Today in Manufacturing Ep. 10: Hottest Concept Car in a Decade, America's Ketchup Packet Crisis & $244M Ghost Cattle Scheme

Also on the podcast, a factory worker's active shooter prank goes really bad, a ship carrying boats nearly sinks and SpaceX debris lands on a farm on the other side of the country.

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Welcome to the Today in Manufacturing Podcast, 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:

America is Running Out of Ketchup Packets 

Ketchup packet resources have been depleted as more people order takeout throughout the pandemic. 

Prices are surging, and Kraft Heinz, the biggest name in the ketchup game with about 70% of the US retail market is struggling to keep up with demand.

The company is adding new production lines to boost ketchup manufacturing capabilities by 25% to more than 12 billion packets annually.

Tyson Ensnared in $244M 'Ghost Cattle' Scheme

Last week, 49-year-old Cody Easterday pleaded guilty to a $244 million scam to defraud Tyson Foods and another unnamed company.

He worked out a deal with the companies to purchase and feed more than 200,000 cattle. He was paid up front for the costs of buying and raising the cattle.

After the cattle were slaughtered and sold, Easterday Ranches would repay the advance (including interest), and pocket the profit. The only problem was, the cattle didn't exist.

Crew Evacuated as Cargo Ship at Risk of Sinking

A Dutch cargo ship, the Eemslift Hendrika, was evacuated last week and was in danger of capsizing in heavy seas. Norwegian authorities evacuated the ship's 12 crew members by helicopter after they had jumped into the sea.

They tried to stabilize the vessel so it wouldn't sink or crash into the shore, but it was getting pummeled by 50-foot high waves and strong winds. The vessel has substantial quantities of diesel and fuel in its tanks, which could have caused an environmental disaster.

On Thursday, a salvage operation got the cargo ship under control and towed it to port.

Factory Worker Arrested After Active Shooter Prank

A 57-year-old female employee at the Navistar truck and van assembly factory in Springfield, Ohio texted her sister and said an active shooter was at the plant.

She told her sister that there was a guy who was fired the previous day and he came in with a gun. She said they were barricaded in an office with the lights off.

The sister called 911, which led to a large police response. Police arrived at the plant within two minutes of the call and immediately began searching the facility for an active shooter before they found out that it was an April Fools joke.

Genesis X the 'Hottest Concept Car in a Decade'

Genesis is a division of Hyundai headquartered in Fountain Valley, California and they recently came out with what Jalopnik called “the hottest concept car in a decade.” The Genesis X EV is pretty, but we don’t really know that much about it.

In Case You Missed It:

Supersonic Jet to Carry 50 Passengers at 4x the Speed of Sound

Aerion has outlined a plan for the AS3 supersonic jet, which will carry 50 passengers at four times the speed of sound. That will cut the 12-hour trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo down to three hours. It would also feature a range of 7,000 nautical miles, which would reportedly be able to cover all but the longest current nonstop flights.

SpaceX Rocket Debris Lands at Farm

A piece of burning rocket debris  crashed on a farm in eastern Washington state. A farmer found a 5-foot composite-overwrapped pressure vessel used for storing helium which left a nearly 4-inch dent in the ground.

GM to Build Electric Silverado, Hummer at Factory Zero

General Motors announced that Chevrolet will introduce a Silverado electric pickup truck that will be built at the company’s Factory Zero assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The GMC Hummer EV SUV will be built at the factory as well. GM hopes to deliver more than 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025 and earn EV market leadership in North America. 

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