Five Fail-Safe Predictions and Actions for Manufacturers in 2019

As we look into the future, we see five significant trends that will shape 2019 and beyond for all manufacturers. The root cause for each trend is a single issue: buyers, not products, will drive future revenue growth and differentiated market value.

Now is a good time to take stock of where you sit on the continuum of these inevitable market-changing forces. They are:

  1. Selling “X” as a Service for Differentiation and Customer Success
  2. Emerging Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to Lead Marketing, Sales and Service
  3. Super Charging Revenue (Sales) Operations to Optimize Omni-channel Models
  4. Integrating Partnership Programs Based on New Buyer Journeys
  5. Sizing the Prize in a Post-conglomerate World

Source: Five Fail-Safe Predictions and Actions for Manufacturers in 2019

How to Retain a Loyal Customer Base in 2019

As we enter 2019, the majority of manufacturers will continue to be profoundly impacted by digital transformation in one way or another. From automating back-end processes to production and management, technology continues to alter the supply chain.

Thanks to digitization across the supply chain and continuous innovation industry-wide, customer and employee expectations are higher than ever.

Implementation of technological solutions and more advanced operations has resulted in an increased demand for personalized services. Businesses have been forced to re-evaluate current processes in order to not only meet customer and employee demands, but also maintain a competitive presence and advantage in the marketplace.

How can manufacturers effectively maintain customer loyalty in light of these ongoing transformations?

Source: How to Retain a Loyal Customer Base in 2019

Initiating a Short-Circuit Fault for Battery Test | EE Times

Evaluating internal battery functions and responses is difficult.

By its nature, the battery is a closed box, so it is tough to see what’s going on inside, even though the key external parameters — terminal voltage, current flow, and gross temperature — are easy to measure. Researchers have used a variety of sophisticated techniques including MRI scans and Raman spectroscopy to help them see what’s transpiring inside in real time, with some impressive results.

Still, it’s a real challenge to observe and quantify the intimately related electrical, chemical, and thermal events.

There’s another difficult aspect of battery testing: How do you consistently introduce desired faults so you can see how the battery “reacts” (especially an issue with Li-ion chemistries and their well-known thermal runaway and fire issues)?

Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Department of Energy’s National Energy Renewable Laboratory have devised a simple-looking patented approach (U.S. Patent # 9,142,829) and are looking to license it (“Internal Short Circuit Testing Device to Improve Battery Designs”).

Source: Initiating a Short-Circuit Fault for Battery Test | EE Times

Capacity Media | Sunrise to buy Liberty Global’s Swiss cable unit for €5.5bn

Swiss operator Sunrise is to buy Liberty Global’s cable operation in the country for the equivalent of €5.5 billion.

The deal, to acquire UPC Switzerland, will put Sunrise in the number two position – behind Swisscom – in mobile, TV, fixed broadband and fixed voice, claimed the company.

Source: Capacity Media – global telecoms news, events and community

Defining the Meaning of Software Quality | Design News

It’s not uncommon for a software library, vendor, or team to claim that they develop quality software.

The problem with this proclamation is that the definition for quality can be interpreted quite differently between different developers and teams.

One team may consider any code base that meets MISRA-C to be a quality code base while another team may only care that every function’s cyclomatic complexity be ten or less.

Others may simply run a few test cases and claim that their software is bug-free and therefore quality software.

Since everyone has their own definition for quality, it’s imperative that teams define quality in a way that is not just documented but also measurable.

In this post, we will explore several measurable software metrics that can be used to define software quality.

Source: Defining the Meaning of Software Quality | Design News

Bipolar Fuel Cells | Design News

nullFast charging of lithium ion batteries in a half hour or less has reached the point where long distance travel by battery electric vehicles (EVs) has become practical. Nevertheless, there continues to be a push to develop fuel cells that combine hydrogen with oxygen to create electricity and water vapor.

Refueling a fuel cell vehicle can be accomplished by adding hydrogen at high pressures to an on-board pressure vessel in just minutes—a less time-consuming process than recharging a battery.

According to the release, “The fuel cell developed at Washington University uses an acidic electrolyte at one electrode and an alkaline electrolyte at the other electrode. Typically, the acid and alkali will quickly react when brought in contact with each other.”

Team leader Vijay Ramani said, “The pH-gradient-enabled microscale bipolar interface is at the heart of this technology,”

Source: Bipolar Fuel Cells | Design News

Cloudborne Punches Hole in Cloud Security | EEWeb Community

Fast on the heels of news of a horrendous security hole in all Intel CPUs comes the announcement of a massive weakness in cloud-server firmware that — even if removed — could have propagated to a cloud’s user base. Major cloud computing services are running scared, and a military computing project could be mothballed until the problem is secured.

Today, researchers from Eclypsium demonstrated a new vulnerability that they are calling Cloudborne, which allows attackers with minimal skills to implant malicious backdoors and code into the firmware of a cloud server or the baseboard management controller (BMC), wherein the BMC is a specialized processor embedded on the server motherboard that monitors the physical state of the system and communicates with the system administrator via an independent connection.

Eclypsium has been studying this vulnerability since the discovery of a Spectre variant last year.

They first found Cloudborne in Supermicro server blades, but they soon discovered that it was not just an isolated incident associated with one provider but, rather, a class of issues in all cloud services.

Source: Cloudborne Punches Hole in Cloud Security | EEWeb Community

Is Illinois America’s Next Clean Energy Leader? | EcoWatch

The bill (SB2132) would rapidly ramp up renewable energy in Illinois towards the 100 percent target by 2050, starting with a target of generating 45 percent of our electricity from renewable sources — and none from fossil fuels — by 2030.

That rapid expansion of clean energy would place Illinois at the forefront of job growth, investments, customer savings and health benefits from renewable energy.

The bill would also grow the Illinois Solar for All Program by as much as 500 percent, expand cost-saving energy efficiency programs, and help us plan our electric grid in ways that avoid unnecessary costs and take advantage of increasingly cheap renewable energy.

Putting more renewables on the electric grid also makes it easier to clean up our transportation sector, which is now the largest source of carbon pollution in Illinois.

Source: Is Illinois America’s Next Clean Energy Leader? – EcoWatch

Mobile World Congress: Telcos Look to AI and 5G – Via Satellite –

The rise and rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was at the heart of many keynote presentations on day one of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. José María Álvarez-Pallete López, chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telefonica — one of the world’s biggest telcos — spoke of how networks will get smarter as they become AI-driven.

He gave the interesting statistic that mobile data traffic is growing at more than 50 percent every year, and said no other sector comes close to this level of growth.

Interestingly, he was one of the speakers that urged governments not to look at 5G as a cash cow. “Why do we need to acquire the same spectrum over and over again? We need a refresh, and a bold regulatory approach,” he said.

“The aim of regulators should be to reduce regulation. Governments are using spectrum as cash generators. Spectrum needs to be awarded for a longer period of time.”

Source: Mobile World Congress: Telcos Look to AI and 5G – Via Satellite –

Would a Huawei Boycott Unravel the Supply Chain? | EE Times

Huawei’s ascension on the top buyers’ list underscores a dilemma facing the global supply chain.

As governments in the U.S. and Europe ramp up their rhetoric against Huawei’s perceived threats to security and intellectual property (IP), the firm is at the same time becoming a more important customer. Huawei spent $26 billion on chips in 2018, according to Gartner; and 70 companies — including AMD, Intel, Microsoft and Qualcomm — have exposure to Huawei, Goldman Sachs reports.

A U.S.-EU Huawei ban would whack component makers with both ends of the stick. U.S. vendors would be cut off from a massive — and growing — global OEM. A boycott of Huawei’s smartphones and telecom equipment would put a considerable dent in its component demand.

Source: Would a Huawei Boycott Unravel the Supply Chain? | EE Times