Playing with Technical Expressions

We may look for an apparatus under commonly known technical terms, but we may not find it with all suppliers. This does not necessarily mean that more potential suppliers for this apparatus do not exist.

Some suppliers try to avoid “copy right” violation by using different terms and titles, which are not commonly known among end users, whereas others do it in purpose to confuse their competitors. Several examples can be given here; nonetheless, Column Buckling Apparatus may be listed as Strut Buckling Apparatus or Buckling of Struts Apparatus. Furthermore, the designation of the type of the equipment; whether it is a machine, system, apparatus, bench, unit, stand, .., etc.

Unfortunately, it has been noticed that many end users are someway confused with these apparantly different expressions. For example, Creep Testing Machine and Creep Testing Apparatus. Another example is TurbineTest Bench and Turbine Test Set or Turbine Test Rig.

It is advisable to carefully read the specifications of the equipment and what it can provide instead of going blindly after the title, which could be sometimes misleading.


The main idea behind training here is the training on how to operate the equipment in an appropriate way and to have the right facility for the optimal results that fulfills the theory. This assumes that the trainees have the appropriate background. However, in real life and from experience in many cases, most of the assigned trainees are not qualified for such training. This has been encountered in most of the training sessions in different countries!

Typical questions mostly raised by the trainees are:

  • What do we use this equipment for?
  • What are we going to prove?
  • How do we use the results in the calculations, and  what are the mathematical formula?

Several similar questions are usually raised. Such questions could be interpreted in the sense that these trainees have no suitable technical background. It is so strange when we assume that the trainees are either instructors or lab assistants. This should mean that they have at least a university degree, which logically means that they studied such related topics. What is not understood also is that more frequently the trainees are personnel at higher rank; normally they have no teaching load. This occurs specially when the training is abroad and/or with some benefits!

The main responsibility would lie on the department authority who appoint candidates for such training. Since training time is limited, there would hardly be time for going through the theory behind the experiments. It is this doubted that these trainees would digest the details of traning.

The only way in such case is to organise a special intensive course to go over the theory before starting the training on the equipment. But, it should always be born in mind that this would add to the cost of training.