We most likely understand this to mean encourage, provoke or urge. Unfortunately there is no underlying tasty treat associated with the phrase.
Eggs and Easter eggs may represent the start of a new life or regeneration and are often given at Easter after their consumption would have been prohibited during Lent.
An egg holds the building instructions for a new life, and when fertilised can grow into something great. Like a new life, a project needs to be nurtured in order to grow. However, it must be led in the correct direction, not allowed to grow too fast or out of control for the best success. There will be risks on the way and its progress needs to be monitored and checked.
So we urge, cajole and encourage you to keep your projects safe, warm and cared for the only way we know how – in Cradle.
Now does anyone fancy taking up the Chicken and Egg debate???
During April 3SL UK offices are making a phased return to the office. It’s been over 2 years since we’ve sat at our desks. It was a bit of a time capsule moment seeing diaries open on March 2020! You will still be able to email, use webinar, or snail-mail, but if you call us on +44 1229 838867 you may find different voices answer.
TheProject Administration 20th-21st April 2022 course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Cradle projects. It will cover user and project administration. It will also include setting up project schemas helping your users to hit the ground running.
We marvelled at how a dock can float in this tweet from HII.
We reviewed the SpeedUpSolR(TM) device, but apparently a number of people have reported difficulty buying it….. SpeedUpSolR(TM) 😉
Updating Item Properties. If you have a large number of items for which you need to change value(s) did you know you can set properties? Take a peek at this method on our YouTube Channel
Most English native readers will understand the text above. Although we must admit it is fairly atrocious. We are so used to reading context, that even when letters are missing or transposed we still understand. Sometimes [sic ]don’t even notice the errors. We have come acustomed [sic] to our browsers and text document processors telling us the spelling of a word is not recognised. However, unless there is some form of context processing too, a smelling [sic] mistake would get through even if a sbelling [sic] mistake was highlighted.
March the 8th recognised proof reading day, which may be a delight for the pedants among or is that amongst us. However, it does highlight the importance of peer review. Proof reading is generally defined as “a process of finding and correcting textual mistakes before it is published” Elements that are easily overlooked when you read information back to yourself are often picked out faster by another. You “know” what you intended to write, and the human brain is very good at telling you that’s what is on the page.
It may be blatantly obvious you meant the EV socket was to be placed 1m from the floor but that extra ‘m‘ that remained in your text was a typo. Now no one can plug their car into the socket that is 1mm from the floor. You would hope the contractor would question this. However, not all errors are as obvious, incorrectly specifying a tolerance of 0.01mm or 0.1mm could either mean some costly but unnecessary machining, or components that don’t fit depending on the use case. Language semantics can also get in the way of clear communication. Peers are likely to question whether you really wanted to separate those who may consider cannibalism; “To avoid smells, the train buffet service should segregate eating passengers”. Whilst in reality it is unlikely to be misconstrued, it may show a less than professional approach to your stakeholders especially in a presentation or final review.
In Cradle we have covered the benefits of reviews and formal base-lining. However we also advocate the use of Discussionsas a method of reviewing and recording comments and notes.
Cradle supports a Conformance Checker to examine the correctness of requirements against a set of language / semantic checks. If you have ToolSuite you can also access a SpellChecker to examine your item’s text.
3SL are proud to announce their third year recertification for ISO9001. The team working with the audit said we passed with flying colours and there were no non-conformances. This is a testimony to all who have helped throughout the year improving and recording our processes.
The ISO says of the scheme
“ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity. In fact, there are over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001.
This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in ISO’s quality management principles. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.”
February the month of Saint Valentine, according to Wikipedia a 3rd-century Roman saint. The tails of his beheading as a martyr and the distribution of his bones are quite horrific. A far cry from the modern celebration. It wasn’t until around the 14th century that he became associated as the patron saint of lovers. Apparently this was greatly promoted by the writings of Chaucer. Quite an achievement in reuse and adaptation!
This month also saw Her Majesty The Queen celebrate 70 years on the throne. The first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, she will have seen many technological advances and changes during her time on the throne. To illustrate the pace of progress think about a camera. During her coronation she may have been photographed by one of the first Polaroid instant cameras. In the 70s one of the first point and shoot cameras would have been the order of the day. On engagements in the 80’s one of the first digital cameras or a disposable camera could have been used, and in the 00’s snaps on phones would be the norm.
Naming storms is apparently a way to make things more memorable. A number or identifier is easy to forget. However, many people will remember whether it was Storm Dudley or Eunice that felled the tree in their garden.
In conclusion, with tortuous metaphor bending…..
We Love engineering, we actively promote the concept of reuse and Adaptation.
We would encourage you to support an iterative and baselined design process, building on and improving the previous version whilst retaining traceability.
Cradle supports IDs, Names, Groups, and Comments for all item types. Making sure you use all these nomenclatures will aid you finding, discussing or grouping your requirement and design assets. After all would you rather query on ID343 or “Surface finish” ?
The 2022 Public training course calendar has now been released. This has courses covering the main functions of Cradle. It is ideal if you are on-boarding new staff, or are just new to Cradle. These online courses are tutor led so there is full interactivity and ability to ask questions. You’ll also be able to benefit from the questions and experience of other candidates.
These public courses are in addition to our individual company offerings. If your company has a large number of trainees for instance, or wants on-site training we will put on a separate course. Additionally if you need a course tailoring to your industry/implementation you should contact email@example.com
INCOSE have updated their vendor tool listings with a new database, the Systems Engineering Tools Database (SETDB). We have fully updated our entry and system engineers can search the database with their INCOSE membership, or an SETDB membership through systemsengineeringtools.com.
We are listed under 3SL and Cradle and our competencies listed in all available categories within their database. This will be added to as they further update their database capabilities.
We wondered just how a seedling will function in space. Without gravity how will it grow up? Its leaves will be able to grow towards a light, but at the time of sprouting, which way will the root grow? All vital information, being worked on by @NorthropGrumman if we are to grow crop resources in space.
Love is in the air we tweeted a Valentine message and reminded you that we use the hashtag #LoveEngineering to retweet and highlight stories from our customers and general engineering accomplishments. Why not join us in promoting good engineering stories?
We also noted that Samuel Plimsoll was to be congratulated on developing the simple safe load ship markings. This used the engineering principle of displacement in different salinity. Mistakenly we thought this had nothing to do with the deck shoes of the same name, thanks to one eagle eyed reader. They pointed out “Plimsolls, the shoes, were named in his honour in 1876 (when his whistleblowing campaign for a loadline had made him a household name) by a sales rep for the Liverpool Rubber Company, because, being canvas above and rubber underneath, the shoes could only be safely immersed in water up to a certain point – like a merchant ship. ”
You’ll have read that the new Public Training Calendar has been released. Just to emphasise the benefits of training, for those that like something a little more visual (to send to their boss maybe), here’s our mini promo.
We hope all those celebrating over Christmas had a safe and happy time, and were not too badly affected by Covid 19. Welcome to the January 2022 – Newsletter.
Into a new year and a time to reflect on both your company’s achievements and problems. Whilst the turn of a date is nothing magical, the psychological effect of a new term can really help enthuse and help us focus.
If a project wasn’t quite on track, a root cause analysis can help identify where things went astray. Use this as a positive for new projects and look out for the ‘gotcha’ next time round. It is also important to identify the successes, the team and company can lever the feel-good factor on jobs well done.
We’re putting together this year’s public training course calendar. These courses are open to all and are delivered online in a shared environment with a live instructor. The biggest benefit of live training is that you can ask questions as the course progresses.
“If you were a tree, what type would you be?” OK, we’re not attempting to delve into a mindfulness session, but drawing a comparison in terms of ongoing development.
Drop or Retain?
Each year deciduous trees protect themselves by shedding their leaves. The likelihood is the water will freeze and damage their leaves, or winter winds will apply a greater force to the trunk. Shedding them before the winter, allows them to renew with vigour the following year. They may also have become damaged in the summer by bugs or ripped in the autumn by winds, the shed leaves will act as nutrients for the following year. Evergreens, however, protect their leaves with a waxy coating and forms of antifreeze. Their leaves are often smaller, so the tree needs more of them to absorb the sun’s energy.
In the following year after the shut down, deciduous trees still retain their main structure, and the knowledge of how to build new leaves. The evergreens have to be content with the quality of the leaves they have, or have to try and grow new ones while simultaneously shedding the old ones. However, they have been able to continue absorbing energy through their leaves all year round.
Renewing Project Elements
Projects undergoing through lifecycle upgrades often have to decide which route to take. Do you remove the facility, rebuild (possibly including changes) and then deploy, or do you attempt to keep all the existing features in place while swapping out old functionality/parts and replacing them with new ones? Partly this will depend on the ‘down time’ that can be tolerated. A strip and replace is often more efficient, if allowed. The advantage projects have compared to trees, is all the new ‘leaves’ can be prepared in parallel, as long as they fit the trunk it’s a shorter operation to remove and replace the leaves. Whilst the ongoing partial replacement may allow continued operation, there are likely to be cases where parallel components/functions during the swap will have conflicts and interactions that will need to be managed. Of course in either case sometimes fiddling round with the leaves brings no new benefits, if the trunk or limbs are not where they are needed a completely fresh start is needed.
We looked at how Roles can speed up administration of Cradle users.
For an insight into which industry sectors are spending on Requirements Management and Systems Engineering, checkout our mini presentation in this YouTube video
Drawing the November 2021 newsletter to a close, we hope all our customers, suppliers and staff that celebrated Dewali, All Hallows Eve and All Saints day or remembered the defeating of the Gunpowder plot had a happy and safe celebration. 3SL remembered those who fought and fallen on Remembrance day.
As we’ve pointed out before, October was originally the eighth month, until King Numa Pompilius, inserted January and February. Until then ‘Winter’ was seen as monthless, with only 304 days belonging to named months. A bit of a design flaw. However, as with many systems, it was too onerous to start again, so the sticking plaster situation left us with October, November and December shifted two months from their name origins.
Eight In Life
In physics it is the second ‘magic’ number where either protons or neutrons, are arranged into a complete shell within the atomic nucleus.
Electronics and computing eight is the number of bit in a byte. 8 bits representing -128 to 127 or 0 to 255. If the last three bits of a number (when represented in binary) are 0s then the number itself will be divisible by eight.
In maths, other than 1, it is the only perfect cube in the Fibonacci sequence.
Your wisdom tooth is the eighth tooth in each quadrant of your mouth.
Eight is seen as a lucky number in Asian countries.
It the number of notes in an octave, a note of a frequency and its double.
There are 8 vertices to a cuboid.
Eight is Agile
Consider the two loops of the figure of 8 as the design and implement areas. As you trace round the outside, you start designing and planning and then you sprint round to implement a phase, before returning once again to consider achievements and plan the next step. This Scrum style operation breaks the problem down into small manageable chunks with an ongoing evaluation and planning. If you’re planning or adjusting a process in a Kanban style this repeated return allows changes to be measured and new bottle necks to be identified and alleviated.
An agile approach is an alternative to the traditional waterfall model to design and implement. It has its strengths in development of new or innovative solutions, especially where a degree of trial and prove/reject is also required. However, it should not be seen as a hackers remit. It only works if you clearly break down the problem, set goals and measure achievements. It could be viewed as a series of small waterfall operations defining each iteration.
Don’t Get Caught In A Loop
If your project is analogous to walking round and round a circle, something is going wrong. Walking in a figure of 8 gives you the opportunity to look forward and backwards as you trace your steps. your aim is for a steadily increasing climb.
Last chance to get booked onto the last public training course Document Publisher 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
When you loop round your design and implement cycle, testing is an important step to validate your efforts.
Cradle’s Test, Execution and Recording module allows a controlled, rigorous way to record, and link your tests, design and requirements. Watch here. For more information read our blog.
We noted that in very hazardous environments robots are needed to repair other robots in this tweet by Kuka UK.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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 https://youtu.be/IA4AFZyRrQo and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe. Find out more in this blog article.
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.
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
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 https://youtu.be/WennmTREWXQ and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe
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.
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 ⏻ 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. https://www.threesl.com/contact/ .
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
We were interested to read how Temposonicsmagneto 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‘.