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Navy Quits Railgun Project, Massive Blast Tests New Ship, Gas Shortages Rise | Today in Manufacturing Ep. 22

Also on the podcast, Amazon's algorithm fires workers, engineers warned of condo's problems and shipping error sends machine to wrong end of the U.S.

Programming note: We're taking a week off, but we'll be back with a new episode on July 13th. 

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The Today in Manufacturing Podcast is a new podcast brought to you by the editors from and Industrial Equipment News (IEN).

In each episode, we discuss the five biggest stories in manufacturing, and the implications they have on the industry moving forward. This week, we talk about:

Amazon Reportedly Firing Drivers with Algorithm

Amazon has turned to algorithms for hiring and firing Flex delivery drivers. The algorithm powers a system that monitors performances and can even terminate employees.

Navy Ditches Futuristic Railgun

Last week, the U.S. Navy killed the electric railgun project. The futuristic weapon could fire projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound (about 5,370 MPH) using electricity.

U.S. Navy Creates Blast Size of Earthquake to Test Ship

On June 18, 2021, the U.S. Navy detonated a 20-ton explosive charge in a "shock trial" for its new aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford. The blast was so massive that it registered as a 3.9 on the Richter scale.

Engineers: Building Needed $9M+ in Repairs Before Collapse

Morabito Consultants is a structural engineering firm with offices in Maryland and Florida. In 2018, the company was hired by the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association in Surfside, FL to prepare the 40-year recertification of the condo building. The report detailed significant cracks and breaks in the concrete, which required more than $9 million in repairs to ensure the safety of the residents and the public.

Gas Stations Running Out of Fuel as 4th of July Nears

This year, the Fourth of July was met with gas shortages and rising fuel prices. Fuel outages hit California, Colorado and Iowa and the number of stations experiencing shortages is expected to grow. The cause of the shortages isn't demand or production, but the shortage of oil tank truck drivers.

In Case You Missed It:

Shipping Error Sends Machine Cross-Country

Little Brother Chinese Food sells frozen dumplings in Portland, Maine. Demand was up, so the company ordered a custom dumpling machine from China in March that could increase production by 3,000 dumplings per week. It was delivered in May, but the problem was that it was headed for Portland, Oregon.

Mexico's Richest Man to Rebuild, Pay for Collapsed Subway

Mexico’s richest man will rebuild and pay for a segment of a Mexico City subway line that collapsed on May, killing 26 people. It sounds generous until you realize that it was one of his companies that built it.

Branson Plans to Beat Bezos to Space

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson wants to beat Amazon's Jeff Bezos into space by nine days.

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