First major screw-up in twenty-five years!

Ivan Seeking
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For the first time in twenty-five years I made a mistake that damaged a customer's piece of equipment. I was doing a last minute I/O check as there had been some discrepancies, and I inadvertently started a piece of equipment that provides no indication that it's running. My first clue was the loud crunching noise heard as some gears self destructed... :surprised

The last time I made a mistake like this I shorted out an entire hospital! At least this time the damage was not quite so alarming. But damn, did I feel stupid. I am always soooooo careful. I can't believe that something got away from me like that. Of course to be fair to myself, I was set up a bit. I had no way to know that the equipement was running as there is no sound or light or indicator of any kind. Even worse: They had the torque turned down for testing but cranked it back up just before I got there. If they had waited until the testing was complete, as they should have, this never would have happened.

But damn, did I feel stupid! At least they were very nice about it and they didn't seem to be terribly upset. They can probably fab some new parts in a few hours.
 
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Answers and Replies

Argentum Vulpes
Man that sucks, well at least it will be back together and working today. How old was that piece of equipment almost everything I worked with has some status lights somewhere on the control board, or by the testing ports.

In a custom fab shop I use to work in someone loaded an incomplete and untested CNC program onto our 7 axis milling machine, the resulting damage put the machine out of commission for two months for the manufacturer to rebuild the head and one of the arms.
 
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See there was me thinking all the Mentors on PF weren't human, and that they perhaps either fabricate real lives because they live in jars. Or that they are ascended beings. So much for that theory. :smile: I'd say 1 major mistake in 25 years is bloody impressive.
 
Ivan Seeking
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re Argentum Vulpes: This is a new custom machine that is already weeks late in shipping. They do real special apps stuff [submarines and such], so it is not unusual for these systems to be uniquely dangerous as compared to an off-the-shelf system.
 
Ivan Seeking
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turbo
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Sorry to hear about the smash-up, but it seems that your clients bear much of the burden for that. Perhaps in the future they will install some status lights with colored LEDs to indicate when that machine is powered, and when key solenoids/relays are open or closed. That little bit of caution would have prevented this problem.
 
Astronuc
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In a custom fab shop I use to work in someone loaded an incomplete and untested CNC program onto our 7 axis milling machine, the resulting damage put the machine out of commission for two months for the manufacturer to rebuild the head and one of the arms.
I've seen something similar in a specialty shop, where the folks should have known better. A CNC program was required to lower a drill bit then drill a boss on a rather expensive prototype part. I would have thought that they would have a test plate to make sure the software was verified.

As I watched, the drill came down - and Clunk! - the head of the drill bit wet too far and damaged the part beyond repair. The operator looked at it, looked at me, looked at the instructions - then quietly walked away. I'll be they were off just a few mils, but that was enough to destroy a part.

Ivan, like SD mentioned, "1 major mistake in 25 years is bloody impressive".
 
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So what the hell were you working on?
 
lisab
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lisab
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Ivan Seeking
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How would you like to have been this guy?
http://www.phunnycar.com/data/missile-mishap.jpg [Broken]
http://www.phunnycar.com/pictures/1042_Missile_Mishap.html [Broken]
 
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Astronuc
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I remember that event. We wondered -

How could they not notice 24 bolts were missing, and why did the system allow someone to remove 24 bolts without securing the satellite?

This was after the satellite which crashed into Mars because two sets of units were used by two parties, who didn't compare calcs.
 
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This was a pretty big screw up. Ariane 5 Flight 501. Basically a programming screw up forced the rocket into a tighter turn than it was designed for, .5 degree turn vs 5 degree turn snapping it in half and trigering the self destruct.
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-7960908757881187694&q=Ariane+5+rocket+explosion&total=4&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1 [Broken]
 
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I sure as hell wouldn't like to be either of those guys!
 

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