No really, I mean it. You never know what you don't know.
OEM Off-Highway has been blessed with engaged readers that take time out of their day to send us emails and letters about things they like, things they don't like, ways we can improve our magazine and things we should never change.
We've recently recieved emails from readers with new topic suggestions, and we plan to pursue them as the opportunity arrises. In the October issue of OEM Off-Highway, the article "Optimized bearing geometries for life cycle extension" was written per a request from an industry professional to learn more about this challenge he frequently faced in his job.
Another reader, all the way from The Netherlands, who regularly receives and reads OEM Off-Highway's Digital Edition, wrote that he "can't help but keep asking [himself] the question, Is the machinery we currently use really the best solution for moving earth? In the end, the concepts are more than 50 years old and were developed in a time when technology wasn't as advanced as it is now."
The question he posed brought to mind coversations I've had in the past with engineers that feel stifled by corporate demands for incremental product upgrades so they can continually relaunch products as new instead of full-blown concept evaluation and blank-slate design.
Are we putting gum over a pipe leak instead of redesiging the pipe? Are we putting a band-aid on a wound instead of eliminating the injury source? Are we relying too much on the iron of the past and putting in new parts instead of designing a new machine?
For example, could we find a new vehicle design that saves 10% fuel economy without manipulating the engine system or other components? Can noise be lowered in the cab by reorganizing where an operator sits rather than adding insulating foam and dampers?
Granted, there is value in familiarity to the operator as well as internal manufacturing lines that are streamlined for the equipment production. But, are we missing out on opportunities to introduce something completely new to the world that the world didn't even know they needed?
You don't know what you don't know.
As innovators and visionaries, you have the opportunity to show the world what it's missing. Are you working on unique ways to move dirt, plant crops or mine ore? We'd love to hear about them!