Thursday, August 22, 2013


2.0.2  Parts, Components, Tools and Devices 
                                                                         --from series Interior Components and Systems (www,

PARTS: In our day to day life, we use many different types of objects. At a very simple level an object is made up of only one or few materials. Such objects though have variety of sizes and shapes, serve similar purposes. For this reason parts are always replaceable, and similar parts are affected similarly. When we recognize an object as a part, we know that a whole range of nearly similar objects, worthy of being a ‘part', are available. A part has universal character, but when assembled into a component, it acquires a different personality, due to the placement, location and function. A part is that elemental unit to which the whole can be reduced or resolved.

  • A screw, nail, handle, razor blade, button, are examples of parts. These are destined to become members of a larger entity -the component. Cement, sand, water and bricks, as parts, form a masonry wall, which in turn is component of a building. Parts like a tube, tyres, air, rims, together create a component -the wheel. The wheel with many other components makes up a system of movement.

Within a composition, parts exhibit an active to passive interactions with other parts, as determined by the design. But parts dealing with the environment (including the user) often show indeterminable behaviour.

COMPONENTS: A component is unique composition of many parts, to serve a specific purpose, and must remain steadfast to the specific function to be relevant. Components have a specific identity, compared to Parts, which have a universal character. A component is more intimately linked to the larger composition -the system, than a part is. Components are conceived to be within a larger composition or system, and derive their identity on the nature of their role within the system.  Some components remain static and so are useful, but many others are dynamic  and only for that reason, become members of the functional system. Components manifest at very specific location and occasion, so can be easily identified and separated. A part is also a component where it becomes exclusive due to the placement, location or function. Components show reactivity to presence or elimination of energy by becoming dormant, active to hyperactive.

Some Categories of Components are:

  • Action elements: These trigger an action (like tools, devices), such as commands in computer or machine codes: start, stop, redo, wait, seek, and words, and phrases or expressions that excite, incite, inspire,  tranquillize, annoy or hurt.
  • Sensing mechanisms: These require a feed-forward or generate feedback, so have state device or switch, and a communication node.
  • Control elements: Control elements operate within a designed range of effectivity, which whenever is breached it activates a sensing mechanism.
  • Decision elements: A decision element is mix of sensing mechanism and a control element, the logic for decision making is pre-set, but could involve a linear, looped, fuzzy or random process.
  • Connecting elements: These elements connect several components for synchronous movement or action, transfer of energy, electrical charge, messaging and communication. Examples include wires, levers, cranks, shafts, axles, ties, circuits, etc.
  • Distancing elements: These distance two components in space or delay a process in time. Compaction, diffusion, acceleration, deceleration, are the characteristic of such elements. A washer, spacer, gasket, sprocket wheels, timer belts, are examples of such components.
  • Converters: These elements convert movements from linear to planner, circular, or read a pattern, create a pattern, scale, focus, de-focus, enlarge and compress it. Examples include measuring devices, pantographs, digital printers, plotters, monitors, keyboards, projectors, etc.

  • A PA system has several physical components like power supply, microphones, cables, amplifiers, speakers, etc. A computer system has physical components like processors, memory modules etc., as well as non-physical components like software. A publication or report includes components in the form of indices, links, references, conditions of use, intellectual rights -copyright, patent. A DNA has genetic modules (code) as the components. A programming language consists of code components that trigger certain activity or keep a check on it.

TOOLS AND DEVICES: A knife, screwdrivers, pliers, scissor, axe, etc. consist of several parts, so are components, but have use of their own, and may not be destined to become members of a larger entity. Such components with a definite end use are tools and devices. Tools and devices, as a component, become part of the larger system such as a machine.

A machine automatises a process, and so allows heavier, lighter, measured and intricate use of force then a human possibly could do. The same process or the style of working can be employed using different types of tools. Thus a press can bend, puncture, or cut a piece of metal by change of tools. A machine is rational unaffected by moods or emotions. Tools and devices by becoming parts of machines help a number of processes. The efficiency is enhanced by using multiple tools and devices and by combining several strategies to output a complex object, such as done by an automated lathe, turning, drilling machine or a forging press. Tools and devices are expected to wear, and so are replaceable components.

  • PARTS / placement, location and function / elemental unit / active to passive interactions / determined by the design / indeterminable behaviour
  • COMPONENTS / unique composition  / role within the system / static / dynamic / a part is also a component / Categories of Components / Action elements / Sensing mechanisms / Control elements / Decision elements / Connecting elements / Distancing elements / Converters
  • TOOLS AND DEVICES / use of their own / end use / machine / automatises a process / using multiple tools and devices and by combining several strategies / replaceable component
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