What is a Consortium, and Why Would You Join One?

by Dr. David Schowalter on Mar 16, 2018 11:14:20 AM

Merriam-Webster’s definition is, “an agreement, combination, or group (as of companies) formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.”  The word is Latin, derived from “con” (together) and “sors” (fate).  In commercial industries that rely on technology development, a consortium can be a way to share the cost of research and development among several companies that would benefit from the resulting technology. Consortia can also be commercial in nature.  One example would be the company, Airbus, which was originally a consortium of European aerospace manufacturers. It eventually evolved into a standalone company, Airbus, SAS. 

Reaction Versus Impulse Type Turbomachinery

by Mark R. Anderson on Mar 8, 2018 9:43:00 AM

The universe of turbomachinery consists of many different design concepts that are radically different from one another. Each class of machine has a particular flow and power range that is best suited for that design class.  In general, a machine type that is not well suited to an application, cannot be refined sufficiently to perform well outside its normal range. 

The (Contemporary) Art of Engineering

by Francis A. Di Bella, P.E. on Mar 2, 2018 2:40:04 PM

Boston, MA is known as a walkable city. Boston’s downtown area is very small, relative to those in other cities. However, the walkable size provides you with a special opportunity to explore the many interesting venues that the city has to offer. One such opportunity arose when an engineering meeting with a colleague was postponed for several hours due to “unforeseen circumstances”. This gave me a golden opportunity to tour the Museum of Fine Arts, a short walk from Northeastern University where my meeting was scheduled.  


How Our Shop Slashed Their Roughing Time in Half

by Christos Maninos on Feb 22, 2018 2:44:53 PM

The guiding principle behind Concepts NREC’s Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, MAX-PAC, is to simplify the task of creating efficient milling toolpaths for turbomachinery. Since we are also users of MAX-PAC in our manufacturing facility, we see first-hand how new features and functionality impact day-to-day operations. This was true with the release of our powerful 3+2 Roughing Module. After a year of using it, our machinists were amazed at the results. In almost every instance, they saw a 50% reduction in roughing cycle times, compared to the way they were doing 5-axis roughing. Wow!


Optimizing the Screw Inducer for a Pump

by Oleg Dubitsky on Feb 16, 2018 11:05:47 AM

High-efficiency, low-cavitation pumps often require a screw type inducer to treat the inflow to the main radial/mixed flow pump blades. Efficiency and head rise, split between inducer and main pump, are questions explored during the design process. Another important design consideration is the tolerance to cavitation. Finding the best solution, when there is often a trade-off between two or more operational conditions, is difficult. We have found that multi-objective optimization, for single or multiple operating points, is the best tool to use.

Leveraging Your Legacy Designs

by George C. Zitka, P.E. on Feb 9, 2018 8:56:57 AM

Engineers, by their very nature, like to design new things. To us, there is an undeniable appeal to creating something no one has ever seen before. However, there are compelling reasons to leverage your company’s past. It can be far more cost-effective and less risky to re-use past successful designs.

Why You Need CAE & CAM Software Specialized for Turbomachinery

by Dr. Peter Weitzman on Feb 2, 2018 10:58:43 AM

Concepts NREC just had its most successful year ever in software sales. Why? It really comes down to two things, the first is our team, we have some incredibly talented people developing our software and then training, supporting and selling it. The second, is our singular focus on turbomachinery. We are the only company in the world that offers turbomachinery specific CAM and CAE software. We do not try to be everything to everyone and produce machining toolpaths for any product or the ability to analyze anything. We focus on turbomachinery.

Compressor Design: Influence of the Impeller Exit Blade Angle

by Dimitri Deserranno on Jan 19, 2018 8:46:55 AM

During the compressor design process, one of the key optimization steps is to adjust the impeller exit blade angle with the goal of achieving the desired pressure ratio, efficiency and range.


When we consider the fundamental relationship of impeller work, using Euler’s turbomachinery equation for specific work (Figure 1), we can see how the impeller blade exit angle has a direct impact on the impeller work through changes in the impeller exit absolute tangential velocity, CƟ2. Based on this equation, you might think that having pure radial blades is best, since radial blades allow for more work to be performed (for a fixed impeller exit radius), leading to higher pressure ratios. Unfortunately, there is a downside….

A New Application for Air Brake Dynamometers?

by Francis A. Di Bella, P.E. on Jan 12, 2018 10:33:46 AM

My gym has been crowded with a lot of new people these past couple of weeks. It happens every year in January as people try to stick to their New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. I don’t mind the crowds; they are usually gone by February. One newcomer that did catch my engineering eye, was the new exercycle. It is a bicycle seat with a single, large and bulky looking wheel. The large wheel seems out of place next to some of the other machines that tend to have a much more streamlined appearance. The wheel is spun by the rider much like a typical bicycle and serves to absorb the power from the rider. The exercise cycle is called an Airdyne.

The 5 Why's - A Tool for Effective Problem Solving

by Jim Miller on Dec 21, 2017 1:57:21 PM


A challenge in the engineering profession is that we, too often, look at complex problems as requiring complex solutions. As an example, a customer recently asked Concepts NREC to perform a very complex full-scale test. After a few rounds of clarifying questions, it became apparent the purpose of the test was to validate an analytical model. With this additional insight, we recommended a partial scale test that would achieve the same outcome, for a fraction of the price and time. The customer was delighted with this simpler (and cheaper) solution to their problem.

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