The first mistake was making a buying decision based on a company's reputation for training managers. OK, so GE hires the best MBAs. That and $6 will buy you a cup of coffee. I see two unfortunate trends in laundry equipment: 1) a profusion of electronics that makes the equipment seem high tech, but really just makes it more prone to breakdowns, and 2) a trend to high-end, fashionable designs that significantly boosts the price tags.
This post echoes the recent Monkeys post regarding Maytag appliances and I'm sure the list goes on. I had a similar experience with a high-end Kitchen Aid dishwasher. The same weird error message occurred over and over and the repairman came out probably a half dozen times to fix the same problem on the circuitry. Kitchen Aid ended up giving me a free extended warranty and covered most of the costs of the the multiple repair jobs, but it still didn't sit well with me. I replaced that dishwasher as fast as possible with a Bosch and I've had no problems ever since.
Its no wonder were choosing European and Asian made washers and dryers. Its great to buy American and keep americans employed, but if they're building junk and selling it at a premium price, they're gonna loose in the end.
One of the patterns we're seeing over and over in the Monkeys blog is the weakening of classic American brands. Whether it's GE or Maytag, we keep hearing that "My ____ appliance worked great for 20 years. When we replaced it, we got a piece of junk." This seems particularly true for large household appliances. This also seems to correspond with contract manufacturing, though I'm reluctant to point to manufacturing for problems that may begin in the design stage.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.