In the software world, SAP does the same thing. They are very specific about what hardware, system software and middleware can be used with their ERP products. This is a real pain, until you have a problem that needs fixing. With a certified installation, they have the test fixtures for all valid combinations and can run in the same environment that you have. It allows them to give a very high SLA.
Not just a great example of patient and methodical troubleshooting - but also an example of how you can combine your areas of interest in your profession. While I have been a test engineer for years, I also have a passion for horses. I have a small business where my husband and I develop portable trail obstacles for horses. We often combine our mechanical engineering skills to solve problems with our obstacles and are currently developing some obstacles that are PIC controlled. We have a water obstacle that we eventually plan to have activated by a motion sensor. That's the awesome thing about engineering - you can bring it into so many different areas and work on those that specifically interest you - just as the author of this very interesting article has shown...
Good point, Naperlou, One thing a really like about this solution is how those who built the pipe organ worked to replicate the problem 600 miles away. This is reminiscent of how the Apollo 13 problem was solved. Those in Houston tried to replicate the materials those in the spacecraft has so they could use those materials to solve the problem.
Beth, I agree with you. That was an interesting story and a very interesting problem. There is no way to teach such skills. You just have to work with the equipment and understand it at many levels to find a solution.
Nice story and an on-going lesson for up-and-coming engineers that despite the complexities of today's products and tool platforms, patience and persistence as well as a thirst for curiousity and an eye for creative problem solving are still the tried and true foundational skills for good engineers. Thanks for sharing.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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