Historically I think manufacturers have given a great deal of focus to magazines and other groups that have "ranked" there products because they saw a great deal of consumers that were using these tools to determine what to buy. As more and more consumers move to using blogs and internet sites for communicating about the quality of products and which products to buy, it will not be long before comanies will start to review this material just as much if not more than traditional print. Just look at the struggle traditional new media is having as more and more people get their news on the internet instead of the newspaper.
Ivan: You're right. Public discussion is more likely to get a meaningful response (even though it hasn't worked on this site yet). My experience has been that if you write to them directly, you get a form letter in return. "Thank you for your correspondence..."
I would really like to find a way for this kind of feedback to be presented to the manufacturer. It does little in the way of helping them if we only gripe about their designs. Here we have a large and varied collection of Engineers, Designers and Users that are willing to offer good and potentially actionable feedback on the design work of some of the largest and most important firms in the world.
Perhaps we can start collecting an email address or some contact information so that these posts and the responses can be forwarded to the manufacturer for comment and or action.
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.