Throwback 90s Items to Inspire NVH Engineers

Inspiration for NVH Engineers

The inspiration behind the Pac-Man character was supposedly an image of a pizza with a slice removed.  The Pac-Man franchise for the Atari 2600 made a profit of $200,000,000! (Source: Moneyinc.com)

Bubble wrap was not originally designed to protect products during shipment. The concept of bubble wrap came when the inventors behind it were trying to develop a new type of textured wallpaper.

Play-Doh wasn't originally developed to be a kids' toy. It was actually created as a product that was mean to be a wallpaper cleaning substance.

The point here is that inspiration comes in so many different forms and can have a huge impact on the world.  In a lot of cases, inspiration and creativity stem from memories from your past or items you're able to see in a different way. With that said, why don't we go down memory row to take a slightly different look at products that made the 90s as great as we all know it was.

This post was designed as a way of looking at products in a creative way to inspire future innovations.  Some of these may seem like a stretch, but in a sea of dry, technical information, we feel it's important to spice up the content you consume every so often.

Sockem Boppers

If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you remember going to battle with a sibling or friend with these "inflatable pillows". 

These double cavity air chambers use a durable heavy gauge vinyl. The combination of the two made it somewhat safe to throw a haymaker at your friends.

Different Way of Looking At These

Vibration Reduction: Pneumatic or air isolators as a way of reducing vibration impact a vehicle may experience. If you can take a Sockem Bopper punch from your older sibling, what can we do to apply contained air in an NVH application?


90s Pogo Sticks

The iconic pink/green duo pogo sticks made popular in the 90s. These were the ultimate way of competing with your siblings on who can get the most hops in before falling off.  These are the traditional version pogo-stick that use steel springs to create a bounce. When you land down the spring compresses, and as you pull back up the compressed spring recoils, resulting in a push back up into the air. This also takes away the sheer impact of a hard land onto the ground after jumping from a higher point, making it a safer option for usage.

Different Way of Looking at Pogo Sticks

The more obvious way of looking at pogo sticks is to relate them to the suspension system and shock absorption. But, what if we were to use this concept in other ways? What if we found ways of integrating a coil design into other NVH designs?

pogo stick related to nvhpogo stick related to nvh

Roller Skates

You remember these bad boys, don't you? These skates were iconic to kids that were born in the 90s. Roller skating in general was extremely popular during this decade. During this time, most 90s kids owned their own pair and skating rinks were all the rage.

What you'll notice about most skates is that they include either a front-toe stopper and/or a back stopper used to bring them to a complete stop.

automotive rubber nvh inspirationautomotive rubber nvh inspiration

Different Way of Looking At These

NVH Bumper: These are similar to what you'll find with door and trunk bumpers. The difference here is that you'll find that front toe stoppers are typically over-molded onto a threaded bolt or they're occasionally molded with an integrated thread design.

Design: They usually include some sort of friction grip design, as well as featuring colorful selection of options. In manufacturing, this plays a great role for DFA (design for assembly) as color coordination makes it much easier for process creation as well as easy identification.  These are an essential part of the roller skate's overall design. They don't want to stick to old, boring parts. Definitely not during the 90s.


Pinball Bumpers

While pinball machines were not invented in the 90s, they were highly popular with the rise of local arcades and pizza parlors.  Pinball machines were a staple to the 90s, and are actually well-engineered machines that we all could learn from

How Pinball Bumpers Work:

When a pinball enters a bumper's area, it rolls onto a ring that will drop and activate the solenoid below causing magnets to be activated. Once the magnets are activated, they will pull a ring from above the ball to be pulled down onto the ball, forcing the ball to shoot out in a different direction. Check out this video of out it works: Click here

Different Way of Looking At Pinball Bumpers

Pinball bumpers react to the ball hitting them and use magnets to cause a reaction. It's amazing when you look at how all the different ways we've used magnets for various applications, including vibration absorption.

Magnetic dynamic vibration absorber which is simple to construct can be easily tuned by changing the distance between magnets to excitation frequency to minimize the vibrations and can be effectively used to minimize vibrations of structure (source).

The ability to customize his huge in today's mobility market as you're seeing manufacturers, like Tesla, be able to improve a vehicle's performance simply by pushing an update, similar to what you see with cell phone OS updates, rather than having customers come into a repair shop to make changes.


Conclusion

Creativity is an amazing thing. You never know exactly where the next big idea may come from, but the more you expose yourself to ideas, products, stories, etc. in the world, the more likely you are to generate the next big innovation.

Let us know what you thought and what we should add or cover next by sending us a note here. Be sure to also subscribe to future content, such as the 80s version of the post!

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