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Computers in engineering

Computers in engineeringComputers have been used in manufacture since around 1966. But how do engineers use them?

Why do we use computers?

Believe it or not, computers can be used in every aspect of the engineering process, from design through to production and distribution. Their use in design and manufacture is covered in more detailĀ here. For now have a look at these examples of where computers can help.

Information flow: Computers can speed up the flow of information and make everything work more efficiently.

Problem solving: Computers can perform complex calculations much quicker than a human can. They can also be used to simulate situations, such as the stress a bridge might be under with a certain weight on it. The computer then calculates how products would perform under those situations and help engineers and designers make the right decisions.

Storing and sorting data: Before databases, all information was stored on paper. Not only is this extremely time-consuming to search through, but it also takes up a lot of space and the records can be damaged or lost very easily. Computers can store vast quantities of information in a small amount of space, and records can be duplicated many times over.

Automation: It is almost impossible for humans to perform the same task over and over again with no variation. If you ask a human to fold twenty paper aeroplanes they will all look slightly different. So when a company needs hundreds of products that look and behave identically, they tend to use computers and robots to construct them.

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