One Fortune 500 company had a leaky roof and when it rained the water soaked the 720 volt ballast and other wiring of an 8 ft indoor flourescent tube fixture. It never shorted out. Because of that and other leaks they also ended up running a 60 - 40 water - oil emulsion in the hydraulic equipment. The milky fluid worked just fine, however, it rarely froze indoors there. Caustic slopped all over the electric motors all day long but we only had a few motors rewired a year.
A lot of time is already devoted to less than ideal situations, mostly to determine what is cost effective, however the information isn't publicly available.
There are two reasons for this:
- Many of these are de facto trade secrets, and,
- No industrial company wants to attract too much attention from OSHA and trial lawyers.
An on-line web page focusing on overdesigned equipment and unnecessary methods could really spur the useful arts and increase productivity and even make many places safer.
One section could be devoted to anonymous tips that could be reviewed and/or tested by others.
Engineers and technicians from emerging industrial countries could contribute "state of the art" stories.
When you think about it, isn't life itself a jerry rig?