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First major screw-up in twenty-five years!

  1. Mar 27, 2008 #1

    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2008 #2
    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  4. Mar 27, 2008 #3
    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.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2008 #4

    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.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Even ascended beings need day jobs. :biggrin:
     
  7. Mar 27, 2008 #6
    :rofl: I suppose so. :tongue:
     
  8. Mar 27, 2008 #7

    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.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2008 #8

    Astronuc

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    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".
     
  10. Mar 27, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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  11. Mar 27, 2008 #10
    So what the hell were you working on?
     
  12. Mar 27, 2008 #11

    lisab

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    OH jeez that's painful to look at....! But from the brief description there were many root causes of this accident. Hard to imagine a good safety / loss prevention program wouldn't have picked up on all the deficiencies.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2008 #12

    lisab

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    I would guess that if he told us, he would have to kill us all :eek: .
     
  14. Mar 27, 2008 #13
  15. Mar 27, 2008 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  16. Mar 28, 2008 #15

    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.
     
  17. Mar 28, 2008 #16
  18. Mar 28, 2008 #17
    I sure as hell wouldn't like to be either of those guys!
     
  19. Mar 28, 2008 #18

    DaveC426913

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