Thanks to everyone for the feedback on last week's gift guide, and for everyone who sent favorite tools of their own. For anyone who missed it, there's a shareable link here.
This week I toured the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment facility with NYIO. There's another good tour coming up - if you're in NYC and want to see a data center, sign up here :)
Unrelated: I'm behind on personal email. Forgive me.
Planning & Strategy.
- The president of Sandvik's Machining Solutions business said that "software firms were high on his acquisition agenda, with the CAD/CAM simulation process one focus of interest, alongside measurement technology and quality assurance."
- Oerlikon, a Swiss manufacturer which specializes in high performance coatings for turbomachinery (and hence has a large and established powders business) acquired Citim, a large metal AM job shop with facilities in Germany and Georgia.
- Otherlab is hiring (among other things) a power electronics engineer. So many good people & cool things happening there - holler at them!
Making & Manufacturing.
- A pretty interesting article on the difficulties of making resin transfer molded carbon fiber body panels. Due to differences in CTE between the carbon and the resin - and the fact that auto paint is typically cured in an oven - it can be pretty tricky to get a ripple-free paint job.
- A (long and visually descriptive) video of nixie tubes being made.
- The Jet Propulsion Lab is using bulk metallic glass to make gears - which, among other things, will operate well at low temperatures in space.
- 90% of ABB's robots are built in Shanghai, and 90% of them are sold in China.
- A company called UrbanAlps is making metal printed housekeys with hidden internal features.
- Chris, on the DFM effects of two-sided PCBA. The Public Radio is two-sided, but one side is thru hole only - which makes it a bit easier.
- A company called Kreisel Electric is doing a lot of the same things that Tesla is, but as retrofits instead of original manufacturing.
- There's a tool library in lower Manhattan. Josh helped me cut some carbon fiber discs on the Othermill there this week - there are a *lot* of tools there.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- A good piece in the NYTimes about some old dams on the Ohio river.
- The most effective weapon on the modern battlefield is concrete.
- On the myriad interoperability issues in the industrial internet of things.
- A massive shell, 800 feet wide and costing $1.5B, was rolled over the Chernobyl reactor this week.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Maersk (the world's largest shipper) is looking to acquire Hamburg Sud (the seventh biggest shipper).
- Ground effect is what happens when you fly close to the ground, and the air you're pushing down hits the ground and bounces back towards you.
- 33 Thomas, the old AT&T Long Lines building famous for its brutalist concrete facade, plays a big role in the NSA's wiretapping program.
- Brad sent this link about the FAA and biofuel, noting that "ethanol has approximately 73 percent of the energy content of automobile gasoline. The greater the amount of alcohol in the automobile gasoline, the greater the reduction in the aircraft’s range."
Inspection & Testing.
- A story about a company (Munro & Associates) whose entire business is purchasing & reverse engineering automobiles.
- A teardown of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, showing that the battery pocket was almost exactly the same size as the battery - leaving no room for the battery to swell (which it would).
- EM Drive, which seems to violate Newton's Third Law, also seems to work.
- People are *really* bad at using computers.
- A Jeff Koons balloon dog fell off a wall at Art Basel Miami, revealing (to me) that they're porcelain, not aluminum.
- Alpha Centurai is now called Rigil Kentaurus.