Back May 12, 2015

Cable trouble

After receiving complaints from my clients, I suspected there was a programming error with the sensors, which are installed in cranes worldwide to ensure that loads are not lifted if they exceed operational limits. Recently, a number of mishaps occurred when cables were cut on command by the sensors, even though the cranes had not lifted excessive loads.

An analysis of the computer program did not reveal any problems. Afterwards, I went to see the sales manager, who had recently sold a crane to one of the clients that had filed a complaint. I mentioned the problem with the sensors and the cut cables. His face lost all color. It turned out that his client had requested a cable that was slightly longer than the usual ones. The sales manager was sure that he had communicated this to the production unit. When we investigated, the production unit said that this was the first time they were hearing about it. Whatever the reason, the sensors had not been properly calibrated.

That is what can happen when we believe we have made ourselves clear without checking if the other person really has understood what we are talking about.