With stops at 3M and GE prior to taking the helm at Boeing, McNerney had long preached the Six Sigma in research philosophy. In the speech, he decries the “eureka” or serendipitous moment and asserts innovation is a team sport requiring discipline and hard work. McNerney pokes holes in the urban legend that 3m Scientist Art Fry alone discovered Post-It Notes as the result of a “eureka” moment. Fry had help from 3M’s lab, marketing and manufacturing arms, notes McNerney, who was 3M CEO from 1999 until 2005. At 3M, McNerney implemented the controversial Six Sigma in research which was unpopular among many long-time 3M researchers and scientists. McNerney’s successor George Buckley scrapped Six Sigma in research.
Whether you agree on not with his very corporate position on engineering innovation, his speech is a worthwhile read. Not surprisingly, McNerney is an MBA type, not an engineer. However, his three employers - Boeing, 3M and GE - have all been engineering companies. Engineers rule in the rhetorical sense, but not in reality!
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.