Recently, I commented on the behind-the-scenes efforts by many people that go into developing products which eventually become ubiquitous in our everyday world. Just like looking up the answer to an end of the chapter problem in the back of a textbook, the result often seems so obvious that you wonder why it wasn't apparent to begin with. The newest installment of Sherlock Ohms is a great illustration of the point. This anecdote by A. David Boccuti is a prime example of dedication to finding cost-effective solutions to manufacturing challenges. Having worked in concert with many mechanical engineers over the years, I have amassed a lot of respect for the ingenuity exhibited by my fellow product development travelers. In the 'old days,' while under the employment of defense contractors, price often took a back seat to functionality and reliability. The end result was usually a Cadillac quality system with a Cadillac price tag. Cost-plus contracts meant the project moved forward with whatever resources were necessary to get the job done - until or unless the program was cancelled by government bean counters. Commercial and consumer products rarely have that luxury.
Posted January 9, 2014