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Re: Offshore Design

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>We are better at engineering design and writing software, so the
>Americans buy it from us.
No one has a monopoly on better engineering design or software writing. 
Maybe we can talk about it when Pakistan produces trains like the 
Japanese Shinkansen or the French Mistral or aircraft like the European 
Airbus or Brazilian Embraer commercial aircraft or civil engineering 
projects like the US interstate highway system or the Dutch dikes. Or 
when there's a Pakistani iMac or FEA software like ANSYS or NASTRAN.

Nothing wrong with American engineers outsourcing--my clients outsource 
FEA work to me. Problems start when purchasing agents start buying on 
price from people who may or may not know what they're actually selling. 
Everyone knows about counterfeit bolts--cost a lot of people a lot of 
money when contaminated inventories were destroyed because there was no 
way to sort ferro-manurium from genuine bolts. Here in Minnesota a flange 
produced somewhere in China broke during hydrotest a few years ago. 
Turned out that the material was cast, with a hub welded on instead of a 
single piece forging as required by the material spec ID stamped into the 
flange by the manufacturer. And 'welded' is a very generous 
interpretation, since the weld was slugged--most of the welded section 
was unfused wire overlaid by enough fused weld metal to allow for 
machining. After a fair number of the flanges turned up in the US I heard 
that the Chinese authorities shot someone over the matter. Letters were 
exchanged with regrets and promises that it wouldn't happen again, and I 
haven't heard about any repeats. The slugged welds might not even have 
been done maliciously; could be that the guy who contracted for 
manufacture didn't know jack about pressure vessel flanges, only that it 
had be shaped a certain way and stamped with some English numbers and 
letters. And if a main steam line had burst and killed a crew of pipe 
fitters, the guy wouldn't have known that either. For engineers anyway, 
there's a lot more to the global marketplace than buy low, sell high.

And one other thing--cheap labor may be costing more than you imagine. My 
son and I were admiring a really fine oriental rug (maybe Pakistani, 
maybe not) at Dayton's. Then came the thought of similar rugs made by 
little boys chained to looms in some shit hole of a sweat shop. Strange 
words coming from a tax-and-spend liberal like me, but I could cheerfully 
horsewhip anyone who would permit such a thing.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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