Aerodynamic Design Optimization of High-Speed Hatchback Cars for Lucrative Commercial Applications

The choice of high-speed, low budget hatchback car with diversified options is increasing for meeting the new generation buyers trend. This paper is aimed to augment the current speed of the hatchback cars through the aerodynamic drag reduction technique. The inverted airfoils are facilitated at the bottom of the car for generating the downward force for negating the lift while increasing the current speed range for achieving a better road performance. The numerical simulations have been carried out using a 2D steady pressure-based    k-ɛ realizable model with enhanced wall treatment. In our numerical studies, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes model and its code of solution are used. The code is calibrated and validated using the exact solution of the 2D boundary layer displacement thickness at the Sanal flow choking condition for adiabatic flows. We observed through the parametric analytical studies that the inverted airfoil integrated with the bottom surface at various predesigned locations of Hatchback cars can improve its overall aerodynamic efficiency through drag reduction, which obviously decreases the fuel consumption significantly and ensure an optimum road performance lucratively with maximum permissible speed within the framework of the manufactures constraints.

Effective Wind-Induced Natural Ventilation in a Residential Apartment Typology

In India, cooling loads in residential sector is a major contributor to its total energy consumption. Due to the increasing cooling need, the market penetration of air-conditioners is further expected to rise. Natural Ventilation (NV), however, possesses great potential to save significant energy consumption especially for residential buildings in moderate climates. As multifamily residential apartment buildings are designed by repetitive use of prototype designs, deriving individual NV based design prototype solutions for a combination of different wind incidence angles and orientations would provide significant opportunity to address the rise in cooling loads by residential sector. This paper presents the results of NV performance of a selected prototype apartment design with a cluster of four units in Pune, India, and an attempt to improve the NV performance through design modifications. The water table apparatus, a physical modelling tool, is used to study the flow patterns and simulate wind-induced NV performance. Quantification of NV performance is done by post processing images captured from video recordings in terms of percentage of area with good and poor access to ventilation. NV performance of the existing design for eight wind incidence angles showed that of the cluster of four units, the windward units showed good access to ventilation for all rooms, and the leeward units had lower access to ventilation with the bedrooms in the leeward units having the least access. The results showed improved performance in all the units for all wind incidence angles to more than 80% good access to ventilation. Some units showed an additional improvement to more than 90% good access to ventilation. This process of design and performance evaluation improved some individual units from 0% to 100% for good access to ventilation. The results demonstrate the ease of use and the power of the water table apparatus for performance-based design to simulate wind induced NV.  

Evaluation of Gasoline Engine Piston with Various Coating Materials Using Finite Element Method

The purpose of this paper is to examine the piston stress distribution using several thicknesses of the coating materials to achieve higher gasoline engine performance. First of all, finite element structure analysis is used to uncoated petrol piston made of aluminum alloy. Then, steel and cast-iron piston materials are conducted and compared with the aluminum piston. After that, investigation of four coating materials namely, yttria-stabilized zirconia, magnesia-stabilized zirconia, alumina, and mullite are studied for each piston materials. Next, influence of various thickness coating layers on the structure stresses of the top surfaces is examined. Comparison between simulated results for aluminum, steel, and cast-iron materials is reported. Moreover, the influences of different coating thickness on the Von Mises stresses of four coating materials are investigated. From the simulation results, it can report that the maximum Von Mises stresses and deformations for the piston materials are decreasing with increasing the coating thickness for magnesia-stabilized zirconia, yttria-stabilized zirconia, mullite and alumina coated materials.

Investigation of Seismic T-Resisting Frame with Shear and Flexural Yield of Horizontal Plate Girders

There are some limitations in common structural systems, such as providing appropriate lateral stiffness, adequate ductility, and architectural openings at the same time. Consequently, the concept of T-Resisting Frame (TRF) has been introduced to overcome all these deficiencies. The configuration of TRF in this study is a Vertical Plate Girder (VPG) which is placed within the span and two Horizontal Plate Girders (HPGs) connect VPG to side columns at each story level by the use of rigid connections. System performance is improved by utilizing rigid connections in side columns base joint. Shear yield of HPGs causes energy dissipation in TRF; therefore, high plastic deformation in web of HPGs and VPG affects the ductility of system. Moreover, in order to prevent shear buckling in web of TRF’s members and appropriate criteria for placement of web stiffeners are applied. In this paper, an experimental study is conducted by applying cyclic loading and using finite element models and numerical studies such as push over method are assessed on shear and flexural yielding of HPGs. As a result, seismic parameters indicate adequate lateral stiffness, and high ductility factor of 6.73, and HPGs’ shear yielding achieved as a proof of TRF’s better performance.

Taguchi Robust Design for Optimal Setting of Process Wastes Parameters in an Automotive Parts Manufacturing Company

As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.

Impact of Quality Assurance Mechanisms on the Work Efficiency of Staff in the Educational Space of Georgia

At this stage, Georgia is a country which is actively involved in the European integration process, for which the primary priority is effective integration in the European education system. The modern Georgian higher education system is the process of establishing a new sociocultural reality, whose main priorities are determined by the Quality System as a continuous cycle of planning, implementation, checking and acting. Obviously, in this situation, the issue of management of education institutions comes out in the foreground, since the proper planning and implementation of personnel management processes is one of the main determinants of the company's performance. At the same time, one of the most important factors is the psychological comfort of the personnel, ensuring their protection and efficiency of stress management policy. The purpose of this research is to determine how intensely the relationship is between the psychological comfort of the personnel and the efficiency of the quality system in the institution as the quality assurance mechanisms of educational institutions affect the stability of personnel, prevention and management of the stressful situation. The research was carried out within the framework of the Internal Grant Project «The Role of Organizational Culture in the Process of Settlement of Management of Stress and Conflict, Georgian Reality and European Experience » of the Batumi Navigation Teaching University, based on the analysis of the survey results of target groups. The small-scale research conducted by us has revealed that the introduction of quality assurance system and its active implementation increased the quality of management of Georgian educational institutions, increased the level of universal engagement in internal and external processes and as a result, it has improved the quality of education as well as social and psychological comfort indicators of the society.

Application of AIMSUN Microscopic Simulation Model in Evaluating Side Friction Impacts on Traffic Stream Performance

Side friction factors can be defined as all activities taking place at the side of the road and within the traffic stream, which would negatively affect the traffic stream performance. If the effect of these factors is adequately addressed and managed, traffic stream performance and capacity could be improved. The main objective of this paper is to identify and assess the impact of different side friction factors on traffic stream performance of a hypothesized urban arterial road. Hypothetical data were assumed mainly because there is no road operating under ideal conditions, with zero side friction, in the developing countries. This is important for the creation of the base model which is important for comparison purposes. For this purpose, three essential steps were employed. Step one, a hypothetical base model was developed under ideal traffic and geometric conditions. Step two, 18 hypothetical alternative scenarios were developed including side friction factors such as on-road parking, pedestrian movement, and the presence of trucks in the traffic stream. These scenarios were evaluated for one, two, and three lane configurations and under different traffic volumes ranging from low to high. Step three, the impact of side friction, of each scenario, on speed-flow models was evaluated using AIMSUN microscopic traffic simulation software. Generally, it was found that, a noticeable negative shift in the speed flow curves from the base conditions was observed for all scenarios. This indicates negative impact of the side friction factors on free flow speed and traffic stream average speed as well as on capacity.

Automatic Thresholding for Data Gap Detection for a Set of Sensors in Instrumented Buildings

Building systems are highly vulnerable to different kinds of faults and failures. In fact, various faults, failures and human behaviors could affect the building performance. This paper tackles the detection of unreliable sensors in buildings. Different literature surveys on diagnosis techniques for sensor grids in buildings have been published but all of them treat only bias and outliers. Occurences of data gaps have also not been given an adequate span of attention in the academia. The proposed methodology comprises the automatic thresholding for data gap detection for a set of heterogeneous sensors in instrumented buildings. Sensor measurements are considered to be regular time series. However, in reality, sensor values are not uniformly sampled. So, the issue to solve is from which delay each sensor become faulty? The use of time series is required for detection of abnormalities on the delays. The efficiency of the method is evaluated on measurements obtained from a real power plant: an office at Grenoble Institute of technology equipped by 30 sensors.

A Review on Image Segmentation Techniques and Performance Measures

Image segmentation is a method to extract regions of interest from an image. It remains a fundamental problem in computer vision. The increasing diversity and the complexity of segmentation algorithms have led us firstly, to make a review and classify segmentation techniques, secondly to identify the most used measures of segmentation performance and thirdly, discuss deeply on segmentation philosophy in order to help the choice of adequate segmentation techniques for some applications. To justify the relevance of our analysis, recent algorithms of segmentation are presented through the proposed classification.

Managing Multiple Change Projects in Supply Chains: A Case Study of a Moroccan Multi-Technical Services Company

In this paper, we try to address the topic of multiple change management by adopting an engineered research methodology, conducted within a Moroccan company during its implementation of several change projects that aim at improving its supply chain management performance. Firstly, we present the key concepts related to our research, namely change management, multiproject management and supply chain management. Then, we try to assess how the change management and multi-project management are applied in this company. Finally, we try to propose an approach that will help managers in dealing with multiple change projects. This approach proposes to integrate change management, project management and multi-project management for managing change projects according to three organizational levels: executive level, project portfolio level and change project level.

Application of Sorptive Passive Panels for Reducing Indoor Formaldehyde Level: Effect of Environmental Conditions

Reducing formaldehyde concentration in residential buildings is an important challenge, especially during the summer. In this study, a ceiling tile was used as a sorptive passive panel for formaldehyde removal. The performance of this passive panel was evaluated under different environmental conditions. The results demonstrated that the removal efficiency is comprised between 40% and 71%. Change in the level of relative humidity (30%, 50%, and 75%) had a slight positive effect on the sorption capacity. However, increase in temperature from 21 °C to 26 °C led to approximately 7% decrease in the average formaldehyde removal performance. GC/MS and HPLC analysis revealed the formation of different by-products at low concentrations under extreme environmental conditions. These findings suggest that the passive panel selected for this study holds the potential to be used for formaldehyde removal under various conditions.

Monitoring Co-Creation: A Survey of Lithuanian Urban Communities

In this paper, we conduct a systematic survey of urban communities in Lithuania to evaluate their potential to co-create collective intelligence or “civic intelligence” applying Digital Co-creation Index methodology that includes different socio-technological indicators. Civic intelligence is a form of collective intelligence that refers to the group’s capacity to perceive societal problems and to address them effectively. The research focuses on evaluation of diverse organizational designs that increase efficient collective performance. The current scientific project advanced the state of the art by evaluating the basic preconditions in the urban communities through which the collective intelligence is being co-created under the systemic manner. The research subject is the “bottom up” digital enabled urban platforms, initiated by Lithuanian public organizations, civic movements or business entities. The web-based monitoring results obtained by applying a social indices calculation methodology and Pearson correlation analysis provided the information about the potential and limits of the urban communities and what possible changes need to be implemented to overcome the limitations.

Warm Mix and Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement: A Greener Road Approach

Utilization of a high percentage of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) requires higher production temperatures and consumes more energy. High production temperature expedites the aging of bitumen in RAP, which could affect the mixture performance. Warm mix asphalt (WMA) additive enables reduced production temperatures as a result of viscosity reduction. This paper evaluates the integration of a high percentage of RAP with a WMA additive known as RH-WMA. The optimum dosage of RH-WMA was determined from basic properties tests. A total of 0%, 30% and 50% RAP contents from two roads sources were modified with RH-WMA. The modified RAP bitumen were examined for viscosity, stiffness, rutting resistance and greenhouse gas emissions. The addition of RH-WMA improved the flow of bitumen by reducing the viscosity, and thus, decreased the construction temperature. The stiffness of the RAP modified bitumen reduced with the incorporation of RH-WMA. The positive improvement in rutting resistance was observed on bitumen with the addition of RAP and RH-WMA in comparison with control. It was estimated that the addition of RH-WMA could potentially reduce fuel usage and GHG emissions by 22 %. Hence, the synergy of RAP and WMA technology can be an alternative in green road construction.

Mathematical Expression for Machining Performance

In electrical discharge machining (EDM), a complete and clear theory has not yet been established. The developed theory (physical models) yields results far from reality due to the complexity of the physics. It is difficult to select proper parameter settings in order to achieve better EDM performance. However, modelling can solve this critical problem concerning the parameter settings. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop mathematical model to predict performance characteristics of EDM on Ti-5Al-2.5Sn titanium alloy. Response surface method (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN) are employed to develop the mathematical models. The developed models are verified through analysis of variance (ANOVA). The ANN models are trained, tested, and validated utilizing a set of data. It is found that the developed ANN and mathematical model can predict performance of EDM effectively. Thus, the model has found a precise tool that turns EDM process cost-effective and more efficient.

A Quantitative Study about Assessing the Effectiveness of Electronic Customer Relationship Management: A Case of Two Hotels in Mauritius

Worldwide, improving tourism competitiveness has been on the agendas of many stakeholders of the hotel sector, and they seem to have agreed that one of the best ways to compete is via the implementation of electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In so doing, the organizations enjoy strategic positioning on the competitive market by managing better not only the customers but, other business components including knowledge and employee management. Over the recent years, the tourism industry in Mauritius has witnessed a drastic economic boom at international and national levels; providing a new outlook to boost business performance through existing and potential customers. E-CRM has been one of the management tools used to achieving this position. Thus, this insightful context- Mauritius- was opted for the study. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of e-CRM as a strategic tool in the hotel sector in Mauritius through the implementation of business strategy to create competitive advantage and impact on the business performance. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative research methodology was adopted and the research revealed that e-CRM is indeed an effective strategic tool in the hotel industry in Mauritius that can provide a competitive advantage and impact positively on the organization’s performance.

A Study of Growth Factors on Sustainable Manufacturing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Case Study of Japan Manufacturing

Japan’s semiconductor industries have developed greatly in recent years. Many were started from a Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that found at a good circumstance and now become the prosperous industries in the world. Sustainable growth factors that support the creation of spirit value inside the Japanese company were strongly embedded through performance. Those factors were not clearly defined among each company. A series of literature research conducted to explore quantitative text mining about the definition of sustainable growth factors. Sustainable criteria were developed from previous research to verify the definition of the factors. A typical frame work was proposed as a systematical approach to develop sustainable growth factor in a specific company. Result of approach was review in certain period shows that factors influenced in sustainable growth was importance for the company to achieve the goal.

Noise Performance of Magnetic Field Tunable Avalanche Transit Time Source

The effect of magnetic field on the noise performance of the magnetic field tunable avalanche transit time (MAGTATT) device based on Si, designed to operate at W-band (75 – 110 GHz), has been studied in this paper. A comprehensive two-dimensional (2D) model has been developed. The simulation results show that due to the presence of applied external transverse magnetic field, both the noise spectral density and noise measure of the MAGTATT device increase significantly. The noise performance of the device has been found to be further deteriorated if the magnetic field strength is further increased. Hence, in order to achieve the magnetic field tuning of the radio frequency (RF) properties of impact avalanche transit time (IMPATT) source, the noise performance of it has to be sacrificed in fair extent. Moreover, it clearly indicates that an IMPATT source must be covered with appropriate magnetic shielding material to avoid undesirable shift in operating frequency and output power and objectionable amount of deterioration in noise performance due to the presence of external magnetic field.

Effect of Si/Al Ratio on SSZ-13 Crystallization and Its Methanol-To-Olefins Catalytic Properties

SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were prepared by varying the composition of aluminosilicate precursor solutions upon hydrothermal treatment at 150 °C. The Si/Al ratio of the initial system was systematically changed from 12.5 to infinity in order to study the limits of Al composition in precursor solutions for constructing CHA structure. The intermediates and final products were investigated by complementary techniques such as XRD, HRTEM, FESEM, and chemical analysis. NH3-TPD was used to study the Brønsted acidity of SSZ-13 samples with different Si/Al ratios. The effect of the Si/Al ratio on the precursor species, ultimate crystal size, morphology and yield was investigated. The results revealed that Al species determine the nucleation rate and the number of nuclei, which is tied to the morphology and yield of SSZ-13. The size of SSZ-13 increased and the yield decreased as the Si/Al ratio was improved. Varying Si/Al ratio of the initial system is a facile, commercially viable method of tailoring SSZ-13 crystal size and morphology. Furthermore, SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were tested as catalysts for the methanol to olefins (MTO) reaction at 350 °C. SSZ-13 with the Si/Al ratio of 35 shows the best MTO catalytic performance.

Evaluating Accessibility to Bangkok Mass Transit System: Case Study of Saphan Taksin BTS Station

Access to the mass transit system, including rapid elevated and underground transport has become an outstanding issue for many cities. The mass transit access development should focus on behavioral responses of the different passenger groups. Moreover, it should consider about the appearance of intent-oriented action related accessibility that was explored from user’s satisfaction and attitudes related to services quality. This study aims to evaluate mass transit accessibility from passenger’s satisfaction, therefore, understanding the passenger’s attitudes about mass transit accessibility. The study area of this research is Bangkok Mass Transit system (BTS Skytrain) at Saphan Taksin station. 200 passengers at Saphan Taksin station were asked to rate the questionnaires survey that considers accessibility aspects of convenience, safety, feeder connectivity, and other dimensions. The survey was to find out the passenger attitudes and satisfaction for access to the BTS station, and the result shows several factors that influence the passenger choice of using the BTS as a public transportation mode and passenger’s opinion that needs to concern for the development mass transit system and accessibility performance.

A Social Cognitive Investigation in the Context of Vocational Training Performance of People with Disabilities

The study reported here investigated social cognitive theory (SCT) in the context of Vocational Rehab (VR) for people with disabilities. The prime purpose was to increase knowledge of VR phenomena and make recommendations for improving VR services. The sample consisted of 242 persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) who completed questionnaires. A further 32 participants were Trainers. Analysis of questionnaire data was carried out using factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, and thematic analysis. The analysis suggested that, in motivational terms, and consistent with research carried out in other academic contexts, self-efficacy was the best predictor of VR performance. The author concludes that that VR self-efficacy predicted VR training performance.