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Per Westermark
01/30/12 11:30
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Msg Score: +1
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#185732 - Still not a quality issue but a hunger for more
Responding to: Richard Erlacher's previous message
Examples are but examples.

I can talk about Maglite flashlights. Nice US texts, TM, ...
Still - I have had more than one that doesn't work, because of bad contacts. Yes, the genuine thing with world-wide warranty.

I also have a couple of Maglite knock-offs that works perfectly and have done for 10+ years.

Examples are but examples. They can't be used to prove a point, unless you can show that the sample size N is sufficiently large. And of course that that sample size is randomly selected and not hand-picked amongst failures.

Is it relevant to compare a mains-operated power drill with a battery-operated and claim that battery failures are an example of quality? NiCD (NiFe) batteries did work very well if well maintained. But our requirements for higher power densities and environmental regulations means we do not have batteries that do work for indefinite times. That's irrelevant to a debate about production quality. Take the most expensive battery-operated equipment and you will find that Li-Ion batteries in them will age just as fast as Li-Ion batteries in the cheapest tools. The Li-Ion batteries that have better ageing performance are not used because they have much less power densities. So neither high-end or cheap tools makes use of them. It's a question of power performance, and not ageing performance. A professional don't want a twice-as-heavy battery. And a hobbyist don't want a twice as expensive battery.

One issue with tools is that a buyer 1950 treated his tools like his children. Because the tools was the only way to feed the family. Today, people drop their tools on the floor because it's faster than bending the knees (and in some ways maybe better for the body). But we induce lots more wear on the tools now.

But the next thing is that people don't want to pay much. So people request to get cheaper tools. So the high-end manufacturers just have to start selling products at a lower price range. Still same name, but - on implicit request - gear of lower quality. Not because of less workmanship, but gear with less expensive materials because that is what the customer indirectly demands. And in many situations, it's the correct decision. Instead of wearing out the bearings and have them replaced, people get the same amount of work from a cheaper tool. But they replace the complete tool. In total, they can get the same cost of ownership. And the same performance. It's just that they don't depend on a local shop to carry the spare parts. And don't have to be without tools while waiting for the spare parts to be ordered.

Your US manufacturers have their batteries made elsewhere for the simple fact that you don't have any producer of battery cells. Why not let the cell factory make the complete battery pack - they do make battery packs for thousands of other customers too, so are obviously geared for producing battery packs at a far larger volume. That includes binning the cells to get all cells in the pack to have matched performance.

Sorry, but people love SANYO batteries even if they get them rebranded in multiple steps to believe that they have bought "brand x" batteries. And the SANYO batteries aren't even very expensive. Price and performance do not follow any linear graph.

The thing is that any country can produce high-quality products. It's easy to produce high-quality products. It's very easy. Our current technology makes it trivial to produce what was state-of-the-art quality products 1950. But you can't do it in US because people expect a high salary, and the customers expects the item sold at a price they can afford. If you don't buy that $1 crap laser pointer but instead a $10 laser pointer, you can get a pointer with the best available laser diode, a perfect current controller and mechanics milled to precisions your 1950 manufacturer could not afford to get close to. And still for almost no cost, because the industrialization started a revolution in production costs.

Why people doesn't study abroad? Prejudice. The kind of prejudice that makes you think a chinese product is second-rate. It's arrogance that makes people ignore the less developed countries, while totally missing the huge progress speed they have. While a country may be under-developed, they can still have reached a very high technological and educational state around their large capitals. So progress is practically exploding. The arrogant thinks they are 5 steps behind and that the only thing they make that works are copied products. Oops, so wrong. So terribly wrong. Think what a developer can learn in 10 years. These countries have already had more much more than 10 years to get very skilled people educated, into the industry and then spinning up the wheels as experienced developers. Why copy when they have the same competence to invent new solutions?

Yes, I wouldn't be too surprised if it's enough that I glue rubber erasers on a wheel and manage to get that accepted as a new invention. The new car tyre that erases any rubber marks from too hard driving ;)

Note that outsourced work are also done by someone employed. And a huge percentage of outsourcing is done to people in the same country, having similar salaries. And lots of companies have been hurt a lot just in the areas they have outsourced, because they do no longer have any core competence there. They can't restart themselves, and they do no longer know the requirements for buying the service. Progress comes from people interacting. When you throw out the people, you lose the interaction. So no ideas how to improve. No warning signals when you should change direction because the market is moving. No own workforce that can quickly run in another direction - now you have to renegotiate your current contracts if you want to change direction.

I hope you are happy with your Electrolux (?) stove. But same thing there. People don't want kitchen appliances that lasts 50 years. After 20 years (or earlier) they want to redecorate their kitchen. So out with everything and switch to new gear with a completely different look-and-feel. White? Brown? Brushed metal? The industrial revolution means we are intentionally living our lives based on the premises that we switch gear not when we need to, but when we feel like it. Throw out the stereo. It has only 2 channels. 5.1? Cool, but should be 7.1 or 9.1 sound. THX certification? True-HD uncompressed audio? Signal processors with microphone to measure size and reflections in room? WIFI-controlled remote, for around-the-building control? Not 3D support for the HDMI video streams?

In the end, we are buying high-end quality gear and then quickly throwing it away because we want newer. Yes, unless you are stupid, you can get great quality for a low cost. But doesn't matter - we still buy new. Again and again. And again. It's a question of mentality. I have bought maybe 10 "generations" of mouses (ignoring amount of mice for more than one computer). Why? Because I have found better mouses. Nothing wrong with the previous expect it had only 2 buttons. Ooops - only 3 buttons. Ooops no scroll wheel. Ooops a ball. Ooops a cable. Oops not programmable buttons. Ooops not working on any surface. Oops not spread-spectrum auto-paired.

US isn't producing gear because people want to buy good gear at a low cost so they can throw it and buy good gear again. And that happens when the gear is produced in a country with a different level of the salary. The disadvantage? The huge amount of money flowing out of the country. And an accelerating speed. You are buying other countries. But since you do it by buying huge amounts of gear, you are not investing. You are not partial owners of all the factories. So you don't get any percentages of the profit. Just the costs. And millions of tons of old gear in the garbage dumps. Not because of crap quality but lack of novelty.

List of 60 messages in thread
Finally we found what made US and Europe in crisis      JecksonS Ben      01/20/12 01:00      
   Really?      Jez Smith      01/20/12 14:22      
      Rice Crispies      Neil Kurzman      01/20/12 17:49      
         Yeah..      Jez Smith      01/21/12 01:37      
            Once I heard her say ...      Richard Erlacher      01/21/12 11:29      
               Gifted      Per Westermark      01/21/12 12:54      
               I have found someone worse      Jez Smith      01/22/12 15:17      
                  I don't know what this guy's "issue" is ...      Richard Erlacher      01/22/12 18:55      
                     Ouch      Per Westermark      01/22/12 20:43      
                        His Way...      Michael Karas      01/22/12 21:51      
                           That's not quite the case ...      Richard Erlacher      01/22/12 22:40      
                              works here      JecksonS Ben      01/23/12 07:35      
                     We have a solution      Jez Smith      01/24/12 14:04      
                        Glue?        Rob Klein      01/25/12 06:16      
                           re: Soylent Green      Andy Peters      01/25/12 15:43      
                        sorry! ... multi-post      Richard Erlacher      01/25/12 08:58      
                        Now, if they'd just apply that filter to politicians ...      Richard Erlacher      01/25/12 08:58      
                        Oops! ...      Richard Erlacher      01/25/12 08:58      
               I am a goon....      Jez Smith      01/29/12 11:48      
                  Maybe you could illustrate what you mean?      Richard Erlacher      01/29/12 12:42      
                     I don't know but      Jez Smith      01/29/12 15:05      
                        It's like entropy ...      Richard Erlacher      01/29/12 19:16      
                           The thing is...      Jez Smith      01/29/12 23:49      
                              I have to agree ... Americans are doing it to themselves      Richard Erlacher      01/30/12 08:39      
                           Simplifications        Per Westermark      01/30/12 03:57      
                              We'll just have to agree to disagree, I guess ...      Richard Erlacher      01/30/12 10:45      
                                 Still not a quality issue but a hunger for more        Per Westermark      01/30/12 11:30      
                                    live for life      Stefan KAnev      01/30/12 12:33      
                                       Perhaps someone will pay you to "live your life"      Richard Erlacher      01/31/12 19:49      
                                    Yes, and therein lies the fatal flaw      Richard Erlacher      01/31/12 20:16      
                                       just buy new one      Stefan KAnev      01/31/12 22:09      
                                          ISO9001/2000?        Erik Malund      02/01/12 06:56      
                                             agree      Stefan KAnev      02/01/12 07:13      
                                             No, depends on knowledge/experience of people implementing      Per Westermark      02/03/12 05:38      
                                                DO we need ISO?      JecksonS Ben      02/03/12 05:44      
                                          It's up to the buyer ...      Richard Erlacher      02/01/12 08:09      
                                             Still thinking price implies quality      Per Westermark      02/03/12 06:24      
                                       Wal-Mart TVs      Andy Peters      02/02/12 10:38      
                                          Yes, SONY, SAMSUNG, TOSHIBA, etc, all do it ...      Richard Erlacher      02/02/12 21:18      
                                          Foxconn...      JecksonS Ben      02/03/12 05:34      
                                             It's because of their scale      Richard Erlacher      02/03/12 10:02      
                                                Large scale      JecksonS Ben      02/05/12 04:00      
                                                   Quite so, but there's room for improvement      Richard Erlacher      02/05/12 09:46      
                                                      why You expect this?      Stefan KAnev      02/05/12 13:02      
                                                         Perhaps you're right      Richard Erlacher      02/05/12 18:53      
                                                            Already happening      Per Westermark      02/05/12 19:42      
                                                               they sleep      JecksonS Ben      02/06/12 01:44      
                                                                  I thought Indonesia was ahead of the PRC in wages ...      Richard Erlacher      02/06/12 08:52      
                                                                     The url blocked      JecksonS Ben      02/10/12 05:00      
                                                                  ^%$#@! Double post ... again! Sorry      Richard Erlacher      02/06/12 08:52      
                                                            PRC and US corruption      JecksonS Ben      02/06/12 01:35      
                                                               Maybe you could explain ...      Richard Erlacher      02/06/12 09:02      
                                                                  smooth criminals      JecksonS Ben      02/10/12 05:02      
                                                      at baby time....      JecksonS Ben      02/06/12 01:28      
            krispies      Andy Peters      01/24/12 10:18      
         As i see it..      Jez Smith      01/21/12 01:45      
      I'm wrong...      JecksonS Ben      01/21/12 08:18      
      SOPA/PIPA      Andy Peters      01/24/12 10:25      
         about that "freedom of speech" thing ...      Richard Erlacher      01/24/12 16:49      
   Brilliance      Joseph Hebert      01/24/12 05:30      

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