“Spreading Innovation "
Feb 22, 2006
A Presentation by Bob Thomas

Innovation, the foundation for bottom-line profitability, is great. Spreading it is greater. Achieving
break-through performance in any area of an organization is a significant accomplishment. However, the
more problematical challenge remains: how to spread local innovations throughout a company broadly.
Bob Thomas shared his recent efforts to spread an approach to computer experimentation aimed at
uncovering potential vehicle vibration failure modes, developing countermeasures and assessing their
effectiveness. He also showed how the spread model has led to systematic innovation.

Bob Thomas is a Ford Technical Leader in statistical engineering. He has an M.S. in Applied Statistics
from Oakland University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Detroit. Bob has
over 20 publications in various venues including the Society for Automotive Engineering, Noise Control
Engineering, and the Society for Experimental Mechanics. Prior to Ford Motor Company he worked at
Mazda Motor Manufacturing, General Motors, and consulted at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Bob Tomas

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Karry Roberts giving Bob Thomas a certificate of appreciation from the Detroit chapter