Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin!

By January 17, 2006Taking It for Granted

There could be no better day to join the manufacturers’ blogosphere than today, the 300th birthday of that famous inventor and statesman, Benjamin Franklin. I’m Bill Canis, vice president and executive director at The Manufacturing Institute, the research and education arm of NAM. From time to time, I’ll be blogging here on some of the incredible things that today’s manufacturers are doing in their plants, offices and research labs and that too few people know about.

There are few leaders in American history who personify the inventiveness and creativity of manufacturing better than Franklin, as shown in today’s Washington Post article about him. But there are many inventive minds like Franklin’s around us today, such as Ron Bullock, chairman and CEO of Bison Gear & Engineering in St. Charles, Illinois. Ron Bullock is a small manufacturer who participated in the National Summit on Competitiveness in December and spoke about the high-efficiency electric motor drive that he and his company are developing. Twenty-five percent of U.S. energy is consumed by electric motors; Ron Bullock’s research team will seek to increase the efficiency by 30 percent, thereby cutting the need for as many as 50 fossil burning fuel plants or energy generating plants. Now that’s the kind of thinking Ben Franklin appreciated!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Rick Player says:

    Nice spin, Bill. However, we can’t start shutting down the power plants just yet.
    1) Bison only makes SMALL motors, which are less efficient than larger ones. That is where the 30% was based.
    2) The research involves the use of magnets on the rotor. Large motors will require large and expensive magnets. There will have to be an initial cost vs energy savings decision on each purchase.
    3) This may be most important. Ron is no longer the President of Bison.