Microscopic Manufacturing at Motorola

Making the microprocessors that are the brains of a vehicle's electronic systems requires an attention to detail that borders on fanaticism and a plant floor that is 10,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room.

Touch and Go

Automakers currently face the dilemma of how to give customers the increased in-car functionality they demand without creating a corresponding rise in driver distraction. One answer is to better utilize the sense of touch. BMW has done it with its controversial new iDrive system, but will others follow?

Services Meet Solutions

"Solutions" are not only answers to problems, but in the case of PPG's Optima Solutions, the term can also relate to the array of paints and other chemicals that the firm handles. Optima Solutions's underlying principle is assuring that manufacturers achieve top performance in their paint-related operations.

A Slice of pi

As business and technology manager for Pi Technology, Julian Styles has first-hand knowledge of the telematics industry. His company is a subsidiary of Ford, but works for OEMs and suppliers as though it was independent, responding to their needs as well as those of consumers. From this, he has gained a clear idea of what constitutes good telematics design, but says it's much too early in the process to pick winners and losers.

447,000 Heads Are Better Than One

Thinking about implementing a knowledge management (KM) program? If not, you should consider just how much brain poweryour organization isn't using to its full extent.

Full Metal Jacket

Lord Corp. says its newest steel coating technology is environmentally friendly, corrosion resistant, durable, and easy to apply. However, like the Model T, it's available in only one color.

PLM: Where product meets process

What PDM is to product, PLM is to process. Here's what the buzz is all about.


Lincoln Takes Flight—Again

It's easy to overlook the 2003 Lincoln Aviator because of its Ford Explorer roots. A bit of trim, new body cladding, an upgraded interior, and–of course–the Lincoln grille are all that's needed, right? Not really.

eSourcing To the Rescue

Last year Ford Motor Co. took two big hits. These were its Firestone tire fiasco and a billion dollars of unwanted palladium. Combined, they accounted for most of Ford's whopping $5.5 billion loss last year. Why did these two events occur and what did they have in common?

Bad Breaks

Once I interviewed the U.S. business manager for an overseas brake manufacturer.

Better Cars for People Who Walk

While there have been enormous advances in automotive engineering over the last couple of decades, nothing has quite equalled the resources that have been put into reducing exhaust emissions.

When Performance Doesn't Match Potential

There are two instances when an employee's performance is unsatisfactory:1.

Marginal: Creating Tomorrow

Larry Burns ought to make many people in the supply base feel unsettled. That's because Burns and his global team are working on a transformation of the auto industry, one that will have profound implications on what many companies make—or don't make.

The Glass-Electronics Connection

Although window glass and electronics might not be immediately associated with one another, Larry J. Costa of Costa Technologies (Mishawaka, IN) observes that the association of one to the other—especially with regard to the backlight (i.e., the rear window)—is becoming increasingly tight.