Design Decisions: Understanding the Value of Integrated System Design
This diesel engine emission control module manages fuel, air atomization, and air purge functions. Integrated into this assembly are two solenoid valves, two pressure regulators, three pressure transducers, a fuel injector, and precision orifice. The compact design and simplified mounting provide a distinct advantage over having to connect and mount individual components on a truck chassis.
Mr. Fleischer, thank you for a good white-paper blog. You did not make it an advertisement for your company or products. Granted, the image shown was likely your product, but it in no way sold that product or even identified it. It was a good example of integrated system design.
It is certainly true that for many systems that utilize either hydraulics, or pneumatics, that using a manifold for some of the interconnects can provide a much more compact system that is both more reliable and less expensive. In fact, this holds true for both mass production and one-off systems, which is unusual. Of course the down side is that the system must be defined prior to the manifold being designed, since most manifolds are difficult to revise. But once a system is accurately defined a well designed manifold will usually provide a cost reduction, and almost always provide better reliability.
There are drivers everywhere who turn on their headlights or windshield wipers with no awareness of the development effort behind a switch. Yet from freezing winter to sweltering summer, on dull rainy days and in bright sunshine, switches are expected to function consistently for the lifetime of a car.
The standards electrical machines and components are required to meet in the food processing industry are far more stringent than those in traditional plant construction. For specialized production environments such as these, components must not only resist thermal and physical stresses, but they must also be resistant to the chemicals used to sterilize equipment.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Was Steve Job’s signature outfit of a black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers the secret behind his success? Maybe, or maybe not, but it was likely an indication of a decision-making philosophy that enabled him to become one of the most successful innovators of all time.
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