What Does A Nimble Conglomerate Look Like?

“If we owned a steel mill, what happens if our engineers want to make things in plastic, or with 3D printing?” asked Ronnie Leten,...

Turning Experimentation Into Success

In early 2011, a development team from Caterpillar chanced on an opportunity to pitch its work on its first hybrid-electric excavator to potential customers...

Reimagining Walls

The Great Recession last decade hit the construction industry early and hard, and USG was no exception. Orders collapsed, as did prices. Though the...

Two Satellites For The Price Of One

It wasn’t business as usual any longer, to hear Jim Peterka, talk about it. Peterka was tapped to lead the 720SP program at Boeing in early 2011 to...

Failure Isn’t An Option

Inventing better jet engines and elevators at United Technologies (“UTC”) is far more complex and time-consuming than, say, a weekend’s worth of hacking a...

Changing The Mission

Once the world economy started slowing in 2007,Textron changed how it approached innovation in order to bring new aircraft and helicopters to market quicker,...

The Robot Apocalypse Starts With Ping Pong?

I just watched a robot play ping pong. I'm at Hannover Messe, which is a giant industrial trade show that's chocked full of every type...

Learning From Hackers

Do-it-yourself types fly under most corporate radars, or at least they’re mischaracterized as tinkerers, post-end users or, worse, hackers. Epson has demonstrated that they...

A Sum Greater Than Its Parts

Marine engines and parts/accessories are Brunswick Corporation’s biggest revenue generator, followed by boats and fitness equipment. The business also supports the company’s efforts to...

Innovating A Solution Before The Market Asks For It

“The challenge came from the business,” said Martin Hayes, an R&D director at Johnson Matthey. “They were talking to customers deep in China, where...