Honeywell launched Centurion ™ just before Shot Show 2017, for a grand debut on the floor of the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas Nevada. Anyone familiar with Shot Show knows its power and influence. Especially, but not limited to, it’s reach within the firearms industry.
What a fitting platform to bring new innovations to the table, to say the least. Being a shot show virgin, I was fortunate enough to stumble across the Honeywell team despite being absolutely wonderstruck with the sheer enormity of the show.
This is much more than a product spotlight, this is an in-depth look into Honeywell’s persistence and its mission of product innovation.
Although I love drooling over new innovative products, something stuck out to me about the Honeywell team. Call it passion or pride in their work, I’m not entirely sure but I was intrigued enough to learn more.
I wasn’t just interested about the product but also the team behind it. I am glad that I did. Finding people passionate about their life’s work is always refreshing especially in the scope of today’s politically charged and generally disenfranchised state of being.
It was January 17th, day one of Shot Show 2017. I found myself lost, overwhelmed, and essentially shell-shocked over the magnitude of the show. It was in my moment of panic when I discovered a bench with a young woman sitting on it with enough room for the likes of me.
Sitting seemed to be a luxury at the show, so after I grabbed some water I made haste towards the tiny oasis in the hallway of the Sands Expo center. Although I am not sure the panic on my face was as evident as it felt, the young woman on the bench made no delay in introducing herself.
Josephine Lee worked for Honeywell in their Performance Material and Technology division. Before I could even finish my water Josephine was eager to introduce me to Lori Wagner: armor marketing manager for Honeywell Packaging and Composites. Although our initial conversation was as brief as it was fragmented, in my fragile state, we made arrangements to speak again in more detail.
My next conversation with Josephine and Lori was much more productive. Although it took me about two weeks to recover from the show I recently had a conference call with both of them to find out more about Centurion and Spectra.
According to Honeywell, Centurion™ is the latest performance fabric made from Honeywell Spectra® fiber and is suitable for any type of application where the product needs to be strong but lightweight. At its root, Spectra is the driving force behind the innovation that is Centurion™.
Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. Pound for pound, Spectra is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float. It has up to 60 percent greater strength than alternate aramid fiber. Spectra fiber is used to create Spectra Shield®, an advanced ballistic-resistant material. Honeywell’s Shield technology is a patented Honeywell process designed to optimize the ballistic performance characteristics of Spectra.
I was a little surprised to discover that Lori was no stranger to the spectra line. Honeywell’s corporate history is a rich one that extends quite some time, but Lori came on board with Honeywell at “a time before Honeywell”. Interestingly enough, spectra was in its initial development phase when she joined the team.
Her background is in polymer processing and rheology, which I will admit is a bit above a dumb grunts pay grade. As her career progressed spectra also continued to evolve.
Spanning a period of more than three decades, Honeywell’s determination to continually innovate is reflected in their latest evolution of Spectra: Centurion, which boasts a reduced weight up to thirty-five to forty percent lighter than other material by eliminating the need for MOLLE style webbing. Lori was quick to point out how unique Spectra’s lifespan/ evolution has been within the industry.
Honeywell remained steadfast not only to produce a product that met operational requirements for their clients, but impacted the industry by providing a product that is manufacture-friendly as well. Spectra has evolved into a spring-board for Honeywell products that they feel will drive them towards success in the future.
Although I cannot predict product markets, profits, or the mystical land of stock market trends, purpose driven employees and their passion for their work is unmistakable. Besides, when you have a team eager and willing to do the work that they love to do, great things are sure happen.
Speaking with Lori it was made evident that she is certainly energetic about her work. She is proud of the evolution, that has taken place over an extended period of time, within the spectra line and its impact within the industry but most of all she takes pride in her life’s work and how it has affected her clients. Working with ballistic material/ technology her work is not solely innovative it is often life saving material.
Here at Spotter Up we have a set of values that seem synonymous with the likes of Lori and the Honeywell team. It is the persistence and determination of continually bettering ourselves, our life’s work and maintaining a healthy balance of life itself. That is what we let define us. Learning is perpetual, it never ends and when people are eager, like Lori, to admit this you know you have found another Chessman in the Spotter Up community.