Design

Improving Engineering with WHY, WHAT, HOW

When asked how to improve manufacturing, the recipe is clear: lean. When asked how to improve engineering, the recipe: there isn’t one. Each engineering improvement effort is unique; though there are common themes and building blocks, each has its own fingerprint. Each company has its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; each company has unique products and markets; each its ...

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How to Help Engineers Innovate

Creating new products that provide a useful function is hard, and insuring they function day-in and day-out is harder. Plain and simple, engineering is hard. Planes must fly, cars must steer, and Velcro must stick. But, at every turn, there are risks, reasons why a new design won’t work, and it’s the engineer’s job to make the design insensitive to ...

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Haque's "Lessons of Jobs" Stirs Debate on HBR

The outpouring of commentary post-Jobs’ resignation has been daunting.  You could feel the business world shudder, pause and reflect.  Like a shot going off in an echo-chamber.  One of the best of the best pieces to my taste is Umair Haque’s last HBR post   “Steve’s Seven Insights for 21st Century Capitalists” because, well, he not only crisply summarizes Jobs’ ...

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Go Green by Designing Out Brown

We’re starting to come to terms with the green revolution; we’re staring to realize that green is good for our planet and even better for our business. But how do we put greenwashing behind us and truly make a difference? To improve recycling, find the non-recyclable stuff in your product and design it out. Make a Pareto chart of non-recyclable ...

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Secret Sauce that Doubles Profits

Last month a group of engineers met secretly to reinvent the US economy one company at a time. Here are some of the players, maybe you’ve heard of them: Alcoa, BAE, Boeing, Bose, Covidien, EMC, GE Medical, GE Transportation, Grundfos, ITT, Medrad, Medtronic, Microsoft, Motorola, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Siemens, United Technologies, Westinghouse, Whirlpool. Presenter after presenter ...

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Innovation at Ground Zero

I recently watched the amazing Discovery Channel documentary Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero chronicling the reconstruction of the World Trade Center after the tragedy of 9/11. The show is an awe inspiring mix of engineering marvels, construction complexity, and a healing nation. The documentary, directed by Steven Spielberg, chronicles the entire span of the project, from the initial visions of the architects, to the planning and coordination of the supervisors, to the steel, concrete, and iron workers erecting the skyscraper at jaw-dropping heights. The new World Trade center is designed to be both a memorial honoring the past, and a beacon of hope looking toward America's future. No matter what project you are working on, there are some impressive takeaways you can apply to your own work.

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