Hurdling the barriers to innovation

HARRISBURG, Pa.–Innovation is a beautiful word with an almost poetic ring to it, but actually doing it–succeeding at it–is not easy. Indeed, a lot of startups fail, but that's part of what makes progress–failure. In the electronics world, established companies have their own challenges with respect to innovation. Don't get fat and lazy is one. How do you keep your


Grow & adapt or wither & die–your call

HARRISBURG, Penn.–It’s trite but true: companies (and people) who don’t adapt are doomed to (best-case) fail or (worst-case) die. But this is particularly challenging today when the voice of the customer’s customer (or some non-customer actor) is so much louder than ever. In more consumer electronics applications, social media communications trends drove handset design for several years; today it’s apps


What makes a good engineer-part 2

(Odometer: 5,810 miles) HARRISBURG, Pa.–Nearly 550 miles from here, we posed this question to Allan Dale of Lectronix. Sitting in TE Connectivity’s innovation room here, we put the same question to engineering director Steve Jackson and Galen Martin, product development engineer: What qualities make a good engineer? Martin had a similar response to Dale, and Jackson took it a step


Weight watchers

TROY, Mich.–Weight is not everything in automotive design, but it’s close. The Chevy Volt weighs 3,700 pounds unloaded. More than 11 percent of that weight is the lithium-ion battery itself, even so, the battery is 70 percent lighter than the one GM deployed in the EV-1. Yet unlike gas-powered vehicles, which lose weight as the car burns up its fuel

Dan Borelli (L) of Avnet Electronics Marketing and Michael Woren of TE Connectivity pose with the freshly applie sponsor decal

It’s all in the detailing

Getting TE Connectivity to sponsor the Drive for Innovation was the easy part. They get the story line. They’re bringing really creative innovation to an area that’s usually overlooked by most people: interconnects. They’re in the Volt in a big way, as we’ve seen in the Connecting with the Volt and Innovation in Interconnects posts and segments. They’re good at


Under the hood with Molex

LISLE, Ill.–Some of the most important but generally overlooked components in any modern vehicle are connectors. We pulled up to the headquarters of Molex in Lisle, Ill., where the heat index was 105 at 10 a.m., to get a few minutes from Brian Krause, vice president of marketing and communications. It was our first stop where someone had components in

Harting pit crew

The pit crew

(Odometer: 991 miles) ELGIN, Ill.–The Volt gets really thirsty in 103 degree Midwest heat as it roams across Illinois in search of innovation stories. Luckily, we pulled into Harting, where a pit crew awaited us in the most creative welcome the Volt’s received so far:

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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