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ZZZ DFNHUGULOO FRP PNYDVV#DFNHUGULOO FRP Sample First, Then (Maybe) Switch by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC Before making any purchase - especially a very large purchase - one should try out, test drive, or otherwise sample the product before taking the plunge and spending huge sums of money on the product. It’s just common sense, right? One company I worked for bought and installed a number of backup electrical power switching units. Huge sums of money were spent installing this equipment, and the maintenance people at this facility were expected to “keep it working”. However, it was soon discovered it worked only “sometimes”. Most of the time it worked all right, but sometimes it didn’t. Since this equipment was classified as “Mission Critical”, it had to work first time every time. Eventually, every unit of this type was removed and replaced at a very great cost - and the original equipment was practically new! Since I wasn’t part of the inner circle when it came to making decisions about this equipment, I don’t know all of the facts pertaining to this issue, but I’m guessing the flawed program software caused it to periodically not respond to the proper inputs. This was an “if-then” type of programming, which means if two inputs do this, then do that. It’s one of the simplest programming routines out there and typically requires only a few instructions and very little memory to pull it off. I suspect this was a case of the software developer or developers not fully understanding how everything works like I’ve seen with those who are trained only on software development systems and don’t understand how the software actually works and interacts with the other components. So rather than fix the software (very cheap), they performed a complete replacement (very expensive) by taking all of the units completely out and replacing them with another brand rather than do a software update or even replacing the control unit circuit board, which would have been far simpler and less expensive. Software mistakes are nothing unusual. They’re easy to make, but they’re often not easy to fix because changing one part of the program can impact other parts of the program. So when one part is changed, everything else in that program has to be checked as well. And the more complex the software gets, the more difficult and time consuming the testing is. The lesson here: One should always get a sample of the product and, when one is satisfied, it will perform as expected, then buy more. Most of the manufacturers of the semiconductor products I use offer free samples of their product. It’s always a good practice to get the part and test it in your design to make sure it will work as advertised. In this case, the best test would be to install the equipment someplace where, if it failed, it wouldn’t be a major problem. Then, after evaluating it for a time to determine the performance is satisfactory for the application, then and only then, should we install carbon copies throughout the facility. It’s the safe and sane way to do anything. Britt Britt Storkson may be contacted via e-mail to The August Editorial Focus is ~ Horizontal Directional Drilling Have information for a great article? Contact: 16 JUNE 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource®