Design/supply Chain


Never put the brakes on innovation

Thanks to Avnet Express, the team at UBM Tech, and, most importantly, the amazing people we met as our Chevrolet Volt toured the United States, Drive For Innovation proved to be more than just a joyride. The drive began in July 2011, with the aim of celebrating innovative people, products, and places in electronics and technology. Our cherry-red Chevy Volt took


Key to innovation? Onshoring manufacturing of course

One day a couple of years ago, Gary Pisano woke me out of a sound sleep. Not literally, but figuratively through a Harvard Business Review podcast I was listening to. He was talking about his research into the impact of offshoring manufacturing on design. In the interview, he talks about the concept of the industrial commons: Some of them are


Innovation and transformation of JDSU

(Odometer: 23, 885 miles) MILPITAS, Calif. –Remember JDSU? You probably remember it better as JDS Uniphase, a high-flying optical electronics company that had its wings clipped (who didn’t?) in the telecommunications bubble burst  more than a decade ago. Today, JDSU is rebranded and repositioned as an electronics vendor that hasn’t abandoned its communications roots but has diversified into areas, such as test

Trust me I'm an engineer.jpg

Hello (again) innovation world!

If Drive for Innovation looks a little different today it’s because we’ve redesigned our  site as we roll into year two of our award-winning project. We’ve taken all the fabulous content we’ve collected since we began driving around the country in July 2011 seeking out electronics-innovation stories and packaged them in a more navigable, eye-catching way. With our new look, we’ve


The manufacturing-plus strategy

RICHMOND, B.C.–S.U. Moon loved manufacturing so much that a decade ago he set out on his own to start a contract manufacturing business.  Ten years, 40 employees and millions in annual revenue later, Moon's Foreseeson contract manufacturing company flourishes near Vancouver.  But he's not so enamored with electronics manufacturing that he doesn't grasp the competitive realities around him–notably that the

Lloyd Banta and Larry Blair at Droplet

Measuring, drop by drop

BOULDER, Colo.–As an engineer, you know that air safety has never been better. As a passenger, you may think, in the deep recesses of your mind, otherwise. Fortunately there are companies like Droplet Measurement Technologies, here, which are in the business of engineering even safer skies and calmer passengers. Droplet, founded 25 years ago by two engineers and an atmospheric

Solar Decathlon 2011

Hands-on education through home building

COLLEGE PARK, Md.–Oh to be a kid again! Well, not so much a kid but a college student. We've written a lot on Drive for Innovation about the maker movement and the hands-on activities or curricula that are flourishing in universities (whether it's New York Institute of Technology, San Jose State, UMass Amherst, Penn or Arizona State).  Here at the


The art and economics of off-shoring manufacturing

DALLAS–In an era of hand-wringing about manufacturing going overseas, John Knight surveys the scene as cool as the other side of the pillow. "We have a term for it: boomerang customers," says the second generation executive in a family-run manufacturing business, Knight Electronics.  "The Internet has made things interesting from the standpoint that anybody can go online and find a


Innovation capital of the world

PHOENIX–If it's tough for an ex-contract manufacturing executive to admit it, Ed Smith doesn't show it.  "America's going to become the land of innovation, not the land of manufacturing," said Smith, a former CEO of a contract manufacturing company who now is president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas here. "Everybody says everything moved to China," he said. "China doesn't innovative

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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