Appreciating Complex Engineering in Our Daily Lives
How does complex engineering relate to your day-to-day activities? Engineering is a complex topic that encompasses practicality and functionality. Almost every product has a tiny bit or massive element of engineering. Civil engineering, in particular, works on the designs, planning, and creation of structures that we use daily.
Arguably, complexity is the key concept in engineering systems. Discover below and appreciate a few historically tested and modern examples of how complex engineering impacts daily human lives.
How Do You Understand Complex Engineering?
To understand how these products qualify as complex engineering systems, you need to break down every element of complex engineering.
A system (or product) is behaviorally complex if its behavior is hard to predict, describe, analyze, or manage.
Conversely, a system is structurally complex if the number of components is huge and the interlinkage between its components is detailed or hard to describe briefly.
Therefore, complex engineering systems are not always technical in nature. However, they rely on humans and their organizations for their design, manufacturing, and system operation. They are also influenced by and influence the physical and societal context.
Beltim and Associates is a leading manufacturer of some of these complex engineering systems or products. The company uses different designing and manufacturing methods of complex engineering products and systems, including 3D printing, laser, and water jet cutting, among others.
- Standard Lock and Key
The history of locks and keys dates back more than 6,000 years ago, with the earliest known lock and key discovered in Nineveh.
It has one of the most well-known mechanisms and is still a clever invention used to date. The key’s uncommon ridge causes pins inside the lock to line up perfectly with a fault line inside the device. The lock turns when they all line up perfectly.
- An Automotive Thermostat
It is used in an engine cooling system. Inside the automotive thermostat, there is a little wax chamber. When the wax is heated and melts, it enlarges the chamber. The chamber is linked to a rod that pokes to the engine’s cooling system. The rod opens a valve that allows coolant into the system when the thermostat expands. The rod pulls back, and the valve shuts close when the system cools and the thermostat contracts.
- Clear Aligner Orthodontics
These are purely transparent, almost invisible forms of braces prescribed by dentists for individuals looking for orthodontic solutions. A dentist scans your oral cavity using a scanner instead of impressions using either an iTero system or a 3M TruDef system. The oral digital scans are then alternated to digital files.
Subsequently, the shape engineered aligner molds are 3D printed. They are then manufactured with methods such as milling and thermos-forming, enabling your teeth to be adjusted and arranged into the proper place.
- GPS Navigation Devices
A satellite navigation device is capable of receiving data from GNSS satellites and simultaneously calculate the device’s geographical location. This complex engineering system uses suitable software, displays your position on a map, and possibly offers routing directions.
- Hair Dryer
It is perhaps one of the most used products in daily lives. Since the first hair dryers were developed, thousands of patents have been filed for different hairdryer designs. However, most of them only tweak the exterior packaging of the hairdryer so that it gains a unique aesthetic appeal to users.
A hairdryer is engineered with two essential parts;
- Heating element
- A simple motor-driven fan
A hair dry uses these two elements to convert electric energy to convective energy. Current flow through the hairdryer as soon as you plug in the device and turn it on. The circuit then supplies power to the heating element. The current then influences the small electric motor to spin, turning the fan. The fan generates airflow, which is led down the hairdryer’s barrel over and through the heating element. Forced convection leads the generative heat to warm the air, and the hot air streams out of the barrel.
- Analog Clock
Think 14th Century Europe.
This was around the time that the first mechanical clocks were invented. They were the first standard timekeeping devices until 1656 when the pendulum clock was invented.
These traditional clocks utilize oscillators to ensure the gears are in motion. Consequently, the gear movement prompts the minute hand to move, which turns and makes the hour hand to move. The three fundamental parts of a clock that displays a perfect engineering system include;
- An energy source
- A timekeeping mechanism
Engineering is a relatively exciting concept. It is important to note that almost every product you use daily displays an element of engineering at some level. Moreover, engineering provides solutions and aids to most of humanity’s daily challenges.
© 2021 Jack Walter