Scanned Graph by ScanIt

Scanned Graph by ScanIt


Today I ran into a real gem by accident as I was searching for images in Google. The image on the left here caught my eye and I decided to have a peek at the site where it came from.

It turned out to be a blog post on a case study for the program ScanIt where it was used to digitize a scanned graph from a textbook on heat transfer.


Now why was this interesting?

Well, for the following three reasons:

  1. translating graphs into tables is a tedious excercise,
  2. automated digitizing could increase accuracy dramatically and
  3. this software is FREE!

So what does ScanIt do?

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passportYour job as an engineer – especially as you gain seniority – may require business travel to foreign countries. In my own experience the time available to plan such a trip is always limited which may leave you in a crunch trying to get your passport and visa in order.

Passport Tips & Tricks

Now here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years:

  1. Keep an eye on your passport validity (expiry date). This may sound obvious, but keep in mind that most countries will require 6 months validity beyond the return date of your trip in order to supply you with an entry visa. This means you may wish to renew your passport in advance to keep up your readiness for business travel. Note that there may not be any time available (or additional cost involved) for an emergency renewal when you need to apply for a visa as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Usually when designing a process unit, steam grid operating- and design conditions will be a given fact. This is because most projects will be executed on a brown-field site where the utilities are already available (save for sufficient capacity maybe). But what if you are executing a green-field study for a new facility that requires a heating medium and steam is one of the options to be considered (as it often is)? How do you define the grid operating and design consitions then?
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As an engineer I expect you to be quite familiar with cutting and pasting in MS-word. We all know that it’s always better to copy good stuff than to produce original crap. As a second nature you’ll have adopted the concept of the “global find and replace” technique to adapt your old text to its new purpose.

There is however a quite powerful technique that is less known but which will put text conversion by find-and-replace into overdrive once you master it. This method uses the so called “codes” and/or “wildcards” to define the “find” and the “replace” strings. Read the rest of this entry »

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • You are asked to update relief load calculations for an existing unit to under revamp and all of the relief cases seem to be listed randomly.
  • You have to input or update relief loads into a flare model and find duplicate scenario’s listed with loads and/or properties that differ for unknown reasons.
  • You have to verify relief loads and load scenario’s (either in a supervisors-  or  client/owners role) and you don’t find the cases you are looking for in the locations where you would expect them to be described.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if everybody followed some kind of common standard in documenting failure scenarios? Whether or not this activity is aimed at producing a project deliverable (like a safeguarding memorandum) or “just” a project internal document, it will be obvious that it will be beneficial to follow some kind of standard. This will allow for effective verification (both on the supervisor as the client/owner side) as well as for easy retrieval of information and auditing later on. Read the rest of this entry »