I agree William, actually that insight is a product of both education and experience and comes with time. So it is actually quite normal as well for the technicians to come up with the solution or debugging the problem better then engineer who has just joined the company. We can not just put a label directly based on the rank of the profession.
In my experience (and am sure you have experienced this too if you engineer in any field) the simplest flaws are always the most difficult to spot in a great design. I think its because we are never quite sure that we got everything as we hoped and when we do so and the design doesn't work we never spot the most obvious problems
My experience has been that once you connect a computer to something, it is percieved that only the computer can fail.
I used to do computer controlled conveyor systems. My programming partner had to fly halfway across the US because one of our installations had stopped working.
Nobody bothered to check the fuses.
And to go off on a mini rant, the computers were expected to overcome all hardware deficiencies. For the most part, we did, but when things failed, we got the blame.
I can relate to the programmers getting the blame for Denver airport, I knew all along it had to be a hardware problem even though the press was full of failed software design stories. Just because the motors start and the product moves, does not mean it is a control issue.
As is usually the case, it is the individual with the greatest insight into the system who is able to solve the problem most effectively. Sometimes other get lucky and happen to arrive at the correct answer, and on rare occasions the solution is so obvious that a manager could see it. But usually it is the individual with the most accirate and complete insight who comes up with the solution.
I find it interesting that many posts suggest that the Engineer is the person that supposedly knows or finds the root cause. As an Automation Technician, I have often been in the position of having to troubleshoot to find the actual root cause, often having to prove the Engineer's guess to be wrong. And that annoys the Engineer.
@taimoortariq – Well explained the input instructions and on time component is vital for the robot to perform its task successfully. We cannot blame the robot because it's just another machine and cannot think by its self.
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.