Boeing hopes to meet Dreamliner target with bionic workers
In a race to meet demand for widebody planes, Boeing and Airbus are looking for inventive new ways to innovate their production processes. The world’s largest planemaker Boeing is merging robotic capabilities with human capabilities to help it reach its monthly production target of 14 787 Dreamliners. It currently rolls out one 787 Dreamliner every 1.75 days but it would have to increase the pace to every 1.5 days to meet its challenging target.
Boeing is using high-tech exoskeletons to enhance the performance of its mechanics, increasing their speed and strength. These high-tech suits also help to reduce fatigue during repetitive tasks, such as overhead drilling. According to Boeing, so far the results of exoskeleton trials in South Carolina have been positive, as the mechanics have been able to complete work tasks much quicker. If all goes to plan and tests continue to show increased productivity and safety, the company hopes to deploy the technology to thousands of its workers over the next couple of years.
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Hapag-Lloyd first to convert large container ship to LNG
Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it will be converting its 15,000 TEU vessel “Sajir” to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). This announcement is significant as Hapag-Lloyd will be the “first shipping company in the world to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion.” The ship’s fuel system will be retrofitted into a dual-fuel engine, which supports LNG and also low-sulfur fuel as a backup.
Most shippers are currently following the low-sulfur fuel route as it is the cheapest and easiest low emission solution in the short-term. However, its long-term use could prove to be more costly. The shipper therefore perceives LNG to be a more valuable alternative. LNG has significant environmental benefits and could reduce carbon emissions by 15% to 20%. For a large vessel, an LNG conversion is estimated to cost between $25 million and $30 million. Hapag-Lloyd has, however, acknowledged that the current LNG global supply chain is unreliable due to insufficient infrastructure, hence why a dual-fuel feature is necessary.
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HRMC contingency plan: EU imports to be waved through ports without customs checks under no-deal Brexit
This Monday, HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC) announced that it plans to temporarily wave EU imports through UK ports without customs checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit. HRMC stated that it would introduce “simplified importing procedures” for an initial one-year period to reduce gridlock at UK ports.
The tax collection agency issued a letter to 145,000 VAT-registered companies, informing them that, under such circumstances, companies transporting goods into the UK would be able to postpone declarations until after the goods had crossed over the border. Additionally, companies would be able to delay duty payments until up to one month after goods are imported. This plan has been criticized for neglecting issues of security, and many analysts still believe that gridlock is inevitable on both sides of the channel. This is mainly because the French authorities will feel the need to inspect all incoming goods in order to protect the single market.
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Have a nice weekend.