Artwork for podcast Manufacturing Happy Hour
166: How Canvus Turns Wind Turbines into Functional Art with Brian Donahue
Episode 1662nd January 2024 • Manufacturing Happy Hour • Chris Luecke
00:00:00 00:49:49

Share Episode


Most successful manufacturing processes start with some sort of roadmap, designed to outline goals and what you need to reach them.

But how do you create a roadmap for an all-new, one-of-a-kind project? 

Brian Donahue, VP of Corporate Affairs at Canvus, says his roadmap creation consisted of commitment and creativity, not to mention a hard-working procurement team. 

Brian joins Manufacturing Happy Hour to share the incredible story of Canvus and how they repurpose disused wind turbine blades into functional art for public use, such as benches, tables and planters. He tells us how the company began, outlines their mission and provides expert tips for manufacturing leaders embarking on groundbreaking projects. 

In this episode, find out: 

  • How Canvus upcycles wind turbine parts to create functional products such as park benches, tables and planters 
  • Brian explains how he created a roadmap for a never-done-before manufacturing process and provides advice for those looking to do the same 
  • Why having the right procurement team, spending time on ideation and finding a suitable facility are the most important things when planning a brand-new manufacturing process 
  • Brian shares advice on how he identified standards and best practices despite never embarking on such a project before 
  • Brian tells us the number one leadership trait he looks for in new hires and explains his interview process 
  • We ask Brian whether Ohio is a hub for his sort of work, or whether Canvus’ location is based around convenience 
  • Brian says manufacturing leaders should be willing to pay above market price for resources when they embark on a custom product 
  • Brian explains how he collaborates with local artists and shares how you can get a Canvus project installed near you  

Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going! 

Tweetable Quotes: 

  • “You need strong leadership that’s going to drive people, not give them a crutch, but actually make them better.” 
  • “The marketing team calls (Canvus) a brand, but I go lofty on them and call it a movement.” 
  • “Having the right people is going to get you so much further, faster, than just trying to fill slots on a manufacturing floor.” 

Links & mentions: 

Make sure to visit for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty. 




More from YouTube