Richard is looking to talk to someone who has experience manufacturing consumer products in Mexico. Reach out to him here.
Adidas will close two "speedfactories" in the US and Germany, relocating production to Asia. "Just three years ago, the Bavaria-based group had hailed its speedfactory concept -- which uses highly automated processes to make shoes more quickly, more customised and closer to sales outlets -- as proof that manufacturing jobs could return to high-wage countries." Note, this article mentions "4D printing," which was a provocative (and now largely forgotten) idea championed by Skylar Tibbits in his 2013 TED talk. While Adidas does have a shoe called the Futurecraft 4D, it's actually just a shoe with a 3D printed midsole.
The Euro-Gripper-Tooling System is a modular framing system based on a octagonal profile with holes drilled in it on a repeating pattern; it's like 80/20 but designed for rivets and focused on the European auto industry.
I haven't been to Supercon, but I find Hackaday's documentation of its conference badges to be pretty cool - to say nothing of the badges themselves, which look like a real project.
Adam Minter on car seats, which are widely claimed (without evidence, by their manufacturers and retailers) to expire. "I figured that Car-Safety.org would have links to studies showing, for example, increased risk between a used car seat and a new one. But I was wrong!...So I wrote back to [retailer] Target and told the company. Hours later, its website language changed again, this time to read: 'According to car-safety.org, many manufacturers recommend that car seats expire around the six-year mark.'...But anyone trying to locate data supporting that recommendation will be disappointed. Car-Safety.org — like the manufacturers who support it — just makes unsubstantiated claims."
Distribution & Logistics.
Gazprom's "major projects" page for the Novy Port field, an installation (what an odd euphemism, no?) that lies right about on the Arctic circle. I find myself quite impressed at Gazprom's website, especially as I don't really see the how they benefit from sharing information so attractively; is it just for their (non Russian government) shareholders? Anyway, the photos are stunning/horrifying, and I'm reminded just how good (and uncomfortable) it is to browse sites like Gazprom's in order to remind oneself just how the world works.
I'm looking for a superior metric tape measure; send recommendations here. Note, dual unit doesn't count - it's gotta be all metric :)
A summary of a new working paper which argues that fancy, market-rate housing (think of the glassy condos going up in most affluent cities in the US) actually does "help relieve pressure on rents across the market, including in less-affluent neighborhoods." I'm on the hunt for more writing like this; send it!
Kernmantle is a term used to describe modern (almost always synthetic) ropes which contain a twisted core (from the German word 'kern" meaning 'core') and a braided sheath (from 'mantel' meaning 'sheath'). The core provides tensile strength; the sheath protects the core.