June 27, 2019

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department intervened in a class-action lawsuit against some of the nation’s largest poultry producers. The plaintiffs in the case claim that companies like Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride conspired together to fix the price of chicken. Given that these allegations involve some of the top firms in a huge industry, the federal government decided to take over legal proceedings for the rest of the year. “The Justice Department wants to make sure they Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 7, 2019

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, lovebirds across the nation are running out of time to stock up on romantic gifts like flowers and candy. But while stores should have many of the seasonal items that shoppers are looking for, there’s one iconic Valentine treat that consumers won’t be able to get their hands on. Due to the sudden closing of the Necco candy factory in July, there will be no SweetHearts available this year.

The colorful heart-shaped candies Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 10, 2019

For thousands of years, people have been baking bread by largely following the same procedure: dough is kneaded into a loaf and then placed in a hot oven until it’s done. And while this may sound simple enough, baking a perfect loaf of bread actually requires a great deal of skill and years of experience. That is unless you have a BreadBot, a new machine that automates nearly every aspect of the baking process.

Recently unveiled at the annual Consumer Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 19, 2018

With December 25th less than a week away, twinkling Christmas trees are currently illuminating homes across the country. And while these festive firs will only stand for a couple of weeks, their journey from farms to family rooms takes more than a decade. This video about the production process on Christmas tree farms looks at why they must follow strict logistical schedules or else face disastrous consequences in the long term.

Questions:

  1. Why are logistics so important for Christmas tree Continue reading
Continue reading...

March 1, 2018

Levi Strauss started selling blue jeans more than 100 years ago to miners and farmers who appreciated how long the pants could last under tough conditions. And while today’s consumers love the distressed look that denim achieves with a lot of wear, they don’t exactly want to toil in a mine in order to scuff up their jeans properly. Instead, over the years Levi’s has done all the fraying, fading and ripping themselves in a time-consuming process. Besides taking about Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 29, 2017

ChantelMcGeeFrom factory floors to Wall Street financial firms, robotic labor is becoming an increasingly important part of production for many companies. And according to the head of Yum Brands, fast food could be the next industry to adopt automation on a wide scale. This week CEO Greg Creed said that robots could start replacing humans at Yum-owned chains like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell by the mid-2020s.

Other fast food companies have already begun to experiment with automation. Wendy’s, for Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 14, 2017

While identifying colors might seem like a simple preschool task to some, it’s a serious job at the Pantone color factory. This company creates color guides that act sort of like dictionaries for artists and designers. In order to create consistent colors every time, Pantone depends on eagle-eyed employees to check for flaws. Along with these dedicated staffers, this video also shows some of the machines used by Pantone to create such vivid hues.

Questions:

 

  1. Why does Pantone require Continue reading
Continue reading...

January 19, 2016

Although vinyl records sales are higher than they have been in decades, companies are having trouble meeting demand due to their reliance on old, antiquated machinery.

https://youtu.be/mHJQJbrvOd0

Questions:

  1. Will demand for vinyl records drop if companies fail to maintain a steady supply?
  2. With music and movie streaming sites now commonplace, do vinyl records and other forms of physical media have a long term future?

 

From The New York Times

Continue reading...