During the early 1900s shipbuilders and shipping companies worked hard to make ocean freighters faster AND more fuel efficient. To a large degree they were successful, speed was up and fuel consumption was down, however their economies of scale became progressively worse and they were losing money BIG TIME!
The owners and managers of these large ocean freighters suffered a serious incongruity between expectations and results. They assumed that a majority of the costs were incurred while the freighters were sailing through the oceans. In reality however, the real costs of the freighter are incurred when the ship is at the port sitting idle. So no matter how fast and fuel efficient ships would become, the industry would continue declining!
True innovation occurs when individuals are able to bridge an incongruity, which is what the industry leaders were able to do. Once they realized where the true costs were, the innovations were obvious.
The shipping industry pulled a “Houdini” and began applying some of the best practices of the railroad and trucking industries. Those industries were utilizing roll-on and roll-off container ships for several years, something the shipping industry couple replicate.
It’s important to note that it was a shift in viewpoints, not in technology, that changed the economies of ocean shipping and helped save the industry.
Have you ever faced an incongruity between your assumptions and reality? How did you overcome the issue?
This story covers one source of innovation, “incongruities”. For more information on this topic check out the full article here: The Discipline of Innovation by Peter Drucker.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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