Welcome, Guest  |  Login    Register

Don't Underestimate Incremental Innovation, Says ML Council

Posted by David Brousell on Aug 15, 2014

Graph_Blueprint.jpgThe idea of coming up with a breakthrough innovation that can create competitive advantage captivates many companies these days. The success that companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google have had with market-defining, breakthrough products and services sets the bar and motivates others to go for the biggest prize possible.

That bar is both necessary and useful as an aspiration, and some do manage to grab the brass ring. But the message from members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, who convened earlier this week to discuss the many dimensions of innovation, as part of a special plant tour at American Axle & Manufacturing’s Three Rivers production facility in Kalamazoo, MI, was that companies shouldn’t overlook what can be gained through incremental improvements in processes and products

In fact, breakthroughs often don’t happen immediately but are often achieved over time as an initial concept is refined and improved. As a result, breakthrough innovation and incremental innovation can be joined at the hip, so to speak; the former needs the latter process to truly become a game-changing product or service.

Read More

Start a Discussion

Blog Posts

U.S. Manufacturing Grows at Fastest Rate in Four Years  in Manufacturing Leadership Community

The latest industry figures for the month of August show the U.S. manufacturing industry raging ahead and expanding at its fastest rate in many years. That will come as welcome news to American industrialists, politicians and workers alike. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Sep 02, 2014
Views: 109
Manufacturing Leadership Awards Open, with New Big Data, Mobility, and Internet of Things Categories  in Manufacturing Advocacy

The Manufacturing Leadership Community (MLC) has opened nominations for the 2015 Manufacturing Leadership Awards, adding significant enhancements to the ML Awards program, including new award categories for manufacturers that are transforming their businesses through the use of emerging technologies, including big data and advanced analytics, mobility and The Internet of Things (IoT.) Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 25, 2014
Views: 890
AAM Plant Tour: Don’t Underestimate Incremental Innovation, Says ML Council  in The Innovation Enterprise

Breakthrough innovation is what keeps you ahead of the curve. But the message from members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, who convened earlier this week to discuss the many dimensions of innovation as part of a special plant tour at American Axle & Manufacturing’s Three Rivers production plant in Kalamazoo, MI, was that companies shouldn’t overlook what can be gained through incremental improvements in processes and products. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Aug 15, 2014
Views: 2152
Diversity: Are You Leaving Leadership Assets on the Table?  in Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

For many manufacturers, devising and executing a next-generation leadership succession plan is critically important for one rather obvious reason: Leadership in many manufacturing organizations—particularly small and mid-size companies—is getting pretty long-in-the-tooth and retirement-ready. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 13, 2014
Views: 1552
Is Your Organization Ready for Digitization?  in The Adaptive Organization

Today, businesses are realizing more and more value through investments in digitization, but the trajectory is anything but smooth or predicable. A recent McKinsey survey on digitization, for example, says that many organizations are not realizing the full benefits of digitization due to an array of organizational issues. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Aug 05, 2014
Views: 2396
Manufacturing Leaders Announce New ‘Critical Issues’ Agenda  in Manufacturing Leadership Community

Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, the global business network for senior industrial executives, has established a new Critical Issues Agenda for manufacturing for 2014/2015. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 29, 2014
Views: 5779
Filling the Pipeline of Next-Generation Manufacturing Leaders  in Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

Manufacturers should care a great deal what members of the so-called Millennial Generation think. That’s because, by 2025, Millennials—those born from the early 1980s through the early 2000s--will make up 75% of the global workforce. Manufacturers hoping to cultivate and grow the next generation of leaders will need to understand what Millennials want and how they think. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 22, 2014
Views: 6090
The IoT: Next Up, A Battle Over Standards  in Transformative Technologies

The high tech industry is at it again. It seems that whenever a market trend occurs that holds the potential of significant growth, would-be players rush to try to define and establish “standards” that will enable the trend to flourish, and, in the process, enable the players to benefit too. Today, the latest trend undergoing a standards frenzy is the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Jul 15, 2014
Views: 2948
Experts Warn of Government, Commercial Threats to an Open Internet  in Transformative Technologies

It’s over 20 years since British inventor Tim Berners-Lee unleashed his notion of a World Wide Web on an unsuspecting world. Today, as the Internet has come to permeate almost every aspect of personal and economic life, new concerns for its future are beginning to emerge – from cyber threats and political interference, to an information deluge and the pressures of over-commercialization by online giants. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 09, 2014
Views: 3650
The IoT: Where Should Privacy Lines Be Drawn?  in Transformative Technologies

In the 1990 sci-fi classic “Total Recall” directed by Paul Verhoeven, the lead character, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, must remove an implanted tracking device from his head (actually through his nose!) before he can reclaim his memories and save the world. (Arnold, of course, succeeds.) Lately, I’ve been reflecting that the much-promoted Internet of Things (IoT) may end up having a similar effect to Arnold’s troublesome tracking device, without the messy and invasive nasal implantation. It’s not a very comforting thought, at least for me. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 30, 2014
Views: 1041


Supply Chain Risk At Its Lowest Level For 18 Months: But It May Not Last.  in Redefining the Supply Chain

According to the latest study from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) in the U.K and Dun & Bradstreet, the level of risk in global manufacturing supply chains in Q2 of this year hit its lowest level for 18 months, after decreasing for three consecutive quarters for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 29, 2014
Views: 286
Model for Measuring Product Sustainability Proposed  in Sustainability

Manufacturers typically track and report their sustainability improvement progress in terms of resource savings and emission reductions. But what about the sustainability characteristics of the products themselves? What if manufacturers—and their customers—had an objective way to measure and compare the sustainability of specific product through their lifecycles? Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 28, 2014
Views: 203
Global Manufacturing Competitiveness: Time To Redraw The World Map  in Redefining the Supply Chain

If you still think the world is split into traditional high-cost production locations in the developed economies of the West, and low-cost locations in the emerging economies of the East, it may be time to think again. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 26, 2014
Views: 1314
New Generation of Robots Will Force Cultural Change  in Transformative Technologies

A new generation of smart, mobile, autonomous, and relatively inexpensive robots is about to hit the manufacturing plant floor and supply chain. These include telepresence robots that let supervisors and engineers thousands of miles away see what’s going on in a plant and collaborate with workers there. They include mobile warehouse robots, and so-called companion robots such as Rethink Robotics’ Baxter which, while slower than traditional industrial models, is much easier to program, less expensive, and safer for human co-workers to be around. They even include exoskeletons—such as one being developed by ship-builder Daiwoo Shipbuilding that workers wear and that give them greater strength to lift and carry objects. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 20, 2014
Views: 596
Move Over Cloud: Are Data Lakes the Key to Managing IoT Big Data?  in Factories of the Future

GE has announced a joint development with industrial software company Pivotal to create what it calls “the first-ever industrial data lake approach” to help major manufacturing companies better access, analyse and store petabytes of industrial-strength Big Data. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 12, 2014
Views: 2454
IoT Will Require a Renewed Focus on Data Accuracy  in Transformative Technologies

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to bring unprecedented levels of operational insight and product performance and use knowledge to manufacturers, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of new market value in the near future. But the IoT will bring challenges also. Experts have already sounded the alarm about security breaches that have shown up in some smart, web-enabled products and platforms. But security won’t be the only challenge. Manufacturers will also need to do a much better job of validating the accuracy of the data being generated by the IoT. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 06, 2014
Views: 2188
U.K. Spy Agency Fosters Cybersecurity Skills At British Universities  in

Britain’s central surveillance and intelligence agency, known as GCHQ, is hoping to boost the European country’s cybersecurity skills by fostering the next generation of cyber-savvy experts at British universities. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 04, 2014
Views: 866
Study Finds Alarming Lack of IoT Security  in Transformative Technologies

How secure is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Not very, according to a new report from Hewlett-Packard Co. After evaluating 10 of the most popular IoT-enabled devices—mostly consumer products such as TVs, webcams, home thermostats, remote power outlets, sprinkler controllers, door locks, home alarms, garage door openers—HP’s security research organization found that most contain potentially serious security vulnerabilities. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 31, 2014
Views: 2965
Can You 3D Print a Car? Local Motors Thinks So…  in The Innovative Enterprise

If you’re going to be anywhere near Chicago during September, you may want to drop into the International Manufacturing Technology Show (September 8-13). That’s where Phoenix-based auto innovator Local Motors plans to 3D print and assemble a specially-designed new electric sports car, live on-site – right before your very eyes! Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 22, 2014
Views: 5164
Microsoft To Move Nokia Manufacturing from China to Vietnam  in Redefining the Supply Chain

There was a time when Finland’s mobile phone giant Nokia ruled much of the mobile world. But intense competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung drove the company into the arms of Microsoft in 2013. Now, under new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the US company has announced extensive plans to restructure its Nokia phone group as part of 18,000 staff layoffs across the Microsoft organization announced last week. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 21, 2014
Views: 2257