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.
Industrial workplaces are governed by OSHA rules, but this isn’t to say that rules are always followed. While injuries happen on production floors for a variety of reasons, of the top 10 OSHA rules that are most often ignored in industrial settings, two directly involve machine design: lockout/tagout procedures (LO/TO) and machine guarding.
Load dump occurs when a discharged battery is disconnected while the alternator is generating current and other loads remain on the alternator circuit. If left alone, the electrical spikes and transients will be transmitted along the power line, leading to malfunctions in individual electronics/sensors or permanent damage to the vehicle’s electronic system. Bottom line: An uncontrolled load dump threatens the overall safety and reliability of the vehicle.
While many larger companies are still reluctant to rely on wireless networks to transmit important information in industrial settings, there is an increasing acceptance rate of the newer, more robust wireless options that are now available.
To those who have not stepped into additive manufacturing, get involved as soon as possible. This is for the benefit of your company. When the new innovations come out, you want to be ready to take advantage of them immediately, and that takes knowledge.
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