In the last post, Devall shared how PTC Mathcad has saved him and his company time because of ease of use of the software, have better documentation and sharing capabilities, and save money for both the company and their clients. In this post we’ll give some background on how Devall first started using PTC Mathcad during his dissertation while completing his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. The dissertation project was to design a differential for the Formula Student race car. He explains,
“Mathcad made it very simple for me during the design stage. Once all the equations were set up it was very easy to see how changing one value affected the design parameters. It was an invaluable tool during my dissertation.”
He also describes PTC Mathcad as his “savior” for his 5th year project at University in designing a 4MW wind turbine. Focusing on renewable energies, his group was tasked to design an offshore wind farm from scratch. He explains,
“One of my main roles was designing the turbine gearbox. It was a 3-stage planetary gearbox, a concept which is hard to picture if you have no exposure to planetary gearboxes so it can be a confusing concept. Mathcad made it easy to insert diagrams to explain the gearbox. The calculations ended up being over 5 pages long and our team was continually changing the power rating for the gear boxes. That ended up not being a big deal because as I completed the calculations on Mathcad there was no need for a complete redo of the calculations, just a change to one value and everything updated itself. It saved us days!”
Devall explains the best thing about PTC Mathcad is the simplicity. He says,
“While in University we were taught to run functions and calculations through a program called MATLAB. It essentially does the same job but in a way that is very unfriendly to the user. Someone could pick up the functions of Mathcad in 2 minutes, that’s what’s so magic about it. Mathcad makes it easy to keep things neat and tidy, and it allows you to present your work clearly for others who may not be from a technical background to pick it up easily. Being able to define your own units really does make the program your own.”
Devall explains one of the reasons why he likes working in the oil and gas industry and pursued a career in this field after University is because
“there are no templates in the oil and gas industry, everything is unique which is what makes the work such a great challenge. Our clients will have unique problems which require unique solutions.”
Taking his skills from University and carrying them into his professional life at Neptune Subsea Engineering, Devall continues to use PTC Mathcad software. When asked how PTC Mathcad helps him do his job he explains,
“For everything that we design we need to back it up with proof that they are not going to fail under the specified design parameters. This is done through Finite Element Analysis and classical calculation. To conduct the classical calculations we use Mathcad. We use Mathcad for the following reasons:
- It allows us to present our work in a very presentable manner. There are no other products that allow us to do this in such a manner.
- Time is a very precious commodity in our line of work- I can’t remember the last project that didn’t have a tight schedule! Mathcad allows you to produce the calculations very quickly due to its usability.
- Using Mathcad allows employees to open the files from their own computer via our network. We wouldn’t be able to share in this way unless we wrote the calculations by hand, which would be very untidy. Mathcad makes for an easy flow of information.
- Mathcad allows us to create document templates, which saves us more time. For example, if we were calculating the stresses in a bolt there would be no need to start from scratch, we simply open up a previous document and change the initial parameters and the results update. It saves a lot of time which saves us a lot of money which saves the client a lot of money. Everyone is happy!
- Mathcad allows us to format the calculations to include company branding and control instructions. Using revision tables allows us to keep track of the latest version.”