I came upon a quote from Richard Feynman a few days ago that was inspiring and lead to a great deal of thought. As I thought more about Mr. Feynman, I felt a deep appreciation for his enthusiasm and continued approach to physics and mathematics. One of the things that was recurrent among the interviews of Feynman, is that he was always interested in examining problems from a different point of view.
One of the most notable discussions on the subject was highlighted in an interviewed titled “Take the World from Another Point of View”.
At some point in this interview, Feynman recalls an exercise he used to do at the dinner table with his father where they would look at ordinary human activities as though they were Martians landing on Earth. For example, we see it as a necessary part of life to sleep, but if we were of a mindset that didn’t need or know what sleep is, this would seem quite strange. This way of thinking – using an unobstructed and inquisitive point of view for what is usually considered as universal – led to many of the solutions Feynman is credited with developing.
I like to use this way of thinking when working with applications that use EXAIR products. Recently I worked with a gentleman in Kansas who is a Six Sigma Black Belt and had a desire to integrate EXAIR products into his machines. He was quite knowledgeable about many areas of manufacturing and in particular, efficiency. As we discussed the use of our product lines and dove more in depth into operation and compatibility in different environments, he made it a point to stress to me how eye opening our products can be to him and his clients. The biggest paradigm shift using our products in this company has been with our Cold Guns and providing cooling without oil.
In the manufacturing facilities using his machines, this gentleman saw the repeated use and disposal of coolant. After finding our product and realizing the cost savings of cooling the bits of CNC milling and drilling heads with the Cold Gun as compared to traditional oil based coolant, he was surprised to have never thought of the idea before. It was a similar scenario to what Feynman described in his interview – given a different point of view, will the solution be the same? In this scenario, as in many others, the views have changed.