Innovation Column Features

Robert Zaruda's picture
Robert Zaruda
Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC), one of the centers that make up the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Extension Partnership, is helping launch student-run enterprises throughout northwest and...
Christopher Dancy's picture
Christopher Dancy
Despite the important and ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence in many parts of modern society, there is very little policy or regulation governing the development and use of AI systems in...
Scott Ginsburg's picture
Scott Ginsburg
Twenty years ago, digital tools were “a thing.” Now they flow through all things. To some degree, every manufacturer is now a digital company. And with the right modern platform, any manufacturing...
Zach Winn's picture
Zach Winn
When it comes to battery innovations, much attention gets paid to potential new chemistries and materials. Often overlooked is the importance of production processes for bringing down costs. Now the...
NIST's picture
NIST
An improvement to a Nobel Prize-winning technology called a frequency comb enables it to measure light pulse arrival times with greater sensitivity than previously possible—potentially improving...
Anne Trafton's picture
Anne Trafton
Taking advantage of a phenomenon known as emergent behavior in the microscale, MIT engineers have designed simple microparticles that can collectively generate complex behavior, much the same way...
Bruno Ménard's picture
Bruno Ménard
While traditional image processing software relies on task-specific algorithms, deep learning software uses a network to implement user-trained algorithms to recognize good and bad images or regions...
S. Heather Duncan's picture
S. Heather Duncan
A new deep-learning framework developed at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is speeding up the process of inspecting additively manufactured metal parts using X-ray computed...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
‘You see, but you do not observe,” Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s (1891) A Scandal in Bohemia. Taiichi Ohno, who developed Henry Ford’s lean production system into the...
Gleb Tsipursky's picture
Gleb Tsipursky
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink claimed in a recent interview with Fox that “we have to get our employees back in the office.” According to him, doing so would result in “rising productivity that will...
Kerry Stevenson's picture
Kerry Stevenson
Operating a desktop FFF 3D printer can be a ton of fun, except when you make mistakes. Mistakes can cause print failures, and also embarrassment when they are so obvious you really should not have...
Matthew Inniger's picture
Matthew Inniger
The inability to gather good data has challenged many food manufacturers for decades. But not anymore. As sensor technology has improved, and technology platforms have become more accessible and...
James Gaines's picture
James Gaines
In 2004, the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) dangled a $1 million prize for any group that could design an autonomous car that could drive itself through 142 miles of...
Shelly Fan's picture
Shelly Fan
I admit, if I see a beehive, I back away. But part of me is also fascinated. Beehives are a remarkable feat of engineering. Swarms of bees deposit materials ranging from tree buds to chewed-up wax...
Ben P. Stein's picture
Ben P. Stein
Right after the pandemic hit, I bought a new vacuum cleaner. I wanted to step up my housecleaning skills since I knew I’d be home a lot more. I was able to buy mine right away, but friends who wanted...
Mara Strenger's picture
Mara Strenger
When looking in the fridge, you notice a package of minced meat sitting at the back of one of the shelves, totally forgotten. A check of the best-before date reveals it had expired two days earlier....
Anonymous's picture
Drones, the aerial eye of the job site, have become a versatile tool for earthmoving operations. Among their benefits are increased efficiency, productivity, and accuracy on job sites. In addition,...
Jeff Dewar's picture
Jeff Dewar
In this third installment of our five-part series, we talk with Jim Templin, CEO of ASQE. Yes, you read that right, ASQE. As in ASQ Excellence. It’s an entirely new legal entity connected at the hip...
Isaac Maw's picture
Isaac Maw
Automation provides opportunities for new, more efficient workflows and better resource use in manufacturing. Despite a long history of fears concerning job losses brought on by automation, these...
Mark Hembree's picture
Mark Hembree
Many trade shows have disappeared or diminished in recent decades—but not the International Manufacturing Technology Show, a biannual event held every even-numbered year in Chicago, this year from...