July 26, 2023
[starbox] One of the things I enjoyed about the gearbox repair business was the opportunity to study the design strategies of so many different companies, both foreign and domestic. Products made five, ten, even thirty years apart would have many similar design features. This proves the power of “design DNA” — of adopting a set of design rules to insure quality, performance, and manufacturability. Features like bolt circle combinations, seal configurations, and minimum numbers of teeth may not seem important to the non-designer,but selecting them in a vacuum can really slow you down. Design is a lot like commuting in that every time one driver makes a decision it impacts every other person on that route. Quality decisions take time; this is why having some decisions “pre-programmed” is so important. Sadly, some people adopt a set of design rules without even realizing it; as in building it into their computer programs and forgetting about it. Others stick with rules that are made obsolete by changing technology. If you aren’t sure about your company’s “DNA,” ask around; read the project notes on product development, and, if needed, reverse engineer your own product. What if you don’t have “company DNA”? That is where learning from others comes in. AGMA offers some outstanding seminars by well-known consulting engineers. Every issue of Gear Technology contains important articles on how other engineers make design decisions. If you have decisions to make, the Gear Technology data base is fully searchable and available 24/7 — all over the world. Make your own reference binder; you’ll be happy you did.