Adding Machines and a Warning in a Mural

When we moved into our new facility in Plymouth, MI last year we were greeted by a mural that our co-founder Mike Albright had found and made a prominent part of the entrance to our office.  The picture is of the factory building we now occupy, filled with workers building manual adding machines. When you first look at it, it is a tribute to the amazing piece of history that we are a part of.  Our suite and shop in the Burroughs Building (designed by Albert Kahn and built in the late 1930’s) are both filled with reminders of the decades of business that have been here before us, and it has made working here a great experience. 

However, on the second look and after some further reflection – a more nuanced picture emerges.  This picture was from 1956, and it is a scene that would be completely disrupted in the coming years by the introduction of the computer (ENIAC was already over 10 years old), and the supplanting of manual adding machines by computing technology.  The people in this picture were happily building away, unaware of the impending disruption to their business.

So, this picture has a dual meaning – appreciate the history that came before you, but don’t be complacent.  Innovation is required to stay relevant and avoid being disrupted by something you didn’t see coming.  I walk by that picture every day (when I am in the office), and that reminder is what keeps me driving to innovate.

At Signal.X, we are continually reminded of the need to stay on the cutting edge of the electrification revolution that is occurring in the transportation industry.  From automotive cybersecurity, ethernet-based communications, flashing stations and more, we are seeing this transformation first-hand. Contact us to learn about how we continue innovating in end-of-line testing for automotive solutions!