I agree with the use of good instructions or standard operating procedures. However, I don't like the idea of standard operating procedures being, "bring it to me and I'll fix it with some baling wire and twine."
And in this case it sounds like someone forgot to check and see if the glue would give the product the life it needed. Could have been one of those cost out ideas. Or more than likely, someone just thought it would work as good as the other stuff.
This story exemplifies the importance of good work instructions. A good system will account for a new employee and still make quality product. Documentation of task steps and quality risks on each step is important.
Scott, that is a good point. This reminds me of a number of situations I have seen with small manufacturers over the past few years. The problem was parts testing over time (life testing). You really need to trust your supplier or have a good warranty program. On the other hand, even with a good warranty the failure often leaves a bad taste with the consumer.
I spent a lot of years as a club musician and speakers were tossed around quite a bit, not like Pete Townsend, but things get dropped, bounced around on the stage, and in vans. I've heard voice coils rub, seen them melt, and shatter (titanium horns). I've seen surround dry rot and fatigue, but I've never seen a magnet fall off, not even on the big 20lb magnet JBLs. This sounds like a pretty low quality vendor.
I really enjoyed this story since it addresses the real world issues of manufacturing. It's fine to design something on a CAD program, but somewhere along the line, the actual parts have to be assembled and that, it turns out, is every bit as important and the design itself. Attention to detail, proper assembly techniques, training and clear work instructions all matter. Thanks.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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