September 2021 Newsletter

Leaf or a Root?

Generic Hierarchy tree
Hierarchy Tree

Whether it’s a representation of the CEO to the shop floor worker, or aircraft to the specification of the wing rivet, we all recognise a hierarchy. In Cradle, a Hierarchy Diagram (HID) is a graphical visualisation of how minor elements are combined in increasing complexity into increasingly large collections, to produce the item at the top, the subject of the HID.

Many use the metaphor that it is like a tree, the trunk as the core product, branching off to the smaller and less significant leaf nodes.

How important

Tree and Roots - Based on image from
Tree Roots and Leaves

The leaves are seen as the lowest level of importance. After all,  a tree can survive without a few leaves, and not have any detrimental effect. This is likely true if we were building a house, if a supplier is unable to supply the kitchen cupboards, the house will not ‘fail’. It will remain standing and still be considered a house. It just can’t be considered 100% complete. And it may be a little inconvenient to store your pots and pans.

However, if we consider that the way we normally draw a hierarchy diagram is more like a tree’s core with the roots flowing down. Now, let’s consider what would happen if one small root picked up a detrimental chemical from the soil. This would travel throughout the tree damaging the core trunk. In the case of the aircraft rivet, a change in quality or specification of this lowest level element could have disastrous consequences for the whole aircraft system. Here the nodes (at least some) are crucial to the integrity of the product.

Which Way?

There is no right way or wrong way to represent and think of a hierarchy. It will depend on your organisation / system / product. It may even apply differently to different parts of the system. However, it is important that you consider what your hierarchy represents and what part the end nodes play.

Training Course

Cradle online training course
Cradle Online Training

Due to popular demand an extra Document Publisher course has been scheduled this year. Document Publisher Course 22nd – 25th November 2021
Following feedback this two day course has been spread over 4 ½-day sessions to give candidates more time to practice what they have learned, and ask follow up questions at the next session. We’re busy putting together the 2022 schedule and would like to hear from you if there are any topics you would like to see covered, contact


HID showing how complex even a requirement for a few windows and doors can be complex
From Item to Hierarchy

Cradle allows you to draw a hierarchy diagram from any linked item. This gives you an instant visualisation of how related components fit together.   Watch this clip  and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe. Find out more in this blog article.


Social Media


Thales Sept 20211 Tweet
Thales September 2021 Tweet

We looked at the benefits of using Thales using robots in the growing, but hazardous offshore wind environment.

We reminded you that, as we move back to offices and workplaces after home working, our environment risks consideration are as important as our product assessments.


Oops we deleted
Delete / Recover

We added a video to remind users how they can ‘get back’ items deleted by mistake.


So while you decide which type of tree and which way up you are, we’ll say goodbye from September 2021 Newsletter.

August 2021 Newsletter

We’re All (Not)  Going on a Summer Holiday

Based on Photo by Lukas Medvedevas from Pexels

It’s been another strange Summer break this year. We hope you have managed to take a few days to recharge your batteries whether a Vacation, Staycation, Backyardcation. The last 18 months or so have shown what is possible with remote working. We trust with WebAccess, VPN connections, Remote Desktop Access, or SaaS you have been able to continue with your projects in Cradle.

There has been a lot of debate over the advantages and disadvantages of working from home. On one hand you can “just finish” something without needing to leave for a bus or train, on the other hand some of the social interaction and coffee table discussions are missing over video conference. With your computer sat on a desk at home there may be more of a temptation or expectation to sign on ‘outside hours’ to answer emails.

So whilst we are pleased you are reading this August 2021 newsletter,  it is important to remember whatever type of break you take, (a change is as good as a rest) it is important to have time away and to refocus on your return. 3SL is happy to advise on flexible configurations of your installation to keep you up to speed wherever and however you continue to work

Training Course

Cradl;e online training course
Cradle Online Training

There are no public training courses at the moment.  The current schedule ended with the Requirements Management course on 17th-19th August.
We will be putting together the Autumn onwards schedule shortly and would like to hear from you if there are any topics you would like to see covered, contact


Cradle Split feature - a need split into two
Split Done

Keeping your requirements SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realisable, Traceable) can easily become nubilous, insufficiently Specific. This can often be resolved by splitting the requirement statement from “The product will do this and that” into two clear statements “The product shall do this” and “The product shall do that”. Cradle’s split feature allows blocks of information to be split into multiple items, each cross referenced to their common source. These new elements are then Specific, and the linking allows them to be fully Traceable. Watch it  and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe

Social Media


PNNL tweet Aug 2021
PNNL Tweet Aug 2021

We mused over Muesli and Bran-flakes when we saw PNNL’s Tweet about battery technology.

We  reminded you that it is easy to keep in touch with what’s happening in your Cradle installation by setting up email alerts.


YouTube channel - Subscribe
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

A reminder that the 3SL Cradle YouTube channel.  Has a set of play lists and to keep notified we ask you please hit the “Subscribe” button.


That’s all for the Staycation August 2021 Newsletter, back to Work, back to School, College and Universities soon.

July 2021 Newsletter

Seek or Sell?

Searching internet based on pexels-ekaterina-bolovtsova-4050216
Seek / Sell

At some point or other in business we are either looking to buy or looking to sell a product or service. It’s not a simple interaction, if we are seeking we need to be able to find the product we are looking for. This could be achieved by using a trade journal or directory, or by using your favourite search engine.

However, this relies on the product having been categorised  in the way we are seeking. Take, for example, the requirement to add a visitor’s overflow car park at the office. Do you look under ‘builders‘ or ‘landscape contractor‘?  On the other hand, as a purveyor of graduated measuring tubes do we advertise under ‘medical supplies‘ or ‘laboratory equipment‘?  In truth if costs allow, placing an advert in both categories or key search words is the best option. It would likely be wasted effort placing an advert in the “injection moulding” section, even if that is actually how the product is manufactured.

User Interface

The seek or sell ethos need not be restricted to buy or sell advertising. It can be applied to usage of your product or service. Under which UI (User interface) heading will the user look to find the ‘preferences‘ setting? Should  be able to trigger a report from a ‘reports‘ menu, or from within each ‘dashboard‘? If you provide automotive repairs, should your website show ‘puncture repairs‘ under the ‘Wheels and Tyres’ menu or under ‘Repairs and Servicing‘?

When a user wants to switch on the set-top box, where do they instinctively look for the on/off switch on the remote? (Think, how often is the ⏻  Power Symbol at the top of the control, you’re unlikely to find it in the middle. To illustrate a point, if you see a strange box before the graphic icon, that’s because the rendering of the unicode character ⏻ is not supported in your browser – we thought of that and placed the graphic there too.) Design should be mindful of what and how others look, and what we provide; are we the seeker or the seller.

Survey, Testing/Monitoring, Feedback

Asking potential users, observing usage of ‘sample customers’ and allowing a route for suggestions are all ways we can tweak the efforts we place in the ‘Sell‘ side of the process to help those ‘Seeking‘ the product, facility or menu option. Online advertising tools may help identify routes taken to find, or miss a particular landing page. These can’t be applied to printed journals or directories. Observing a user, not familiar with your product, attempt to operate it, may well lead to reconsidering the positioning of controls. Lastly we should all listen to our end users and provide a method by which they can feedback, e.g. .

Training Course

Cradl;e online training course
Cradle Online Training

The public training course for July is for System Administrators; “System Administration 21st July”. Book now if you would like to reserve a place.  In August there is another chance to attend the Requirements Management course between 17th-19th August. These public courses are open to all, great if you only have a couple of people needing training, or wish to get feedback from other candidates using the product. If you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact


Cradle TER module - Test Run
Test Run

In April we highlighted the new Test Execution and Recording module available in Cradle. The only sure fire way to ensure your product / service meets the agreed characteristics is to validate and verify the result. Validate the solution meets to the requested product aspect and verify that the final output matches the design. Both these steps require a plan of some description. A set of tests that can be applied to the design or product to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the stakeholders that the system is ‘up to scratch’. In the case of verification, this may be repeated on each or a sample of the project’s output. Of course it would be a bit pointless running these tests without recording the results. The Cradle TEST (Test Execution and Recording (TER)) is designed to do just that.

Social Media


Arup Tweet July 2021
Arup Tweet July 2021

We thought the digital facility from Arup of monitoring, inspection and recording to provide the best through-life support was a good way to support the customer and ensure longevity, and uninterrupted service.

We were reminded that we’d been Tweeting now for 12 years!


YouTube channel - Subscribe
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

If you want to keep up to date with Cradle installation, instructional and feature highlight videos available  then they are available on our YouTube channel. See the play lists  and hit the “Subscribe” button.


That’s the summertime July 2021 Newsletter, stay safe, enjoy the sunshine and if you want a topic covered in our August 2021 Newsletter,  contact us at

June 2021 Newsletter

What Goes Around Comes Around

There are negative connotations implied in that headline. Mistakes we make now will come back and bite us at a later point. “Yeah, yeah, it’s good enough, get it out the door and on the shelf” attitudes easily lead to high returns and subsequent costs and damaged reputation.

Positive Spin

 Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns from Pexels
Vinyl Record

However, it is also possible to put a positive spin on the phrase. We should not just dismiss technology and engineering just because it is ‘old’. We should strive to improve it, but not necessarily replace it. The vinyl  record has made a come back. Not necessarily to the same volume as its heyday, but sufficient to support new manufacturers, distribution channels and development and build of players. As with any technology it has its flaws. Easy to scratch, bulky and not portable, needs cleaning maintenance, has to be stored correctly so it does not warp. We solved some of these with the advent of cassette. Whilst it was portable, it was still possible to demagnetise it, it degraded over time, and was often too easy to produce a birds nest tangle. The mini disc, came and went, the CD was (and still is) fairly robust, and portable-ish. Digital storage and streaming are now main stream and today’s youth will question why on earth you would want a physical copy. A shelf full of physical albums with glossy covers may be a thing to treasure. A sense of true ownership, rarity – (you can’t just copy a record), has a place. Of course there are also the points that if your cloud service falls into liquidation, or we have a solar flare and its associated electromagnetic pulse, those with vinyl albums will still have music.

Other Examples

Records may be a light hearted example, but we find technology re-development constantly. Most apparent in the quest for cleaner energy, a landscape full of flour grinding or water pumping windmills, is now filled with wind turbines. Water wheels that turned industry’s cogs were replaced by coal burning steam engines, now hydro dams and the latest forays into floating tidal turbines off Orkney will once again be powering industry.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Past

Take a wheel, improve its manufacture, change its composition, but don’t reinvent a replacement, unless that is truly what is needed. If you have a wheel-like requirement, don’t forget to look to the past for inspiration. One of the core principles in Cradle’s evolution is that all past projects are convertible or importable to the latest version of the tool. So if you have a design for a record player in Cradle from 30+ years ago, you can import it into the latest version 7.6 and modernise the parts you need to tweak.

Training Course

Cradl;e online training course
Cradle Online Training

The public training course for June is Document Publisher course on the 23rd-24th. For System Administrators, the course in July is for you; “System Administration 21st July”. Book now if you would like to reserve a place. These public courses are open to all, great if you only have a couple of people needing training, or wish to get feedback from other candidates using the product. If you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact

Social Media


Temposonics June 2021 tweet
Temposonics June 2021 tweet

We were interested to read how Temposonics magneto restrictive measurements could replace optical or resistive float and arm devices when measuring the level between two different liquids in a tank. We highlighted Cradle’s ability to check a combination of attributes for ‘uniqueness‘.


That wraps up our June 2021 Newsletter, if you have any topics you’d like to see covered drop us a line at

May 2021 Newsletter

Up or Down, Left or Right, Design Requirement or Nice to Have?

Different view points cars on hill
Different View Points

Your view point of the same problem can determine what is most important to you. This can vary with the present instance in time, the current development stage, your financial exposure, the current risks and so on. Different groups will also have different perspectives on the same project. These may be from the view of a stakeholder, a designer, a product manufacturer or safety analyst.

Up or Down

To illustrate this consider a car moving on a hill. There will be a perspective shift  depending whether you are currently driving up or down. Whether at that point in time the importance is the engine or the brakes. The engine design department will have an interest in making the vehicle powerful enough to meet the performance requirements. However, the brake designers will be concerned in how heavy the engine will make the vehicle. The sales team will be interested in the power and acceleration, the safety manager in meeting the stopping distance standards. Everyone is looking at the same overall project. Each group has a slightly different view.


Make sure your statements are unambiguous, don’t say left or right if there is no context of forward/backward. “The Data Entry swipe shall be placed to the Left of the door”, when you are facing the door or having walked through it? “The pipeline will turn Right at the harbour entrance….” without context of North and South this could be meaningless. If you were using directions stick to West  and East, if you are describing a layout stick to a grid or co-ordinates with a defined origin.

Single Source

The importance of good design is capturing the information once and then providing routes or view points to this singular source of data. The ‘performance’ criteria should link to both the acceleration and torque requirements as well as the breaking expectations. We should be able to look at a system design element and trace to the user requirement that raised it. Equally we should be able to view the original requirement and trace through the design to the test that shows the project provides what was asked for. It is also important to consider how this data is displayed;  graphically, hierarchically, textually, within a tool or within a document or presentation. By using a single data repository you can be sure that whatever form or view is required it is based on a homogeneous system rather than disparate parts.

Considering the different audiences your Cradle contents may have, think and discuss with 3SL the best way to present this. Some methods are highlighted in this video.

Training Course

The public training course for May covered Requirements Management. We’re lining up for June’s Document Publisher course on the 23rd-24th. Book now if you would like to reserve a place. These public courses are open to all, great if you only have a couple of people needing training, or wish to get feedback from other candidates using the product. If you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact

Social Media


Lockheed Martin May 2021 Tweet
Lockheed Martin May 2021 Tweet

We were impressed in the iterative lifecycle savings made over multiple productions of a product class, in Lockheed Martin‘s tweet.

We hope you had a good St. George’s Day. We remembered how simple ‘push-to-talk’ used a protocol to ensure everyone took their turn and illustrated it with a sequence diagram.


That’s all for our May 2021 Newsletter, but let us know if you got any more than the 17 disasters waiting to happen in our health and safety post by either replying to the Tweet, or emailing us at

April 2021 Newsletter

Chicken or Egg

3SL Easter egg

If you celebrated Easter, you will probably have received an egg. These days they are usually chocolate covered in bright foil which is a modern twist on the dyed and patterned eggs used for centuries.
This April 2021 newsletter looks at the age old argument of which came first the chicken or the egg. It is fairly straightforward in terms of the chocolate version! However, which comes first the requirement or the solution?  Ideally we follow the sequence:

    • User requirement elicitation,
    • System requirements,
    • Design / Solution,
    • Validation/ Test

Real Life

However, we all recognise that doesn’t always happen. The important thing is we  recognise when there is a constraint, and when the client is presenting a pre-formed solution because they believe that’s the answer.

Take for example a wind turbine operator who has a number of offshore facilities, which, when load is low, produce hydrogen by electrolysis at point of generation (minimising electrical transfer losses). If the client approaches with the requirement for a boat to bring the hydrogen ashore, there are two possible scenarios. They have not looked at the bigger picture – a pipeline may be more efficient, or they have investigated the alternatives and a vessel is what’s most practical. In the latter case the requirement is most definitely for a boat. However, if we are approached with a requirement for the boat to have a built in tank to transfer so many thousands of litres of liquid hydrogen, we may be in a different position.

Know Your Domain

If our industry expertise shows that the fitting of a number of individual standard transport container shaped hydrogen storage units could be better it should be discussed. We may be able to demonstrate the transport, over land to the nearest gas network connection point, would negate the need to build pipework to the docks. Here the user requirement has been unnecessarily limited by a proposed solution. We  are in a strong position to help elicit the base requirement, and then provide a more appropriate system requirement for the vessel.  Recognising that the customer has ‘built a solution into their requirement’ is part of our job to evaluate.  In this instance we have a chicken (boat constraint) we’re just not sure of the breed (type of boat/tank arrangement) will need to be laid!


The earlier in the engineering process that these concepts can be discussed, perhaps presenting a range of options the better. Left shift of the process can prevent costly mistakes. Especially if you blindly implement the initial requirement without providing your industry expertise.

    • Initial user requirement
    • Preliminary suggested solutions and optional system requirements
    • Revisit and further elicitation of user requirements
    • System requirements based on agreed constraints and refined user requirements
    • A design and solution that best solves the underlying problem
    • Validation and test

Further reading about a related topic,  functional and non-functional requirements, can be found in this article.


New Cradle Features

Risk graph exampleWe highlighted Risk Management and the new Cradle Risk Module in our March mailshot.

We also noted how you can add formalised lists to Cradle items in our FAQ section.


Training Course

The next public training course is for requirements management in May – Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2021. Book your place to avoid disappointment. These courses are open to all, if you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact

Social Media


Integral Powerchain Tweet March 2021
Integral Powerchain Tweet March 2021

We acknowledged the size of the ‘system’ when talking about a whole county’s EV infrastructure, in Integral Powerchain‘s tweet.

We hope you had a good St. Patrick’s Day,  we noted the benefits of virtualisation.  We were amazed at the very beginning of April by the advances in ‘Quantum Computation!!!’


That’s all for our April 2021 Newsletter, we hope you haven’t eaten too much chocolate!

March 2021 Newsletter

Mad March

Leaping hare based on Photo by Vincent van Zalinge
Spring into Action

The spring equinox is between 19th/20th March this year, in the North this signals the start of new growth for the year. Whilst there may be some debate between the astrological and meteorological communities (23.44° axis tilt to the sun or the start of a block of 3 months) in the Northern hemisphere it certainly signifies longer and warmer days.

Traditionally we might fly round the house and office running a spring clean after we have been hunkered down over the winter. (Although in 2021 we seem to have been hunkered down for the last 12 months! This month sees a year for many, including 3SL staff, working from home.)  This surge in activity can be a bit chaotic if it is not planned and controlled. In fact the surge of activity at the beginning of the hare mating season gives rise to the English idiom mad as a March hare.

Tearing up a list of requirements, designs or processes would be a bit wild. Generally evolution is better than revolution when it comes to engineering. However, sometimes a design of a long-standing  product, or honed process, may become tired. It will have had sticky plaster on sticky plaster to alter and tweak it. New technologies, new materials and processes may be available on the market, so it is always good to have a review and plan the next solution. Make the decision whether it is a new broom sweeps clean or just a spring tidy.

A rush of activity is good, but plan it. If you are playing with a design, make an adaptation of if rather than tweaking the current working design. (see white-paper ra00407-Reuse_Adaptations.pdf). Compare the solutions and agree to move forward, make another iteration, or wipe the slate. Involve the team and spring into action for 2021.
Just a note though; Whilst we always advocate a good cuppa (or coffee if you prefer) and a meeting (virtual or otherwise), we’re not suggesting endless tea breaks and procrastination meetings with the Mad Hatter…..

Cradle Release

Cradle 7.6 splash screen
Cradle 7.6

Don’t forget if you have not downloaded the latest version of Cradle 7.6,  see the release announcement, and update today!

If you have a single user version, don’t forget to take advantage of the 20% discount before the end of the month.

Training Course

The next public training course is for requirements management in May –  Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2021. Book your place to avoid disappointment. These courses are open to all, if you want a course specific to your company or with tailored content please don’t hesitate to contact

Social Media


ISO Cool Tweet Feb 2021

We liked the IsoCool  holistic design view of ensuring processes with heating and cooling requirements can use a transfer rather than disparate systems.

We noted there are different storage mechanisms in Cradle. And celebrated St David’s Day.


We hope you enjoyed our March 2021 Newsletter, if you have any suggestions for future content please drop us a line


February 2021 Newsletter

0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1000

Monetary sub divisions, we are these days, quite familiar with. However, mathematically simple and consistent measurements certainly have not always been the case. The units and ratios we have used in the past had their benefits, and also their complications.

Lsd ( ell-ess-DEE)

5 Pennies does not equal 5 pennies

This was the popular name for the once common pre-decimal currencies throughout Europe. Spread by the Romans, it was the king of the Franks that standardised the non-decimal ratios between them. Librae, solidi and denarii were introduced into Britain in the late 8th century by King Offa. The British coins became £sd or pounds, shillings and pence.  Money like many of the other measurements, such as length, mass and volume had evolved from various systems used locally and built upon when exchange or trade became necessary.

Europe switched to decimal relationships in the 18th and 19th centuries. The UK held out until the 20th before swapping. Fifty years ago on February the 15th the UK switched to the decimal system. There was now a simple decimal relationship between the pound and it’s sub divided part the penny, of  1:100, rather than 240. Out went Shillings, Thropences, Florins and Crowns.  However, whist all major transactions and banking rounded to the penny, for small value items there was a need for another sub division. It was decided 0.1p was too small to be of use in the conversion between old and new so the ½p or half penny at 200th’s of a £ was part of the mix. It remained so until 1984!


The switch took around 18 months to complete. Shop keepers often showed dual prices using the agreed conversion tables, to make it easier for shoppers to make the switch. This swap was remarkably quick compared to the change to the metric system. Hundreds of different measures were localised, and it took the French revolution to kick-start the change to decimally divided measurements based on natural physical constants. From 1799 it was around 50 years before various decrees and the spreading of standards really took hold. Seeing no reason to change, the UK other than those in the scientific communities who needed to share data remained with the non-decimal  non-metric measures until the mid 20th century. 


Unit display in Cradle

There is an importance to uniform measure and units to make sure everyone uses the definition. In Cradle labelling the column of the View or the element in the Form can make it more clear to the reader what the value represents. A description can be added to the category itself which will be displayed as a tool-tip. Additionally you may want an additional category with a set of units that the user can choose from. This will also make for easy querying and sorting (for example search for all components specified in feet)

Cradle Release

Cradle 7.6 splash screen
Cradle 7.6

At the beginning of February we released Cradle 7.6. Details of the new features (Risk Management and Test Execution and Recording) and updates to existing functionality can be found in our Release announcement. Keep an eye on the upcoming blog articles detailing their use. Full details of all the changes are included in the release notes included with the download.

For those with maintenance, if you have not downloaded the software and requested a new security code, contact 3SL support so you can upgrade for free.

If you have a single user version, because this is a minor version release (as opposed to a patch) you will need to buy the latest version to take advantage of some of the feature updates.
Please note that some features, such as the new Test and Risk module, are not available in the single user versions and you must check their suitability on our products comparison page.

Training Courses

Don’t forget to check and book onto the Cradle Public training courses.  The full calendar, and any updates, are available here. If you want a consultation, or tailored training just for your team contact

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials Badge
Cyber Essentials Badge

We were pleased to announce, earlier this month,  another successful assessment under the Cyber Essentials scheme.

We think this scheme helps instil confidence when dealing with online companies and would encourage all our customers to consider using it or similar.

Social Media


FramatomeTtweet 2021
Framatome Tweet 2021

We looked at the advances made in nuclear fuels by Framatome

We highlighted how 3SL provide a set of Q&A for anyone writing a tool evaluation. 3SL also wished well all those celebrating the new lunar year bringing in the Chinese new year of the Ox.


January 2021 Newsletter

Happy New Year, I promise to…..

antibacterial and gloves

Whatever promises and resolutions you make we hope you manage to keep some of them. However, rather than some grand gesture of promising to give up chocolate bars and to do more exercise, we should also look at process habits that need to change. We’ve all got into the good habit of hand sanitising every time we enter a shop. The problem is when this habit / muscle memory becomes so engrained, we do it without thinking, a bit of disaster when you realise you are still wearing your winter mittens.

The same is true for business processes. It’s great when they become second nature, endemic, without having to refer to the policy again and again, but this can also be a hazard. If the situation, requirement or supply chain alters in some way, indoctrinated processes and solutions can be implemented without sufficient thought or review. So this new year make a note to ensure you check the mitigation still matches the hazard, the process is still suitable for the new requirements. If necessary plan and record exceptions and variations. Of course, use Cradle to record and track.

Training Courses

Cradle online training course
Cradle Online Training

We are offering a number of public training courses. These are ideal for companies who don’t need a tailored course or have only one or two staff members requiring instruction. They are run on-line with a member of 3SL instructing. This year we will cover Requirements Management, Document Publisher and System Administration. The full calendar, and any updates,  are available here.


3SL is fully committed to a continuation of supply of software, training and consultancy. We continue to work with our worldwide distributors and expect there to be little change as far as the end Cradle user is concerned. In the EU your data will either be handled by an EU distributor or by 3SL in the UK. At present all protections and EU data laws have UK equivalents. We will inform you of any changes where necessary should these laws and rules diverge in the future.

Cradle Release

Risk RAM and TER Test Execution & Recording

Now in the final testing stages the new release (7.6) will be out soon – Watch for news. Those under maintenance will receive general updates and features for free. Those without maintenance or using single user products will need to purchase an upgrade to 7.6 from earlier point releases. We are also adding two new modules. You’ll be able to download an evaluation copy if you want to look at the  Risk Management and Test Execution and Recording features before purchasing a licence.

Social Media


PNNL Dec 2020 Tweet
PNNL Dec 2020 Tweet

We liked the way researchers were overcoming difficulties to monitor underwater impact of renewable energy sources.

We reminded readers to think holistically, where your bubble boundary ends is your context. However, there are often other or greater systems in the whole scheme.
That’s all for the January 2021 Newsletter, but if there are any topics you would like to see discussed drop us a line at

December 2020 Newsletter

Oh Baubles!

Baubles - Photo by Burak K from Pexels

Decorating a tree in the winter months has been a very long tradition. It has been used to celebrate Christmas by Christians since mediæval times, spreading from Northern Europe, through Germany. Popularity in the UK was driven by Queen Victoria from 1832 onwards. Fruits, berries, candy canes and biscuits/pastries have all been used to bring cheer over the years.   From the mid 1500s glass ornaments from Lauscha began to spread in popularity (Modern examples of the preservation of this art ). These artisan glass globes took much skill and time to create. From 1880 Woolworths started selling Lauscha glass ornaments, by 1910 these were available across the whole of the USA.

Engineering to the Rescue

Consumer demand required mass production techniques. Now millions of  these sparkly globes are available very cheaply. These days they are frequently blown or  injection moulded plastic. The story of the bauble is a typical demand led example of engineering product development. However, it has also been possible to scale up mass produced glass. Vitbis in Poland produces 200,000 baubles a day!. Some include very intricate hand crafted designs.


Paper Christmas tree
Paper Christmas tree

The office Christmas may well be a bit different this year. Fears over handling decorations, being unable to disinfect the extra surfaces may well prohibit their use.  It may also be, as with 3SL, most staff are still working from home.

For a bit of fun Christmas paper engineering, you may like to download our DIY paper tree, for you own desk at work or home. ( Take a photo and Tweet it @threesl )

And here’s a bit of recycling – What happened to the little boy who ate the shiny streamers off the Christmas tree – He caught tinselitus! (If you want to read about the history of tinsel another Christmas manufacturing story see ‘a tinsel tale ‘ from  @festive_UK who manufacture miles of the stuff in Cwmbran.

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas based on Photo by from Pexels
Season’s Greetings

May we take this opportunity to wish you, our wonderful customers, suppliers and distributors,  season’s greetings and a peaceful and happy Christmas. We wish you all the best in 2021.


Well I don’t think any of us could have predicted 2020 would pan out the way it did. We know it has been tough for everyone and our sympathies go to all those who have lost someone dear.

  • New year started with gusto. 3SL gearing up for the next release of Cradle
  • Covid hits and 3SL, along with many of our customers learn to cope with a different set of 4 walls.
  • 3SL staff work from home implementing the Cradle 7.6
  • 3SL offers its first public training courses in the UK swapped to virtual training forums due to the restrictions.
  • We take the opportunity to add some refinements to database processing in the CDS (Cradle Database Server).
  • We gain JOSCAR accreditation.
  • Cradle is once again offered through the latest G-Cloud  12 UK public contracts site.
  • Structured Software Systems Limited posts one of its best performances in its 30+ year history

Social Media


Northrop Grumman Tweet Nov 2020
Northrop Grumman Tweet

We marvelled at how nano layers can shun water with new connectors from @NorthropGrumman

Don’t forget to share your favourite engineering stories with #LoveEngineering

We ‘tried’ to keep quiet about our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal. We reminded you that #Cradle can be used to perform simple calculations on your item’s data.

And Finally

As you read this December 2020 newsletter, please take a moment to remember the many charities and causes that have struggled over this year, and if you are able, dig into your pockets.