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The Ink Spitting Autowriter
The Ink Spitting Autowriter
A factory was testing a new auto writing system. It went haywire when a big fork truck passed by. What was causing this?
Mysteries of Science

Dr. Gilleo
Mysteries of Science by Dr. Ken Gilleo
Dr. Gilleo is a chemist, inventor and general problem solver. Ken has been tracking industrial forensics and collecting case histories for decades. These cases are taken from the vast world of industry and commercial enterprise.

Check out Dr. Gilleo's eBook, 100 Mysteries Solved by Science. We hope you enjoy these case histories. You need not be an engineer or scientist to understand the problems and appreciate the solutions.
Transcript
In the 1970's a large factory would fax orders from the inventory department to shipping, but this process was wasteful. The factory tried other methods like electric typewriters connected by wires; however this was not an effective method for the average factory worker's typing skills.

The auto writer was a machine that used an electric pen with a pad of paper to communicate with other machines. With the auto writer, you could write, print or even draw pictures. 

The factory was testing the system which was running well until one day a big fork truck passed by. The auto writer's pen went crazy, dancing up and down and spraying ink everywhere. The auxiliary control box was moved to the far wall and bonded to a rubber pad to absorb the vibrations.

This seemed to do the trick until the following day when the pen again went haywire without a truck driving by.

What was causing the auto writer's pen to act like this?

Here's the rest of the story.


An examination of the control box showed some heavy dents that may have come from a hammer.

The inventory guys finally admitted their prank. One of the men would go over to the wall with a sledgehammer while everyone else watched the auto writer.

The cause had been found, but what was the solution? The inventory guys agreed they would never play the trick again to keep the prank a secret.

The take away from this story is never overlook the human factor.
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