Problem Solutions

Case Studies

Production Problems

A company manufactured an optical sensor; manufacturing difficulties led to an increasingly poor reputation.
Through careful analysis of manufacturing data, test procedures and sample product, it was discovered that poor design of a plastic moulded part resulted in mechanical instability in the optical path. The immediate solution was additional adhesive and a change in test plan to detect and reject most problem product.
The optical path was then analysed to improve margin for possible mechanical distortion. Additional plastic inserts were designed to significantly improve production yields and customer satisfaction.

Performance Problems

A high-tech large-format film-scanner was experiencing image distortion. This was believed to be due to slippage in the film carriage. Following careful analysis of the carriage transport drive, the problem was discovered to be a consequence of the drive stepping being too sudden to allow proper grip on the carriage. To solve this, it was proposed to introduce some shock-absorption, manage through a redesign of the carriage. This completely removed the distortion.

Design Problems

An ultrasound Doppler imaging system relied on position sensing of a transducer to compute position in space and hence generate a flow image. It had been discovered that accuracy was unexpectedly insufficient and was leading to problems in subsequent processing.
A measurement rig was specified and very precise experiments conducted to investigate the performance. It was determined that the algorithm employed to translate sensor into spatial coordinate was wrong. Additional terms were added to correct the error.

Safety Problems

A new product for the building security market had been invented and was in development. There was a known safety concern; would introducing the product increase risk to safety?
To analyse the situation, a fresh approach was taken to defining all physical states the product could possibly encounter. This was irather than consideration of all of the designed states. Through this analysis, certain potential risk scenarios were identified. Each of these were than analysed to determine how risk could be minimised. Once these additional factors were incorporated into the design, the assessment was documented reassurance of the product’s suitability.