"The mechanical designers and fitters were still adamant that it was my problem because they had checked everything else already and nothing else was different from the machines that worked perfectly."
As a test engineer, whenever I was called to the line to try to figure out what was wrong with a test set I had built, I would always ask if the operator had run the "golden" units we used for calibration, to see if the test set was working properly and the data was accurate. The answer was often no, it never occurred to them when parts started failing that their process could have shifted - it MUST be something wrong with the test set!
Great story. This is the kind of tale that illustrates how much chance enters into problem solving. I wonder what the odds are against all those conditions lining up perfectly just so the real problem could actually be perceived, let alone what Rod then figured out to solve it.
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