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-   -   Randomly pulling components off the assembly line (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=45289)

redspider 28 September 2010 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveM (Post 1030174)
At least in regards to electronics, this story could not possibly be true.

I totally agree. A production line worker (or even supervisor) wouldn't know what a component did. It's not his job to know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveM (Post 1030174)
Finally, electronic devices are not tested in assembly. So if someone were to pull a part, he wouldn't know its effect.

Well there will be some basic testing, but not the kind that would necessarily test every component, or test all functionality. And testing would be an automated part of each sub assembly. If you're testing at the very end then you're doing it wrong.

Components like resistors cost 2 cents each. The cost saving is negligible.

Eddylizard 29 September 2010 12:06 AM

It's possible that the oveheating switch was of a type suitable for its purpose, but as with any component some just come out of the factory defective.

If the lamp maker bought a batch of 10,000 switches it's inevitable at least a few will go wrong.

Singing in the Drizzle 29 September 2010 01:40 AM

That should probably been watts not amps since the lights had dimmer switches. I believe that is how they are rated.

Now to try and remember my electrical courses that I took some 20 years ago.

The problem with using a 300 watt dimmer switch with a 300 watt bulb is that is not the real wattage. Watts = Amps * Resistance^2. The light is 300 watts plus one needs to add in the wire and the dimmer switch. As the dimmers switch warms up, it also increases the watts used do to the extra resistance. More load mean more heat and more heat mean more load. Things keep getting hotter until something has to give. It is always good to go a little bigger with these type of things to make sure bad things do not happen.

Another example of the same type of thing causing problems. I borrowed some floor sanders from by brother. They were rated and 15 amps and used a 15 amp plug. Used them for any length of time and they will trip the circuit breaker. The 15 amp circuit breaker while rated at 15 amps can not handle the loads for long periods of time. Plug it into a 20 amp outlet and problems go away. Brother when I talked to him about it, said he has the same problem with them all the time.

Troberg 29 September 2010 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eddylizard (Post 1317075)
It's possible that the oveheating switch was of a type suitable for its purpose, but as with any component some just come out of the factory defective.

If the lamp maker bought a batch of 10,000 switches it's inevitable at least a few will go wrong.

Or, it could be China made. THe Chinese are excellent at making cheap stuff, but quality control is not their strong side. We've run out of steel? Use pot metal instead! No screws left? Just use a screw of roughly the same type and force it!

There has been reports on automatic fuses in Sweden that's made in China, where, on opening them, it was discovered that the fuse components were gone, and it was just an ordinary switch. Many electricians now test all the automatic fuses by shorting them in a test rig, just to be safe.

Graham2001 06 April 2016 05:39 PM

WARNING: Three years since the last post...

I may have found a real life case of this on youtube in the form of a video on youtube that rather ironically dates from the year (2012) this discussion was started.

1999 Daewoo color TV with missing filter capacitor (from the factory)

GenYus234 06 April 2016 06:16 PM

I'd expect that that is an example of a error in manufacturing more than a deliberate attempt to make a product cheaper by leaving off "unnecessary" components.

FullMetal 06 April 2016 08:30 PM

Agreed that it would be more a mistake than deliberate attempt, you could change that heatsink to a much cheaper one and save more money. But watching the video, it actually appears to me that there was something soldered in there, and subsequently removed, and the solder cleaned up, (whoever did it did a good job). The hole didn't look as clean as it would be new to me. (the fact that the holes are not uniform in size, and the fact that there is no heat distortion shows it was a good job, heck you can see the repair done just beside it that wasn't as well done)

Also that's what a sub $1 part? Why do that when it would cause a lot of returns for saving $1 per unit? I don't think it'd be worth it.

UrbanLegends101 06 April 2016 09:13 PM

I'd always heard the practice went back to Earl Muntz, Mad Man Muntz, late 1940s, early 1950s.

See:

http://www.smecc.org/mad_man_muntz!.htm

overyonder 07 April 2016 01:58 PM

I was re-reading the thread, and someone mentioned power cords being shorter to save costs.

I've noticed it, in particular since the price of copper has gone up around 2009+ (it's the only history I can find).

My 4 year old coffee grinder has one of the shortest cords I've ever seen (not sure if it's even 2 feet?), newer toasters are similar.

OY

chillas 07 April 2016 02:24 PM

Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.

overyonder 07 April 2016 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillas (Post 1912804)
Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.

Seems to be rather spotty. Some are still long, some are very short. No rhyme or reason.

OY

thorny locust 07 April 2016 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chillas (Post 1912804)
Kitchen appliance power cords have gotten shorter for safety reasons.

Which backfires when shorter cords lead to the use of extension cords.

overyonder 07 April 2016 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 1912807)
Which backfires when shorter cords lead to the use of extension cords.

The idea here is that newer homes have more outlets around the kitchen area. My nearly 20-y old house has I think 8 outlets around the kitchen (mostly where over the counter).

OY

Graham2001 14 June 2016 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1912693)
I'd expect that that is an example of a error in manufacturing more than a deliberate attempt to make a product cheaper by leaving off "unnecessary" components.

You may be right there, but recently I found two videos (Apologies in advance for the 'Steve Irwin' style of presentation.) about the repair of failed computer monitors, in the first there are a number of positions for uninstalled components drawn onto the circuit board. In the second case it's clear that a cost saving measure was taken after the board was drawn out with cheaper components being substituted at production.

EEV Blog 347:Bad Capacitor LCD Monitor Repair

EEV Blog 365:ESR Meter - Bad Capacitor Monitor Repair

jimmy101_again 14 June 2016 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Graham2001 (Post 1919332)
You may be right there, but recently I found two videos (Apologies in advance for the 'Steve Irwin' style of presentation.) about the repair of failed computer monitors, in the first there are a number of positions for uninstalled components drawn onto the circuit board. In the second case it's clear that a cost saving measure was taken after the board was drawn out with cheaper components being substituted at production.

EEV Blog 347:Bad Capacitor LCD Monitor Repair

EEV Blog 365:ESR Meter - Bad Capacitor Monitor Repair

Often the same printed circuit board is used for more than one product, hence the "uninstalled" components. The missing components are for an upgraded version.

The failed capacitor problem is definitely the result of using cheap components, though the cheap components were supposed to be within spec. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague) There are even rumors of industrial espionage and capacitor makers stealing patented or proprietary formulas from other makers then saving money by omitting key components of the electrolytic mix. The caps were cheaper but they failed after only a year of two in use.

Graham2001 15 June 2016 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmy101_again (Post 1919382)
Often the same printed circuit board is used for more than one product, hence the "uninstalled" components. The missing components are for an upgraded version.

The failed capacitor problem is definitely the result of using cheap components, though the cheap components were supposed to be within spec. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague) There are even rumors of industrial espionage and capacitor makers stealing patented or proprietary formulas from other makers then saving money by omitting key components of the electrolytic mix. The caps were cheaper but they failed after only a year of two in use.

Thanks for the addtional info, I've watched a number of teardown/repair videos and always wondered about the empty spaces on circuit boards. The basic story has been around a while, but things like this tend to act to re-inforce it.

Graham2001 16 June 2016 05:04 PM

One last YouTube video, pay attention to what is said starting at 6:24...

"Fake" Dr. Dre Beats Mini Bluetooth Speaker Teardown - For Fun!

...nice to catch an Urban Legend...

Beachlife! 16 June 2016 06:41 PM

Hold on, what I noticed was he opened a Pepsi with an old pull tab. I haven't seen those in years Where did that come from?

GenYus234 16 June 2016 06:50 PM

Hipster grocery store. But they sold out.

overyonder 16 June 2016 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beachlife! (Post 1919596)
Hold on, what I noticed was he opened a Pepsi with an old pull tab. I haven't seen those in years Where did that come from?

He said he was in Shanghai, China...

Quite possible they still use the old style pull tabs.

OY


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