In the 1990s, E.G.O. helped grow the smooth top electric range market with their invention of the radiant heating element used in all smooth top electric ranges. E.G.O. continues to lean on their innovation team to look at least five years out for new products, technologies, materials, and more, to keep them ahead of the curve. “To stay relevant, we need to know what’s out there that can help our customers be more competitive not just today, but tomorrow and the day after that,” said Keller. To continue to be forward thinking, Keller thought it was important to connect with GaMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, with his team of innovators. He said, “Our European plant utilizes technology scouting, so for us it just made sense to bring in our partners at Georgia Tech.” He continued, “By involving GaMEP and the Georgia Tech name, we are able to have conversations with inventors and companies that we wouldn’t have had access to.”
GaMEP has all of the resources to connect you to the right person and help solve problems. They are a huge benefit for small and mid-size manufacturers and are a cost effective resource. Whenever I need help finding a solution, I immediately call Larry and his team.
For the past five years Ed Murphy, technology scouting project manager at GaMEP, has worked with the E.G.O. team and independently to learn more about a variety of technology applications. Murphy said, “We started with six opportunities. I have spent time talking to inventors, our connections at the United States National Labs, conducting research, and introducing my contacts to Georgia Tech researchers, students, and additional technologies. I then bring my discoveries back to E.G.O.” Today, Murphy and the E.G.O. team have narrowed the initial six technologies down to two and are still monitoring them for a final decision.
As a next step, E.G.O. is looking at ways to improve their inter-connectivity of their machinery and maintenance equipment. Keller said, “By looking at ways to incorporate Industry 4.0 into our plant, we will be able to dramatically improve our operational equipment effectiveness.”