SPED's thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Catherine Van Der Walt, SPED Operations Manager, was on site with James Lindloff (SPED Houston new Chapter President) at the 2017 Valve World Exposition to represent the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers in late June.
By William G. Beazley, PE, PhD, Information Assets, Inc.
Photogrammetry software is slowly providing an alternative to laser scanning for building plant models. Using ordinary photographs positioned appropriately and with reasonable overlap, software can calculate the position of visible points and create a color point cloud of the result. Though not yet as precise as traditional laser scans the process can be completed quickly with ordinary cameras hand-held, on boom or on drones. The result is a low-cost physical model suitable for layout studies.
On Wednesday April 26, 2017 Kevin Noakes PPD IV and Clarence Wynter PPD IV provided a SPED Membership & Certification Promotion Lunch & Learn to students and instructors at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) School of Construction Process Piping Drafting (PPD) Fast Track Program.
By William G. Beazley, PhD
Robotic workstations are finding multiple applications in pipe and vessel fabrication, say exhibitors and speakers at HOUSTEX 2017. “Many subtractive technologies such as oxy fuel cutting, plasma gouging and drilling and tapping and polishing benefit from the 3 dimensional capability of robotics,” said Dan Allford, President of ARC Specialties in Houston. Additive technologies, such as weld surfaces and thermal sprays are used for cladding, repairs and wear protection. The 3D versatility and programmability of robots with the expanding choices of end effector tooling makes it an ideal choice for the one-off custom fabrication industry.
By William G Beazley, PhD, PE
Trump’s upcoming Executive Order and multiple reform bills all aim to stop H-1B Engineering and Information Technology sweatshops in Houston and nationwide. Sweatshop visa abusers certify H-1B positions at labor rates for unqualified skill categories but filling it later with foreign workers qualified for the original position, at the lower pay. Foreign degree holders and students at US universities are eager to work for lower wages in hopes of staying on as a permanent resident. The sweatshop gets the qualified worker for as little as a third of what a US citizen or resident might earn. The proposed merit-based and salary-based visa reforms will halt this abusive sweatshop practice.
For example, a “DESIGN ENGINEER” position is certified as a “COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGNERS” (SOC Code 27-1021) position. Commercial and Industrial Designers generally have art degrees and design furniture, point of sale displays and packaging for consumer products. Although this art degree is unqualified for engineering analysis, the position is certified by the US Department of Labor to be paid as low as $20,100/year (FY2016), way below the typical engineering starting salaries of $55K to $65. This exact practice was used 635 times in FY2016 alone (see table).