Of all the Made for Monkeys submissions, one of the most common involves ice makers that fail. The results are often comical. They typically involve ice and water on the floor or unintended ice sculptures in the freezer.
Ice makers, yes, but don't forget about the cars, Rob. Seems automakers are getting a bit lazy when it comes to designing the latest models in recent years. From CD players that eat CDs simply because you need to change the battery, to impossible to get to oil pans, seems readers may want to stick with the model they bought in '92 rather than upgrade.
What is a counter-top fridge? There are small refrigerators that fit on a counter, but typically these don't have icemakers or are of the store display variety. Neither seems applicable to this article. Some consumers have counter-DEPTH refrigerators. I am interested in knowing the type of refrigerator to determine the economic practicality of continuing to spend money on new ice makers.
In Austeralia, a fault like that is covered under warranty. CONSUMER AFFAIRS states that a product must be suitable for the purpose it is intended and must last a reasonable length of time. For a TV it is 3 years and a fridge is 5-7 years.
Most icemakers have a heater that melts the interface between the ice that has formed in the tray and the tray. If the ice tray fails to dump it is usually due to failure of the heater. The broken plastic tab was probably due to the failure of the ice to come loose from the tray. In the end the icemaker would have to be replaced but there is no guarantee that the heater will fail again in 2 years. I have had icemakers to last 20 years and one that failed (due to a bad heater) in a year.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.