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Lessons learned in aerospace technology transfer to automotive applications: a mature company undergoes a startup experience

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2 Author(s)
A. M. Madni ; BEI Technol. Inc., Sylmar, CA, USA ; L. E. Costlow

After a severe downturn in its traditional aerospace and defense (A&D) markets in the early 1990s, Systron Donner Inertial Division (SDID), a subsidiary of BEI Technologies, Inc., decided to enter commercial markets with ground breaking new technology for a solid-state rate gyroscope, the Quartz Rate Sensor (QRS). The quartz Coriolis force technology was appropriate for a new automotive brake system application, but the company required radical changes in its operations to achieve successful penetration of the automotive market. After four decades exclusively in the A&D business, this decision had massive implications for the company's marketing and contracting approach, business system infrastructure, manufacturing operations, facility layout, quality system, supply-chain management, and engineering product development. Indeed, entry into the automotive market required changes that posed management challenges similar to a start-up company.

Published in:

Engineering Management Conference, 2002. IEMC '02. 2002 IEEE International  (Volume:2 )

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