I never thought I'd be giving away swag for The Prepared, but the people have spoken! The Prepared's own super-classy, FSC certified pencils are going out to paying subscribers this week. Get on that list here ;)
New books on the desk this week: New York Rising (archival construction photos - really beautiful); the graphic novel version of The Goal (a manufacturing management tome); Issue 6 of Logic Magazine; Mmuseumm's 2018 collection catalog. New tools in the toolchest: Wera T-handle Rapidadaptor (turns any 1/4" bit into a T-handle key); Knipex 35-22-115 needlenose pliers.
The most clicked link in last week's issue (~18% of opens) was a trick screw that binds up when you turn it the wrong way.
Planning & Strategy.
- nTopology's Blake Courter on implicit modeling, which overcomes persistent issues with both B-rep and mesh geometry and enables the kind of geometric complexity that additive manufacturing thrives on. See also our free webinar (tomorrow!) on implicit modeling and how it allows for engineering intent to be directly embedded in a more robust design package. For anyone interested in design software and the future of engineering workflows, this stuff is *cool* and shockingly fast.
- Dyson will relocate its headquarters from the UK to Singapore. James Dyson was a prominent Brexit backer, and the company announced that they'd be making their electric car in Singapore back in November.
- Mobike will rebrand as Meituan Bike.
- Ford will end its sponsorship of Motivate/Lyft's SF bike share program.
- Nvidia is starting a robotics lab, which will be associated with the University of Washington. Related: If anyone wants to make a Longbet, I'd be more than happy to take the "no" argument on "will the kitchen appliances that I buy in 20 years come with their own 3D models." Not that I don't think they *should,* but I just don't see it happening.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A nice video of a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB jet engine being assembled.
- On Apple's troubles making the Mac Pro in Texas. The article is partly about the US's lack of high volume screw manufacturing capacity (fair) and partly about our lack of low cost assembly labor (ditto), but it goes a little soft on Flex for not properly staffing the project. It also puts forward two competing ideas: First, that Apple should invest "significant time and money and [rely] more on robotics" - something that would make their process more rigid and introduce barriers to rolling out product updates. But just a breath later, there's an implied criticism that Apple has been *slow* to update the Mac Pro. There was a little discussion on the article on The Prepared's Slack instance, and IMO the most poignant comment was that "framing a Flex project management failure as a failure of US manufacturing is a stretch."
- A good video of factory built home components. The wall assembly line, starting at about 5:00, is pretty cool.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- On Amazon's reverse logistics operation, and the pallets upon pallets of returned items (crap?) that they auction off to the highest bidder.
- A short news piece on Panipat, a city in India where recyclers import used garments from around the world and reprocess them to produce "shoddy," low cost recycled fabric.
- On Philadelphia's refurbished, iconic, PCC streetcars.
Distribution & Logistics.
- There's a new bridge spanning the River Gambia, replacing what used to be up to weeks of delays waiting for a ferry to get to the Republic of the Gambia.
- Some great supply chain transparency reports from readers!
1. Eileen Fisher publishes a series of blog posts and articles on their manufacturers - very well produced & personal.
2. Everlane's Our Factories page is a classic, with excellent photography.
3. Patagonia's "Footprint" page is, as you'd expect, both holistic and transparent - including the suppliers' physical address, their gender balance, and the specific product lines produced there.
4. Trase is a tool that "aims to cover over 70% of the total traded volume in major forest risk commodities, including soy, beef, palm oil, timber, pulp and paper, coffee, cocoa and aquaculture."
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- A study of 249 ER patients who suffered injuries while riding e-scooters. More of them were intoxicated (4.8%) than were wearing helmets (4.4%).
- NYC's Citi Bike expansion improves quality of life to the tune of $7869 per quality-adjusted life year granted, offering "good value relative to most health interventions."
- Robert Caro on researching LBJ. If you haven't already, I just can't recommend catching up with his LBJ series enough. And if you haven't read The Power Broker, well...
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Thanks also to the following readers for sending links: Nick, Adrian, Adam, Michal, Al, Mark, Bre, Joseph, Kane, Carl, Adam, Rich, Aaron, Rony, Jacob.
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