BUSINESS forecasting, RAPID prototyping, NEW product development, PRODUCT management, and PROFIT
The article reports that a good board of directors can give a packaging company guidance and direction that sometimes result in more-tangible benefits. For example, Sean Epps, a board member at film maker Pliant Corp. of Schaumburg, Illinois, had some suggestions about where Pliant managers could seek help in upgrading profitability. Pliant wanted to cut costs while developing new products. So Epps suggested that Pliant talk to other JP Morgan portfolio companies, especially those in specialty chemicals. Epps' matchmaking services go beyond the normal role of boards at many publicly held packaging companies. In a board of directors' panel at Packaging Strategies, executives expressed varying opinions on how involved a board should get in the day-today operations of a company.
This article reports that the new owners and management of Performance Fibers Inc. — formerly Honeywell Performance Fibers — are making investments in expanded capacities and research and development their top priority, according to the company top executive. Among the investments could be a second fiber plant in China that would double the firm's capacity there. Gregory S. Rogowski was hired by new owner Sun Capital Partners Inc. to head up the business. In addition, Performance Fibers has a new product in final testing, dubbed A360 internally, targeted as a replacement for rayon fiber in high-speed performance tires.
PRODUCT management and ROTATIONAL molding of plastics
Illinois-based Chroma Corp. and England-based Alan Yorke Engineering Ltd. have created a product-development center for rotational molding of plastics, at Chroma headquarters in McHenry, Illinois. The facility will enable companies to try out molds, work on rapid prototyping and research color, foaming and new technologies. Resin suppliers can use it to address specific customer problems, or qualify new resins for rotomolding. Product designers can learn more about rotomolding. The center brings together Chroma, which makes custom colors, additives and pre-color compounds, and Alan Yorke Engineering, a rotomolding machinery manufacturer from Northamptonshire, England. The development center is equipped with a large Alan Yorke carousel machine, an HB-260 with a 102-inch swing diameter, plus a small clamshell FSP-040 machine.
PRODUCT management, MANUFACTURES, MANUFACTURING processes, TECHNOLOGICAL innovations, WORK environment, and STRENGTH of materials
This article reports that virtual product development is a valuable tool for designers and manufacturers because it allows them to be innovative while operating within a lean environment. Reconciling innovation and leanness isn't easy. Innovation involves risk-taking and learning from failure as much as success, while lean principles call for incremental improvements, eliminating waste and "getting it right the first time." By utilizing virtual prototyping, developers can test many more experimental product features than they could ever build and test within a set time frame.
PRODUCT management, MANUFACTURES, CONSUMERS, PAMPHLETS, and SEALING (Technology)
Cooper-Standard Automotive Inc. is a global manufacturer of sealing, fluid and NVH control systems and components. Headquartered in Novi, Michigan, Cooper-Standard Automotive offers complete product design, development and prototyping as well as the latest manufacturing technologies to customers around the globe. This brochure highlights the company's innovative approach to design and manufacturing across their divisions.
BUSINESS research, MARKETING, CONSUMERS, NEW product development, INDUSTRIAL research, PRODUCT management, RAPID prototyping, and COMPUTER operating systems
This article reports that Microsoft Corp. had a big challenge for its business marketing efforts in 2006: develop a value proposition for the business segment that would encompass new products being rolled out, as well as an overall messaging platform for Microsoft's business customers. In addition, Microsoft wanted to develop broad business messaging that would encompass new products being launched this year, including operating system Microsoft Vista, a new version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics. So about a year ago, Microsoft launched a comprehensive market research project to define a business brand and messaging that would communicate its value to the business segment. The company began with initial messaging research, in which it analyzed existing research it had already conducted with customers, as well as industry data, to learn which messages resonated with customers as well as which messages were considered believable as coming from Microsoft. During this phase of research, Microsoft learned that the messages that resonated most with customers were those involving people, technology and ease of use.
MARKETING education, NEW product development -- Marketing, PRODUCT management, MARKETING personnel, RAPID prototyping, and MANAGEMENT
The article offers advice on the marketing of new products. The key to this difficult process is seen as having marketing personnel involved from the early development stages of a new product. This enables them to have a much clearer idea of the ideas behind the project, which in turn are more easily translated into marketing concepts which demonstrate the product's benefits to consumers. INSET: Three improvements to early development.