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IEN Radio

Radio for manufacturing and engineering professionals. New industrial products, news and technical articles.

Episodes

April 24, 2024 2 mins

On Saturday evening, an incident at a southeastern Wisconsin substation caused the grid to go dark for some 16,000 people. According to We Energies, a Wisconsin utility company that provides electricity to more than 1 million customers, the culprit was a raccoon. 

According to a spokesperson, a raccoon touched two pieces of equipment simultaneously, which knocked out the power, and likely made for one really unhappy trash panda. 

Dow...

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A traditional cast with an outer layer made from plaster or fiberglass is more than sufficient for a human with a broken bone. But for a gorilla, which is about 10 times stronger than a human being and less likely to put up with some discomfort, that type of cast doesn’t stand a chance.

Gladys, an 11-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, recently fractured her humerus while fighting with two younger females ...

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Mercedes-Benz yesterday announced a new logistics concept: a demonstrator that combines eSprinter vans with e-cargo bikes to sustainably solve the last-mile riddle. 

The Sustaineer (sustainability pioneer) tech demonstrator promises a look at delivery transport of the future. So, what does that look like? 

The electric van is based on the automaker's eSprinter. Mercedes already has fully electric versions of every commercial and...

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Humanoid robots are still a long way from full-scale rollouts across industrial, commercial and other settings. But if this week’s arrivals tell us anything, it’s that the pace of development may be speeding up.

Boston Dynamics earlier this week made news when it bid a fond farewell to Atlas, the hydraulic robot it’s been tinkering with for nearly a decade. The company even assembled a send-off video full of clips of Atlas falling d...

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Last October, a 26-year-old employee at Faurecia Emissions Control Systems in Franklin, Ohio, was fatally crushed. According to OSHA, the worker had been on the job for about a year and was placing cardboard under a machine that bends vehicle exhaust pipes at the time of the accident. 

The company is a subsidiary of Faurecia North America which, in 2022, combined with Hella to form Forvia, one of the world’s largest automotive suppl...

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Food company Conagra Brands announced that it would cease production operations and close its facility in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. The company claimed in a letter to the Bureau of Workforce Training that the move is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies in its supply chain network. 

Conagra added in the letter that the closure, which is expected to be permanent, would affect all employment, including 25 management and...

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U.S. retailer Walmart is turning to robots for help as it works to keep pace with e-commerce rivals like Amazon.

The company said it will roll out 19 Class 1 electric, autonomous forklifts across four of its distribution centers, with the possibility of a wider deployment in the future. Walmart associates are currently being trained to operate the FoxBot, which is designed to handle a lot of the manual labor needed at the warehouse ...

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The push towards electrics means changes in the automotive industry are impacting every OEM – even those tailor made for it.

Elektrek first reported that EV leader Tesla is cutting “more than 10%” of its workers. Citing an internal memo, the company is reportedly looking at “cost reductions and increasing productivity” and will target its global workforce. While no hard number was released, 10% of Tesla’s worldwide staff would amoun...

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The GMC Hummer has had an interesting evolution by anyone’s standards. What started as a gas guzzling monster SUV back in the 1990s and early aughts fell victim to the economic crunch and high gas prices of the Great Recession. But a decade or so after killing the model, GMC revealed that it would have new life in the form of an all-electric.

That said, a lot has changed since the 2020 announcement, and as automakers have expanded t...

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In January 2024, the FDA issued a warning about dietary supplements purchased on popular e-commerce websites like Amazon and Etsy that were made with toxic ingredients. Tejocote root, part of the hawthorn family, is a Mexican root supplement marketed for weight loss. 

An FDA analysis found that these dietary supplements, labeled as tejocote root or Brazil seed, are adulterated. Instead of tejocote, they were substituted with yellow ...

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Last month, Boeing and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences sued Virgin Galactic, accusing Richard Branson’s space venture of skipping on bills and holding onto trade secrets. Now, Virgin has returned fire.

The company last week countersued Boeing and Aurora, accusing the struggling aerospace company of “shoddy and incomplete work.” According to Reuters, Virgin Galactic said Boeing is breaching its contract and attempting to unlawf...

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The manufacturing industry has received a boost from recent legislation such as the CHIPS and Science Act, but industrial facilities still experience hundreds of hours of downtime annually. As the industrial landscape evolves and expands, the need for skilled maintenance workers becomes more paramount.

Fluke Reliability, a division of electronic test tool manufacturer Fluke Corporation, provides a range of technologies suc...

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It’s been a staple in Danville, Illinois, since 1969, but on June 8, the Quaker Oats plant will close its doors.

Last week, Quaker informed more than 500 workers in Danville they will be laid off but, perhaps, the writing was on the wall.

Back in December, Quaker – a PepsiCo brand – paused production at the facility while it sorted out a product recall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t buttoned up quickly; what started with concerns of conta...

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Canoo, like many other electric vehicle startups, is struggling to survive. And as is often the case in the early days of a company, expenditures exceed revenue. But one cost in particular stood out in Canoo’s latest earnings report.

TechCrunch spotted an item near the bottom of a 10-K the company recently filed with the SEC and it details just how much Canoo is reimbursing CEO Tony Aquila for the use of his personal aircraft. The c...

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The Department of Justice announced that two Russian nationals who are Florida residents pleaded guilty to conspiring to acquire and illegally export controlled aviation technology to Russia without a license, violating the Export Control Reform Act.

According to the DOJ, Oleg Sergeyevhich Patsulya and Vasilii Sergeyevich Besedin conspired to secure orders for aircraft components and parts from Russian buyers, the majority of which ...

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The Department of Justice announced that a California man pleaded guilty to a scheme that involved selling more than $3.5 million worth of deceptive fan assemblies to the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

According to the DOJ, the defendant, 63-year-old Steve H.S. Kim, controlled an unnamed company that sold fan assemblies to the DLA. But the fan assemblies were either counterfeit or misrepresented to be new. T...

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Freirich Foods has been in the meat business since 1921, when it was founded by young German sausage maker Julian Freirich on Long Island. The company, now based in Salisbury, North Carolina, makes a lot of meat, from pastrami and roast beef to other specialty items. However, the company is perhaps most known for corned beef. The family-owned business says it controls more than 40% of the New York Metro and New England markets. 

Dow...

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Offshore wind power projects set up shop in the water because it’s often too much of a logistical nightmare to transport their massive turbine blades inland. But that could change in the future if one startup is successful in building the world’s largest plane.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, offshore wind turbines can be as much as one-and-a-half times the height of the Washington Monument and feature blades the length ...

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Tyson Foods is looking to refugees and immigrants to fill some of its factory jobs that handle duties such as placing cuts into trays, inspections for bones and washing meat, Bloomberg reported

The food processor employs some 100,000 people in these positions, and according to associate director of human resources Garrett Dolan, the company anticipates an annual departure of approximately 40% of those workers. As a result, Dolan s...

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For this episode, I welcome Daniel Huang, an 18-year-old student in Florida. Huang is the creator of his high school’s 3D printing club that finished runner-up in SME’s 2023 Digital Manufacturing Challenge with their proposal to use 3D printing to create fully customizable pills for medical distribution.

Huang has done research at the University of Florida Materials Science Lab, worked at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot ...

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