The Flight of the Pringle

Tom Lange knows more about flying Pringles than probably anyone alive.

As director of modeling and simulation at Procter & Gamble Co., it’s Lange’s job to use finite element analysis to predict what something will smell like, whether a bottle will break, and if a Pringles chip will take flight.

“We break things into a million little parts and then write simple math equations about how each little part affects the other parts,” says Lange, who is responsible for the economic, as well as structural, analysis of different materials.

His latest challenge was to analyze airflow around the unique double-saddle design of Pringles chips. “Air flow over Pringles has some very unusual behavior,” says Lange. “It sheds vortices and creates lift that causes the chip to be unstable.” In English that means the chips will fly off the conveyer belt if production is throttled up.

Though he won’t say what modifications they made, “we were able to speed things up,” says Lange, who adds, “I have the coolest job.”

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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