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

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)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
User Rank
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
RMenon   2/6/2013 3:49:10 PM
I like the name Fix or Repair Daily.  Years ago, I have also heard the name Found on the Road Dead

User Rank
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
gwf_fly   2/6/2013 1:23:07 PM
Hey Analog,

Perhaps you ought to change the title of your entry:  "Knowledgable designers without applying wisdom = Danger!"  The assumption here is that a company like Tesla has been able to apply lithium ion technology in their car without a single fire!  The computerized thermal management system developed by their engineers has served well so far, so why not share the wealth with Boeing?  There are billions of lithium ion packs scattered over the face of the earth in as many electronic gizmos.  Do you see a panic to dump them for the older nicad or nickel metal hydride?  Boeing would be WISE to accept the help offered by the Tesla engineers!



User Rank
Thank You
ervin0072002   2/6/2013 7:57:13 AM
My favorite post. Every word true and politically correct. If i was a conspiracy theorist i would say that the oil companies have it in for us and are using the media to delay electric car development. Im not a consipracy theorist hence i blame the ignorance of the media. This is my most favorite post ever.

Ozark Sage
User Rank
Ozark Sage   2/5/2013 10:05:06 PM
Today I had to purchase some new tires so visited our corporate supplier to confirm my conclusion of a defective front left tire.  A very savy service tech confirmed same.  So I told him to figure (2) for the front since it is a FWD car.  He ordered them for installation the next day.  On my arrival for installation I was informed the two NEW TIRES would HAVE TO BE INSTALLED ON THE REAR wheels.  A HEATED discussion comenced!  The store manager (quickly) arrived on the spot and a rather long, but friendly discussion proceeded with most of the customers listening intently.  The manager gave my company 2 more tires FREE to show their appreciation my corporations past patronage and explained to all listening why tire companies are taking this approach. 1. To save customers.  2. To SAVE LAWSUITS!

He went on to explain a new set of Firestones were put on the front with the worn tires moved to the rear.  The driver departed; a rear tire blew; control was lost; car filpped; burned; driver sued; HUGE damages; end of story!

NOW, one might GUESS what BOEING IS THINKING about and the raz-ma-taz  discussed, makes interesting press, but not a wise management call.  Keeping the beast on the ground until ALL the Qs are answered keeps stockholders AND passangers happy.  


User Rank
ChasChas   2/5/2013 9:37:35 PM
In real life, the engineer is not in control. The money people are. The money people make the final assessment - not the engineer - and it is money based. It has nothing to do with safety per se.

They ask questions like how many people may get killed/hurt? and what is our liability? When the product reaches an acceptable risk level - based on money alone - then the product is deemed ready for production.

Sadly, the engineer must take all the blame if something goes wrong.


User Rank
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
lightvixen   2/5/2013 8:38:39 PM
Maybe the combination of McDonald Douglas and Boelng, with different managerial concepts, and the rush taken in getting the plane in the air, were contributing factors to the problem.

William K.
User Rank
Boeing's Woes and electric cars?
William K.   2/5/2013 6:56:53 PM
Has 9it been mentioned as to how much of the engineering on the battery system on the dreamliner was outsourced? It has been published that Boeing has had problems with quite a few of the places where outsourced talent was used. Problems are exactly what I have learned to expect from outsourced engineering work, so that revalation would not be surprising to me. Keeping high energy batteries in a safe condition is a challenge, there is no question about that, and forgetting to include active cooling is one of those simplifying choices that appears to have been wrong. Of course it is also possible that it is stricktly a quality problem, that has not been mentiond at all, one way or the other. The fact stands that a poorly produced version of an excellent design will probably not perform as intended. That goes for battery packs and many other things, and it needs to be remembered.

Analog Bill
User Rank
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
Analog Bill   2/5/2013 5:47:44 PM
I agree that plug-in, all-electric cars are a terrible idea ... a case of burning more fuel elsewhere ("not in my back yard") than would be necessary with a good hybrid (kinetic energy-conserving) vehicle. But, notwithstanding that, if Boeing wants to do the battery industry a favor, which I think it owes, it should step up to the plate and admit that they screwed up the design. And as to "how can we expect auto makers to use them right?", just look at Tesla (as I understand it, they've even offered to help Boeing).  All I can think is that Boeing used some interns or newbies to design these battery boxes. I'm no expert, but common sense tells me not to crowd things together if each of them is getting hot ... the cumulative effect could be easily predicted. Shame on Boeing!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Designers without applying knowlege = Danger.
Charles Murray   2/5/2013 5:08:10 PM
Those who have cited concerns about the use of the word "fire" make good points, which are well-received here. In these articles, however, I've used the word "fire" as it was used by the National Transportation Safety Board, which did the teardown and even used the word "fire" in its press release headline of January 14th: "NTSB Provides Second Investigative Update on Boeing 787 Battery Fire in Boston." Also in the lede of the press release: "The National Transportation Safety Board today released a second update on the January 7 fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston." As several commenters have suggested, the word "fire" is often used incorrectly. Here, however, it appears to be appropriate, based on the NTSB's investigation.

User Rank
Re: Boeing's Woes
Thinking_J   2/5/2013 4:58:08 PM
Wrong .. or at least misleading / outdated info.

The same day the first battery failed on a Dreamliner... FAA had changed the rules concerning shipping of Li-ion batterys..

They (Li-ion batteries) have been cleared for transport on passenger flights.


<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Electronic News & Comment
There's good news and bad news regarding the sub-systems of today's late-model vehicles. The good news is that new engines and transmissions are more trouble-free than in the past. The bad news is that the infotainment and DVD players are still prone to be "buggy."
Government fines and recalls are heightening the need for automakers to adopt more safety standards and software verification techniques, experts at EE Live said this week.
The coming era of self-driving cars will call for a major change in engineering culture, an embedded design expert said this week.
For decades, the corporate path to the chief executive's office has often passed through engineering. Automotive, computer, electronics, and oil companies have frequently drawn their leaders from the engineering ranks.
The Texas Motor Speedway has flipped the switch on a high-definition video board that uses 14 million LEDs, weighs more than 200,000 pounds, and is 80% larger than the Dallas Cowboys' world-renowned scoreboard.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

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.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service