GE Awards $50,000 to Winners of Open-Innovation Rotary Handle Challenge
- GE Selects Five Winning Ergonomic Designs for New Circuit Breaker Platform
- Crowd-Sourcing Challenge Draws Innovative Concepts from Around the Globe
- Winners Earn $10,000 Each for Creative and Inventive Plans
PLAINVILLE, Conn. — September 30, 2014 — GE’s Industrial Solutions business (NYSE: GE) today announced five winners of its crowd-sourced rotary handle design competition for its new portfolio of molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs) to be launched in 2015. GE is employing fundamentally different approaches to new product development. As a result, it will introduce this state-of-the-art circuit breaker platform in half the time of its previous product launches. Factors from the five winning ergonomic designs will be incorporated into this key accessory for GE’s MCCBs.
Winners of the open-innovation challenge come from around the world and raised very distinctive designs, each with elements that will support delivering a customer-centric rotary handle for GE’s new circuit breakers. The five winners are Olaf Barski of Barski Design GmbH (Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany), Tom Goddu of Blazing Pencils LLC (Pine Meadow, Conn.), Sandy Richardson of Design Edge (Belrose, New South Wales, Australia), R. Roopnarine of Long Road Enterprises (New York) and Giulio Ceppi of Total Tool srl (Milan). Each winner will receive $10,000 — along with substantial bragging rights — for their innovative designs.
“This open approach to product development illustrates how even big companies like GE are evolving to be more nimble and innovative in bringing new and better products to market faster,” said Tim Ford, global molded case circuit breaker product manager for GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “There is great value in taking the input from a global collaboration and incorporating it into new products for our customers. Through crowd-sourcing and open innovation, we are able to tap into expertise beyond the walls of GE for a more diverse view of potential solutions.”
For the challenge, GE worked with NineSigma—an industry-leading international open-innovation provider—to invite inventors everywhere to help solve an ergonomic rotary handle design challenge for its molded case circuit breakers and find new solutions, knowledge and designers to accelerate its innovation cycle.
The winners agree open collaboration for design creates a competitively beneficial climate, resulting in more thoughtful, practical and customer-focused product outcomes. Winner Giulio Ceppi, Total Tool srl (Milan) commented, “As a designer, I embrace the contemporary, open innovation values of global, full transparency competition.”
The decision to incorporate a rotary handle comes from global user feedback, which suggests a shift in circuit-breaker handle styles is desired and preferred. The ideas shared in this challenge will help GE to improve the user experience of the hardware interface on its soon-to- be-released circuit breakers. The designs and specifications that were ultimately chosen as winners not only meet modern aesthetic preferences, but also will improve operational performance and ease of use for operators.
A GE heritage business, Industrial Solutions, is leading the future of electrification with advanced technologies that protect and control the distribution of electricity throughout a facility’s infrastructure. The business provides customers with end-to-end product and service solutions that help ensure the reliability and protection of the electrical infrastructure. Industrial Solutions’ product and service solutions add to GE’s broader portfolio of leading technology solutions for the delivery, management conversion and optimization of electrical power for customers across multiple energy-intensive industries.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
Follow GE’s Industrial Solutions business on Twitter @GEindustrial.