Breaking News
Engineering Investigations

The case of the loose screws

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
JRM
User Rank
Author
re: The case of the loose screws
JRM   9/30/2010 3:50:54 PM
NO RATINGS
My boss gave me a chop saw that "needed a new trigger switch". Same thing.

DrQuine
User Rank
Author
re: The case of the loose screws
DrQuine   9/27/2010 12:19:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Great stories. "Random failures" can be especially difficult to find - until you know the answer. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I worked on a postal mail sorting machine prototype in the early 1990's that would randomly stop running and flames (literally) would shoot out of one of the integrated circuit chips. We finally discovered that especially thick mail pieces would bulge the sides of the mail track, that the metal would touch a contact on the circuit board, and the short circuited integrated chip would get so hot that the plastic would ignite. I'd never imagined that a chip could serve as a flame thrower before.

alkey3
User Rank
Author
re: The case of the loose screws
alkey3   9/25/2010 9:31:53 PM
NO RATINGS
The physical world is so often underestimated in our designs (I am guilty as well). As EEs we don't often think about Torque specs, retaining nuts, line corrosion, etc. yet these seem to repeatedly intrude on our "perfect" designs. I am both amazed and impressed by those engineers who know to consistently consider all aspects of where and how their designs will be implemented and take care to ensure their reliability for the long run.

More Blogs from Engineering Investigations
When you come to think about it, it looks like the 'S' (science) portion of STEM-related bar jokes is well-covered, but what about the 'TEM'?
How can you tell when an engineer is ready to leave the nest and soar wild and free through the engineering skies?
Although it claims a 100-year life, the power LED in this video comes to an early demise.
These testers would be worth the money if all they did was test capacitors -- the fact that they also work with resistors, inductors, diodes, and transistors is cream in the cake.
We are all travelers of the infinite. The galaxy is calling to us via a resonance cascade. Can you hear it?

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed