Innovations at Ford

Alan Mulally was a leader at aircraft manufacturer Boeing before he joined Ford as CEO in 2006. While at Boeing, Mulally was involved in the development of several aircraft. He lead the design of the 757/767 cockpit which was one of the first “all glass” aircraft, meaning it relied on screens rather than physical gauges.…

Airbag Hearing Loss Prevention

Safe The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that air bags saved 8,369 lives between 1987 and 2001. Unfortunately, the same technology is having a negative impact on hearing. Seventeen percent of car occupants adjacent to airbag deployments suffer hearing loss, according to a study by Richard Price, a hearing specialist and consultant. And sound To…

Amazon’s Turbulent Beginnings

Amazon is a dominant player now, but its birth was plagued with doubt and financial weakness, reveals the book The Everything Store by Brad Stone. Amazon started as an online book seller, and this was a canny move by Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder.  Books were true commodities – all the same, no question of whether…

Saturn – Plastic, Not Fantastic

Divide and conquer? Saturn was a division of car manufacturer General Motors (then alongside today’s survivors like Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) that was started in 1985 as a semi-autonomous company with its own models, designs, dealer network and manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. This was a bold move, because at the time GM was…

Under Pressure – Hydroforming Car Parts

Silverado frame rails General Motors uses hydroforming to produce frame rails for its vehicles including the Silverado pickup and the aluminum pieces found in the Corvette. This process makes stronger, lighter and to more accurate dimensions than typical welded multi-piece components. In tube hydroforming, pressure is applied with hydraulic fluid inside a tube that is…