Hello from California! And apologies for the late delivery this week. Hope to see some of you tonight!
Planning & Strategy.
- A very good EconTalk interview with the owner of a small clothing line about... well, how her business works. There are a bunch of things in here that resonate with me - from her prioritization of pleasing existing customers over winning new ones, to her desire to grow a sustainably large business, to the way she thinks of her own cost structure & place in the market. See also her long and very thorough blog post on that last point too.
- Tim Cook announced a $1B "advanced manufacturing fund" to invest in US companies.
- ASTM has a new committee: D37, Cannabis. This is precisely what a standards committee is great at: bringing order to a wild and mostly unregulated industry, whose collective actions could affect people's lives & well-beings.
- On the benefits of building a hardware startup in NYC.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A really fantastic photoset from Airbus's Mobile, Alabama assembly facility.
- A pretty rad video of a camera lens being made, mostly by hand.
- The scale of production that Mobike and ofo claim to have built is mind boggling - tens of millions of bikes per year, if you believe them.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a system for improving a facility's OEE. Like Total Quality Management, but specific to the manufacturing operation rather than the final product.
- JB Straubel, Tesla's CTO, was linked to a startup which is apparently working on recycling "manufacturing materials."
- Delta Airlines may be considering delaying delivery of their order of Airbus A350s, presumably opting instead to maintain/upgrade their existing fleet for a few more years (something they apparently have a history of doing).
Distribution & Logistics.
- Apparently much of the fresh food sold in NYC's Chinatown does *not* go through Hunt's Point Terminal Market, instead passing directly from farms to a network of smaller produce suppliers. This distinction allows Chinatown produce to maintain high quality and a low price point.
- Good graphics on how a melting arctic will affect global shipping routes.
Inspection & Testing.
- A good blog post on the difficulties in automatically sorting Lego pieces.
- "A spate of “peculiar” data points [one involving Renishaw, the British manufacturer of inspection probes] have emerged in the Chinese machine-tooling market, which usually signals that Apple is ordering equipment for a pending launch."