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, and 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, nails, handles, a razor blade, buttons, 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.
A component is unique composition of many parts, to serve a specific purpose, it must remain steadfast to a function and yet 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 when 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.