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Design Flaws Abundant

07/29/2011 7:27 PM

I have ran across quite a few products that were apparently designed without any rational thought. I've seen things range from upside down oil filters (all the oil leaks all over the place) to toilets that clog on nearly every flush, to bi-metallic electrical connections which corrode/heat/burn down your house (not to mention the "Caption this" weekly CR4 thread).

I'm interested in visiting some of mankind's least thought out contraptions, failures, and down right outrageous designs.

I know many of you have seen in the workplace, or at the gym, or kitchen, or any other place, some failed, thoughtless designs. As a Industrial designer I like to learn from others mistakes.

What kind of massive design flaws have you encountered in your day-to-day activities?

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#1

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/29/2011 7:49 PM

It's a shame I'm about to leave for a weeks holiday. I'm going to miss this one. In fact, it is quite massive. So huge in fact, that I don't know where to start.

But it is not usually a case of lack of rational thought. I've seen the most stupendous design flaws made by people who are ostensibly very rational, and often decent to good engineers.

Design flaws usually occur through a lack of understanding of what is really required. Customers requirements, how a product is used and maintained (after the sale), how a product is used (rather than what it is supposed to do), in fact, not to put too fine a point on it:

HOW A PRODUCT IS USED, NOT WHAT IT DOES!

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#2

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/29/2011 9:48 PM

Frost free refrigerator by Danby. The appliance functions as a dehydrator, effectively sucking out any moisture detected in your food. This moisture does not fill the "frost free" freezer part. Instead it is sequestered in behind the freezer walls, in the passages which circulate cold air to the fridge. Blocking, of course, the passage of cold air to the fridge, so that, when sufficient moisture has been sucked from your food, the passages are blocked and the fridge can no longer be cooled by air from the freezer. Your food in the fridge therefore spoils, and the whole "frost free" apparatus has to be completely defrosted more often than any ordinary fridge I ever owned.

Yes, it's in the owner's manual that you should not leave anything uncovered in the fridge, especially beverage containers. But the vegetable section is a complete hoax. No fruit vegetable or mushroom could survive it. Moisture is sucked out of them to condense on the plastic surfaces and promote rot. No food keeping appliance has ever been worse designed.

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#3

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/29/2011 10:26 PM

Overall I like my Toyota Rav 4, but a few of the dashboard displays are plain TN LCD displays that are unreadable when I'm wearing my polarized sunglasses. It ought to be standard practices to use LCDs in a car that can be read even through polarized sunglasses; that type of LCD is easy to make.

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#4

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/29/2011 10:44 PM

How about Windows?

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#5

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/30/2011 1:01 AM

Women

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#6
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/30/2011 2:58 AM

Ah, but sometimes the design features outweigh the flaws.

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#8
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/30/2011 5:39 AM

Besides, just imagine what it would be like if they were perfect!

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#32
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/31/2011 10:26 AM

"Yea' Like us.

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#17
In reply to #6

Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/30/2011 11:44 PM

It seems you are repeating yourself. Or my ears ringing.

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#19
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

07/31/2011 12:14 AM

Huh? How have I repeated myself, only one post to that point in this thread?

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#64
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant.

08/02/2011 5:42 PM

Unfortunately, the design is near perfect but the instruction manual needs a lot of work!

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#7

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 4:15 AM

Just about any digital timepiece or stop watch.
The stop/start/date/time setting procedure is always non intuitive, requires at least two pairs of hands and invariably times out before you can read and complete the procedure.
Andtheinstructionsaresosmallandbadlyprintedyoucan'tdecipherthem
I suppose they are all based on the same awfull chip.
Yes I've gone back to one with real hands and a twirly knob on the side... simple.
Del

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#9
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 8:20 AM

Touché!

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#22
In reply to #7

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 12:39 AM

"Yes I've gone back to one with real hands and a twirly knob on the side... simple."

same goes for women... simple is better...

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#31
In reply to #22

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 8:56 AM

Chris............. women......simple is better

Simple is...............blonde

A young brunette goes into the doctor's office and says that her body hurts wherever she touches it.

"Impossible," says the doctor. "Show me."

She takes her finger and pushes her elbow and screams in agony. She pushes her knee and screams, pushes her ankle and screams and so on it goes.

The doctor says, "You're not really a brunette are you?"

She says, "No, I'm really a blonde."

"I thought so," he says. "Your finger is broken."

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#34
In reply to #31

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 11:52 AM

now that is hilarious!

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#35
In reply to #22

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 3:28 PM

And in Pakistan, I cannot find even a good one with real hands. They are now made like toys.

I can add my Honda Civic Prosmatic Model 2007. I cannot read the level mark of radiator water level. The marks are hidden between the car body and the bottle. So how can I see if level is proper.

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#37
In reply to #22

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:03 AM

The knob is on the back. You wind it up and she starts walking.

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#66
In reply to #22

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/03/2011 9:22 AM

What - real hands and a twirly knob on the side? What a design!

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#46
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 10:58 AM

I only wear analog watches.

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#47
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:01 AM

Me, too. I never need to know how many seconds it is till 7:30PM.

I rarely need to know exactly when 7:30 is either.

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#10

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 8:38 AM

My favorite: coffee pots from the coffee makers that pour well when the liquid is room temperature, but which run back down the side and onto the floor when the liquid is hot.

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#11

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 9:22 AM

How about digitally-controlled side-by-side fridge/freezers? I have a 10-year old 30 CF GE Artica that has given me fits since day one. At least every 8 or 9 months I have to call the local repair guy to come fix this beastie because the damn digital controls fritz out. Becomes quite the annoyance, costly, including tossing out spoiled food that has thawed in the freezer. Why in the hell don't they (not just GE according to repairman, but nearly all makes and models) install less temperature sensitive processor in these things? Usually, I can reset it myself every few months by simply pulling out the unit and unplugging it for a few minutes....but sometimes even this won't work. It's happening even though I keep the compressor and coils spotless and dust free and dog hair free.

Another bad feature is the actual placement of the compressor and the evaporative coils etc at the bottom of the fridge. Days long ago when fridges and freezers were first introduced you would find these mechanisms at the top of the box, not at the base, thus allowing the generated heat to rise and drift away...not heating the stored food and the box like you find now days! WTF are the ME's thinking when they're designing a fridge or freezer? Seems ass-backwards design to me, and counter productive. IMO it's a piss-poor design.

Another product that is full of flaws is baby cribs with the gate that can be lowered and raised. This design is actually criminal, and has resulted in a number of baby deaths worldwide. What were the designers thinking when they designed and tested these deathtraps!?????

I could go on and on for hours about other product flaws and boondoggles.....

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#13
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 10:42 AM

It is now illegal to sell these cribs in the USA.

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#14
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 11:27 AM

lyn, yes I know about that, but thanks for the reminder anyhoots.....just worried about all the clueless adults that have one that they've inherited or were given by family or friends or found in a Salvation Army Thrift Store, garage sale, online auction, classifieds or flea market. Ohhhhh myyyyyy!

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#48
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:01 AM

Count 2 for fridges!

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#12

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 10:29 AM

Chevy Cavalier

BTW' it's "aN industrial".

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#81
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 4:52 PM

I have owned 5 of these cars all wer great with the exception of the 89 Z24 with the 2.8L v6

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#82
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 4:58 PM

So just to clarify... 20% were crap
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#15

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 4:52 PM

1972 Corvette. And others. Wiper switch on dash closes a switch that activates an electromagnetic pneumatic/vacuum switch. That turns on a vacuum bellows motor that opens the wiper door. When the wiper door is open, it closes an electrical switch on the fire wall that starts the wiper motor.

Really complex. Headlight doors are almost as complicated.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/30/2011 11:15 PM

(oops, hit the wrong reply button. Sorry, Lyn. But I also had my travails with vacuum driven systems, particularly a '57 Caddy Coupe I once owned.)

My personal favorite was a design flaw in a 1988 Dodge Lancer (Dodge version of Chrysler LeBaron). One of my favorite cars; 2 door coupe, Corinthian leather, all electronic dash, fully functional in-dash trip computer, and much more. Very comfortable for all the sales trips I made throughout New England, New York and New Jersey.

Unfortunately, Chrysler chose to select a flexible plastic material for the electric window gear racks that were not very conducive to New England winter temperatures. They would become brittle and break in two in the very first winter of use. I had a huge fight with the dealer and with Chrysler over this one. Though the problem was well documented, it took a threat from a lawyer to get them to repair the windows under warranty.

The next year the turbo on the engine blew. According to the warranty, the turbo was covered but not all the plumbing that went with it, though everything had to be replaced as a unit. This led to another legal threat on my part, and, in the process, I found out that this was a common problem on this 2.2L (iirc) engine. I think the inter-cooler was badly designed.

Thus ended my 20+ year customer experience with Chrysler.

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#39
In reply to #16

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 7:25 AM

please tell me, what the hell is corinthian leather. i've never heard of a corin and corinthia has'nt seen a cow since the roman legions invaded spain. seriously, i've been dieing to know since the early seventies.

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 9:29 AM

Look Here

Whatever you want to call it, that car had the most comfortable seats of any I've had, with the driver's seat in the Oldsmobile Silhouette a close second.

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#28
In reply to #15

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 8:30 AM

Patented by R. Goldberg?

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#18

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 12:06 AM

Generally refrigerators cooling.

They are fitted carefully in a niche in the kitchen cabinetry, making sure, that no air circulates to cool the hot side. Then, The area with the compressor is covered by a thick cardboard, that it and its cooling fan gets absolutely no air. Recently (again) I fixed a rather new, expensive one. Its compressor seized up. As it was out of warranty, it was my ministrations or tossing it out.

First, I pulled it away from the wall, tossed away the cardboard cover, burned(!?!) my fingers on the compressor. After cooling down, I needed a rubber mallet to start up the seized compressor. Then the starter module was flaky. The repeated startup attempt cracked the PTC ceramic pill in it. Ordering a replacement, it turned out, the original was way undersized. After fixing it, it runs flawlessly over 5 years now.

Is refrigeration a rocket science??? Do those guys do any testing on starter circuits, or thermal conditions at all? How expensive, and bad is a service call for reputation? Is there any thinking going on at all??

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#24
In reply to #18

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 3:13 AM

You will probably find the company doesn't even have a design department these days.
It's prob "designed" by a graphics designer and an accountant
Del

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#20

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 12:17 AM

A 1983 S-10 Blazer. What a piece of garbage. I bought it brand new off the lot from GM. I asked the salesman what kind of tools did I need to work on it, standard or metric, he told me "standard". The transmission and stick-shift mechanism was made in Canada, which was metric. Of course just after the 25,000 mile warranty the clutch went out because the main seal was leaking onto the clutch plate. Gm must have gotten a deal on silicone sealant that year. The heads leaked and the rear gearbox cover leaked. I replaced everything with real gaskets. Did I mention the front right ball joint snapped? Probably because it was a station wagon type design, not fit for a four wheel drive. How many engines hid their oil filters and are hard to get to? My daughter, who is very techno savvy with her ipod, touch phone, and imac, likes to read a normal looking book. I asked her if she was interested in an ibook or nook, to which she replied, "I'll take a regular book any day, it doesn't need batteries". There is hope for the younger generation yet.

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#21

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 12:33 AM

The Kenmore Calypso washing machine. Or "Collapso" as it was called in internet forums of the time. One of Whirlpool's "let's just agree to forget this" moments.

Death by dental floss.

This concession to environmental consciousness (water and energy savings) had a lot of new design ideas that had little past history of use in washing machine design (nutating basket motion for clothes agitation) so some of the usually mix of questionable engineering and infantile quality control could be expected. Most noteworthy to me was the use of a close clearance regenerative turbine pump direct driven from the transmission instead of the commonly used open impeller centrifugal type with separate electric motor drive.

We fell for the environmental thing and sometime around 2002 paid $1400 for a Calypso washer. Three years later when faced with a wrecked transmission (above mentioned Whirlpool Engineering departure into "Design Wilderness") we sent it to recycling and bought a normal washer for $700.

In the interim we had multiple failures of the pump due to clogging. The first time a couple of months out of warranty a we called a Sears repairman who determined that one of the two main circuit boards was toast. $250 part. Reassembled and still a problem. The following day he returned and tested the pump and decided it needed to be replaced. The female spline drive coupling was stripped due to a pump seizure from ingesting some foreign object. The offending object couldn't be seen because the pump was permanently assembled and couldn't have individual parts replaced. I insisted on keeping the broken part and paid the $650 repair bill.

I had to use my band saw to cut the pump apart and that's when I found the dental floss wrapped around the impeller hub and jamming it in the close clearance inherent in that type of pump. This happened twice more that I know of in spite of our heightened awareness of the importance of carefully discarding used dental floss. Once I had to buy another new pump and do the repair myself. The other time we caught it before the spline drive (a sort of mechanical fuse to protect the transmission from which it was directly driven) stripped completely.

I strongly suspect the design flaw here was driven by cost savings from using smaller diameter hoses and eliminating the electric motor from the pump drive. Tis situation was aggravated by the engineers' lack of a clear understanding of the conditions of service which involve the possibility of various objects of everyday life getting left in pockets or otherwise mixing into the laundry stream.

There was another design "flaw" that appears to have been some kind of collusion between Sears' Kenmore appliance marketing people and the Whirlpool design engineers. The machine never properly completed the final spin dry cycle and always left the wash soaking wet. Obviously this helped create better energy use numbers for the washer. Clever logic there. Let the clothes dryer take the energy use hit. Its numbers don't have to go on the washing machine rating. Low level legal fraud IMHO.

Sequel -- Sears eventually credited us for the cost of the circuit board ($250) and admitted the service guy had insufficient training. The replacement old tech washing machine has functioned perfectly with no repair attention for the past six years. And the Weldons have become very conservative about buying new technology in appliances.

Ed Weldon

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#51
In reply to #21

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:31 AM

All the old (60's-80's) appliances I've owned have always outlived any of the newer ones... For example: Chest freezer in garage must be at least 50 years old, and works perfectly, along side the regular garage fridge/freezer (late 70's) while we have gone through 3 fridge/freezer combos inside the house that have all been made within the last 15 years. third one isn't sounding so good anymore, and we might be looking at #4 before too much longer.

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#23

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 1:34 AM

There are several case studies in the book _Set Phasors on Stun_, including the horrifying maintenance issues at Bopal.

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#25

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 4:45 AM

DEl. I think you've got it there.

People buy a pc, look at the keyboard while typing, and there they are, fully qualified in whatever software they have. Styling is everything. If it looks nice, that's it,

Form Follows Function is dead.

Also, I get the feeling that the guys and gals doing the designing nowadays have never made anything in reality. When I was studying industrial design in the late '70's, there wasn't a computer in sight. Everything was made by hand in 3d. Someone in thier 4o's now, studying in their twenties, ...I bet it was all computer computer computer.

Cnc (but I could make it by hand..eventually) Jim

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#26

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 7:35 AM

Frequently the poor design results from teamwork, compounded by leadership with shallow engineering design understanding, and little experience.

The true engineering designer will usually prefer to work alone, and possess an inherent ability and understanding, which applies itself, generally with little effort. A degree will not produce an Engineering designer unless the ability is inherent (and it is a vision that is quite rare).

Too many, what I would call 'artistic manipulators' call themselves Designers - only in the artworld is the latest fashion called good design.

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 8:38 AM

Too many, what I would call 'artistic manipulators' call themselves Designers - only in the artworld is the latest fashion called good design.

Now then, Henrytheengdescan I agree with the first part, but not the second. Can we change this to 'only in the fashion world is the latest fashion called good design.'

In the art world the only fashion is to try to find something different.

So often I am shown 'Designs' 'I have designed this', and it's hard not to reply, 'No, you've just made it look pretty in your own opinion. I don't like it, and also, it won't work'

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#36
In reply to #29

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 7:35 PM

Yes CNC Jim, I have no objection to your substitution of 'artworld' by 'fashion world', you clearly understand the gist of my comment.

I do not decry true art (its craftsmanship that stands the test of time), and I cannot deny the extent to which contemporary art has contributed to the sales success of many household items such as the Dyson.

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#27

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 8:06 AM

What rocket scientist came up with the idea of putting the fuel pump in the gas tank? Certainly not someone that had ever actually worked on a car. I replaced the pump in my Taurus twice. Not fun and it is quite dangerous.

If there is some rationale for putting the pump in the car (cooling?) then at least provide an access panel in the floor of the car. Chrysler did this on the early Intrepids.

My Chevrolet truck is approaching 150k miles and I'm not looking forward to dropping the tank as per instructions in the service manual. I think I'll just pull the bed and access the tank from the top.

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 8:44 AM

Well my idea was to have all the consumables with pop-out panels on the side, so there is no bonnet (hood), just slide out the air filter, slide in a new one, slide out the oil filter, slide in a new on, a plug to top up the wash wipe...

'It'll never catch on' said my mechanic friend.'It would put too many mechanics out of work.'

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#33
In reply to #27

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

07/31/2011 11:02 AM

Hey', that ole fuel pump is best replaced by taking the 6 bolts out of the forward part of the bed leaving the back two and jacking the front of the bed up. Access to the pump, you can sit in chair, change the ole pump and listen for it to work when someone turns on the key..your hands are full, wrench in one hand beer in the other. Find a nice shade tree..

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#68
In reply to #27

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/03/2011 10:13 AM

It's easier to "push" fuel from the tank than it is to "suck" fuel to the engine. But there needs to be an access panel in the top of the tank.

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#70
In reply to #68

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/03/2011 10:41 AM

What? !!! And add $10 to the cost of a new car? Unthinkable...... EW

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#38

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 7:15 AM

i see design flaws everywhere i look. it's not so much on the engineering side as it is on the corporate side. no engineer would knowingly design an unsafe product, but corporations don't have a conscience. a board of directors has no ethics.

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#50
In reply to #38

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:15 AM

I liken corporations to plants. Plants have no brains, ethics, morals or conscience. Only the human components of corporations exhibit these characteristics.

Boards of directors really do have ethics and human conscience as individuals. But their ethics are simple. 1. Maximize return for the corporation owners. 2. Maximize director perks both tangible and intangible.

Number 2. is normal human behavior. Number 1., on the other hand, is morphing into something else. In an age of rapid electronic trades by what is, in effect, high stakes gambling by sophisticated traders in which the average term of ownership of a share of corporate common stock is measured in minutes 1. is looking more like "maximize share price".

I'm not saying this is good or bad. It's just the way I view the factors that are fundamental to corporate behavior. And the propensity of mangers to tolerate design flaws in company products, or for that matter, in facilities and equipment is driven by the above mentioned #1. ethic.

Ed Weldon

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#40

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 8:32 AM

Oh, Good Lord, I have seen so many in my 40 years as an engineer. There are just too many to list!!

Some pet peeves I have though: I drive a 1999 BMW 740, a top of the line BMW, aka The Ultimate Driving Machine. BMWs have been accused fo being over-engineered but the incidences of poor engineering I have seen in my car makes me wonder if that's really true.

Some typical compliants: the front cupholder is exceptionally fragile. It's intricate but can barely be used before small parts break and it becomes unusable. And remember this is a top of the line car that sells for over $75,000. Even econo-boxes have cupholders that work.

Another flaw is the front suspension bushings....for 20 years they were designed with a rubber insert that had two large arms connected between the inner and outer hubs. The arms were molded with a sharp corner and small radius where they meet the hubs and sharp corners are a stress raiser. The result is a bushing that fails by tearing at the junctions within 60,000-80,000 miles. The design was not revised until 2002 but was a known problem since 1980.

The underhood plastics, espeically the cooling system, also fail regularly after becoming embrittled over time. This is obviously a poor choice of material for the application....dry, hot temperatures which will suck out VOCs from many polymers. Still, there are plenty of plastics which are better suited to higher temperature use and will last. And once again, most other auto makers have mastered this area long ago.

And there are other areas where the plastics are weak or subject to rapid wear and fail with regularity.

Now the flip side is that most of the engineering in the car is excellent, so one wonders why with so much exceptionally well designed features, there are such glaring deficiencies from a company that prides itself on its engineering.

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#41

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 8:56 AM

"Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area".
Yes the self service checkouts with built in scales and software which is oversensitive and works on the assumption that you are trying to steal stuff. Whereas if you were really tring to steal stuff you'd put grapes on the scale and say they were potatoes.
The processor in those damn things must be working at upteen MHz but it still can't seem to keep up with your touches on the screen.
At the start you are confronted with two options... 'start' or 'using your own bags'.
You hit 'using your own bags' and put your bags in the bagging area.
It then tells you to put your bags in the bagging area and press 'done'
You press 'done'... scan your first item and place it in one of the bags...
"Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area".
Half way through your shopping you carefully open out your second bag to place an item in.
"Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area".
Arrrghh it's not bloody unexpected...I fully expect it to be there 'cos I've just scanned it and put it there.
If you complain to management or even try to merely inform them that the software is user hostile and needs updating you are met with blank stares or open hostility
.
The customer is always right unless it's you or me.
I was once accused of the most heinous crime when I just picked up my goods and moved to another machine... you mustn't be nasty to the machine and walk away from it, it hasn't finished winding you up yet.
"Unexpected cat rampaging with longbow in the bagging area"
Del

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 9:38 AM

I once tried to use a gift card at the self check

problem was I spent more than the card was worth

it required the cashier, moving to her terminal & a manager to override

I guess no one made up the truth table of likely payment scenarios

on a positive note you can generally shovel the bucket full of spare change you've accumulated in the payment hopper, instead of paying the surcharge the counting machine at the front of the store charges

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 10:02 AM

On the other hand, they don't judge your shopping. It doesn't give you the look that says 'not getting sugar-free for the kids then, idiot?'

I like this because I haven't got a look that says in reply: 'that's right I don't want them drinking Aspartame.'

cnc jim

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#45
In reply to #41

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 10:41 AM

this may be the pet peeve of the 21st century... good call Del!

for myself, my relatives and other associates still cause me the most grief in my life...

my niece, sister-in-law relatives are always saying "oh sure, I'll be there tomorrow at 10... but when tomorrow at 10 arrives, she's sleeping it off somewhere, without so much as a phonecall.

What would you change if you could update the software in your relatives?

(also, being 50 now, might want to update my own 'firmware'.)

chris

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#52
In reply to #45

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:41 AM

you might want to update that photo too, you look about 25!

cnc

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#55
In reply to #52

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:57 AM

I'm getting younger looking on the outside! lol

In this pic, I'm on the left.. with 2 brothes and my 80 year old uncle... last weekend at our family reunion near Flin Flon MB. (long drive, but gorgeous place)

so the only thing changed since my profile pic was taken was the belly has gotten larger... but in my defense, this was an 'after dinner' picture...

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#58
In reply to #55

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:28 PM

Wow, thanks for the pic. What about the specs? At 50 I had 20 20 vision. Three years later I'm glad I can touch type wiyhu some accutscy/

jim

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#61
In reply to #58

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:50 PM

ha ha he he your accutscy is awesome

I used to have.. but after a couple of years on the computer doing cad work.. my vision was downgraded to 1024 x 768...

too many carets ^|^

cheers

Chris

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:52 PM

Awww that's too bad, I suppose there would be no reason to get a 1080p TV with Blue ray then eh?

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 1:01 PM

I try to get the largest and highest resolution electronics I can, hoping my vision will improve... but it hasn't worked yet..

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#59
In reply to #45

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:30 PM

They DON'T show up and you're complaining?!!?

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#60
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:44 PM

just because we put off doing other things... waiting...

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#49

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:12 AM

The MkI of the latest KrisDelTM invention had a serious design flaw in so far as it poked you up the nose and stopped you drinking. A quick adjustment to the belt clip angle rendered it fit for pupose and successful field trials were conducted during a Sunday's field shooting.
We are aiming to make the MkIII easilly detachable from the bottle. This was all done with CAD (Coathanger Aided Design)

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#53
In reply to #49

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:49 AM

Ahhh.... Thanks for the laughs Del! I'm never disappointed.

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#54
In reply to #49

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 11:50 AM

And here I thought the only good use for wire coat hangers was as welding filler rod..... Ed Weldon

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#56
In reply to #49

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:00 PM

"Coathanger Aided Design"

closely related to Balingwire Aided Repair... (BAR) fixes so many things

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#71
In reply to #56

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/04/2011 9:58 AM

...closely related to Duct Tape Aided Repair...[DTAR]...fixes so many of the things that baling wire can't.

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#57
In reply to #49

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/01/2011 12:01 PM

Looks like the user will need safety glasses to use the "improved" MKIII version.

LynDoor™ can offer them to you at reduced lorry load pricing.

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#65

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/02/2011 5:58 PM

The first thing that comes to my mind isn't necessarily a "massive design error", but fits right in here... and it is that too many engineers may pay good attention in designing a system, but neglect the operations and maintenance aspect of the design.

The eng may have specified a great valve, pump, the right materials for the right process etc... but operators often find themselves without enough information, not enough gauges (whether its flow, pressure, or whatever).... or go to reach to operate that valve only to find that it is installed in a precarious position that makes operating it a pain. Now when the time comes for the maintenance guy to fix said valve, he'll curse the eng 10x more than the operator did because it's welded in with the nearest unions 50 ft away in either direction.

I guess in short, its great that we think about a process, how to control it, what materials to use, etc, but the O&M aspect of it is too often neglected. Think more like an operator/maintenance guy!

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#67

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/03/2011 9:25 AM
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#69

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/03/2011 10:18 AM

Don't confuse flaws with planned obsolescence. The use of plastics can save weight, cost less to produce than more durable materials, but would drive up the cost overall. The cupholder on the $75K BMW is a good example.

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#72

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/04/2011 10:13 AM

It's interesting that many responses refer to cars, so I'll throw mine in...

1986 Pontiac 6000LE, designed by a bunch of monkeys wearing blindfolds in a dark room, each under a Cone of Silence.

Chilton's suggested that a starter replacement should only take a couple of hours. What the book didn't tell you was that you needed x-ray vision to see the bolt cleverly hidden behind the starter you were trying to replace. The book also neglected to mention that you needed to be a contortionist. The work became less stressful after 7 beers.

The same bolt placement philosophy became apparent when I had to change the alternator belt, which if I remember correctly, was the last belt in.

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#73

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/04/2011 10:40 AM

I can't claim this one, my 10 year old spotted it:

Those pump action hand soap dispensers. There is a new one out, advertised on tv. You don't have to press down on the germy nozzle to get the soap into your hand, all you do is put your hand under the nozzle, and it automatically squirts a dollop into your palm!

What's wrong with that?

Answers on a postcard please.

CNC jim

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/04/2011 10:45 AM

as long as it works better than the motorized towel dispensers, which dispense about 3 square inches of paper

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/04/2011 11:04 AM

Not the right answer, but I am reminded, have you used a dyson Airblade?

WOW.

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#79
In reply to #73

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 1:05 PM

ok , I've been flooded with answers, none of them right.

The reason it is a design flaw, the only time you ever touch it is in the split second before you wash your hands, so why bother having a germ-free dispenser?

CNC Jim

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 1:13 PM

No you're wrong

hands free reduces cross contamination

without hands free

you transfer your germs to the dispenser, which the next user can transfer to the faucet handles or other areas around the sink, depending on which order an individual uses the facilities

You're assuming everyone uses the same procedure you are

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#85
In reply to #80

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 10:39 PM

Your reply seems quite instinctive, and instinctively it is a good idea, but it is a non-product,.

The cross contamination occurs immediately before the hands are washed.

I am only assuming no-one puts soap on their hands and then without washing it off, goes doing other jobs as you seem to say individuals do.

What procedure moves contamination from the dispenser to other things? And in any case, whose hands turned off the faucet ? The same person whose contaminated hands turned it on. If the feature was on that, it would be a good idea, but not on the soap dispenser.

It is designed without any rational thought, as the OP said

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#86
In reply to #85

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 11:16 PM

That is assuming the faucets require hand contact, and many, from scrub rooms to public toilets, don't.

However, leaving that aside, if your hands are covered with filth and your dispenser is elbow operation unfriendly, a sensor on the soap is one less thing to then wash (after the manual faucet handles and basin itself)

So I wouldn't call it a "non product", just one a bit pointless in the manual faucet market sector.

Much as a 5 kW AC unit might be pointless in the Model T Ford market sector

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#87
In reply to #85

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 11:39 PM

the only way to eliminate cross contamination is to have it all be hands free

cross contamination happens after washing

there is no way to predict what someone will touch after washing, you can't assume anything

besides contamination, battery operated dispensers control the amount of soap dispensed

I worked in food production

every new hands free device [including soap] that was installed reduced the number of hits QA found when sampling [& culturing the swabs] around wash stations...

the biggest reduction came after foot operated faucets

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#88
In reply to #87

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 2:45 AM

foot operated faucets taps
I tried that yesterday, but gave myself a groin strain, and I had to keep putting my sandals off and on.
Del

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#89
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 4:58 AM

and your socks got wet

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#90
In reply to #87

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 5:19 AM

your posts are contradictory:

hands free reduces cross contamination

cross contamination happens after washing

Who puts soap on their hands after washing?

hands free everything is the only way, then you push open the swing door...

The product is sold as a way to be more hygienic in a domestic kitchen, it does not do that. It was designed without any rational thought.

Nor does it control the amount. If I want twice as much I'll swipe twice.

CNC jim

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 5:47 AM

Good point

You never see these in domestic kitchens or bathrooms

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#92
In reply to #91

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 6:32 AM

Well, occasionally you do, so if you have those in your kitchen, and you can get to them with your elbow, and you have an air hand drier, then a sensor activated soap dispenser is the next thing to get.

The great benefit to having one is that one-armed people can use them, but this isn't a feature highlighted in the advert.

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#93
In reply to #90

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 7:56 AM

the title of the thread is

Design Flaws Abundant

functionally the soap dispenser does what it is designed to do

the design of the marketing of the soap dispenser isn't flawed

you bought one

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 9:51 AM

Well, as long as we're on the subject of the "new" public washroom gadgets, how about that automatic flusher I discovered at the airport last year...

I think these were designed to simply flush every so many minutes whether used/in use or not... being caught on the toilet during the flush is NOT a pleasant surprise!

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 10:04 AM

built in Bidet action

those are old tech 10 or so years ago

the newer design has a photo eye so it flushes when you stand up

usually made of plastic & not up to the level of abuse that is common

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#96
In reply to #94

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 11:32 AM

warm air hand dryer? look at this. http://www.dysonairblade.co.uk I've used one and its like having two opposing thick silicon blades magically profiling themselves to your fingers as you draw them out.

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#97
In reply to #94

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 11:56 AM

One vacation a few years ago I left the stall at a rest stop and heard this very loud horrible scream behind me, similar to a mountain lion. I scared me half to death. Turned out to be an automatic toilet flusher. Now we have them at work (not loud). One day I just got the paper cover in place and it flushed it down. Same thing for the second one. When men pick up the lid to pee in the stall, the lid covers the sensor, so when you put down the lid it flushes again. I had no problem with the foot operated ones we had before.

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#98
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Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/06/2011 2:28 PM

"...very loud horrible scream behind me, similar to a mountain lion." Now that's the same kind they have at the airport here. Equally scary when coming from between your legs..

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#99
In reply to #87

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/07/2011 6:25 AM

I've often wondered why there is no contamination of clothing in these situations where some of us remove clothing, then replace it, struggle out of cubicles, handle baggage , especially in airports , and then finally arrive at the washbasin. I suspect this is just contamination without the cross, maybe.

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#76

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 12:23 PM

Designs have been flawed for a long time. Even when designers started writing books about human ergonomics and started applying them, flaws still found their way through. One design (or lack of) that has always plagued me is the location of the toilet paper holder. Everywhere I looked, it was always located, tucked away at the side and toward the back of the throne. You have to be a contortionist to reach back to get paper, which usually requires two hands, one to hold the roll still while the other tears it off. I used to design habitability spaces aboard navy ships and utilized ergonomics, where other designers did not. I was very good at my job.

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 12:38 PM

Is you signature line advocating armed revolution?

which levels would you like replaced?

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#83
In reply to #77

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 6:49 PM

Don't worry. Come 2012, my signature line will change.

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 7:05 PM

what will it be then?

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#78
In reply to #76

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/05/2011 1:02 PM

Err,.. don't you have to reach back there anyway?

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#103
In reply to #76

Re: Design Flaws Abundant

08/11/2011 4:56 AM

One can avoid cross contamination easily.........don't wash your hands!!!

I had rather dirty hands and nature called........went to the loo........as I was walking out another lecturer said to me "Don't you wash your hands after going to the toilet?"

Too which I replied........."No! I was taught not to piddle on my hands"

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