The Federal Reserve reported a 1.6% rise in industrial production for December, while manufacturing increased for the eight consecutive month with a gain of 0.9%. Industry operating capacity in December remained below pre-pandemic levels.
Qualcomm Technologies agreed to acquire Nuvia, a chip startup founded by three former system-on-a-chip designers from Apple, for $1.4 billion. Nuvia, established in 2019, has chip designs that can be used in a variety of applications, including advanced driver-assistance systems, laptops, servers and smartphones.
Robotic blacksmithing could portend a future in which machines squeeze and bend metal in automated processes that benefit industries such as automotive and aircraft, as well as when companies need speedy production of large parts, says Glenn Daehn, professor of metallurgical engineering at Ohio State University. ""We envision a future that moves from closed die forging to robotically controlled open die forging that uses simple tools incrementally," Daehn says.
December was the fourth straight month with over 40,000 preliminary orders for trailers as manufacturing and demand for consumer goods continued to grow, contributing to higher freight rates, according to ACT Research and FTR Transportation Intelligence. The fourth quarter had a record number of trailer orders, while October and November had record orders for dry vans.
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Ports in Southern California are grappling with rising dockworker illnesses and surging imports, which have led to a backlog of ships awaiting available docks and slowed the delivery of goods to retailers. "The Americans that have not been impacted by COVID will continue to spend, and the surge could go on through late spring," said Mario Cordero, the Port of Long Beach's executive director.
Vehicle-to-vehicle technology is in development to improve safety via communication. Ford's driver-assistance system can alert motorists to nearby bicycles using Bluetooth 5, and Trek is developing flashing bike taillights that are triggered by sensors.
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PepsiCo is ramping up its sustainability goals by targeting carbon neutrality across its supply chain by 2040, one decade earlier than called for in the Paris Agreement. The company plans to increase the use of renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and net-zero emissions technology to hit its goal.
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The availability of 3D printing in the University of Cincinnati's fabrication lab is helping mechanical engineering students advance their education while also working on real-world challenges. The printer allows students like Arshad Mohammed to create small models of their projects for testing and avoid the high cost of building full-scale prototypes.