valve that reached the market three months early.
A maker of electro-optical controls for automated manufacturing needed a special adhesive to function as a sealant between two polymer layers in the formation of a new acrylic lens. Although the development team was composed of optics experts, they knew little about adhesives. Turning to Expert Engine, the team leader soon identified and contacted an adhesives expert. The expert reviewed selection criteria, provided advice and also referred the client to a second expert in the field. The input from two network scientists led to the selection of the ideal adhesive, enabling the team to develop and launch a successful new product line.
A researcher was devising a set of experiments to measure the effects of a chemical environment on product performance. Throughout this time-consuming task, he suspected it might be possible to generate the needed data with fewer tests. He contacted an Expert Engine expert specializing in experiment design and data analysis. After just two telephone conversations, the scientist was able to reduce the number of experiments by one-third. The expert also helped analyze early test results.
Engineers suspected the cause of an isolated thermal problem in the operation of a key piece of equipment, but they needed confirmation. They turned to Expert Engine to consult with an authority in fluid mechanics. Upon describing the situation, which involved an unusual reaction to thermal changes and decreasing flare control of gas, the expert was able to confirm their original theory. The successful interaction allowed the company’s engineers to quickly remedy the problem, saving time and money.