An electrical failure in a relay has caused Maytag Corp. to recall 1.6 million refrigerators. The faulty relay, which turns on the refrigerator’s compressor, can cause overheating and is considered a potential fire hazard. A Maytag web site says that it has received 41 reports of “refrigerator relay ignition,” including 16 reports of property damage. Affected brands include Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Crosley, Magic Chef, and Performa by Maytag. To learn about affected models and serial numbers see the company’s repair web site.
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.