In this episode of MBT's Manufacturing Newswire, we’ll discuss some big business problems, as well as some innovative technology from Ford and GM. We'll also talk to inbound marketing agency Guavabox about what manufacturers can do improve their online presence and take a look at a surprising use for RFID.
Consumer Electronics Show
Upstart entrepreneurs and major manufacturers are hoping wearable tech is where the future is at. Wearable tech could become the norm as several companies are expected to unveil devices that are easier to use, extend battery life, and tap into the power of gestures, social networks and cloud computing. Many of the technologies on display aren’t ready for consumer just yet, but rather offer a glimpse of the future.
Food Supply Issues
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it's considering taking legal action against "responsible parties" after DNA testing discovered traces of fox meat in the five-spice donkey meat it sold in China. The company withdrew all products from the supplier and affected customers were offered compensation. It also says it plans to add DNA testing to its meat products in China going foward.
Last week computer giant Hewlett-Packard has confirmed that it expects to layoff 5,000 more workers by the end of this year than it originally planned. This is on top of the 29,000 cuts it announced in May 2012 and HP says continued market and business pressures in its PC, printing and enterprise services were behind the move.
Face to Face
With a new year beginning, manufacturers are looking for tips and tricks to help their business move forward.
Several of you out there have already read The No-Nonsense Guide to Generating Qualified Leads Online on mbtmag.com, so we decided to invite Andrew Dymski, co-founder of GuavaBox, an inbound marketing agency, to discuss creating best practices for the new year in this week's Face to Face.
In automotive news, Ford is set to unveil a solar hybrid concept car this month. The C-Max Solar Energi Concept car offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug. The car uses a gas engine combined with roof-mounted solar panels and Ford estimates the vehicle can go 100 miles per gallon of gas.
General Motors is taking a high-tech approach to catching problems during engine assembly thanks to a not-so-simple bolt. This fastener is embedded with a RFID tag and antenna. Scanners check the bolts during 50 separate machining processes, ensuring that previous steps were completed successfully. If an RFID scanner detects a part that was improperly machined, it's kicked off the assembly line for inspection.
Clip of the Week
Speaking of RFID, this brings us to our clip of the week. Take a look at what will surely be the wave of the future – Blacksocks, the smartest socks on Earth.
Designed to address the pesky problems of missing and mismatched socks, Blacksocks has developed an RFID solution to ensure finding each sock's proper mate. For $189, you get 10 pairs of black socks with RFID buttons sewn onto each one, a handheld wireless detector and an iOS app.
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