The strange case of the electrical panel burnout

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This was a very 'naughty' or 'knotty' problem that almost tripped me over.

This strange case of electrical panel burnout happened in one of the most modern, sophisticated and well maintained chemical plant I have ever set my eyes on.

A particular set of electrical panels was burning out year after year. It was impossible to predict when it would burn or say as to why would it burn out so randomly?

However, there was a common pattern in all the failures, which was made up of the following components:

a) Whenever the panels got 'shorted' and failed the engineers opened up the panel to find dew like shining droplets of water hanging precariously from the top of the panel.  

b) The failures always happened in a particular period of the year (April to September).

The engineers & managers were at their wit's end not knowing how exactly they can overcome this problem.

They questioned, 'How can water seep into the panels?'

They took all possible precautions like

a) sealing the 'supposed' gaps in the panel door so that even a tiny drop of water can't enter

b) maintain and clean up and dry the panels every six months or whenever they had an opportunity

But nothing helped. It kept happening year after year.

They almost decided to go for a new design of panels.

Fortunately that was not needed. And they have lived happily ever after.

So, how do we connect the Emergence (the problem) to the Essence (the relationship)?

What might be the approach to do so?

What we need to avoid to really understand 'emergence' that continually floods our lives?

The extremely brief presentation reveals the interesting answers.

Hope you would enjoy it.


a) the post: (Connecting Emergence to Essence)

b) the post: (Illustration of the 4th Design Thinking Principle)

c) the post: (General Principles of Design Thinking)


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