Think Again: Walt Disney Imagineering, NASA space travel

What do Walt Disney Imagineering and NASA space travel have in common? Engineering inspiration.

08/22/2011


Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE MediaIngredients of engineering inspiration, for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), include 140 skill sets and a mission to entertain. For NASA, engineering inspiration resulted from getting humans to and from space safely, with a mission in-between.

WDI engineering advice

At Disney, imagination and engineering combine in magical ways thanks to creative design, research and development, and more than 30 years of embracing a culture of innovation and technology. David R. Van Wyk, vice president, project management, Walt Disney Imagineering, asked an audience at the Siemens 2011 Automation Summit conference in June: “How can we be as relevant tomorrow as we are today? How can we meet and exceed guest expectations in a changing world? Could we be the typewriter of the next generation?” Substitute the word “customer” or “client” for guest, and nearly any engineer can glean advice from this.

David R. Van Wyk, vice president, project management, Walt Disney Imagineering, at Siemens 2011 Automation Summit conference in June; CFE Media photo by Mark T. HoskeTo help engineer the next level of success in guest entertainment, Van Wyk said Imagineering:

  • Incorporates skill sets of 140 disciplines, including engineers, creative staff, artists, architects, accountants, writers, theme and new media specialists, and more. A culture of interdisciplinary coordination with diverse stakeholders aims to interact and socialize to understand issues and problems.

  • Tells a sweeping story, immersing the guest, whatever age, in the experience. Connecting with guests helps in that effort.

  • Pays attention to details. A famous Walt Disney saying is that a guest may not notice a specific (sometimes tiny) detail, but he or she will notice when the detail isn’t there.

  • Cultivates a culture of ideas and helps talented, creative people use new tools to do so. At Disney that includes “blue sky development,” where an idea comes to life in a virtual world to see how elements interact, for better understanding, collaboration, planning, and development.

  • Resolves issues earlier in the engineering-design process, when it’s more economical to make changes, especially those involving equipment.

  • Aims to adapt, modify, renew, and reinvent.

  • Looks at products, processes, and people with sustainable design, driven by diversity and partners of choice.

  • Seeks to incorporate more peer review earlier in the engineering-design process.

  • Recognizes higher complexities required for a more sophisticated audience and expects to incorporate higher productivity tools in design and construction, including building information modeling (BIM), to preserve and adapt prior designs where it make sense.

  • Looks for on-time delivery, getting it right before it gets to the field, with a strong start, strong finish, and careful resource allocation.

  • Gains expertise through partnering, ensuring that stakeholders embrace objectives of predictability, collaboration, impeccable coordination, reduced decision latency, collective quality, and just-in-time delivery. That means tracking costs closely, including stakeholders in collaboration.

  • Considers quality up front and asks supply chain partners to ensure they have quality assurance programs, ensuring the first conversation on the topic isn’t after something has gone wrong.

  • Understands that lowest cost can translate into higher costs if other elements of a partnership aren’t right.

NASA's engineering inspiration: priceless

With the Space Shuttle program retired after 30 years, NASA is without funding for putting humans in low earth orbit (left to the Russians and to the private sector). Nor does NASA have funding for continuing the work on its already-begun deep space human exploration program.

While there are many direct technological benefits to putting humans in space—and practical reasons to use robotic space exploration—inspiring new engineering talent is among NASA's largest contributions.

What won't be engineered in the future because young people today, uninspired with NASA's lack of funding, will choose another career? What do you think?


Think Again - ONLINE extra

 

And, if you need more surreal inspiration, there's always this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Space_Homer

 

http://bit.ly/poixw3



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me