October 5, 2023
NY Governor Cuomo just used a gear analogy in his daily coronavirus briefing and it seemed to baffle many of the reporters present. It was in the context of how we restart things after this crazy outbreak dies down. His point was that various elements of society are meshed with each other like gear teeth; you cannot start one gear rotating if the others in its mechanism are locked up. One of the questions concerned re-opening schools. The Governor pointed out that schools require the transit system to operate and workers need child care for their non-school age children. That seemed to overcome some of the press corps confusion. It saddens me that the gear analogy was ineffective. There was a time when just the sight of a gear on a motion picture screen alerted every viewer that “technology” was on display. Almost everyone knew someone who worked in manufacturing so there was a widespread understanding that “processes” were needed to make things. Has over reliance on Amazon convinced the public that we live in a magical world of Star Trek replicators that produce anything you require out of nothing at the push of a button? Sorry, but 3D printing has not quite reached that level of utility. But, I am preaching to the choir here. Anyone in the gear trade knows that a well thought out and carefully orchestrated sequence of operations is required to make quality products. Careless disregard for procedure turns valuable resources into worthless garbage. We need to remain vigilant as this crisis works itself out. Ignoring honorable data and knowledgeable experts will just prolong the agony. Many of you are working from home or with reduced manpower in your work places. Things may come up for which you cannot find answers within your team or in the Gear Technology online archives. We are accepting “Ask the Expert” questions via e-mail to the magazine during this lockdown. Watch the Blog for answers as the queries are processed.