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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Volume 10, Issue 3
This last issue of Volume 10 of the Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology contains papers covering risk factors impacting construction projects, low cost variable power supply units (PSU) as electronic loads, optimization of curved roof surface design, trade-credit and supply chain delivery in construction, Agile product Development Cycle (PDC), factors impacting health and safety management, and theoretical investigations of the static performance characteristics of orifice compensated symmetric hole-entry hybrid.
The purpose of the paper by Chileshe and Yirenkyi-Fianko is to identify and assess the likelihood of occurrence and degree of impact of the risk factors on construction projects within the Ghanaian construction industry. Results of their study indicate that financial and economic factors were most likely to occur and have the most impact on projects, whereas legal risk factors were least likely to occur and have the least impact. There were differences between contractor and client ranking of construction methods risk variables. The authors argue that their paper makes some contribution to exploring the degree of risk occurrence and its impact on construction projects within a developing economy.
The paper by Simon and Meyer discusses the design and construction of a low cost current-voltage tester bearing in mind the short falls of the existing testers and the ever increasing price of testers currently on the market. The I-V tracer uses a variable external PSU as the load in order to obtain the entire operating range of a PV module from open circuit through maximum power to short circuit condition. The results obtained using this system compared with the capacitive tester shows a low percent difference of <1 from the comparative I-V curves measured. The results measured by the PSU Tester were found to also be highly accurate. The system is capable of measuring up to eight modules at the same time making it possible to analyze PV modules within the same time frame.
The next paper by Li, Guo, Kong, and Chen reports on a study to optimize the design of curved roof surfaces given their increased complexity and inadequate optimization algorithms in design software. Their study found that the GA-based method can improve the performance of optimization for curved roof surface design in the CATIA system. The authors claim that their approach improves the current method of curved roof surface design.
Badu, Edwards and Owusu-Manu discuss trade-credit and supply chain delivery in the Ghanaian construction industry. They argue that trade credit is treated as a financial intermediation device whereby construction vendors act as financial providers to their customers through deferred payments of goods purchased. Their study investigated key factors and motives influencing vendors’ decision on trade credit provision to small to medium construction firms. They found that the underlying constructs and motives of vendors on trade credit were intricately interwoven in two principal factors, mainly:
risk distribution and liquidity; and
sustaining business relationship and liquidity.
Despite the uncharacteristic manifestation of the liquidity measure being associated with the two principal components, the findings demonstrate the relative importance of liquidity in the trade credit debate. A critical observation stemming from the analysis was that trade policy was absent within the trade-credit market in Ghana; this poses a potential threat to trade credit exchange and its development.
The paper by Vinodh, Selvaraj and Praveen conceptualize and develop various phases of Agile PDC for a manufacturing organization. The study was conducted in a rotary switches manufacturing organisation. The outcome of this research indicated the power of Agile PDC as an enabler of agility in contemporary manufacturing organisations.
Spillane, Oyedele and von Meding discuss an empirical analysis of factors impacting health and safety management. They identify, clarify and tabulate the various on-site project management issues encountered, to aid in the management of the complex health and safety concerns, which occur within a confined construction site environment. They found that the following were the leading onsite project management issues impacting health and safety management on a confined construction site, namely:
“difficulty to move materials around site safely”;
“lack of adequate room for the effective handling of materials”;
“difficulty in ensuring site is tidy and all plant and materials are stored safely”;
“close proximity of individuals to operation of large plant and machinery”; and joint fifth
“difficulty in ensuring proper arrangement and collection of waste materials on-site” along with (5) “Difficulty in controlling hazardous materials and equipment on site”.
With sustained development of urban centres on a global scale, coupled with the increasing complexity of architectural designs, the majority of onsite project management professionals are faced with the onerous task of completing often intricate designs within a limited spatial environment, under strict health and safety parameters. The subsequent value of the findings are such that as on-site management professionals successfully identify the various health and safety issues highlighted, the successful management of health and safety on a confined construction site is attainable.
The final paper by Garg presents theoretical investigations of the static performance characteristics of orifice compensated symmetric hole-entry hybrid journal bearing considering the combined influence of rise in temperature and non-Newtonian behavior of the lubricant. The computed results reveal that variation of viscosity due to rise in temperature and non-Newtonian behavior of the lubricant affects the performance of symmetric hole-entry hybrid journal bearing system quite significantly.
I trust that you will enjoy the variety of the topics in this issue. Thank you to all authors and reviewers for your contributions not only to this particular issue but also to the other issues in Volume 10.
Theo C. Haupt