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Great article. Livestock is an utterly inefficient way to feed a population of humans. The cost both from an energy and environmental perspective is massive. Contributing 9% to green house gasses as a segment means it represents a substantial portion of our climate change problem.

If Memphis meats were able to generate beef at a competitive price, I do wonder what the societal ramifications would be. Would citizens be interested and willing to eat beef grown in a laboratory? This seems like an unproven market.

I do love meat however! I hope that there are products like this in the future so that in the event I have to chose between saving the planet and having a steak, I have an additional option to do both.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on Nissan at the Brexit Poker Table :

It seems undeniable that Brexit will have a substantial impact on this company. Nissan is a global organization moving goods all over the world. The supply chain for any of its plants is dispersed and far-reaching. Isolationist ramifications due to this political change will radically affect the economics for business units operating inside the UK.

It is amazing that Sunderland consumes up to 5M parts per day. The downstream implications from any change in raw materials must be massive. It is also remarkable that only 41% of the vehicle parts are produced domestically.

Running Nissan, it seems diligent to act conservatively and make plans to move more of its operations out of the nation. It is surprising that it has commenced production of two new models in Sunderland. This seems ill advised.

Isolationism will clearly be a difficult trend for Nike to combat. It appears that Lobbying in the shorter term is one way the company is fighting back. However, 11% import tariffs in the Trumpian era is going to be a difficult trend to combat.

I highly doubt that this America first rhetoric and policy will result in economic benefits for the United States. What it has done is create incentives for more automation in these industries which will in the long term likely remove more manufacturing jobs here at home.

In response however, Nike’s approach has been robust. Setting up factories in high import countries was a smart immediate step for the company. Additionally, hiring and training high skilled workforces will fall in line with the President’s wishes and will hopefully result in positive outcomes.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on Enjoy your morning espresso (while you still can). :

Interesting to learn more about how demanding coffee is as a crop. Arabica, which accounts for roughly 70% of the world coffee production, will be difficult to grow if by 2050 there will be substantial reduction in suitable land.

Given the impact that climate change is already having on small farmers, I wonder if there are financial and micro-investing instruments we could build to promote a transition in livelihood.

It will be interesting to see how partnerships emerge between the large coffee organizations to combat the effect of climate change on their industry. Nestle seems to be at the forefront of this innovation but without comprehensive and general, widespread buy-in, it will be hard to manage downstream externalities of this global trend.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on Caterpillar: Building the Supply Chain of the Future :

Caterpillar’s results from integrating end-to-end visibility into their supply chain resulted in over $250M of savings. This is a solid first step towards reaping the benefits of digitalization. It does seem, however, that the company is already integrating 3D printing technologies into the design of their systems. It recently opened a 3D Printing & Innovations center. Additionally, it announced a partnership in 2017 with AM solutions provider FIT AG.

To further this trend, Caterpillar should continue to invest heavily in technology solutions to improve its supply chain. Partnerships, incubators, and venture capital divisions will all be good ways to progress the company’s foothold with emerging technologies.

It has been remarkable to watch the cost reduction in 3D printing technologies over the last decade. Direct laser sintering of metals has grown enormously in usage and the price to manufacture these parts relative to traditional machining techniques has started to make it attractive to a broad set of industries. Startups like Desktop Metal and Markforged are working to improve the accessibility of these systems to smaller and smaller companies. It makes sense that early applications would be in the aerospace sector due to part complexity and costs, however I think today we are seeing excellent proliferation into other engineering sectors.

It is amazing that transitioning to 3D printed titanium parts could bring savings of $3M per aircraft. In reaction to your question of who should lead in the investment, I think there will be a lot of capital flowing into 3D printing ventures and development due to the wide applicability across product types. I think the burden on innovation will be shared by companies like Airbus, but also the Toyotas, Apples, and SpaceX’s of the world.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on Convoy Poised to Win the Startup Trucking Race :

It is great to see another applicable usage of blockchain technology. Leveraging the rich data set Convoy has on the movement and allocation of trucking resources, they will hopefully be able to boost shipping efficiency. This could curb costs for Busch and reduce carbon emissions. I wonder how Convoy will play with the autonomous wave of trucks coming down the pipeline. There are a number of startups including Otto and Tesla designing the smart trucks of the future. Once these systems come online with Convoy’s algorithms be utilized or replaced?

Regardless of what the future holds, it is clear that Convoy is improving trucking efficiency and fleet utilization through data analytics. It would be great to see this same type of optimization proliferate across all transportation and logistics industries.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on IBM: Tracking the Supply Chain Using Blockchain :

This is an exciting application of blockchain technology. Citing the 7% documentation cost and the $14B in lost economic output from food borne illnesses, this is clearly a substantial problem. I am surprised that there was no mention of government subsidies or incentives for solving such a widely felt issue. Looking back at the recent food disease challenges at major companies, I assume that this type of technology would’ve helped to more rapidly find the origin of the problem.

IBM is making a substantial push to be an early player in enterprise blockchain applications. I look forward to seeing what other industries they are able to change with such a platform. Having already seen IBM Watson used successfully in healthcare, I could see a future synergy there to help maintain the security of American medical records.

On December 1, 2017, pmaederyork commented on The Mahindra Group: Driving towards India’s Digital Automotive Age :

The Mahindra group is making a clear push towards improved efficiency and lower per unit cost by leveraging advancements in digital production tools. I assume that they are using the data collected from the location of assembly line tools to streamline their movement and ultimately increase their utilization. It was very interesting to learn about the differences between Industry 3.0 and 4.0 over the last few decades. However, I was surprised that the usage of robotics was a next step for this organization.

The recommendations put forth were concise and accurate. Point 1 regarding the scalability of such a capital-intensive model is particularly relevant. I do wonder how readily Mahindra can update traditional factories as opposed to starting from scratch.

Following up on the first key question, 3D printing will certainly continue to be used and grow as a proportion of manufacturing methodologies. I would recommend Mahindra should get ahead of the trend and integrate it into their processes as much as possible today.