Honeywell Engines, Systems and Services designs, produces and maintains a wide range of products for their aerospace clientele, including:

  • Small gas turbine engines for business, regional, commercial and military aircraft
  • Auxiliary power units for commercial and military aircraft
  • Environmental control systems (ECS) for aircraft and space

Given that their products have such a wide range of applications, their Research Center required software that provided the reliability, accuracy and efficiency necessary while facilitating internal communication between the Center and engineering sites.

PTC Mathcad was their solution of choice. It offers the computational tool Honeywell needed to supplement analyses done by large, special-purpose custom Fortran programs and specialized commercial simulation packages.

Principal Engineer Kevin Barr used PTC Mathcad to develop calculations for modeling chemical reactions and physical processes in heat exchanger- and heat reactor-type devices. This allowed his team to work on projects like aircraft cabin-air comfort and quality, as well as reactors for non-ozone depleting CFC substitutes.

To transfer these analysis procedures between offices, like the ECS office in Torrance, California, Barr and his team relied on PTC Mathcad’s capabilities. The team can transfer computational procedures and corresponding documentation in one integrated package through Mathcad.

Now that their team has implemented widespread use of Mathcad, compatibility issues have likewise become few and far between. As Barr put it, “PTC Mathcad is a great tool within Honeywell, because it facilitates communication between the hundreds of engineers here.”

Barr also uses PTC Mathcad for a variety of other purposes, including standalone calculations (like one-dimensional finite element transient analysis) and sub-calculations to be coded in Fortran or C++ as a subroutine for inclusion into larger calculations.

“The beauty of working in PTC Mathcad is that the units are converted for you and expressions with incompatible units are flagged,” says Barr. “The coding is different from Fortran’s, so you’re not likely to make the same mistake in both, so errors are more readily caught. And, it is easier to catch and correct logical errors in the PTC Mathcad environment.”

Under Barr’s supervision, Honeywell has also provided new engineers with a component problem statement, complete with a sample solution in PTC Mathcad, prepped for translation into a Fortran model for a large system.

This process allows experienced engineers to mentor and communicate with novice engineers. As Barr explained, “Once they get the hang of it, the PTC Mathcad documents start coming back at you with even better ideas from our bright, young, recent graduates.”

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