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Engineering News

The Pympocalypse

Everything was going so well. We finally had a solution for embedding responsive charts inside our CMS. We called it pym.js. We had built a framework around it, the dailygraphics rig, and when that worked for us we shared it with the world. It even worked for member stations. Then there came unexpected implication was something was very wrong. It first manifested in a ticket numbered 97. We took it as nothing important at first. But soon that number was…

Jurassic Hack at Yammer – We Are Yammer – Medium

Our Hack Days are a great tradition at Yammer, giving everyone who works here a chance to work on anything they want, in exactly the way they want, in the pursuit of fun, learning, camaraderie, and an ever better product. Our 13th Hack Day, back in July, was no different. Follow the exciting journey of a group of new employees — among them engineers, analysts, and designers—as they experience their very first Hack Day, work on their hacks, and find out what…

2015 Pack Expo Las Vegas Recap

by Rich Lindgren, CPPChainalytics Recently Chainalytics’ packaging engineering team attended the PACK EXPO trade show in Las Vegas.  This year’s show featured more than 1,800 exhibitors and 30,000+ attendees. Our team of packaging consultants canvased the floor for the better part of three days to find all things new and cutting edge in packaging industry. While I’ve attend several Pack Expo shows in Chicago, this was actually my first year attending the packaging industry’s west coast version.  General impressions on Las Vegas vs.…

How Innovative Product Packaging Solutions Can Save Money

By Rob Kaszubowski, Packaging Engineering Manager Who knew you could actually damage a product while placing it into its protective packaging? But that’s the exact problem Chainalytics packaging engineers recently tackled for a construction materials client. The company’s heavy vinyl lined products were being scuffed and scratched when slid into their secondary packaging for shipment—creating significant costs from damage returns, warranty repairs, and service calls.  But abrasion during loading wasn’t the only problem: Products were often damaged during unloading from…

Perceptual Image Compression at Flickr

Archie Russell, Peter Norby, Saeideh Bakhshi At Flickr our users really care about image quality.  They also care a lot about how responsive our apps are.  Addressing both of these concerns simultaneously is challenging;  higher quality images have larger file sizes and are slower to transfer.   Slow transfers are especially noticeable on mobile devices.   Flickr had historically aimed for high quality at the expense of larger files, but in late 2014 we implemented a method to both maintain image quality…

Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging!

Packaging Matters: Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging! Pages Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging! I was recently reading an article on how to optimize your warehouse without increasing space.  It got me thinking that most people see a warehouse space as a constraint, having limited options.  The warehouse optimization options in this article I read were to broken down into 3 basic features;1) Inventory/sales information; know what you have (take inventory), know what you need…

4 Trusted Ways to Improve Your Packaging

Is your boss looking to cut costs? Or are you in charge of some packaging changes? You’ve probably touched more than 20 packaged items today without even knowing it. What you should notice is packaging optimization. Optimizing your packaging can drastically improve your business. If your business ships anything at all packaging optimization is worth looking into, and here is why: #1 Change Your Packaging Design Your package is the first thing your customer sees. It needs to be attractive…

Packaging Airline Passengers for Safety

I would like to start off with a shout out to 17-year-old Raymond Wang of Vancouver for winning the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the Gordon E. Moore Award plus $75,000.  Normally, I would just read the accomplishments of the youth science fair with passing interest, but this year, I fervently hope that Wang’s winning entry will be adopted and implemented soon. Wang won the top prize by redesigning the airflow of passenger aircraft…

Stickers or Lasers? The Change in Tracking Produce

Recently, I reread a story discussing a technology in which lasers are used to mark produce with the goal of eliminating those little labels on everything from apples to zucchini.  As with most disruptive technologies, there are often unforeseen hurdles; consumer acceptance, immature technology, integration into business processes, etc. The laser marking technology was getting a lot of press a few years ago and it was projected to replace the produce stickers; aka Price Look-Up code (PLU) labels.   The…

What’s New with Dimensional Weight?

by Rich Lindgren, CPPChainalytics We are about half way into 2015 and the new Dimensional Weight pricing model issued by UPS and FedEx earlier this year. Fortunately, many shippers and 3PLs have been able to avoid the price increases taking immediate effect thanks to negotiation or multi-year contracts that haven’t yet expired.  (If dimension weight charge is news to you, check back on this previous blog entry.) Rumblings and rumors from the packaging and supply chain industries suggest that the carriers are…