REGISTER | LOGIN
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
The CSI Premier 75W soldering station is a low-cost unit that has a lot of features.
Upgrading a PC's memory resulted in screeching sounds whenever it tried to play audio. Has this ever happened to you?
When capacitors in a computer monitor's power supply failed, the problem was obvious. Take a look inside of the AC mains power adapter.
By constructing homemade versions of components like switches and potentiometers, it should be possible to reduce the cost of a new Arduino kit.
It would be nice if pharmacies offered some sort of pharmaceutical disposal service so as to stop people from simply flushing unwanted medications down the toilet
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed