November 2021 – Newsletter

Deciduous or Evergreen

Tree Types

“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?

Evergreen and Deciduous forest based on pexels pixbay and enric-cruz-lópez images
Evergreen/Deciduous

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.

Start Anew

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.

Release

Cradle 7.6 Splash screen
Cradle 7.6

Cradle 7.6.1 is now available for download. For details of the patch release fixes please see https://www.threesl.com/blog/cradle-7-6-1-released/

Social Media

Twitter

November 2021 Saab eWROV TweetWe looked at the power being built into ROVs for underwater repair and construction with Saab‘s eWROV

We looked at how Roles can speed up administration of Cradle users.

 

YouTube

Industry sectors investing
Industry Sectors

For an insight into which industry sectors are spending on Requirements Management and Systems Engineering, checkout our mini presentation in this YouTube video

Finally

Remembrance
Remembrance

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.

 

October 2021 Newsletter

Eight?

Digit Number 8
Octo 8

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

Agile 8
Plan / Implement / Evaluate

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

Figure of 8 progression
Iterative Progress

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.

Training Course

Cradle online training course
Cradle Online Training

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Features

Cradle TER module - Test Case
Test Case

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.

Social Media

Twitter

Kuka UK Robot Tweet Oct 2021
Kuka UK Robot Tweet Oct 2021

We noted that in very hazardous environments robots are needed to repair other robots in this tweet by Kuka UK.

We also liked the nifty electric boat highlighted by Integral Powertrain that ‘flies’ or floats on the water depending on the speed.

If you want to bring some colour to your text frames in #Cradle we reminded you that you can set the text colour based on a category value.

YouTube

YouTube channel - Subscribe
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Our #3SL Cradle YouTube channel now has a new URL youtube.com/c/3SLCradle
We’d love you to hop over and have a peek, and don’t forget to subscribe.

Finally

Our October 2021 newsletter finishes by reminding you to put your clocks back and don’t arrive an hour early for work in November!

Article Updated 19/11/2021 – Spelling mistake

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 https://openclipart.org/detail/254965/dont-be-afraid-of-the-dark
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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Features

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 https://youtu.be/IA4AFZyRrQo  and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe. Find out more in this blog article.

 

Social Media

Twitter

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.

YouTube

Oops we deleted
Delete / Recover

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

Finally

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
Staycation

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Features

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 https://youtu.be/WennmTREWXQ  and other tips on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to Subscribe

Social Media

Twitter

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

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.

Finally

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. https://www.threesl.com/contact/ .

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Features

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

Twitter

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

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.

Finally

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 social-customer@threesl.com

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

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‘.

Finally

That wraps up our June 2021 Newsletter, if you have any topics you’d like to see covered drop us a line at social-customer@threesl.com

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.

Ambiguity

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

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.

Finally

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 social-customer@threesl.com

April 2021 Newsletter

Chicken or Egg

3SL Easter egg
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!

Left-shift

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

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!!!’

Finally

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 unsplash.com
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 salesdetails@threesl.com

Social Media

Twitter

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.

Finally

We hope you enjoyed our March 2021 Newsletter, if you have any suggestions for future content please drop us a line social-customer@threesl.com.

 

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
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!

Switching

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. 

Units

Unit display in Cradle
Units

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 salesdetails@threesl.com

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

Twitter

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.