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11/30/06 09:52 AM
Re: Just Because You Can . . . [re: ]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Its not unusual for people to "play" with the technology and do things just because you can. I recall one of my first jobs that got me into engineering consulting. I was acting as the Mfg - Engineering liasion. A truly wonderful sheet metal part was transfered over to my Cad/Cam system for a manufacturability check.

It was a masterpiece of bending and welding. Unfortunately, it couldn't be manufactured, at least not in our factory at the time. I sent the drawing/model back and received a storm of critics from the design department. I escalated it to the engineering department director, who promply dismissed my critic also. He saw the bends and folds were beautiful, a materful use of the CAD tools at hand.

I finally escalated it to the VP of Engineering, there I was surrounded by a heavyweight engineering staff and I only a first year Mfg Eng. and that was pushing it, as I had just come out of the Air Force from being a Flight Engineer/Jet Mech.

We all went to the big conference room, I had printed out the drawings and an estimate of costs to actually build the series of components; a few fuel tanks. While the sheet metal costs and fabracation process was cheap, the end result of how it had to be build would be very expensive I told the VP of Engineering. I had estimated the eight tanks we could make would cost about 10 million.

The design engineer bristled at such an estimate and asked how could I justify such. All during this time the VP of Engineering was stairing at the drawing and smiling. He knew where I was going.

I told the design engineer that actually the first seven would cost less than a million to produce however the last one would cost the company nine million in insurance and fines, because someone was going to ask.

The Engineering Manager shouted ask what? I responded simply, "where the sheet metal mechanics went? We only have eight and when the last one is gone someone is going to ask questions. He asked again what do you mean?

In order to build as designed I'll have to seal a mechanic inside the tank of each one. The design was such that you could only assemble and weld the assembly from the inside and the fuel port was not large enough to allow a man to exit it once sealed.

At that moment the VP got up and asked the Design Manager did he actually check this design? The manager himed and hawed a little and said he'd use the system to chech it. And again the question did you check the design yourself rather than a report that showed all the edges mated cleanly.

Needless to say, just because you can...

Entire thread
SubjectPosted byPosted on
*Just Because You Can . . .   12/06/05 04:14 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . .Bseitz  11/30/06 09:52 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . . jetero   12/06/06 08:35 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . .Norm  10/11/06 08:09 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . .Tom L  11/06/06 07:22 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . .joe  10/12/06 07:33 AM
.*Re: Just Because You Can . . .Joe  10/11/06 08:09 AM
.*'Just Because You Can . . .'tomL  12/08/05 10:13 PM
.*Fancy Schumancyme_nc  12/06/05 10:54 PM
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