Paul Menig

Paul
Menig
CEO,
Tech-I-M LLC
21 87 7

Paul Menig is the leader of Tech-I-M LLC, a consulting company focused on helping companies succeed by leveraging technology in their products and processes. After successfully introducing many high tech products in the corporate worlds of General Electric, Eaton and Daimler, he is now focused on savvy technology creating powerful results in companies of all sizes.

Paul also provides free counseling to a wide range of businesses as part of the non-profit organization SCORE that is associated with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Paul is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in electrical engineering and has participated in many training programs in quality, strategic planning, finance and technical areas.

Articles

Not just new, but re-new

I attended the Green Truck Show in Indianapolis last month, and am sitting at the Green Transportation Summit in Portland right now. Soon, the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT Expo) will be held in Long Beach.

AutoNoMoUs

I was changing planes in Dallas Ft. Worth airport a couple of weeks ago. I rode their Skylink transit vehicle. For all intents and purposes, it was an autonomous vehicle. No driver in site. No steering wheel. No brake pedals. Of course, I expect there was quite a bit of monitoring in a control room somewhere on the premises, in case something went wrong.

When I went to my hotel, I rode the elevator to the 15th floor. Again, not a driver in site. Just push a button and it operates autonomously, getting me where I want to go, complete with freight (my luggage).

Get 'em out, push 'em out, waaay out!

In spite of his recent troubles and past transgressions, I enjoyed the humor of Bill Cosby for decades. The title comes from one of his routines on child birth where the mother is tired from nine months of pregnancy and the husband is getting into coaching the mother during birth.

It's mine

Most times when I hear start-up companies talking, they want to create a brand. They want their product to be recognized as "THE" product in that category. Then they can grow the products and easily be recognized. Think in terms of Kleenex for tissue paper for the nose, Xerox for a copy, Slinky for a kid's toy.

Get smart

I’m sure a few of you remember the original TV series from the 60s with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon. In 2008 there was a remake movie that did okay at the box office. But, that’s not what I am talking about in transportation and trucking. In the late 90s, when Freightliner introduced the SmartShift, I can recall the process of finding a name for the steering column mechanism for shifting an automated mechanical transmission. I was not keen on the often used “smart” being added to anything and everything at the time.

We need more P's

I have a fondness for the letters ‘P' and ‘Q,' having used them in writing since the 80s. For trucking, the most important ‘P' is Profit, of course. While the economy has grown slowly, it has allowed transportation companies to remain profitable and for the value of stock to increase.

Technology Takes-out TruckLoad

I hope that title caught your attention. For over ten years now, people have scoffed at the idea of eCommerce changing the way things are done. Not too long ago, at one of our trade shows, a speaker joked about some people thinking they don't need trucks at all, because all they have to do is order on-line and it appears at the door. Of course it needed a truck, but what kind?

DisC—Disconnected Cycles

Over my 3-4 decades of working in transportation and industrial applications, there was always a lament over how fast new things get done in the consumer electronics world. In 3 weeks, CES will be going on in Las Vegas with everyone demonstrating new ideas and products, many of which will not have existed at this time last year. Each year, car companies have increased their participation.

Aerodynam-no

The vehicle OEMs have been working hard to make the tractor-trailer rigs as aerodynamic as possible. But, the drivers, especially owner-operators, continue to want a couple of other things in their rigs.

Otto we be autonomous?

Well, I should have known it. When I was in college in Cambridge, MA, at MIT in the 70s, it was a big thing for some of the fraternity brothers to bring back Coors beer on a plane or run in a car across state lines. I spent a good deal of my early career in Milwaukee, WI. Part of the time was spent on the manufacturing floor of Miller Brewing using vision systems to make sure the labels on the beer bottles were properly applied.

Dead cats bouncing—statistically speaking

I know that I learned in college that even if you've just flipped a coin 10 times and it came out heads each time, the next time you flip, it still has a 50-50 or 50% chance of being heads again. My gut refuses that logic and wants to believe it's something like a 90% chance it will be tails. It's as if I started out saying, what are the chances of getting heads 11 times in a row. That likelihood is only 0.05%. So my gut wants to believe it's even 99.5% chance it will be tails next.

Don’t raise the bar — reduce the variation

The chart below was just released by ATRI, the American Transportation Research Institute, in A Survey of Fuel Economy and Fuel Usage by Heavy-Duty Truck Fleets.

Move It, Buddy!

The American Trucking Associations has taglines such as “Trucking Moves America Forward” and “If You Bought It, a Trucker Brought It.” For over 125 years now, the trucking industry has been moving freight including the necessities of life and the luxury items of our desire.

One Stop Shop Super Suppliers

Not only do we have consolidation in the commercial vehicle market globally, and the continued push for proprietary components that are vertically integrated, we now have suppliers pushing into the realm more than I anticipated. Back in the 90’s, the vehicle OEMs were little more than assemblers of the parts provided by all the different tier 1 suppliers. When electronic engines started, the engine control became a vehicle control. This worked will for a number of years. Mack was one of the few vehicle OEMs that had its own engine, as did Navistar for some vehicles.

Potholes and cracks on the way to autonomy
The rush to get autonomous vehicles on the road is amazing. How can this be, when everyone agrees that our transportation infrastructure is crumbling? How will autonomous vehicles perform on roads full of potholes and bridges that have cracks?

Comments

And then there were four
September 7, 2016

I come from Detroit, where reference to the Big 3 was always to the 3 largest US manufacturers. Saying Big 4 harkens back to this. I am forecasting that Carl Icahn and his...

Waste Heat Management
February 1, 2016

Eliminating the excise tax to encourage new technology on trucks has been around for some time. Usually, it has been proposed for safety technology. Encouraging for safety of...

Drivers at Fault Could Foster Autonomous Vehicles
October 30, 2015

I've seen that percentage often quoted by people. I can believe it from some data I've seen from fleets that show the variation of fuel economy for a large number of drivers...

TAST - Technology Assisting Service Technicians
September 2, 2015

Great to hear. I'm not a Snapchat user, but I can definitely see where that would be a great way to instantly send photos. I hope you are capturing those for a future website...

What’s important when buying a fleet?
June 12, 2015

Very well stated. Whenever buying a business, do your homework and investigate everything. Get help in areas that you are not comfortable. Assess the risks associated with...