Visit with us at the RISE conference September 24 – 25 at North Carolina State University and The Nonwovens Institute.
In conversations with some of our customers, we are seeing an increased emphasis about meeting compliance objectives and less about new products and making money. We all know of companies where the brilliant team of product development experts were slowly transformed into Quality people.
More and more places that I visit I find bureaucracy slowly crowding out the creative types.
This is serious stuff.
This is not happening everywhere. There are companies as well as nations that understand the importance of hard work and time to market. Creative destruction is still happening, but it might be you who is being deconstructed.
We need to look no further than our own government and returning to the moon. To paraphrase Pence – “It is not like we have not done it before.”
I suggest a heightened sense of urgency is in-order. At your company are the really important things getting proper attention?
4D Printing is a combination of 3D printing and a time change element that provides the fourth dimension — hence a 4D substrate is one that will by design change form over time.
Smart fabrics and 4D printing were identified by Gartner as technologies way up on their hype cycle.
We tend to agree with their assessment.
However, there are useful lessons from additive manufacturing for those of us in the roll goods industry — even if 3D (let alone 4D) roll goods are not in the immediate future.
- We should look at how our products are made from a fresh perspective. Many roll goods are constructed using technology that is decades old. Additive manufacturing teaches us that there may be unforeseen ways to construct a better product.
- Rather than focusing on what our products are made of (e.g., polyester, viscose) we should be focusing on what product properties (extensibility, absorbency) we are trying to achieve.
There is no need to wait for 3D printing to mature to the point that we can make 4D products. The technology for 4D fabrics is readily available now by combining existing technology in new ways.