Chipotle’s recent foodborne illness issues — a six-state e.coli contamination that sickened more than 50 people and a norvirus outbreak that left more than 150 customers ill in Boston — haven’t just caused problems for the fast casual restaurant in terms of slumping sales and dropping stock prices, it’s also reportedly trickled down the chain to the company’s suppliers in the form of layoffs. [More]
Looking for a new place to assemble their signature iMac desktops, Apple has turned to a country where desperate masses of unemployed workers rush to compete for just about any job: the United States. CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the “assembled in USA” tags on some iMacs are real, and more manufacturing will shift stateside in 2013. [More]
Since the high-tech manufacturing industry deals with a bunch of caustic chemicals, it’s a wonder we don’t hear of more accidents such as an explosion that occurred Tuesday at a Chandler, Ariz. Intel plant, hospitalizing four workers, one who suffered serious but non life-threatening injuries. [More]
I love watching videos of the large-scale manufacturing of food products. They often make me never want to eat it again. This is one for bubble gum. It shows how they take a rubber and plastic base, add flavoring and color and puddles of glucose, and then mix it together into a giant pink doughy substance. That gets extruded into continuous bubble gum strands, cooled down, and then chopped and wrapped, all by machines. It’s entrancing to watch. Seriously, just put that part where they appear to be churning together the love child of Pepto-Bismol and the Stay-Puft guy on a loop and I would achieve moksha. [More]
Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk. [More]
Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: [More]
One of the implied promises of a brand name, especially when it comes to drugs, is you can expect higher quality, but maybe that doesn’t apply when it comes to McNeil products.The FDA says the plant that produced the recently recalled children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, was using raw materials that were contaminated with bacteria. The plant also lacked adequate quality-control procedures and was dirty. So far none of the recalled medicine has tested positive for bacterial contamination, but the FDA report suggests that the contaminated material was used to make the recalled lots. The plant has been shut down indefinitely. [More]
This time-lapse video of a Boeing manufacturing facility is pretty awesome, if you’re into watching “how it’s made” type stuff or if you like to see sped-up footage of people. I recommend keeping the volume down and making up your own sound effects starting at 1:03, when employees begin to test everything on the plane. [More]
Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced some findings from its study of the problematic Chinese drywall, which 1,900 Florida homeowners have complained stinks and makes people sick. The commission told the Associated Press that “no connections have been made yet,” but that they’re doing more tests—which means there’s still no definitive answer on who should be held financially responsible if the homes have to be gutted and repaired, which the Wall Street Journal says could cost as much as $25 billion dollars.
If you always assumed striped toothpaste was the work of a magic devil, assume again. It turns out it’s the work of a little extended pipe inside the tube that merges the different colored substances onto the toothpaste highway and straight onto your brush. That mechanical trick is half a century old, however; modern varieties sometimes just come that way, as this frozen toothpaste photo that’s been around for a while demonstrates.
After failing to get its debt-for-stock offer approved last week, and missing the June 1st deadline for concessions from creditors and its union, GM will file for bankruptcy later today. Reuters notes that its filing will be the third-largest in U.S. history, after Lehman Bros and Washington Mutual, and the largest ever in manufacturing.
WeSeed directed us to this sad photo album of cars backed up at ports and manufacturer lots around the world. Maybe they can be handed out in clusters as executive bonuses at the end of the year.
Here’s a bleak list from Forbes — America’s 10 Fastest-Dying Towns. Many of the towns have something in common — manufacturing jobs moving overseas or to cheaper, more rural, areas.
Hey, here’s a new and exciting deal. Buy a car; get 100 shares of GM stock. “Join us in jump starting America,” says the sales pitch. Unfortunately, GM’s shares are trading at 66 year low today as a bailout looks doubtful.
Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have linked [BPA] to problems with brain function and mood disorders in monkeys—the first time the chemical has been connected to health problems in primates.
Sales of Barbie fell 12 percent in the U.S. as the 49-year- old doll faced competition from Hannah Montana and Ganz’s Webkinz. Mattel, which recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made products in 2007, expects Chinese manufacturing costs to rise further. The yuan has climbed 10 percent against the dollar over the past 12 months, and inflation in China is near an 11-year high.
The Boston Globe profiles the last remaining shoe and boot maker in New England, Alden Shoes. The company’s classic footwear has been worn by the likes of John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Indiana Jones… and the Massachusetts state troopers. The shoes will set you back about $350-$500 a pair, but they seem like awfully nice people. “Our shoes don’t wear out,” says Robert Clark, Alden’s vice president. [Boston Globe]