SAWE Blog

2018 Southwest Regional Conference – Temecula, California

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2018-01-09 06:42

The Los Angeles, San Diego and Mojave Desert chapters cordially invite you to Temecula in sunny California for the 2018 Southwest Regional Conference. The dates of the Conference are Thursday March 8 through Saturday March 10. In-Person Registration will begin Thursday night (along with the Hospitality Room). On-line Registration will be available soon through Reg Online at the Conference website listed below. Technical presentations will be on Friday (including a luncheon).

SAWE Training will be available on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, AWBS (Automated Weight and Balance System) will be taught by Harold Smoot (full day class). We are excited to offer two new classes on Saturday: Designing the Aircraft of the Future, taught by Andy Walker (full day) and Materials and Mass Properties, taught by Victor Hillyard (half day class). Both Designing the Aircraft of the Future and Materials and Mass Properties will be offered at special, reduced rates. A ShipWeight Users meeting is also scheduled for Saturday.

The Southwest Regional Conference will also be a great opportunity to meet and learn more about Exhibitors in the Weight Engineering discipline, representing various industries.

The Conference will take place at the Temecula Creek Inn, located in beautiful Temecula California. The deadline to receive the SAWE Room rate is February 16. Please use the link on the Conference website below for hotel room reservations and not the hotel’s website. Thank you.

Temecula is well known for the Temecula Valley Wine Country, many championship golf courses, and the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Temecula is a scenic location which many southern California residents go to for vacation or weekend getaways. Temecula can be accessed from Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (John Wayne), San Diego (SAN), and Ontario (ONT) airports.

More details can be found at https://www.sawe.org/los-angeles/southwest-regional-conference

The hotel website is https://temeculacreekinn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/TCI-Group-Brochure-update-2017.pdf

Respectfully submitted

Dan Rowley

Los Angeles chapter Vice President

Categories: SAWE Blog

SAWE survey

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-12-13 20:55

Please go to https://www.sawe.org/survey/ and take the time to complete this survey.  SAWE leadership devoted a lot of time and thought to develop it.  We will use the results to improve the professions served by the SAWE as well as improving the benefits of participation in the SAWE.  Please invite your colleagues to take the survey.  We want to hear from as many people as possible interested in helping to develop the industries served by the Society of Allied Weight Engineers.  The results will be used to write a paper that will be presented at the Sheraton DFW in Irving, TX in early May 2018.  Make your plans to attend now.  Get company support and begin your travel plans after a well deserved holiday season.  Happy Holidays and best wishes to your family and friends.

Sincerely.

Clint Stephenson, SAWE Individual Membership Chair.

Categories: SAWE Blog

Standards & Practices Update

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-12-06 06:13

We are pleased to announce that RP A-11, Personnel Qualification Requirements Operational Weight and Balance Control for Military Aircraft, and RP A-13, Weighing Reconciliation Techniques for Military Aircraft, are being posted to the SAWE website.

RP O-1, Offshore Terminology, is awaiting final approval and will be posted to the website sometime in January.  It is the result of a series of 20+ meeting of members of the Offshore Industry Committee in Houston, TX.

A revised RP-8, Weight and Balance Data Reporting Forms for Aircraft (Including Rotorcraft and Air-Breathing Unmanned Vehicles), is awaiting final approval and will be posted to the website upon completion.

Project Proposals for RP M-4, Vendor Weight Control for the Marine Industry , and RP A-6, Standard Coordinate System for Reporting the Mass Properties of Flight Vehicles, to become ANSI-SAWE Standards have been posted as well.

More information on RP A-11: The purpose of this document is to provide a recommended set of requirements for qualifying civilian contractor personnel to perform weight and balance control activities/tasks on operational military aircraft. Those tasks include but are not limited to the completion of military aircraft weight and balance control system forms, the creation and maintenance of aircraft weight and balance handbooks, the creation and approval of aircraft weight and balance flight clearance forms and the actual measurement of the weight and balance (center-of-gravity) of military aircraft.

More information on RP A-13: The objective of this Recommended Practice is to document methods and practices that have proven effective in the reconciliation of significant differences between measured weight and balance values obtained from actual weighing measurements and predicted values. These proven methods are applicable to most military aircraft, including transport, fighter, and unmanned aircraft, and are applicable to weighings accomplished using a variety of measurement equipment including portable weighing platforms, permanently installed weighing platforms, and top-of-jack load cells. Procedures and calculations relating to applying measured data towards the end product of calculating Basic Weight and Center of Gravity are well established in other industry standards and are beyond the scope of this document. For example, it is not the intent of this RP to address the details of any aircraft’s weighing procedure, but rather to provide guidance on what to do if weighing results are significantly different from predicted.

More Information on RP O-1 : To insure consistency across all weight management documents, in a multinational and multicultural project such as an offshore oil industry project, a centralized Weight Management Definitions document has been created.  At the onset of each project, a similar, weight management specific, definitions document should be issued to clarify weight management terminology to be used on that project.  This document starts with weight management terms as defined in ISO 19901-5: 2003.  Additional terms commonly used for weight management but not defined by ISO are also defined herein and, to the extent possible, have been defined per their most common industry usage

As always, if you have any questions or wish to be involved in Standards and Practices please email standards@sawe.org
Categories: SAWE Blog

2018 Regional and 2019 International Conference Location – Norfolk, VA – Hilton Norfolk The Main

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2017-12-05 09:10

SAWE,

I am please to announce that the Hampton Roads chapter has secured the location for both the 2018 Regional Conference (September 2018) and 2019 International Conference (May 2019) at the Hilton Norfolk, a.k.a “The Main”.  The Main is Norfolk’s newest and most modern hotel and is situated right in the heart of downtown Norfolk.  The Hampton Roads chapter encourages all of you to take a moment to check out their website by using the following link: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/virginia/hilton-norfolk-the-main-ORFWAHH/index.html

We’re very excited about our venue and look forward to hosting all of you there.  If you are like me, you’ll want to check out the venue online now that we have made the announcement for the hotel.  There will be no shortage of restaurants, shops, and activities for you to fill up your spare time with this location in downtown Norfolk.  The Main itself has an impressive selection for dining in and plenty of modern and flexible meeting and conference rooms for us to enjoy!

We’d like to thank D. Jay Feldman for helping us to secure great room rates and amenities for both conferences as well as our Conference Co-Chairs Melissa Cooley and Amanda Cutright and our Facility Co-Chairs A. J. Bierbauer and Alan Titcomb.

David Cash (President – Hampton Roads Chapter)

Categories: SAWE Blog

SAWE Houston Chapter Winter 2017 Quarterly Report

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-11-08 19:32

SAWE Houston is working to promote Mass Properties / Weight Control Engineering as a specialized discipline while providing a means for those interested in the discipline an avenue to explore their personal aspirations.
We have local representation from one of the top level SAWE Inc Corporate Partners (CP1), Altair Engineering with Rick Watkins. Rick Watkins is International Executive Vice President. Local member Andreas Schuster is an Honorary Fellow and the International Standards and Practices Vice President of the Society. Local members Robert Hundl, Wayne Peterson, Greg Ray, and Rick Watkins are Fellows of the Society. Local leadership includes Clint Stephenson as Director, Bill Randall as President, Ryan Kilgore as Vice President, Adam Richards as Treasurer, and Lori Sandberg as Secretary. Dave Bennett is a former member of the Houston chapter and is the 3-year Chair of the Offshore Standards and Practices committee. Bill Randall is the current 2-year Chair. Clint Stephenson is the current 1-year Chair.

SAWE Houston cohosted a Regional conference (September 21, 2017 – September 24, 2017, (https://www.sawe.org/blog/2017/11/05/sawe-texas-regional-planning-meeting-and-conference-report/), pictures below) in preparation for the International conference (May 5, 2018 – May 10, 2018) with the Texas chapter, both in Irving, TX. We are in need of technical content for the upcoming International conference. Please contact me with your commitment to share your expertise. We are seeking Sponsors and Corporate Partners. Chapter meetings are planned for every third Friday of the month.

Our continuing effort is to develop professions related to Mass Properties and Weight Control Engineering through the participation and engagement of related and interested parties.

 

Please contact me with your questions or interest in contributing to the chapter and the Society.

Clint Stephenson

SAWE Houston Director

clintdsemail@yahoo.com

 

Categories: SAWE Blog

79th SAWE International Conference, 2020: Hamburg, Germany

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-11-08 12:34

We are pleased to announce that the 2020 International Conference will be held in Hamburg, Germany.

The SAWE Board of Director’s would like to thank the Central European Chapter for preparing their successful bid and we all look forward to a great conference!

Your next 3 conferences are:

77th SAWE International Conference: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; May 5-10th, 2018

78th SAWE International Conference: Hampton Roads; 2019

79th SAWE International Conference: Hamburg, Germany; 2020

Categories: SAWE Blog

Effective Mass Properties Programs – Your Job is to Keep Me From Being Fired

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2017-11-07 08:19

Message from the SAWE President:

So what does it take to have an effective mass properties program?

Our society’s publications provide insights into the elements and mechanics, but organizational behavior is one element we barely address.  This is the first in a collection of stories from fellow mass properties engineers who want to share their most memorable experiences of a robust mass properties effort.  Take note over the course of these stories what the common denominator or behaviors were that led to a favorable outcome.

Your Job is to Keep Me From Being Fired 

Submitted by an Honorary Fellow of SAWE

After several years of study, a large aerospace company received the go-ahead to respond to an RFP for a class of rockets to be used as target vehicles for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to test various Ballistic Missile Defense weapons.  As a result of already being assigned to the missile defense group, a mass properties engineer found himself now working on multiple programs, including the new target vehicle program.

Of particular interest to the MDA was for the company to create a (relatively) inexpensive surrogate missile that would emulate a class of threat missiles with a longer range than SCUD-class missiles.  The company already had studied such a design, and proposed this to the customer, who accepted the proposal with one additional request.  Since the design was using existing mothballed assets to simulate this threat to keep the cost down, the design utilized solid rocket motors.  The threat class did not, and so the end-of-flight behavior of the motors would deviate significantly from the desired behavior, as non-volatile material could be unceremoniously and randomly ejected from the spent motor, imparting momentum to the stage.  A solution would be to spin up the stage, thereby pinning this non-volatile material in the stage and adding predictability to the missiles flight path, just like the threat vehicle it was supposed to emulate.

You can see where this is going – this is a huge mass properties nightmare in the making.  Spinning along the long axis is unstable, yet that is what is necessary to keep the vehicle going where you want it to.  The amount of “leftover” material in the motor is variable, as is its location, which affects CG, and more importantly, Products of Inertia.  Each test flight would have different equipment, meaning even if you could come up with a set design to keep the spin axis pointed correctly, this would have to be recalculated for each flight.  So, the mass properties engineer (MPE) had a real problem to work on when the go ahead to go for this class of threat targets was received.  And to complicate matters, as happens so often, a new management team came in. This was emplaced on top of the skeleton proposal management team, and the team started to hear about this new Program Manager, whose name we will call Oscar (not his real name), in unpleasant terms from those the MPE reported to, including the person who had been the proposal manager and now was reconfigured into the engineering manager.  He emerged from one high level meeting and stated, “I’ve been Oscarized!”  Soon, the whole team started hearing of others who had been Oscarized.  None looked particularly happy about it.

A week after the management insertion, when the MPE had introduced a possible solution to the variable product of inertia (POI) problem and was busy trying to get the design team to understand that the mechanism proposed had to be configurable right up until the payload was attached, the MPE received a call from Oscar’s secretary, saying that Oscar wanted to speak with him.  “Uh-oh, here comes my Oscarization,” he thought to himself.  The dreaded “BOHICA” that had been the talk 20+ years earlier.  Nevertheless, he prepared for the one-on-one with Oscar, set for 10AM the following morning.  The MPE showed up at Oscar’s door few minutes before 10 AM and was told to wait. Ten minutes went by.  Fifteen, then the door opened and the Engineering Manager came out, looking uncomfortable and mouthing at the MPE, “I’ve been Oscarized”.  “Come in,” the MPE heard Oscar say, and “shut the door.

The MPE had his proposed solution to the POI problem, as well as what he was proposing to keep the other mass properties under control, and was prepared to go over everything.  Instead, Oscar said to sit down, and proceeded to talk.  Oscar went through his career, where he had spent the majority of it on space launch vehicles, having started on the company’s mainline program.  He had risen through a succession of positions which put him on the management track, eventually reaching the company equivalent of a brigadier general.  He worked directly for a Vice President on a program that had several problems.  One of those problems was mass properties – in this case the weight carrying capacity of the launch vehicle.  At this point Oscar looked right at the MPE.  He said “You are in charge of the mass properties of this program.  If there are any problems I need to know about them.”  The MPE started to pull out his papers and Oscar said, “Not yet!  I’m not done.”  He continued with his narrative – somewhat familiar via hallway talk.  Turns out this launch vehicle program from his past promised certain customers that the vehicle could perform certain missions, and then failed to do so.  This caused multiple investigations, both by the company and the customer, where it became obvious that the promised capability was not there, and this was not known to everyone.  The Vice President was asked to resign, in other words he was fired, being ultimately responsible for the program.

Oscar looked at the MPE.  He stood up and paced.  Then he said, “I’ve seen what messed up mass properties can do.  Mass properties is a hot ticket item to the company and to our customer.  As far as I am concerned, you are the lead of the mass properties team, and I know we have challenges, so you do whatever it takes to keep mass properties in line.  Your job is to keep me from being fired!  Do that and everyone will be happy.

The MPE realized he was being offered a favorable hand, even if it was carrying a stick.  He also realized that he had an opportunity to really affect the program.  Properly cued, he went through what he thought had to be done to ensure the program would not have weight or POI problems.  Oscar looked at the proposed mass properties control program and the POI solution, and told the MPE to get with the engineering manager and tell him he approved the concept.  And then he stood up and opened the door to his office and said to the person sitting outside his office, “Come in, and shut the door.”

The program was successful.  The vehicle flew successive multiple missions, maintaining the desired pointing of the spin axis.  Additional class vehicle programs came the company’s way, each with their own idiosyncrasies to contend with.  And Oscar was not fired, but instead was able to retire, vindicated.  Everybody was happy.  Well, except for the usual grumbling…

 

Categories: SAWE Blog

SAWE Texas Regional Planning Meeting and Conference Report

SAWE Blog - Sun, 2017-11-05 20:41

September 21-24, 2017, SAWE came together to deliver a successful International Planning Meeting and Regional Conference at the SAWE Texas Regional in Irving, TX.

I want to Thank the Regional conference Vendors/Sponsors.  Thank You (SINCERELY) Intercomp, GEC, and Altair for your continued support of the SAWE as a SAWE Corporate Partner and Sponsor at our events.

SAWE Texas and SAWE Houston delivered the Regional after many months of planning, with superior support from SAWE leadership.

The International Conference Planning meeting took place Thursday.  The host chapters provided the status for the conference beginning May 5, 2018.  It is going to be more than worth the trip in May 2018.

Friday began with a panel discussion on Coordinate Systems used in the varying industries.  I was impressed by the panelists.  On the panel, there was representation from the Airlines (Michael Byham – American Airlines), Offshore (Bill Randall – Wood), Military Aircraft (Vearl Durrington – Lockheed Martin), Space & Missiles (John Nakai – The Aerospace Corporation), Marine (Alan Bird – Marinette Marine), and Automotive (Stacie Matschinsky – SAWE Deputy VP, Standards and Practices) Industries.  It was an interactive experience between the panel and the audience.  I thought SnP Vice President Andy Schuster did an excellent job planning and orating the panel discussion.

We had interesting and thought provoking technical presentations throughout the day on Friday from the SAWE industries. Mrs Stacie Matschinsky delivered her presentation on “How to use the SnP Template”. SAWE Honorary Fellow Mr Andrew Brooks discussed “Nesting & Trees : Nested Sets in MP DB Design”. Mr Kevin Tharp delivered a double shot with “Practical Considerations for Balancing” and “Tanker Aircraft Fuel Fraction”. SAWE Honorary Fellow and International Leader for Technical Content Mr Robert “Zimmie” Zimmerman enlightened the audience with his expertise on “The Case for In-Service MP of Missiles & Space Vehicles”. SAWE Fellow Robert Hundl shared his experience on “Weight Distribution for On-Shore Modules”. Instructor Mr Brian Wiegand delivered insight into Automotive Dynamics with his presentation “MP & Automotive Vertical Dynamics”. Society of Allied Weight Engineers President and SAWE Honorary Fellow Mr William Boze delivered a passionate, interactive, inspiring assessment of the industries served with “The Mass Properties Discipline – Risk & Opportunity”.

Standards and Practices breakout sessions were held with representatives from the Military Aircraft and Offshore Industries. Contact SnP Vice President Andy Schuster for information about the proceedings.

Saturday and Sunday were training days for the very established Aircraft Weight and Balance class delivered by Mr Tom Oole and the New Automotive Lateral Dynamics class delivered by the passionate Mr Brian Wiegand.

A survey was distributed to determine which industries were represented, what was the primary purpose for attendance, what other reasons brought attendees, what could be done to make the 2018 SAWE Texas International Conference a success, and to gauge what kind of participation we could expect from attendees in the future. Over half of the people in attendance submitted survey input. Overwhelmingly, Aerospace was the industry most represented at about 68% for those who submitted their input. We also had Offshore, Marine and Automotive / Land Vehicle representation all the way from the college student level to the retired professional level. Some primary reasons for attendance included planning for the 2018 conference, to take training, to deliver a presentation, and general support of the Mass Properties discipline. Some things to focus on as we plan the 2018 conference include plan/plan/plan, entice vendors and sponsors to attend, encourage and develop technical content of relevance to SAWE Corporate Partners and Company Members, and Standards and Practices development. About half of the people would support future conferences and events by developing technical content or working to gain company support. Thank you everyone who submitted a survey with your input. We will use it as we develop future conferences.

Networking is a key benefit of participating in the Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE). You meet your International leadership. You hear them make speeches about their decades of experience and the health of the discipline. You meet other experienced people from around the industries as well as young adults building their abilities in order to build the future. The SAWE is a Worldwide conglomeration of very intelligent individuals interested in using their talents to make a better future.

We ask you reach out to a mentor/mentoree to develop mutual expertise to share with the SAWE.  This is an opportunity for everyone thinking about the profession to grow it.

We will be reaching out to Universities to solicit the participation of their students and faculty.

We will be reaching out to Vendors and Sponsors, both established and new, to participate.

We will be reaching out to authors and presenters to deliver technical content.

We will be reaching out to those interested in supporting the development of Standards and Practices throughout industries Worldwide.

Please contact me at clintdsemail@yahoo.com or 8326475599 (leave a message) if you want to share your thoughts.

Sincerely, Clint (Stephenson), SAWE Texas Conference Chair

 

Categories: SAWE Blog

New Emphasis on Standards and Practices

SAWE Blog - Mon, 2017-10-16 10:22

Everyone reading this blog is involved in some way with mass properties – as an engineer, a technician, a manager, or sales. Every one of us has experience and knowledge that we could pass on to others involved in the mass properties world. Broadly speaking, this knowledge can be broken into two overarching categories – Technical Details and Methodologies.

Throughout its many years, the SAWE has concentrated on the first of these categories, asking mass properties personnel to spread their knowledge of technical details by writing papers, giving presentations, or teaching a class. We still want (and need) our practitioners to do this.

Paradoxically, the influence of the SAWE as an organization has grown while our individual influence has shrunk. Let me try to explain this. Several years ago, the SAWE became a Standards Organization by seeking and achieving recognition by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As a result, the society has gained a growing influence in both America and abroad. However, even as the society as a whole has gained recognition for our unique mastery of the science and art of mass properties concepts, our members have experienced erosion of the profession by those who employ mass properties personnel. Primarily this has been a consequence of ever more capable automated capabilities of computer programs. This has created a sense that what we as mass properties professionals can do can be duplicated by computer algorithms. This is not a new phenomenon. Forty years ago, when I was a fresh out of college new mass properties engineer, I heard the head of the mass properties group say, “Eventually, we’ll be able to push a button and the computer will spit out a new airplane design.” Implied in this was that we would not be needed.

I will be the first to admit that much of the calculation duties that were required all those years ago have been supplanted by Computer Aided Design programs, provided that the required parameters have been properly implemented. Calculating weight, CG, and inertias rarely gets performed by today’s mass properties engineers, except perhaps during early conceptual designs. Although this was a large part of my initiation into mass properties, there were many other aspects, including evaluating assembly drawings for completeness and crucially, compatibility. I have lost track of the number of supposedly connectable parts which obviously wouldn’t connect, missing parts, and even parts that shouldn’t be in an assembly and whose presence would preclude operation of the assembly I have found. And these were assemblies that had made it through the Checking group! This was never written down as part of my job description, but are errors I found that had to be corrected before I would accept an assembly into the database. These problems don’t disappear because a computer has calculated some numbers. It still takes a person looking at a project as a whole to find and solve these problems.

Which brings us to the second knowledge transfer category – Methodologies. The SAWE has an obligation to ensure that its members know what is required to perform as mass properties practitioners. The most effective means of performing mass properties tasks is to work through the task in an orderly fashion, so that we can be sure that nothing of importance is inadvertently missed. And the society has found that having a blueprint of what tasks are required is an effective aid. We call these task “blueprints” Standards if the “blueprint” conveys specific technical information that results in a consensus of how that information is presented. An example would be a standardized coordinate system used by a specific industry. How a standardized coordinate system is implemented is not included in the Standard. A Practice is the flip side of the coin regarding Standards – a Practice delineates the accepted means of performing a task. The SAWE designates a Practice as a Recommended Practice, such as SAWE RP A-3, 2016: Mass Properties Control for Space Vehicles. This RP defines what is accepted in industry to ensure that required mass properties tasks are completed and in useable form.

The SAWE has requested that mass properties practitioners consider writing a paper for the conference in Fort Worth in May, 2018 to address specific gaps in our Standards and Practices. Applicable papers do not need to be fully realized Recommended Practices or Standards, but should be utilizable as a framework upon such RPs or Standards could be taken up by our Industry Committees and turned into RPs or Standards (using our standardized templates). Specific areas of interest are delineated on the SAWE web site at https://www.sawe.org/technical/papers/2018Campain (yes “campaign” is misspelled in the URL). Please consider what you can contribute to the SAWE by helping us fill in the gaps in our Standards and Practices, and increase our visibility into Mass Properties Methodology. And if you know of specific Technical Knowledge, we will of course accept Technical papers as well. In either case, if you write a paper for the conference, please submit your abstract at http://www.sawe.org/technical/papers/submittal.

Categories: SAWE Blog