4 Innovations in the 2019 Chevy Silverado

The Chevy introduced the next generation Silverado last week and it comes with some interesting innovations. Composite leaf springs The 2019 Silverado will include a second-stage composite (Principle 40 – Composite Materials) leaf spring for a smoother ride that adjusts better to changes in load. Power tailgate The vehicle boats a pickup-truck first, a powered…

More Lessons from Steve Jobs

This post examines some of Steve Jobs’s application of Principles to building the Apple company. It draws background from this Harvard Business Review article, The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs. Minimizing clutter Steve Jobs was focused on minimizing clutter. This means removing extraneous elements (Principle 2 – Taking Out). When the iPhone was being developed…

Condensing Furnace

As I write this the Toronto area is enjoying a brief winter warm spell – it’s only freezing! Two weeks ago we saw temperatures around 20 degrees celsius below freezing. My house, like most newer homes in Canada, is heated with a high-efficiency, or condensing furnace. High-efficiency furnaces can achieve from 89% to 98% fuel efficiency.…

Boring! “Roads Must Go 3D”

“To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won’t fall on your head.” The Boring Company FAQ The Boring Company intends to fix traffic congestion by boring beneath cities. Unlike roads, a network of tunnels…

Light Bulb!

Multiple light bulb moments The light bulb is often used as a symbol of inspiration, perhaps because of so many ideas that went into creating the light bulb and its impact on modern life. The light bulb wasn’t so much invented as much as improved over time by various people and organizations. Thomas Edison wasn’t…

Wheels & Luggage – Together At Last

Never be threatened with unemployment Take some comfort from the man who developed the 40 Inventive Principles: “The world is endless, the universe inexhaustible, and the human brain will never be threatened with unemployment.” Genrich Altshuller That’s why its called luggage It is a common worry among those who seek to invent something new. And…

Why Not a 4 Motor Tesla?

One motor per wheel The notion of having one motor per wheel in an electric vehicle like a Tesla has been mooted and debated. The consensus seems to be that the pros (electronic authority over torque vectoring – no mechanical bits required, eliminating the weight of a differential) are outweighed by the cons (additional cost…

Aluminum Cans, Lightweight Heavyweights

In Bill Hammack’s Youtube video, the ingenious design of the aluminum beverage can is revealed. It’s amazing how many Inventive Principles are applied in such a humble, everyday object. The can The aluminum can begins life as a round disc which is repeatedly pressed into a successively narrower cylindrical cup shape. This cup is deliberately made…

Belted Alternator Starter

Belted alternator starter (BAS) hybrid systems first appeared on GM’s 2007 Saturn Vue Green Line. BAS systems combine the roles of starts and alternators into a single motor like conventional hybrid systems, but instead of linking directly to the crankshaft, they are linked to the engine by a belt. This makes it possible to integrate…