Manufacturing's Winner & Loser of the Week

This week the titles of ‘Manufacturing’s Winner and Loser’ are being presented to two companies who have had drastically different weeks. One has successfully patented an exciting new technology, while the other has been forced to issue their first recall in 108 years.

This week the titles of ‘Manufacturing’s Winner and Loser’ are being presented to two companies who have had drastically different weeks. One has successfully patented an exciting new technology, while the other has been forced to issue their first recall in 108 years. Without further ado, this week’s ‘Manufacturing’s Winner and Loser’ are as follows.   

Winner

Amid all the news this week, Boeing’s success in patenting their “force field” technology stood out. Perhaps because of its science fiction quality, but regardless they have been dubbed ‘Manufacturing’s Winner of the Week.’

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the official name of Boeing’s new technology is a “system of shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc.” The system has been designed to deflect shockwaves from explosions with lasers and magnetic induction by creating an area of heated air that can diffuse the shockwaves.

Boeing has presented the patent in reference to military vehicles, however in theory, this new technology could be used to protect individuals, vehicles, ships and even buildings.

The picture below shows the illustration of a military vehicle provided by Boeing in their patent.

Boeing/USPTO

Loser

After additional recall announcements due to listeria concerns, Blue Bell Ice Cream has earned ‘Manufacturing’s Loser of the Week’ position.

Earlier in March, Blue Bell issued a recall of products from their plant in Texas after reports that three people had died in the past year due to a listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell Creameries products. Five people have also contracted the infection in Kansas. Sources believe that the contamination is a result of improper maintenance of one particular machine in the facility.

Now, this week, the company was forced to issue a second recall of their products — specifically their 3 oz. institutional/food service cups of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream — after one of the cups taken from a Kansas hospital tested positive for listeria. At this point there have been no reports of illness as a result of this wave of recalls.

"We are devastated and know that Blue Bell has to be and can be better than this," said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and president. 

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