@TJ McDermott: Being "colorblind" doesn't mean being unable to see colors; it just means that it's more difficult to differentiate between certain colors.
I have deuteranopia, which is one of the most common forms of colorblindness. While most people have three types of color receptors (red, green, and blue), my eyes only have receptors for red and blue. Since I don't have specialized receptors for intermediate-wavelength colors, they don't appear as distinct to me as they probably do to you. For example, the colors gold, light orange, and light green all look pretty similar to me.
This site has some good pictures that illustrate how colorblind people see things.
You're definitely right about labelling wires. Whenever I have to deal with color-coded wires (red and green; blue is not a problem for me), I usually have a non-colorblind person tell me what color the wires are. Then I attach small pieces of tape labelled "RED" or "GREEN."
I suppose that if someone wanted to make my life more difficult, they could either lie about the wire colors, or else switch my pieces of tape when I'm not looking. Thankfully, I've managed to get along well enough with my co-workers that it's never happened.
Interestingly enough, a small percentage of women are said to be tetrachromats, meaning that they have four types of color receptors instead of just three. That would make them better able to distinguish between colors than regular people.
The gist of the article is about unapproved substitions, and I agree 100% with the author. An unapproved substituion is one reason for the KC Hyatt skybridge collapse we discussed several months ago.
The specifics of the article bring up a slightly different question. Should color be a differentiator? I know fully well the color standards for wiring, use it in my control panel designs, even agree that such a standard makes a ton of sense.
But what about color blindness? Somewhere between 5%-7% of the male population has some form of color blindness. For those, labeling and positioning are the only way to differentiate wires or controls.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
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.