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If the needle on an industrial sewing machine becomes badly worn, the article being sewn can be ruined. In traditional apparel factories, the people who operate the sewing machines monitor the needles and replace those that begin to wear out. Industrial sewing operations are becoming increasingly automated, however, and it would be inefficient for a factory to hire people for the sole purpose of monitoring needles. Therefore a sophisticated new acoustic device that detects wear in sewing machine needles is expected to become standard equipment in the automated apparel factories of the future. Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above? (A) In automated apparel factories, items will be ruined by faulty needles less frequently than happens in traditional apparel factories. (B) In the automated apparel factories of the future, each employee will perform only one type of task. (C) Traditional apparel factories do not use any automated equipment. (D) The needles of industrial sewing machines wear out at unpredictable rates. (E) As sewing machine needles become worn, the noise they make becomes increasingly loud.
The answer is certainly D. If needles wore out at predictable rates, then the factories could predict when to replace them. They wouldn't need any special device to know when to change their needles.
E is a red herring. Sure, we know that an acoustic device can somehow detect faulty needles, but we have no idea *how* the acoustic device does this. Perhaps the faulty needles are louder than good needles, but it's just as possible that they're quieter, or that good needles maintain a steady pitch while the pitch of a faulty needle undulates like a police siren, with no difference in loudness. We have no clue from the passage how the acoustic properties of good needles and of faulty needles differ, so E is in no way supported.