Although it just slashed some 4,000 white-collar positions, GM says it's back in hiring mode. The automaker is recruiting from engineering and aeronautical higher ed programs as it seeks to realign its workforce with highly-skilled talent responsible for developing its fleet of electric and self-driving vehicles. Still, GM expects to gradually reduce its salaried workforce over the next decade because electric battery development requires fewer engineers than traditional gasoline engines.
Rockwell Automation’s CEO sees a slowdown ahead in the industrial sector next year, but Q3 2019 was the best financial quarter the company has had in a decade. While Rockwell offers autonomous solutions for mining, oil & gas, and a breadth of manufacturing sectors, it was its automotive business unit that powered its impressive earnings. Rising electric vehicles production continues to drive sales of its factory robots designed to help automakers achieve electrification.
Oh, and while we're on the topic of Rockwell Automation, yesterday Cluster CEO Kim Taylor spoke at the company's annual “Automation Fair”. During a 20-minute conversation our founder discussed a range of issues related to automation and workforce challenges.
RIP to SpaceX’s Mk1 Starship prototype. The launch vehicle exploded in dramatic fashion on the test stand in South Texas, which, as the company states, “was not completely unexpected.” The incident occurred as the next-generation reusable rocket was being fueled with liquid oxygen for a pressure test. SpaceX says there were no injuries nor does the event pose a serious setback in the company’s ambition to develop a reusable launch system designed to deliver people and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, and Mars.
Elon Musk finally unveiled Tesla’s much ballyhooed truck Thursday night, and everything did not go as planned. Cybertruck, as the electric pickup is called, is made of cold-rolled steel, looks like something straight out of Mad Men: Fury Road, is faster than a Porsche 911, can out tow a Ford F150, and starts at a mere $39,900. However, its shatterproof windows weren’t as shatterproof as Elon was led to believe. The CEO invited Tesla’s lead designer to demonstrate the strength of its “Armor Glass” by throwing solid metal balls at the windows, which immediately spider-cracked on impact.
There’s up to $16 trillion dollars worth of nickel, cobalt, and rare Earth elements used to make batteries, electric cars, and cellphones just lying at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean waiting to be had. The discovery has sparked a modern-day gold rush of sorts as 19 countries including China, Russia, France, Germany, and even Cuba all have licenses to mine the rocks, called nodules, containing the valuable metals. But the United States appears all too happy to sit out the race for an ungodly amount of wealth since it would mean having to ratify the UN Law of the Sea, which is straight up anathema to 22 Republican senators who oppose ceding one iota of control to the United Nations.
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A bi-weekly roundup of the latest happenings in industrial tech, hiring and the future of work.