Due to tremendous production schedules and rapid advancement, the automotive industry is characterized by its effort to learn the answers to engineering research-problems with utmost dispatch, but the procedure is not without attendant risks. Costly errors have resulted from experimental work improperly planned and executed, from conclusions too quickly drawn and from unjustified interpretation of observed indications. Cut-and-try procedure is resorted to in many instances after hastily applied research methods have failed and, often, the apparently longer course involving systematic research would, in fact, have been fruitful of more prompt and more satisfactory results at a lower net cost.
As originally presented, the paper was accompanied by a demonstration of instruments and apparatus especially adapted to automotive-research problems. These exhibits included
Bureau of Standards
Apparatus for measuring fuel flow by volume
Carbon pile telemeter
Clearance volume indicator
Decelerometer made by the American Instrument Co.
Engine indicator made by the American Instrument Co.
Pedal pressure indicator
Cambridge Instrument Co.
Electrical apparatus for exhaust-gas analysis
Engineering Division of the Air Service
Farnboro electric engine indicator
International Motor Co.
Lubricating Appliance Mfg. Co.
Apparatus for determining viscosity and dilution
Rotostat Instrument Co.
University of Michigan
Apparatus for measuring fuel flow by weight
Loudness evaluator developed for the Timken
Roller Bearing Co.
Modified engine indicator
Waukesha Motor Co.
Phoneloscope for the study of sound, made by H. G. Dorsey
Regarding instrument design and construction, reference is made to the comprehensive but concise rules of Clerk Maxwell, the well-known English scientist, and he is quoted as saying that the fundamental principle is that the instrument should be adapted to the use that is to be made of it and, in particular, that the parts intended to be fixed should not be liable to become displaced; that those which ought to be movable should not stick fast; that parts which have to be observed should not be covered up or kept in the dark; and that pieces intended to have a definite form should not be disfigured by warping, straining, or wearing.
After discussing the subjects of instrumental accuracy, simultaneous indications or records and types of instrument and of apparatus adapted to use in industrial laboratories, the author considers cost factors. Brief descriptions of motion analysis, motion-picture and stroboscopic methods and the study of noise are presented also, and types of devices used in these studies are specified.