In the world of business, one of today’s most prevalent buzz phrases is “disruptive innovation” – the idea that a product, application or concept can permanently change the marketplace.
During CAMX 2015 in Dallas, Dr. J. Gary Smyth, the former Executive Director of Global Research and Development at General Motors, offered composites industry leaders some important advice about what it takes to truly embrace that concept. According to Smyth, who now runs GM’s Powertrain Systems Research Lab, it is not enough to simply embrace the path less traveled. In order to change markets as we know them, we must take the path that doesn’t exist yet. GM did that in the 1950s by incorporating fiberglass into the Corvette, and since then has been a leader in the adoption of automotive composites.
“Disruption isn’t bad if you’re a part of it,” said Smyth. “Ask yourself what you can do to be a part of the disruption.”
Every year, ACMA members are not only part of the disruption; they’re leading the charge. For the past 20 years, to recognize the innovative ways composites and advanced materials are changing the paradigm of supply chain technology, ACMA has recognized innovative processes and material applications from product manufacturers, suppliers, designers, engineers, end-users and academia through its Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) program, sponsored by Composites One.
ACE winners are among an elite group of industry leaders that have been validated not only as a key players in the industry, but as trailblazers.
“At a time in our industry where disruptive innovation is top-of-mind … ACE winners have all shown the ability to change composites and advanced materials manufacturing as we know it,” says Marcy Offner, Director of Marketing Communications for Composites One.
One of the most coveted Awards for Composites Excellence is the Infinite Possbility for Market Growth award, which recognizes a composites product that demonstrates the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing markets or generate the greatest impact to open new and emerging markets for composites. For the past two years, Ashland has won the award for its contributions to the truck bed of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline and an innovative composite subframe for Ford.
Ashland also sponsors the event’s prestigious CAMX Award, which honors industry-changing applications that results from collaboration and innovation. In 2015, Cincinnati Incorporated and Oak Ridge National Laboratory won the CAMX Combined Strength Award for developing their Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology, which can 3-D print large-scale composite structures at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. The technology has already created some of the world’s biggest structures, including a trim-and-drill tool for the Boeing 777X that set a Guinness World Record.
“It’s been great working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL),” said Rick Neff, Additive Manufacturing Product and Sales Manager at Cincinnati Inc. “We all have to work together. When you have multiple companies working together with a combined vision, you can really revolutionize the industry.”
If your company has product or application that has potential to change the industry, enter it for consideration for an ACE or CAMX Award today!