I may be having a slow day, but I saw no explanation about why the clutch that had worked for years was now failing. I would infer that the new application required more start up torque and therefore overstressed the clutch more than previous applications. Is that right?
Of course, the first failure was with those who assumed that since the application was similar, that the torques would be the same. That kind of thinking is lazy, with no excuses. Of course, there is a lot of lazy going around. Ignoring the deformed clutch spring is even worse, since that is such a very obvious indication of an overload. Making your own torque sensor was certainly one way to find out what actually was happening, I guess that was what you had to do, because there did not used to be any source for torque sensors. But making your own sensors like that would be expensive.
Probably it would have been useful to study the previous design that had a good track record and find out what was so different, since possibly it would be something that could be used in the newer design, (except that there were lots of them already in the field).
I have seen a few disasters caused by people thinking that something was the same as the previous version.
I agree. It is important to learn from your mistakes, but there is just as much importance to not be too complacent in your sucesses. Just because something worked once does not mean it will always work in all applications.
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