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Electronic News & Comment
Boeing's Woes Shouldn't Be an Indictment of Electric Cars
2/4/2013

Boeing's batteries overheated and burned (left) onboard a 787 (right), but that shouldn't be an indictment of lithium-ion chemistries.  (Source: NTSB, left; Boeing, right)
Boeing's batteries overheated and burned (left) onboard a 787 (right), but that shouldn't be an indictment of lithium-ion chemistries.
(Source: NTSB, left; Boeing, right)

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Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Logic not crisis
Cabe Atwell   3/1/2013 6:59:57 PM
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All is well. A permanent fix is on the way for these batteries. Only a brief incident. Electric cars are safe!

C

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: Logic not crisis
sensor pro   2/17/2013 8:43:01 PM
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WOW, you right on. They can not live without crisis. This also adds preasure for immediate solution, when it really has to be done methodically without errors.

Ceylon0
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Silver
Logic not crisis
Ceylon0   2/13/2013 3:19:12 PM
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The problem here isn't with Boeing having to fix their mistake or electric cars. The problem here is with a media who reports this nonsense. The media seems to think it cannot survive without moving from crisis to crisis and manufacturing a few along the way. These so-called journalists need some basic training in logic. Oh wait, that's why they are journalists. They couldn't handle the math!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Boeing's Woes and electric cars?
William K.   2/8/2013 9:36:20 PM
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Charles, you are exactly right! And sometimes the failures are some seriously bad news. Been there, the company died.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Boeing's Woes and electric cars?
Charles Murray   2/8/2013 6:13:57 PM
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Must be nice, William K. The accountant comes up with the idea to outsource the engineering and gets a pat on the back for saving the company money. If the outsourced engineers mess up, though, no one blames the accountant. What a great deal.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Boeing's Woes and electric cars?
William K.   2/7/2013 9:50:43 PM
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Charles, One of my bosses years ago had a policy of never admitting to making a mistake on record. Verbally he would acknowledge errors and failures, but never in any form that left a detectable record. So that is one way of never getting nailed for ones errors. I think that is how it works with outsourced engineering, which is that accounting points at how much money they saved and how the incompoetent in-house engineers just messed things up. And very few are ever willing to admit to a failure, because it is bad for one's career.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Boeing's Woes and electric cars?
Charles Murray   2/7/2013 7:36:26 PM
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Good point, William K. Fears about outsourced aircraft maintenance get talked about a lot (Michael Crichton wrote a book about it called "Airframe" many years ago). But for some reason, there's little talk about the effects of outsourced engineering.

herbissimus
User Rank
Silver
Re: Arm chair quarterbacks... ?
herbissimus   2/7/2013 10:41:38 AM
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"Old US Air force definition of an airplane:

A group of compromises , flying in close formation."



what a beautiful quote!!

i'm sure this will come to me as i'm high above the water, crossing the atlantic or pacific, courtesy of an airline and aircraft company on my way to another great travel experience. and the thought will also arise that this quote as much as any i've heard characterises the whole industrial system.

RMenon
User Rank
Iron
Due diligence vs. time-to-market
RMenon   2/6/2013 5:28:00 PM
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The oft-repeated mistake manufacturers make, is not doing enough due diligence on the product design.  While this is easier said than done, the pressures within the oragnization and external market forces decide how much or how little test validation gets done on the product before being deployed in the market.  This is not restricted to the aircraft or automotive industry.  Look at the pharmaceutical industry making new drugs as well as generic versions.  The amount of bad side-effects and deaths caused by the drugs itself have increased over the years.  The escape valve that industry has developed, is to have disclaimers that taking that drug will cause all kinds of side effects like puffing of lips, diarrhoea, kidney damage, internal bleeding etc., which protects them from liability claims in our highly litigious society.  Many a times the ingredients they use are at fault or the formulations they produce are deficient.  They push the performance envelope, so much so that the FDA cannot keep pace with all the developments and yet are under pressure to certify those drugs.  Engineered products have the same set of challenges.  Even when the product by itself may perform very well, when put into use in a certain application and/or environment they could fail, sometimes with disastrous/fatal outcomes.  That is the price we pay for technological advances - but we all love i-anything.  Getting back to Boeing, they have had their own problems to deal with, with lost contracts to Airbus Industries, due to delayed delivery dates for their Dreamliner.  I am sure that this put pressure on Boeing as a company as well as their internal stakeholders including their excellent engineering team.  What has drastically changed in the age of the internet, is that bad news reaches the four corners of the earth faster than it ever did before.  News media need to increase their ratings, so under the guise of investigative journalism, we get disconnected facts enough to make everybody nervous to get up in the morning to go to work.  We seek instant gratification, so these kinds of failures are to be expected as a matter of routine.  While the learning curve can be reduced by applying lessons learned from automotive or space industry, certain proceses in life are linear. Performance validation is certainly one of them.  Now let's just shut out the noise, and get back to work!

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
Cabe Atwell   2/6/2013 5:06:01 PM
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Not to sound like a conspiracy nut, the EV was suppressed for many years. Despite battery tech levels of the past, they were there. I am sure some corporate type somewhere will try to spin this as a reason to avoid electric cars. Oil corps, I'm looking at you...

I, for one, will buy an EV as my next car, without a doubt.

C

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