Swimming in a technical pool of knowledge

Sept. 9, 2011

When most people run into an embarrassing personal problem of some sort that they can't easily solve, they talk to friends and associates to collect opinions and perhaps even some pearls of wisdom. Sooner or later, the problem gets solved or disappears of its own accord.

When most people run into an embarrassing personal problem of some sort that they can't easily solve, they talk to friends and associates to collect opinions and perhaps even some pearls of wisdom. Sooner or later, the problem gets solved or disappears of its own accord.

When you have some work-related problem, the typical plant engineer or manager responds by asking coworkers and associates for ideas and perhaps some pearls of industrial wisdom.
 
The problem with this approach is that the more technical the problem, the fewer the people who can comment intelligently and cogently about it. One needs a larger pool of knowledge.

That suggests that Facebook or another classical social media outlet might be of value. But, ask yourself how many of the people out there - the casual users - are actually techie people who might have an answer.

Rather than a larger pool, you need a specialized, technical pool. I found one that might fill the bill. It’s called Eng-Tips Forum, one of two such sites owned by Tecumseh Group, Inc.

You’re going to find material about chemical plant design and operations, electric power and transmission and distribution, motors, instrumentation, several industrial engineering topics, corrosion and coatings, piping, boilers, pumps and a range of other relevant topics for the maintenance and reliability professionals who keep our manufacturing industry humming along.

The general format is that someone posts a question. This is followed by answers from people who write like they know their stuff. It’s a resource worth knowing about the next time you’re stymied.

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