2019-09-30 4 min read


Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • A 100 GB repository of recordings of malfunctioning industrial equipment. "This dataset is a sound dataset for malfunctioning industrial machine investigation and inspection...It contains the sounds generated from four types of industrial machines, i.e. valves, pumps, fans, and slide rails."
  • A sea change in Chinese consumption of used goods: "Between 2014 and 2018, China’s secondhand market grew by more than 450%, to $100 billion...in key sectors Chinese are consuming less new stuff by volume thanks to rising prices. For example, the volume of clothing purchased between 2017 and 2018 declined by nearly 25%." Note, I started reading Adam's forthcoming book on secondhand goods last weekend and am *very* into it.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • A 2005 column about FedEx's "just in case" fleet of Airbus A310s and the (ostensibly) resilient mid-aughts economy. At the time the fleet was made up of five jets (unclear if the quantity has changed, but the fleet now appears to be A300s and can be tracked today), and their job is to fly around the country - completely empty - and then divert to any FedEx hub which happens to be overbooked or experiencing a mechanical issue. "On a typical night, one of the five makes an unexpected stop to collect an overflow of packages, one lands to bail out a plane needing a repair, and three arrive in Memphis as empty as they were when they took off." Also, the idea of Alan Greenspan bumping into FedEx CEO Fred Smith at Redskins games is just too much.
  • A nice, satisfying video of wind turbine components being packed onto a cargo ship.
  • After a lot of bold rhetoric and a few tense moments, the US is set to *stay* in the United Postal Union under revised rules which allow, over a period of 5 years, for individual countries to set their own "terminal fees." In a week of... well, let's just call it interesting and troubling news re: the US's relationship with the rest of the world, this agreement strikes me as kind of a best possible outcome - and I dare say that Trump and Peter Navarro's bellicose approach (which I normally find unwise and unpleasant) seems to have been both warranted and effective here. For context on the UPU, I recommend this old Planet Money episode.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


Photos of some *very* large ship engines being built at Hyundai Heavy Industries' Engine Machinery Division.

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