Evolution and Indramat

evolution-technologySteve Brambley, deputy director of Gambica, wrote an interesting column at Drives & Controls. Natural selection, he said, was fine until we began changing our environment too fast for biology to keep up. Now, natural selection and evolution are simply too slow and random.

In the business environment in particular, Brambley suggests, nobody should be waiting around for cumulative random genetic mutations to favor them.

Sure, at this point we’ve moved past the literal and into the metaphorical. Let’s go with it.

Brambley points out that the world of business includes competitors for niches, habitat destruction, and the equivalent of climate change. He goes on:

However, while nature favours those best adapted by gradual evolution, economics tends to reward those who adapt themselves rapidly to their environment.

While biologists may not be following any more, it’s worth letting Brambley finish his message. We have two options, he says, when an Ice Age comes along. We can play it safe, quit investing in new technology, and wait for extinction — or we can work harder to improve. Whether it’s speed, agility, or throughput, if we take the risk now we can make it through the metaphorical ice age and emerge stronger on the other side.

Naturally, we think of Bosch Rexroth Indramat. The combined forces of these three innovative companies have made it through more than two centuries of wars, technological change, and economic upheaval.

May we suggest that this makes a better story to look back on than to live through?

When times are tough, it makes sense to prioritize changes, to identify the things that will truly improve your business and those that will just give an illusory feeling of improvement because they’ve been changed.

We work on Indramat legacy components as well as new Indradrive components, and we know that either can work for you with proper service and support.

Brambley was writing primarily for companies that are still resisting automation. We’d have to say, after a century of success, automation should not be too revolutionary an idea for any company. But we’re still in favor of a clear-eyed evaluation of risks and benefits rather than a bold leap just because we fear a metaphorical Ice Age.

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