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Made by Monkeys

Crack Fix for Pesky Oven Bulb

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Rob Spiegel
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Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/24/2012 2:27:37 PM
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Talk about Made by Monkeys. Who on earth would design a lock washer onto a bulb that would need to be replaced over time?

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Drat the lock washer
Charles Murray   7/24/2012 5:28:49 PM
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I agree, Rob. There should be a Made by Monkeys Hall of Fame and this one should be in the starting lineup. The responsibility comes right back to the designer.

gsmith120
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Platinum
Re: Drat the lock washer
gsmith120   7/24/2012 5:48:02 PM
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Lol. Some designs just make me laugh because it seems no or very little thought was put into the design.  They make you say "Really?"

Tim
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Re: Drat the lock washer
Tim   7/25/2012 8:42:40 AM
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Evidently, the designer of this component did not read the Design For Disassembly articles printed on this sight, or the manufacturer decided that a broken component after disassembly was not a big deal as it required the sale of a spare part set to fix the issue.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/25/2012 6:33:18 PM
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Hall of Fame (or shame) for sure on this, Chuck. Once the design mistake is made, I can see how it might be hard to detect. When testing the product, I can understand that removing and replacing the blub  would never come up.  Then, once the product is out in the market, it could be a couple years (or more) before anyone needs to replace the bulb.

Charles Murray
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Re: Drat the lock washer
Charles Murray   7/25/2012 7:28:21 PM
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I, too, can see how this might not come up during test, Rob. I would just hope that the manufacturer would take the inevitable complaints to heart and never make that same mistake on future products.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/26/2012 2:32:10 PM
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Yes, Chuck, you would expect this to change once it comes to light. Certainly it's an easy fix to make.

agriego
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Gold
Re: Drat the lock washer
agriego   7/25/2012 9:18:05 AM
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The word "smeg" is used as an expletive in the British sci-fi program "Red Dwarf". Apparently the writers on the program have had to replace the lights in their ovens as well...

;-)

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/26/2012 11:18:07 AM
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I take it "smeg" is a relatively nasty expletive if it's fitting for replacing this particular bulb.

agriego
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Gold
Re: Drat the lock washer
agriego   7/26/2012 11:33:25 AM
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Yes, it is. As a matter of fact, the blooper reels for the program are called "Smeg-Ups", as opposed to "F***-Ups". I saw the name of the appliance and immediately thought of Red Dwarf, and the expletive they use.

I haven't had to replave the light in my range yet, and after reading this thread, I am dreading it. It's amazing how little thought is put into making something easier to service. My son had to remove the entire headlight assembly and loosen the grill to replace the headlight bulb.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/27/2012 12:20:37 AM
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The oven bulb is just dumb. What infuriates me is the situation your son faces in changing a headlight bulb. That's very customer unfriendly.

Cadman-LT
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Platinum
Re: Drat the lock washer
Cadman-LT   8/2/2012 4:46:46 PM
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Heck just loc-tite everything together...who cares right!? lol

vandamme
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Silver
Re: Drat the lock washer
vandamme   7/25/2012 2:23:41 PM
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Yet another article where a picture would be worth 10E3 words.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Drat the lock washer
Rob Spiegel   7/26/2012 2:19:51 PM
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You're right, Vandamme, a photo here would say a great deal, especially since this snafu is so difficult to believe.

Alan3354
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Iron
Re: Drat the lock washer
Alan3354   8/6/2012 3:17:47 PM
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1E3 would do it.

10,000 is too many.

Critic
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Platinum
Slip Wrench? Mole Grip? Hard to change a light bulb?
Critic   7/25/2012 10:11:15 AM
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I suppose it would be politically correct to simply agree that this is a horrible design, but honestly, it isn't so bad.

The editor should make sure that terms used in these articles are generally understood by readers.  What, exactly, is a "slip wrench?"  This could mean many different tools.  If I can't Google "slip wrench" and receive an unambiguous description of the tool, then it requires further definition.  The right tool probably would have been a pair of channel-lock pliers with rubber-covered jaws, or a strap wrench, such as the type we stupid Americans sometimes use to remove oil filters from car engines, but in this case, a version with rubber-covered strap should be used.

At first, I didn't know what a "Mole grip" is.  I now know that it is what we foolish Americans call "Vise-Grip pliers," or "Locking pliers."  Mole is the name of a manufacturer.

I can understand that bulbs and covers that have been in an oven for years are hard to free.  A little light lubrication, used sparingly and with care to avoid a fire, is helpful. 

Another complaint regarding these "Made by Monkeys" posts is that suggestions for product improvement should be required as part of the article, unless it is obvious how the product could have been improved (by proper assembly, for example, when a manufacturer didn't follow its own assembly instructions).

What are some ideas for better design of the oven light in this case?  It doesn't look like such a bad design to me, but I am not very creative. 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: Slip Wrench? Mole Grip? Hard to change a light bulb?
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/25/2012 10:24:55 AM
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I AGREE wholeheartedly with CRITIC's criticism.  As has been commented previously, the descriptions of faulty OR poor design are not always very well transferred from the blogger's mind to the written word.  Add in the different colloquialisms from our extra-American readers and that spells a recipe for incomprehension.

I read this piece twice, and still wasn't sure of the mechanical problem.  Standard kitchen stove/oven appliances here are mostly designed with ( an appliance) bulb in a socket @ the rear of the compartment area.  A couple of self-tapping (sheetmetal) screws, and the glass cover comes off for access to the atandard A-19 style bulb.

Maybe the Europeans with their reams & reams of design criteria (IEC, VDE, NEMKO, DEMKO, FEMKO, etal!) are experiencing the fruits of all this regulation in the name of safety!

Larry M
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Re: Slip Wrench? Mole Grip? Hard to change a light bulb?
Larry M   7/25/2012 11:07:15 AM
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I cannot help but wonder whether there was a tab to be pressed before one spins off the vover glass. I also cannot help but wonder whether that's clearly explained in the manual.

roddalitz
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Gold
Back to basics
roddalitz   7/25/2012 12:48:29 PM
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Let's go back a step. I want to be able to see what I am cooking, so there needs to be a light somewhere. Since the interior of the oven is liable to sputtering fat, it would make sense for that to be totally sealed. Why should the light bulb not be inserted from outside the oven? OK it would be nice not to have to pull the whole unit forward to get access, so maybe the bulb should not be inserted from the rear, but the present design is a design to fail. A light-pipe should be easy and cheap to guide the light from an accessible bulb to where the light is needed. That could be glass or plastic, or a metal lined hollow tube, which is the way hallways can be illuminated through the attic. Lots of options, up to the designer to choose one, anything is better than the arrangement described.

Bob Salter
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Iron
Re: Back to basics
Bob Salter   7/25/2012 2:04:09 PM
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I've replaced light bulbs in general before when the base was tightly glued to its threaded socket. After breaking and removing the bulb, I would grab the top lip of the metal base with needle nose pliers and twist it out. Of course, I'd disconnect the electricity just in case, even though the socket is supposed to be the ground. Also, I didn't trust the glass bulb not to break even if wrapped by a heavy cloth.

Zippy
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Re: Back to basics
Zippy   7/25/2012 2:23:26 PM
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From reading this site and others, consumer appliances seem to be rife with repair and maintanence problems.  There seems to be very little awareness of this among consumers (I know I don't ask about it when shopping for an appliance, and I should know better). Without market pressure, I doubt the manufacturers will spend any effort on it.

ricardo
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Silver
Corollary to Murphy's Law
ricardo   7/25/2012 5:28:28 PM
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There is an important corollary to Murphy's Law, an immutable Law of Nature that sits with Newton & Einstein's questions to Life, the Universe & Everything.

"If something is made easy to repair, it will never need repairing."

This was pointed out to me by Peter Walker of QUAD who made some of the most reliable gear in my industry, domestic electronics.  And he meant repair at the troubleshoot & component level rather than naive swapping of modules.

My own experience has confirmed this, even in other fields.

I have no explanation other than a designer thinking about repair is also thinking about failure modes and will probably address both.

So endeth the first lesson .. on using Murphy to our advantage.

Thinking_J
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Platinum
solution : depends on perspective
Thinking_J   7/25/2012 2:50:59 PM
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one possible explanation....(?)

Bulbs were coming loose during shipment.. and the persons (engineer?  committee?) responsible for resolving the problem decided to put a locking mechanism.. totally ignoring the customer frustration that would be caused long after the product was purchased and installed... likely because it wasn't going to be "their" problem.

What may have started as an engineering problem (poor design), became a very different kind of problem.

This is a problem of providing the people responsible with appropriate incentives and possibly resources to resolve the original problem completely and correctly.
Likely related to same poor management of the original engineering.

Just saying it isn't all related to some engineer's bad choices.

I have often been in meetings (20+ people/ 4 countries) where the engineer's obvious (best) choice for resolving a problem on a product, is often discounted or ignored by management... only to be resolved a year or so later with another poor fix.

There is a reason why so many relate to "Dilbert" cartoons.

 

Tool_maker
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Platinum
Re: solution : depends on perspective
Tool_maker   7/26/2012 10:44:38 AM
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  I have to admit a prejudice in this, because I came to engineering through the back door, ie. the shop, but this is a classic case of an engineer or team of engineers who have never had to build or work with what they design.

  The Dilbert comparison is dead on.

William K.
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Platinum
crack fix for pesky oven bulb?
William K.   7/25/2012 9:33:40 PM
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Is it possible that there is some means to release the latch-locking tab? I have come across some surplus items that have locking collars with rachet teeth splined to the connector body, and a mating rachet splined to the other side. So they can go on finger tight but need about 90 foot-pounds to unscrew, with much destruction resulting. OR, insert a release pin to disengage the ratchet and it unscres easily. It probably added $25 to the cost of each half, but evidently the intended mission was quite important.

ChasChas
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Platinum
Monkeys all over
ChasChas   7/26/2012 5:13:22 PM
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Could it be that some of the same monkeys that designed this oven are posting in defense of this design? The modus operandi smacks.

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