As manufacturers hunker down to face the grim realities of today’s harsh economic climate, it seems a bit incongruous to discuss technology investments to foster innovation. Yet at Invention Machine’s first annual user group conference held this week at Boston’s Museum of Science, that was exactly the theme of discussion between Invention Machine execs and a roster of blue chip clients, including Johnson & Johnson, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Northrop Grumman and Delphi, among others.
Invention Machine CEO Mark Atkins described a new global landscape where change is happening so fast that innovation has become a mandatory requirement for companies looking to compete. Despite the challenges of the financial and economic crisis, Atkins said energy and environmental concerns, product obsolescence (70% of today’s revenue-generating products will be obsolete within five years, he says) and the mass exodus of knowledge workers to retirement (60% in two to five years) are increasing the pressure on companies to unearth new revenue streams and market opportunities.
At the same time, Atkins cited a bunch of statistics that underscore the problems companies face when it comes to innovation. For every 13 product ideas, only one is successfully delivered, he said. He also referenced Kuczmarski & Associates’ findings that for every successful product launched, there are 12 failures, a statistic that costs Fortune 1,000 companies nearly $60 billion annually in wasted development efforts.
How can companies break this unproductive cycle? According to Atkins, by embracing a sustainable innovation strategy, which establishes a framework and processes that bring uniformity, repeatability and knowledge-enablement to help companies better compete on this new scale. Obviously, that’s where Invention Machine’s Goldfire innovation platform fits in. As Jim Belfiore, Invention Machine’s certified innovation master put it: “You’ve got to find ways to survive and prosper in these uncharted waters. 2009 is going to be a pivotal year and innovation is one of the most valuable assets that will ensure a company’s success in the future.”
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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.