Cool Products Expo

By April 22, 2006General

Next week, the Cool Products Expo will be held on the Stanford University campus. It will run at the same time as the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing (AIM) is having a meeting which I have had the good fortune to be asked to speak to. AIM is a group of companies like Intel and General Motors that value innovation and have worked with Stanford over the years to advance that purpose.

Since today is Earth Day, it’s a good time to remember that manufacturers create the cool products that are often environmental improvements over their predecessors. In fact, for all those who call for a greener earth, the place to work if you want to accomplish that is in manufacturing. That’s where the innovation and research goes on that invents our future. Of course, if you want to be a lawyer and just sue people, that’s your choice. But if you want to have a hands on career that really makes a difference, then manufacturing is the place to be.

But I digress. One of the cool products at the expo next week is from Sun Power Corp. Sun Power designs, manufactures and sells high efficiency solar cells and solar panels that generate electricity from sunlight for residential, commercial and remote power applications. They say that their silicon solar cell technology produces up to 50% more power per square foot compared to conventional solar cells. Now they make their stuff in Manila as I understand, but their R&D work is all done in California. They are a good reminder that manufacturing = technology and, in this case, it also = higher efficiency solar energy.