US Accidentally Invades Factory, Rogue Drone Hunts Human, Ford Cuts Production | Today in Manufacturing Ep. 18

Also on the podcast, disaster as ship sinks, strike at Smithfield, Bill Gates builds a salt reactor and the highest paid CEOs in the U.S.

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Welcome to the Today in Manufacturing Podcast, a new podcast brought to you by the editors from Manufacturing.net 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:

The Highest-Paid CEOs by State

The Associated Press and data firm Equilar recently announced the top-paid CEOs by state for 2020. Median pay was $12.7 million last year.

Sri Lanka Braces for Environmental Disaster as Ship Sinks

Two weeks ago the ship was on fire. Last week, after burning for 12 days, the MV X-Press Pearl started sinking off the coast of Sri Lanka and local authorities fear that it could become an environmental disaster.

Ford Cutting F-150, Mustang, Bronco Production

Ford recently announced plans to temporarily close eight factories in June, some closures will last into July. The closures stem from the global semiconductor chip shortage and it means production cuts for three iconic vehicles: the F-150, the Bronco Sport SUV and the Mustang.

US Soldiers Accidentally Invade Factory

On May 11, a group of U.S. soldiers were on a Nato training exercise in Bulgaria when a mistake sent them off course. The soldiers stormed an operating sunflower oil factory with weapons drawn, seizing and clearing the premises, including the workers.

Report: Rogue Drone Hunted Human

According to a report from New Scientist, there is evidence that a weaponized drone went on a rogue mission last year, and it hunted a human target.

In Case You Missed It

Stories that weren't the most popular on the sites last week, but still stand to make a significant impact on the industry. 

Smithfield Workers Consider Strike 

Workers at a South Dakota meatpacking plant are considering a strike after contract negotiations stalled. The proposed contract starts employees off at $18 an hour and cuts a 15-minute break period. The union wants $19 an hour and no increases to health insurance premiums.

Bill Gates Builds Reactor at Coal Plant

A next-generation nuclear plant will be built in Wyoming. The plant features a sodium reactor and molten salt energy storage system.

United Airlines Sees a Supersonic Future

Last week, we talked about the demise of Aerion Supersonic, the Boeing backed company that wanted to make sonic boomless supersonic planes. The company had a $11 billion sales backlog, but still ran out of money. Then, on Thursday, United Airlines announced plans to buy 15 jets from startup Boom Supersonic with an option for 35 more. The deal was worth $3 billion, or $200 million per plane.

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