30 October 2007

Try, Try Again

Joe, for all his experience and wisdom, is still only human. Humans make mistakes. Joe made the same mistake twice.

The specifics of it are a bit difficult to explain, but the gist is that when he designed blades for the rotor barsets, he shaped one end incorrectly on four blades. (That's four blades per barset, with 36 barsets on the rotor, plus two extra barsets just in case; 152 incorrect blades.) I showed him the problem, he chuckled at his mistake, and then he went back to the office to re-program the blades that needed to be replaced.

Eric, whom I affectionately call "LaserMan" in my head (because he operates the laser cutter), brought me the new blades. I broke them out, replaced the incorrect blades, and stacked a barset in a fixture. I looked at the set, shook my head, and went to the office to get Joe.

I showed him the barset with the "correct" blades. He looked at it for a moment, leaned over the table, put his head on his arm, and started laughing. "I can't believe I did that," he said, shaking his head and trying to stay lighthearted about the situation. "I'll go fix it, but the new blades might not be ready for a while. Break out the stator blades while you're waiting."

It took two or three hours for the new blades to be cut (five minutes to redesign the blades, ages in the cutting queue, and then just a few minutes under the laser), during which I nearly finished breaking out the stator blades. The new rotor blades fit properly this time, and I had a happy little geek moment with the stator blades.

There are 50 types of blades for this stator, with 38 blades of each type. Because we haven't built anything to use for sorting that many types of blades, I wrapped each type in gaff tape and wrote the blade number on the tape. There ended up being a duplicate set of one of the blade types: #42. I wrapped up both sets, wrote "42" on one, and "DON'T PANIC!" on the other.

Now where did I put my towel?

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