Water under the bridge
I've worked as an engineer during the last 18 years for a company that designs and manufactures water valves. Regarding the recent editorial about manufacturing (In the Loop, February), I believe the wage difference between the U.S. and other countries is the main reason we lost our manufacturing ability here at home. It was a gold rush for the companies who took advantage of the difference. In return, we closed down foundries and machine shops and slowly lost our skills and technology. We became more and more reliant on foreign goods. Today, it is hard to find a good foundry or machine shop when needed.
The present situation is like two bodies of water at different elevations, with the elevations representing standards of living. We raised their water level by pushing our jobs to them. Now, the waters are getting leveled. It is becoming less attractive to push jobs overseas, and I believe that some favorable regulation from our federal and state governments should get us back in business.
Puru Savalia, P.E.
Shared responsibility for manufacturing loss
I just read your column about reviving U.S. manufacturing. Everyone wants to blame someone else, but the truth is that we are all to blame. The government wanted more, so they increased taxes and found new ways to tax. The workers wanted more, so they found new ways to leverage and collectively bargain. The corporate heads wanted more, so they found new ways to cheat. Greed is what got us into this mess. No one is satisfied with what they're getting. When corporations can make more profit in another country, no matter what it does to the U.S. or the American worker, they are going to move.
I worked for a company that was purchased last year. The CEO of that company, after driving it into bankruptcy and back out, reportedly received more than $25 million to go away. The CFO received a similar package. I regularly hear about corporate executives receiving huge bonuses even when companies are failing. The only way manufacturing will return to the U.S. is if our government cuts corporate taxes and Americans are willing to work for reasonable wages. Unfortunately, I do not think we will ever reduce corporate greed.
Plain speaking on roller bearings
Nice to see an eBook on bearings! Good subject. However, I feel the need to point out a potentially misleading tidbit on page four. There, the spherical bearing sidebar shows two different images: The image to the left of the text is a spherical roller bearing, correctly depicted in cross section with the typical two rows of spherical rolling elements, and both inner and outer raceways. True, these bearings usually allow for some misalignment, and are used in rotating applications. However, the image on the right is a spherical bearing (sometimes called a rod-end bearing), which some might consider a type of plain bearing — because in most applications, these are almost always used for nonrotational or reciprocal movement, and usually applied to mechanical linkages or cylinder rod ends. This type of bearing is also very different in construction, in that there is only an inner and outer raceway, both with a spherical profile. As a design detail, there is sometimes a plain bearing material used as an anti-friction liner, but there are no rolling elements. This distinction should be clearly illustrated, but in fact, I think rod-end bearings were ignored in this eBook. Otherwise, it's a good reference — keep 'em coming!
Joseph J. Wirkus
A new Bearings eBook has been uploaded at motionsystemdesign.com/TechChapters, and the topic of rod-end bearings is under consideration for future editions. — Ed.
Viewing eNewsletters online
As is the case with many or perhaps all Department of Defense employees, I am not permitted to receive e-mails in HTML format for security reasons; instead, our firewall converts all HTML to plain text with hyperlinks. This comes across as quite a mess because every graphic image on a page has its own hyperlink, so it's difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. In the case of your newsletters, it all seems to come across as chaff; the graphics links work, but the article links return a “Page not found” error message, and the graphics aren't much use without the articles. If you know of a solution, I'd love to hear it. If there were an easy way to identify the main hyperlinks in the text-only version, it would be really nice for a whole bunch of us out here.
Where viewing is difficult, all Motion Monitor subscribers are invited to visit enews.penton.com/enews/machinedesign/motion/current for the latest edition. — Ed.