Man and Machines: A Hidden Similarity

Beyond the normalcy and near routineness of our daily lives, we almost do not notice the separate world that powers our existence. We rise in the morning in heated homes, run hot water to have our morning shower, turn on the kettle to boil some water to make a cup of tea or coffee. We turn on the telly to catch the morning news while having toast, and then we are out of the house to work, or school, or wherever we go daily. Most of us will take a car, a bus, a train or even fly on an airplane to that destination. We do this daily in near routineness without fail in what we consider as normal, oblivious to the mechanisms that make it possible. What powers the boiler that delivers the heating that makes the house comfortable to sleep in, and provides the hot water for that morning shower? What powers the kettle or tv? Electricity I hear you say. What about the coffee or bread for the toast? How did they get to you? They may have come from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Some form of land, air or sea transport maybe? Same way we may have gotten to work. There is a world that powers our world, that delivers the electricity that makes our lives convenient, that provides the food we eat and moves us around almost seamlessly with only the interruption of the limitation of human efficiency. This world is a world of machines, an army of them, maybe even as many as the human population itself.
"the challenge for engineers is to maintain this equipment to prevent failure or increase their time to failure and monitor the equipment to identify when they will fail"
The convenience we experience in our daily lives is supported by machines and these machines share many similarities to us. In a 3-part series, I will take readers on a journey that covers why it is important for engineers to look after the machines that support human existence and the techniques available to do these.

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