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Guru

Join Date: Feb 2009
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Engineering/Technology Inspirations

11/26/2009 6:41 AM

In general life experience, we used to get inspired by deeds of great people, achievements and even set role models. The various fields can be politics, leadership, art, literature, film actors / makers, musician, sports person and lot more. It is common for all of us.

Now, coming to the engineering or technology or new product development -the real source of inspiration could be an external element or activity, which triggers an idea and interest leading to new application scope and innovations. Adding to the fact that NATURE is the mega inspiration in our day to day life , our observations could also be potential sources. Some specific need could also lead to new products.

For example- the mass exploitation of Fire wood burning in textile industries,the rapid deteriorating green cover triggered me to develop an alternate green and energy efficient Technology. The minimization of water was enhanced by AIR. To me energy efficient idea came from oil fry cooking[ very fast heating] and the washing idea from automobile spray gun washing. Invite CR4 members for similar lines of inspirational experiences.

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Guru

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#1

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/28/2009 7:20 PM

Not sure this is the kind of inspiration you mean, but when i got out of college I had a small (poverty) business and I needed hot water;no extra money-the real source of insppiration- and so I made a solar hot water heater using some scrap lumber, windows, tubing, and an old refrigerator. What I learned was if I left the collector panel uncovered on a clear summer night, the darn thing ran backwards, and created cool water. It was thermosiphoning- running in reverse. Now I would put on a backflow preventer, but I was inspired by my observation that I could use radiative cooling for no 'input energy' cooling of a large mass. milo

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Guru

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/29/2009 5:00 AM

Nice posting Milo,

I was a bit that scary no one responded the thread. Thank you for the initiation.Making something with limited resources, if one is good in observations and puts up a little effort, sure we can gradually become applied engineers.

The fact is that the first man in any development work, relied on his own intution and not of any books or degrees. Being a teacher, I used tell this fact to my students.

" The knowledge contained in your books are past experiences of somebody. On your path of life journey ,keep applying what you have understood of your experience.That faculty is more reliable than books."

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Guru

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/29/2009 8:17 AM

Your comment about being the first man in any work rings particularly true to me.

In the late 1980's I solved an economic problem for a steel company- how to justify the sales of better performing (machining) material even though it cost more per pound.

Once I had the math right, I wrote a program so I could repeat the process with just a few data inputs regarding the customers job. This was for multi spindle screw machines, where the cycle time is the result of a single limiting operation.

Then I moved the program to the new "excel spreadsheet" that was now available. No more sending printer format codes ! YAY!

All was fine, I was invited by SME to present my paper in Atlanta at a Screw Machining symposium, And then I got a job where my program gave a bad answer.

When You are the first, who can you turn to to help? NO ONE in the machining industry was doing what I was with computers... IT IS QUITE UNCOMFORTABLE BEING COMMITTED TO GIVE A TALK, AND TO HAVE YOUR PROGRAM NOT RIGHT< AND NOONE TO CALL FOR HELP.

I went to the shop with the job that gave me such a crazy answer and watched the job and interviewed the operators, and figured out that on this particular job, it was an outside diameter working tool that was limiting factor on cycle time. All the other jobs had drills ID working tools as limiting factor. My original program had "presumed" that drill would be the limiting factor. I made the needed adjustments and the program works on all situations for multi spindle machines.

But I knew a great fear for a while being out there all by myself, and only my own wits to get me through it. (and the support of my VP, who gave me the expense money to visit the customer and get better insight into the situation.)

You are a great teacher if you are sharing these kind of life lessons with your students, rather than just lectruing from the text.

milo

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Guru

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/29/2009 10:50 AM

I think, Milo ,you got lot to share on this forum, being a man on true hands of experience. It happens many times in our new development ventures- there are instances ,when we get overwhelmed by prime signs of success and start counting the chicks before they hatch. When reversals come ,one should have the guts and patience to reason out and come out of an alternate solutions.This is a valid approach ,in all new developmental activities on FACING PROBLEMS AND SOLVING BASED ON REASONING.

I was exited about the development of a new absorption based organic coagulation system , which gave a sludge reduction of 90 to 95 % as well as incinerabilty. I went direct into the market expecting a goldmine, and landed up with lot of other queries like BOD/ COD reductions, settlabilty, cost aspects and lot many. The struggle though not fetched money returns ,had given me good exposure on effluent treatment for which I was not a professional.

As a common feature of both of your posts THE LESSON IS ABOUT -LEARNING FROM FAILURES AND PERSEVERANCE IN MAKING IT RIGHT.

The strange part is ,many people even fear of the thinking process of new possibilities and simply believe the obvious only.

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Guru

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/29/2009 3:36 PM

I agree. It is much easier to listen to "authorities" than to do critical thinking all by one's self. Also less fear and "personal responsibility."

Thanks for engaging.

milo

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Guru
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#6
In reply to #3

Re: ENGINEERING / TECHNOLOGY INSPIRATIONS

11/30/2009 9:46 AM

Interesting....

IT IS QUITE UNCOMFORTABLE BEING COMMITTED TO GIVE A TALK, AND TO HAVE YOUR PROGRAM NOT RIGHT< AND NOONE TO CALL FOR HELP.

When one is blazing trails there won't be anyone ahead of you. Developing a program is very hard to anticipate all variables.

At times that also separates true leaders and followers.

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