This past year for Christmas, I bought my mom a handcrafted, fair-trade mortar and pestle. Earlier in the year, I had bought my own mortar and pestle to grind up some whole nutmeg for a butternut squash bisque that I made for the first day of fall. I have always liked nutmeg, but until that point, I never knew the difference that grinding spices fresh actually makes! I was sold. And so, knowing that my mom didn’t have a mortar and pestle, I thought it would be a good gift for her.
The problem was that when she opened the gift, though she thought it was beautiful craftsmanship, she didn’t really know what to do with it. It hadn’t really been on her radar screen in terms of cooking utensils, so she wasn’t really aware of the uses for such a tool. I remedied (I hope!) this gap between form and function by telling her what I had used my mortar and pestle for and how she could use hers—although it strikes me now that I forgot to tell her that she could also use the mortar and pestle for making guacamole.
I find that this pattern occurs somewhat frequently, though: We see something that looks cool and useful, but if pressed, we don’t actually know how we would use it. It’s not that it isn’t useful; we’re just not sure exactly how it’s useful. But oftentimes, all it takes is someone to give us some ideas in order for our imaginations to start working on our own potential use cases.
Last week, PTC announced the release of a new product: PTC Mathcad Gateway. It’s a new way to use PTC Mathcad for your engineering calculations, giving users Universal Access to these calculations while simultaneously giving companies protection for their Intellectual Property. It looks great, and it sounds useful, but maybe it’s difficult thinking of how it could be leveraged in your department. To help get your creative juices flowing, here’s a list of our top 3 use cases for PTC Mathcad Gateway.
1. Calculations in the field or on the line—Not every calculation is done sitting behind a desk at the office. You aren’t always in a location conducive to pulling out your laptop and running your PTC Mathcad worksheet, but you need the results regardless. Whether you’re at a project site and need to know how much to adjust a valve to get the necessary flow, or whether you’ve stepped away from your desk to inspect the manufacturing line and need to know how adjusting the belt speed will affect other aspects of your process. Simply pull out your phone or tablet, and use the browser to navigate to the appropriate webform, calculate with your inputs, and you’ve got your results no matter where you are in the world (given internet access, of course!).
2. Quick estimates—If you supply or sell customized parts or products, the customizations, as well as the corresponding price changes, can be almost infinite. With PTC Mathcad Gateway, you can set up a worksheet that gives a cost estimate depending on certain customizations and put the correlated webform on a public URL to give customers and clients a way to receive quick estimates on parts. The added bonus is that they’ll have a better idea of exactly what they want when they actually call you up for an official quote, reducing talk time, and thereby increasing efficiency.
3. Business as usual—Perhaps the best use case of all is the simplest: The same people doing the same calculations in the same place as before (presumably at a desk), but now you, as the engineering manager, can ensure that everyone is using verified, validated, and up-to-date calculations. Moreover, while you’ll still have some PTC Mathcad content authors, your other engineers, who really only need to get results, won’t have to worry about learning new software, and you won’t have to worry about them accidentally changing the calculations you’ve verified.
Of course, these are only a few of the possible use cases, but hopefully they’ve given you a better picture of how you might be able to implement PTC Mathcad Gateway in your department.
Have other ideas for great PTC Mathcad Gateway use cases? Let us know in the comments section below!
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