hint: the tablesaw doesn't go on the ice chest

Page 4 of 4  
Greg G." wrote:

Bean counters AKA: Product Planning
A major part of the American automotive industries' problem.
Lew
Lew
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Lew Hodgett said:

They've a lot of problems at this point. It seems as of late that they spend more time modifying and moving minor parts around than building durability and ease of maintenance into their products. Stylists on steroids, 1000 different plastic lamp assemblies, late getting on board with efficiency and mileage improvements, fit and finish issues.
We used to have both GM and Ford assembly plants here, and I've been in both. I remember when GM first retrofitted the Doraville plant with robotics to construct a new Oldsmobile model. Yet the Camry ate it for lunch in performance, mileage, comfort, and durability. The cost of living in this country, and thus the cost of labor, are killing us in the world markets we now have to compete in - which includes the US. The plant closed in early 2009, after GM spent $150 million upgrading it in 2003, and most of the workers fled to other plants around the country, one commenting that they felt like gypsies. Many were foreclosed on when the plants shut down and they were unable to replace the $28/hour pay. The plant now sits idle with weeds reclaiming the pavement and GM refuses to sell at less than prime rates in a depressed market. Where's Ed Cole when you need him? http://bulletin.aarp.org/states/ga/2009/16/articles/ex_doraville_gm_workers_scatter_like_gypsies.html
Similarly, the Ford Hapeville Assembly Plant ceased production in October 2006. The city was attempting to revitalize the area but the housing and economy bust shelved any concrete plans.
I simply don't see how anyone realistically expects us to compete with 50 cent an hour workers and countries who have no safety concerns, pollution standards, or labor laws. CEO's in this country are now complaining about publicity over the child labor they exploit in the third world to produce products they import.
Who is going to buy anything when they have no jobs or income? WalMart doesn't cut it, everyone can't be an attorney or doctor, and much of the manual labor "services industry" stuff has been taken over by immigrant labor - with the tacit assistance of business. Phone support, computer programming outsourced. IBM has an entire line of CAD products produced in India.
Man, things sure were a lot simpler 30 years ago...
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

http://bulletin.aarp.org/states/ga/2009/16/articles/ex_doraville_gm_workers_scatter_like_gypsies.html
India? I thought IBM's CAD product was Catia, which is a product of Avions Marcel Dassault.

The thing is, we can't compete on the world market for stuff that doesn't require special expertise to make. There isn't any good short term solution--if we close the borders the rest of the world will do the same and the market for US goods and services will disappear. Long term we have to encourage innovation instead of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. In many ways the US is one of the _least_ innovative countries in the world--look at aerospace--the Russians brought five designes to completion to our one--yes, our best were and are better than their best, but they were trying stuff that we weren't. We've been talking about Wing In Ground Effect for decades, they've been flying them for decades. How about shipbuilding--why is the fastest ship in the world made in Australia? Consumer electronics--how is is that the Japanese grasped the concept that "good enough" consumer video would sell and then brought VHS and Beta to market, while Ampex, which was technologically capable of doing that as far back as the '60s, never _tried_ it? And a little Japanese vacuum bottle that is absolutely brilliant--the inside is exactly sized so that you can drop a can of soda or beer into it and keep the can cold for hours. Thermos could have made that at any time during their history so why didn't anybody think to _try_ it? The thing that put Japanese consumer electronics on the map wasn't cheap stuff, it was an expensive little 12-inch TV that could run off the lighter plug in a car--everybody who saw those first little Sonys was fascinated by them and the US electronics industry had _nothing_ like that. Even stupid little bric-a-brac--I've got a set of little LED lights that stick to your fingertips with rubber bands that are good for light-painting and make a fun stocking stuffer (unfortunately the rubber bands that come with them suck but rubber bands aren't hard to find) that some US company could have been making ages ago.
I don't know why this is the case--just that it is. We don't encourage companies to bring high-risk products to market, we don't encourage basic research, we don't encourage applied research, and we keep moaning and groaning about how other countries do a better job of "science education" while most people who graduate with technical degrees end up either teaching school or doing something unrelated to their degree.
And then there's general incompetence--I remember the materials people at Enormous Aerospace telling us that we couldn't use this or that or the other because it made seals swell--one day somebody asked the materials guy why we cared if it made seals swell, and he replied "because it indicates that there is something going on that could potentially degrade the seal". Wasn't until I had left that industry that I found out that the tests the idiots were using came from the automotive industry and the purpose of the test wasn't to find out _if_ the seals swell but to make sure that they swelled by the _right_ _amount_ and that all the stuff that the idiots had been telling us that we couldn't use made the seals swell because it was _supposed_ to make the seals swell. But it's not just big business--I used to work for a woman who had visions of becoming a software vendor--the trouble is that she didn't know squat about the computer industry or about software and she thought that she could play for cheap with something that had started out as a simple little program to do one stupid thing, and grown into an unmaintainable monster by adding this feature and that feature and the other feature until it was a few hundred thousand lines of code.
Sorry for the rant.
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J. Clarke said:

Actually, Catia is the IBM line, Dassault Systems is SolidWorks Corp.

I've owned some of the things you mention. Large Corporate operations seem very slow to consider anything out of their already saturated markets, they have no imagination and are unwilling to take risks.
Can you imagine a car like the Chevy Corvair being produced in this day and age? For a major US manufacturer, first Unibody, first turbocharger, first transaxle, first aluminum block/head, first air cooled horizontally opposed six, independent 4-link suspension ('65 and later), etc. They attacked the market penetration of the likes of Renault and VW while Ford produce the Falcon which primarily cut into their own sales of larger sedans. Regardless of what you think about the car, it made money, and still has aficionados around the world. The engine is still sought after for airplanes, dune buggies, and generators. Silly example, perhaps, but an indication of how little real innovation has occurred since.
And you're right about the VCRs. I owned an Ampex open reel video recorder back in the early 70s - B&W piece of shit. But it had all the requisite technology - helical scan, linear sound track, and was sort of portable. Marketers didn't feel there was a consumer demand and failed to engineer a compact, easy to use version. They also had studios and producers wailing in their ears about possible copyright violations. The Japanese didn't care about all that, certainly did forge ahead producing tons of VCRs. And TVs, radios, walkmans/discmans and such.
Timidity is not a survival trait.

See? ;-) As for the engineers, many probably got sick of the status quo and general backbiting. ladder climbing corporate crap.

We resemble that remark. ;-) But I hear what you are saying. Actually, I go through a rewrite of our code, compartmentalizing and removing any redundant code every few months. But added features are what keeps a product competitive. Bells and whistles sell. Compare AutoCAD and SolidWorks or SolidEdge or... Light years apart. AutoDesk did come out with Inventor, but market share had been lost at that point and competition was aggressive. It's hard to move an installed base from one system to another once training has been done.

No worries, mate. Been there, done that...
Greg G.
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Greg G. said:

D'oh! We're both right. I was wrong about IBM, although they apparently have some input and employ a team in India - perhaps it is for the IBM AIX port of Catia 5. BOTH are now products of the French based Dassault Systems. SolidWorks was originated in Massachusetts in 1995, and was bought by Dassault in 1997. Cripes it's hard to keep up with them all. SolidEdge, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, Catia, AutoDesk Inventor, Siemens NX, TurboCAD, I-DEAS, Unigraphics, etc. Not too long ago you had AutoCAD, then entry level programs like Generic CADD and TurboCAD, and IMSI something or another.
And my earlier rant about AutoCAD was somewhat misplaced. While others went into the parmetric/3D modeling CAD world directly, AutoDesk entered into it sidways through its early development of 3DStudio/MAX which was oriented towards 3D visual presentation and video rendering. I've actually got an old copy of the DOS based 3DStudio around here somewhere, along with the IPAS plugins. Sheese... Took hours to render a scene...

Ditto....
Reading Usenet, eating a pizza, and looking over an EDI 850 spec sheet do NOT make for a useful contribution to anything. Excuse the typos and drifting train of thought...

Hey, I've met engineers who couldn't change a tire, and would turn the entire process into a consortium of opinions and analysis before attempting to do so 2 hours later. Just get out of the f'in way already. :)
And "Enormous Aerospace" is what... NASA? Boeing? Lockheed/Martin? And the seals you refer to are the O-rings in the shuttle boosters? Man what a boondoggle that is... I wouldn't ride one of those inextinguishable sticks of dynamite into space for any amount of money... And my childhood dream was to be an astronaut! I'm glad we got something up there, but was disappointed in what we ended up with.
Greg G.
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You forgot CADAM. Both were IBM's at one time (CADAM from Lockheed, IIRC), though it looks like CADAM is completely Dassault's now and there is some sort of partnership between Dassault and IBM on Catia. There is also IBM CAD, which was OK on the desktop but went pretty much the way of OS/2.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com said:

Microstation, Bricscad, BRL-CAD, form-Z are a few others. The market is saturated with CAD/CAM software. I've used quite a few different solutions, but not in depth. Pro/Engineer was probably the first "affordable" parametric 3D CAD program that gained quite a bit of popularity against AutoCAD but was a bit slow - I'm thinking that some versions actually ran under the Java JITC.
SolidWorks built upon some of the basic work flow premises of Pro/E and is the one (besides AutoCAD and 3DStudioMax) that I am most familiar with. Transitioning from a 2D drafting program is a bit intimidating, so it's best to forget all that you know and start from scratch. The methodology used in Solidworks fit my mindset best and is an amazing program for the cost. There are plug-ins for quickly modeling gear-sets (worm, rack and pinion, helical), finite, thermal, mass and loading/stress analysis, CAM plug-ins for plotting tool paths and generating G-code for milling, basic PCB and schematic, wire and pipe routing, sheet metal folding, etc. Being a long time fan of MA based AutoDesk I would have leaned towards Inventor but there wasn't as much support although it has been gaining momentum since version 9.
And yes, it can be used to design Woodworking projects, although the $5k price tag kinda rules that out for most of us... :-o
Anyone interested in free 3D modeling/CAD might check out FreeCAD: http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page (Work in progress, helps to know Python...)
And for $125 there is TurboCAD 16 Deluxe 2D/3D which is pretty good: http://www.turbocad.com/TurboCAD/TurboCADWindows/TurboCAD16Deluxe2D3D/tabid/1225/Default.aspx
Anyone expending a modicum of effort can convert this:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/RouterCabinet7l.jpg
Into this:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/RouterCabinet1l.jpg
(It's a router table, BTW...)
Or this:
http://webpages.charter.net/videodoctor/images/SW3AxisMill.jpg
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Might be because everything is so finite in woodworking vs., in this case, party politics which should cause extreme cognitive dissonance if folks stopped to think about the inconsistencies in their positions. ;~)
John
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On Sat, 14 Nov 2009 15:35:54 -0800, the infamous "Nonny"

AMEN, Brother!
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
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3 friends have lost fingers from saws 1 had his fingers other side of blade kickback dragged fingers into blade 2 was cutting big piece of plywood and it started to flip up off blade he pushed it back down fingers onto blade 3 using chop saw I think he had his hand on far side of blade and as he was bringing it down he was pulling back his hand and it touched the blade and dragged it in Not that things go wrong often but I lean way back hands above head when things go wrong I look a little girlish and I still have fingernails to paint if I wanted too... Also have socialized single payer healthcare here but don't want to use it that bad.

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I think all 3 of those examples are good lessons and I'm going to especially remember 1 and 2. Another one, recently mentioned by a reader in FWW, happened when the reader reached down to turn off his saw and he still held his push stick near the blade--and as he leaned over the saw blade propelled the push stick through neck (in this case, the result was not as bad as it could have been).
Bill
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Rusty wrote:

I'm guessing he had the saw guard off.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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As do most people.
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CW wrote:

...which explain most of the lost digits.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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