The Best U.S. States for Storm Chasers

Title image of the best U.S. States for Storm Chasers.

If “fear” is not in your vocabulary and “danger” is your middle name, storm chasing may be right up your alley. For individuals who are fearless enough to add “Storm Chaser” to their resume, MRO Electric determined the best states to keep a pulse on hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms in the country. 

In this study, we ranked the top 50 states across the country to chase cyclones based on several factors, including the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes within the past 5 years, average nightly price of temporary accommodations, average travel expenses, and more. Read on to find out if you’re in a hotspot for hurricanes or if you’ll have to venture a little further out to enter the eye of the storm.

Taking the Nation by Storm: The 10 Most Turbulent States

Map depicting the top 10 U.S. states for storm chasing.

Storm chasers looking for a chance to be in the middle of the action should plan a trip to the southern and southeastern regions of the U.S. Our friends down south made up 8 of the top 10 states, making it the place to be for storm chasers all over the nation.

Florida is undoubtedly the place to be for any aspiring storm chaser. The Sunshine State comes in first on our list with a storm chaser score of 80.23. Florida reports more days of tropical storms than any other state in the country and frequently faces other natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes. Average airfare to Florida is also cheaper than any other U.S. state, making it accessible to storm chasers who plan on trekking from parts unknown to catch a glimpse of the carnage.

If you feel tempted to chase after terrible tornadoes, your best bet might be to travel to Illinois or Kansas. These two states are the only states in our top 10 not located in the southern or southeast part of the country. Interestingly, they are also the only states in our shortlist to have reported impacts by only one of the storm types. Their impact from tornadoes being so exceptionally high was enough to put the pair in the top 10.

The Danger Zone: States That Get Hit the Most

Map depicting the U.S. states that get hit the most by storms.

Texas had the highest number of storms at nearly 200 impacts in the past five years alone. When it comes to the sheer number of natural disasters, no one else comes close to touching the Lonestar State. In five years, Texans have had to grapple with 158 days of tornadoes, 7 days of hurricanes, and 12 days of tropical storms. If you’re a veteran storm chaser looking for a challenge, remember everything’s bigger in Texas.

Even though Illinois doesn’t even receive a gold, silver, or bronze medal for states most frequently hit by storms, it definitely deserves an honorable mention. With only reporting impacts from one of the three storm types, it is the 4th state overall to get banged up regularly by storms. In just five years, it has reported nearly 20 tornadoes on average a year.

Though Texas was the state to experience storms the most frequently beyond any doubt, Georgia takes a surprising second for most areas hit by storms. Geographically, Georgia shares borders with four states on our top 10 states with the most areas hit by storms list. Residents in Georgia have to deal with disasters coming from every direction since Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina are more than happy to share some of the action with them.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re no stranger to danger and love the thrill of hunting down disaster, storm chasing might be the perfect hobby for you. Storm chasers who are up for a challenge and a little traveling should head down south if they really want to test their mettle against some of the country’s most terrifying storms and natural disasters. Just remember to keep safety and the cost of accommodation in mind.

Storms pop up in various regions and cause disruptions to our natural way of living. Storm chasers are crucial in tracking the patterns and reporting the conditions of these storms. More often than not, one common occurrence with these harsh weather conditions is power outages across hundreds of neighborhoods. That’s why MRO Electric is committed to ensuring people across the country have access to trustworthy electric and power systems they can depend on during an emergency.

Full Data

That wraps up our state ranking for The Best States for Storm Chasers. Interested in diving deeper into the numbers for all of the states, or wanting to see how your state stacks up if it’s not listed within the above map? 

We’ve compiled our full data study for all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia analyzed into the interactive data table below. Search for the state you call home or click on the heading of each column to sort by that category!


To find out the best states for storm chasers, we began with a list of all 50 of the U.S. states and the District of Columbia. We collected data on 10 factors that pertain to or impact storm chasers. We assigned states with a score of 0-5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions. We determined each state’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their impact on storm chasers. Individual factor scores were then added together to give each state a final score from 0-100. Higher scores indicated states that are better for storm chasers. Details on our ranking factors can be found below.

Ranking FactorWeightSource
Number of Days with Hurricanes Reported (in last 5 yrs)1.75NCEI
Number of Days with Tornadoes Reported (in last 5 yrs)2.75NCEI
Number of Days with Tropical Storms Reported (in last 5 yrs)2.75NCEI
Number of County/Zone Areas Affected by Hurricanes1.75NCEI
Number of County/Zone Areas Affected by Tornadoes2.75NCEI
Number of County/Zone Areas Affected by Tropical Storms2.75NCEI
Average Price of Airbnb/Hotels1.50Airbnb
Average Gas Costs by State1.50AAA
Average Airfare Into a State1.00BTS
Average Car Rental Fees1.50Kayak

Covid’s Effect on Automation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industrial automation industry, with both positive and negative effects.

The Positive

On the positive side, the demand for automation has increased as companies look for ways to reduce the number of workers on the factory floor and minimize the risk of virus transmission. Automation can help to maintain social distancing guidelines and reduce the need for close contact between workers. In addition, many companies have turned to automation to increase the efficiency and speed of their operations in the face of supply chain disruptions and other challenges caused by the pandemic. According to a report by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), “the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred increased interest in automation as a means to reduce the risk of infection, improve efficiency, and maintain or increase production levels in the face of supply chain disruptions and other challenges.”

The Negative

On the negative side, the pandemic has disrupted the supply chain for automation equipment and components, leading to delays and shortages. Many manufacturers and suppliers have had to deal with disruptions to their operations due to lockdowns and other measures taken to control the spread of the virus. This has made it more difficult for companies to obtain the equipment and components they need to automate their operations. According to the A3 report, “the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain for automation equipment and components, leading to delays and shortages.”

The pandemic has also had a negative impact on the financial performance of many companies in the industrial automation industry. Many businesses have had to deal with reduced demand and lower revenues due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. This has led to a decrease in investment in automation and a slowdown in the growth of the industry. According to a report by the International Association of Automation (IAA), “the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the financial performance of many companies in the industrial automation industry, leading to a decrease in investment in automation and a slowdown in the growth of the industry.”


Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a mixed impact on the industrial automation industry. While the demand for automation has increased in some sectors, the disruptions caused by the pandemic have led to delays and shortages in the supply chain and have had a negative impact on the financial performance of many companies in the industry.

What is a DCS?

A DCS, or “Distributed Control System”, is an automated control system that streamlines the functionalities of the different devices used throughout a workspace. DCS utilizes a wide range of controllers to permit all the parts to converse with one another just as PCs do. These controllers are distributed geographically across a plant to allow for high-speed communication to the control process. When utilizing various kinds of modules, the framework may require diverse correspondence norms, for example, Modbus and Profibus.

What is a Distributed Control System
Distributed Control System Layout
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A Decade of Horror: The 1980s

Death to Disco

In our last article, we explored the 1970s and highlighted how films of that era pushed the envelope of horror.  By the end of the 70s, as the Vietnam War came to an end, another war sprung up at home.  This war found its way into the living rooms of Americans across the country. By the 1980s it would significantly affect the film industry as a whole.  As a result, the horror industry would also feel the effects of this as well.

The 1980s was a unique time marked by being a cultural starting point for a lot of things that remain culturally relevant today.  The 80s introduced us to Hip-Hop, portable music devices, and mobile phones.  This decade birthed some of the most iconic movies that remain in our collective psyche today.  This especially is true when regarding horror.  Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface are a few examples of timeless horror characters that emerged from this period.

The Betamax

Released by Sony in 1975, the Betamax was the first commercially available cassette tape. It allowed families to be able to record their favorite programs off their televisions for a later time. By plugging their television into a special device known as a VCR, a family could insert the cassette into the VCR’s slot and then hit record on whatever program they wanted.  Not only that but the format of Beta as well as the VCR allowed for features like “fast forwarding” if there were parts that someone wanted to skip. As well as “rewind” in the event, a scene needed rewatching.  The Betamax system exploded all over the market and was a big hit among consumers.  However, this would be a very short-lived success.

Enter the 80’s

A comparison of the Betamax to the VHS.

The Format Wars

Two years after the release of Betamax, JVC released its own cassette player with its own format known as VHS and the video format wars began!  Despite the Betamax’s higher quality resolution (with some versions of it on par with DVD quality).  Sony completely failed to read what consumers wanted.  While the Betamax was indeed the superior format, it was its $2200 price tag (compared to the VHS’s $1000) that really did it in. Not only that, but a Betamax cassette was able to hold up to one hour of recording. This contrasted with the VHS which could hold up to 4 hours.  The average consumer valued getting more for less. Additionally, outside of professional industries, nobody really cared about resolution. By 1986, the format wars had officially ended with VHS being victorious.

Video Kills the Industry

The advent of home video technology and the format wars exploded an entire industry. By the 80s the “direct to video” market had completely taken off.  The VCR gave smaller studios access to millions of homes across the country. They no longer had to market their ideas to big-wig Hollywood execs in order to catch their break. .  Traditionally, movie studios really considered the sensibilities of the audience.  While there were horror films that played on the big screen, getting an entire movie to the silver screen was quite an undertaking. It was an expensive process that forced executives to really think about the sensitivities of a broader audience.  During the 1970s a lot of the more extreme films were played in private theaters often referred to as “grindhouses”.  However, with the VCR, studios could simply film what they want, produce a few thousand copies, and release them. Under this business model, horror absolutely thrived. 

The Rise of Horror Film Studios

The lessening of constraints brought on by the need for a wide enough audience created the opportunity for niche studios to start up.  While larger companies like Dimension and Warner Bros were leaning into horror movies. Studios like Full Moon and Troma dedicated themselves to producing movies designed to shock and horrify the audience.  These films leaned heavily into blending terrifying visuals with unnerving sound effects, and absurd plots.

Notable Films of the Era

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Italian director, Rugero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust has gone down in history as one of the most controversial films in the horror genre.  No horror list would be complete without it.  In the movie, an anthropologist goes into the rainforest to rescue a disappeared film crew.  However, what he recovers is the final footage they filmed and its contents are absolutely gruesome.
Cannibal Holocaust is probably one of the earliest examples of the “found footage” format of filmography that would go on to inspire other horror films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. This style was so new and unknown at the time that after the film was released, Deodato was arrested and charged with murder.  It wasn’t until after he was able to prove that the entire cast was indeed alive that they were dropped.

The biggest and most problematic controversy of the film was the lengths that the director went through to push the boundaries of horror.  While no cast member was harmed during filming. It portrayed multiple scenes of animal cruelty that were later discovered to be absolutely real.  This garnered not only major criticism from animal rights groups but also the disdain of governments as well.  This unethical choice ultimately caused the film to be banned from 50 countries including the United States. 

Shock value aside, Cannibal Holocaust, has been lauded as a critique of colonialism and the western world encroaching on indigenous lands.  It flipped the script on western ideas of savagery, raising questions about the perception of western societies regarding our own civility.

Videodrome (1983)

David Cronenberg’s, Videodrome, is considered a masterpiece in not just horror but cinemas as well. The film’s message of warning against mass media and being too obsessed with media technology is one that is still relevant today.  It uses extreme portrayals of violence and horrific imagery to convey the question: “What is acceptable in society in regard to our entertainment and human suffering?”  

The Satanic Panic

During the 1980s, a moral panic that would become known as the Satanic Panic, spread across the US causing senseless alarm and confusion.  Mass misconception that Satanic cults performed ritual sacrifices on children, perforated the American psyche through media outlets of all kinds.  The news outlets were covering hysterical allegations of child abuse and sacrifices throughout the nation. The book, Michelle Remembers, hits shelves exacerbating the already growing wildfire of hysteria gripping the country.  Against the backdrop of all this, horror films continued to purvey supernatural and satanic themes that would continue to shock and scare audiences nationwide.  While not directly contributing to the spread of misinformation, this genre did capitalize off this fear and in the same step sewed more lingering fears throughout society.

Poltergeist (1982)

The supernatural horror, Poltergeist, features an evil spirit or entity latching onto a child to haunt an entire family.  Along with the idea of otherworldly beings coming to abduct children, Poltergeist also played into another trope that was often got included in many horror movies of the era.  The trope of the “mystic Native American” or “cursed Native American” was often used by scriptwriters to explain an evil supernatural force.  This would be problematic by today’s standards, but for the time it was a plot device that played into the fears of Christians in the US.  The idea is that there’s another culture that’s the catalyst for supernatural happenings.

Pumpkinhead (1988)

S829547_24, 4/27/06, 9:02 PM, 8C, 4828×8752 (1432+83), 112%, Default Settin, 1/40 s, R69.0, G63.0, B77.9

While at its surface, Pumpkinhead, is your run-of-the-mill monster movie. It not only plays into the fear of “our children are in danger” and of the supernatural that was circulating in the US. It also reconnects with another fear that horror movies often reflect. This fear comes from the unfamiliarity with rural America. Far off on the fringes of society, these locations often are depicted with strong ties to spiritualism and folklore. The titular character is a creature summoned by magic from deep within Appalachia, which is a location that does have a rich history of local mythology. Like this film which portrays the use of revenge, rural magic in films often is depicted to be a malevolent force that the protagonists must overcome.

A Decade of Horror: The 1970’s

Horror Through the Lense of the 1970s

Over the years Halloween has evolved into more than just a single night where costumes, candy, and mischief all converge. October has become synonymous with the holiday. While it is one night a year, we’ve come to treat it with the same build-up as Christmas. That is; an entire month of deciding decorations, costumes, and get-togethers.  For the family, it means trick-or-treating for the kids and figuring out what designs to carve into pumpkins. Our repressed fascination with the spooky, the creepy, the macabre all comes out in one month of morbid indulgence.

So naturally the same goes for our choice of movies.  Horror is not a genre specifically for the ghoulish holiday. People get in the mood for the genre the same way fall puts them in the mood for pumpkin spice.  Of course, there are definitive “Halloween” movies that appeal to a wide audience.  The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Frankenweenie are syonymous with Halloween. These also are films that the family can enjoy. As well as those that are light in the horror department.

For those who aren’t as squeamish and are seeking to dive deeper into the genre. Film franchises like Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, and the namesake, Halloween are movies that tend to attract an older and bolder crowd. 

These are all great movies during Halloween, but there are great hidden gems that viewers will often overlook. In commemorating the season, I will be highlighting a few amazing but often overlooked gems throughout the decades.  This series will explore a few cultural shifts within each decade through horror films.

The 1970s — Satanic Panic at the Disco!

The 70s emphasized pushing the envelope on what could be shown to an audience. It introduced the exploitation genre. This often portrayed depictions of gratuitous violence and sex.  Naturally, the overlap of horror would not be farfetched.  Here are a few notable movies from the 70s that aren’t as well-known but still worth watching.

The Omen (1976)

Films like The Exorcist would take the world by storm sewing the seeds for the future, ‘Satanic Panic’. However,  while The Exorcist, played into the fears of the human experience with demonic forces on an individual level, The Omen, explores the larger anxiety of “The End Times”.  What if (similar to Jesus) Satan was born into the flesh and lived as a child among us?  An anti-Christ destined to bring about the end of times.

House (1977)

While the horror genre in the US continued to push the boundaries of what a western audience could stomach watching. Back east in Japan, was also experimenting and pushing the envelope of what horror could become.  Nobahiku Obayashi’s, House, utilized diverse special effects that would still be considered terrifying and disturbing even by today’s standards.  Not only that, but House has inspired many modern Japanese horrors and well into Western horrors as well.

The Horror Genre Takes on Feminism

One thing that the horror genre tends to do is act as a reflection on larger societal fears and anxieties. The 1970s was a very crucial decade for the feminist movement. It emphasized the of end domestic violence against women, sexual harassment in the workplace, and the womens’ role at home. One of the biggest tropes in horror is of the terrified and helpless woman running and screaming for her life. 

While there were plenty of films during this era that continued to portray women as scared and fragile.  There was beginning to be a social pushback against strong women protagonists. Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film, Alien, with the main protagonist, Eleanor Ripley, is an example of this.  Played by Sigourney Weaver, Ripley has to survive insurmountable horrors while in space.  Alien’s success prompted more sequels, with the character Ripley being more fleshed out and explored each time.

Ripley (Weaver) encountering a xenomorph

The Stepford Wives (1972)

The feminist movement of the 1970s pushed the boundaries of a woman’s place in society. Traditionally seen as domesticated and reliant on men, women across the country began to push back against these attitudes and demand more autonomy.  The Stepford Wives,  is a film that portrayed the frustrations and fears of women in modern society.  The protagonist is an independent woman who moves into a place where women take on a submissive role to their husbands.  The film makes a point to highlight the struggles that women go through.

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

Unlike Stepford Wives, which addresses the issues women face on a subversive level. I Spit on Your Grave,  is unabashedly direct and violent and doesn’t shy away from the physical violence against women. The movie is visceral in showing the protagonists in uncomfortable situations that many women can relate to.

The Baby (1973)

Unlike Stepford Wives and I Spit on you Grave, The Baby features not only a female protagonist, but also casting women as the antagonists. What really stands out about this film (besides its really bizarre premise), is how the men in the movie are more just passive characters. The only male protagonist is literally infantilized and is more there as part of the plot. While it has some darkly funny moments. Psychologically, The Baby, does not shy away from being unsettling leaving the viewer horrifically curious as the movie progresses.

Concluding the 70s

The 70s saw a lot of cultural change and in the social psyche change often invokes fear and uncertainty. It’s this fear and uncertainty that inspired some really great horror films from that era. Not only that but it was the starting point for some of the most iconic horror directors. George Romero, John Carpenter, Wes Craven had all their careers take off around that time.

How Old is “Too Old”?

Upgrading Vs Swapping

When it comes to the world of automation controllers, it is important that a system perform as long as it possibly can. After all, what good is buying a new machine when a company has to shell out millions every few years for a full replacement? That being said, like all things, these systems have their own expiration date. Of course, that expiration time is not an exact number and very much depends heavily on multiple factors. Depending on the facility, management, operator, etc., an entire setup can potentially last up to 30 years if well maintained. In fact, while we are in the year 2022, there are numerous companies today that are still using equipment from the 1980’s with some going back further than that!

“When Should I Upgrade?”

Upgrading your system is a large undertaking for any company. Not only is the cost to upgrade something to really consider. Businesses also have to account for operations, deadlines, and return on investment (ROI). When thinking about upgrading your equipment, some important factors to think about include:

Production Challenges
If you are seeing a higher volume in sales and your current setup cannot meet the rise in demand, then it may be time to consider upgrading. Newer machines can output product at a faster rate.

Labor is often one of the largests costs when it comes to business operations. Not only are we talking about the base wage of an employee, but also the cost of training. Some fields of work have high turnover rates which makes having to hire and train new employees a constant and expensive venture. Some uprgrades are available that now automate certain tasks once perfomed by employees.

While the upfront cost might end up being quite a steep price to pay. In the long term, upgrading your equipment can give a business the competitive edge it needs to produce products faster, higher quality, and more efficiently thus saving money on the back end.

As a company expands, the prospects of upgrading and automating certain aspects of the production is can not only help saving money in any long-term costs that comes with expansion, but also maintain quality control as the company grows.

The production of waste is not only an issue that comes with potential environmental and legal rammifications, but also with economical ones as well. The accountability of letting environmental waste go unchecked has long-lasting and very expensive repurcussions. Upgrading to newer equipment can also mean a reduction in waste production as well.

Better Precision
Newer equipment also tends to be more precise with higher accuracy in manufacturing which aids in the produciton of more complex components.

“What if Upgrading Isn’t Worth It?”

As previously mentioned, the greatest obstacle when it comes to upgrading is the upfront costs. Usually companies with enough capital can make these upgrades. Some companies with more limited capital may make incremental upgrades. However, there are plenty of businesses out there that simply do not have the sort of capital needed to commit to upgrading their equipment. This is especially challenging when a company’s equipment suddenly breaks down and needs replacing. The dire need for operations to continue means small turn around times (if any) for machines to be shut down. While this is happening, a company can lose huge sums of money from not having product to sell. Therefore many companies want whatever the quickest turn around time possible to get production back up.

One alternative solution for companies with smaller budgets is to just buy refurbished and certified pre-owned equipment from vendors. The advantage of this being that most components are able to be hot swapped. This allows you to just purchase and replace the broken part and not have invest in completely new machinery. Another advantage of this is that a company can save a lot of time and money by not having their technician needing to learn an entirely new system. Especially when going from a setup that was installed 30 years ago to the newest one.

The End Cost

It is important to take note that when replacing with pre-owned/used parts, these are in fact; used. It is good to make sure a refurbished vendor tests the product before selling it. Some vendors offer, warranties and have return policies in place. That being said, you’re still working with old equipment. The lifespan of used or refurbished items will not have the same longevity as new parts. This means the cost you were hoping to save by a simple part replacement may again end up costing you more down the road.

Ultimately, it is up to the owner to weigh the pros and cons. Afterwards they have to think about long vs short term solutions and if the cost is worth it.

NHL Teams that Travel the Most

There’s nothing more thrilling than attending a sporting event to watch your favorite team take on a tough opponent. Home games are a blast, but traveling to a new city to watch your team can be an equally exhilarating experience. For fans, traveling for one game can be a whirlwind to plan, but athletes are traveling multiple times a week – especially hockey players. 

NHL players have many games a week, and several teams are based outside of the U.S., meaning they spend a lot of time on the road during the season. There’s a lot that goes into getting your favorite players on the ice on time. On average, your favorite NHL team travels nearly 50,000 miles per season!  

For this study, MRO Electric’s resident hockey fanatics analyzed how many miles each team is slated to travel based on the upcoming season.


To gear up for hockey season (and for this study), we reviewed each team’s schedule on ESPN to see where everyone will skate off to. Next, we used Google Maps to calculate the mileage between each hockey game of the 2022-2023 season for every team in the league. This study assumes that each NHL team is driving to and from each game and doesn’t need to travel elsewhere for personal reasons. We measured the travel time back to home ice, meaning that if a team spent multiple games on the road, we calculated the distance between each venue on the road and then the trip home. Finally, we found which teams travel the most and which individual games require the most miles to get from point A to point B.

Top 10 NHL Teams Traveling the Most Miles in 2022-2023 Season

If your favorite hockey team is a part of the pacific division, chances are your star players are traveling far and wide to push the puck. Pacific division NHL teams account for seven of our top 10 most traveled teams. The majority of teams in this division have at least a handful of games that require trekking over 2,000 miles and several more that clock in at just over 1,000 miles. Not only that, but the league’s average distance for an away game overall is just over 19,000 miles. Talk about going the distance!

The most well-traveled team in the league is Edmonton’s own Oilers. The Oilers claim the unofficial title of the NHL’s top road warriors, traveling over 5,000 more miles than any other hockey team in any division. The Edmonton Oilers have nine games that require them to travel 2,000 miles or more to get to. Oiler fans in the Sunshine State who support them on November 12th will have traveled nearly 3,000 miles to get there.

Another Pacific dream team to go the distance is the Anaheim Ducks. On October 18th, Anaheim’s beloved Ducks travel over 2,000 miles to face off against the New York Islanders. New York is a fighting city and the Anaheim Ducks are a tough bunch to tussle with. Fun fact: these mighty mallards came in second place last season for most fights on the ice. Can you blame them though? Any hockey team that is jet-lagged is bound to be a little crabby.

Many of the league’s east coast teams have the luxury of being some of the least-traveled hockey teams, but one unlucky franchise has to hit the road more than the others. The only team in the NHL’s metro division to make our top 10 list was the Carolina Hurricanes. Caniacs (that’s Carolina-speak for huge Hurricanes fans) have to travel nearly 2,800 miles from Raleigh to San Jose to support the Cardiac Canes at their most distant away game of the season.

Hitting the Road: Games with the Highest Mileage

Teams on the road travel great distances to compete against each other on enemy territory. Many teams in the league will have a few consecutive games away from having home-ice advantage. Not only is it tough to be away from home for extended periods of time, but it’s even worse when you’re getting booed for being on the wrong team. 

If you ever question your favorite team’s commitment to the game, consider that the distance the NHL would travel as a whole this season would take you around the globe 63 times and from LA to NY 569 times! Truthfully, NHL teams go through many hoops to play their hearts out game after game. For fans wondering how far their teams will go to put on a good show, here’s a closer look at some games that require the most travel from rink to rink.

We’re certain that the New York Rangers will not be feeling the love during Valentine’s day week this hockey season. The Rangers have to travel just over 3,000 miles after rallying against Raleigh’s Carolina Hurricanes to face off with the Vancouver Canucks on February 15th. That’s a lot of pressure– winning against the Canucks could mean breaking a few fans’ hearts in Vancouver. Oh well, all is fair in love and hockey.

The most gas-guzzling NHL game of the regular season takes place in the Emerald State, where the Boston Bruins will take on the Seattle Kraken. The Bruins will have to travel a total of 3,006 miles to take a shot at Seattle. The only two hockey games on our list of games with the highest mileage not involving our friends in the Great White North both feature Boston in some way. In December, the Los Angeles Kings will journey 2,985 miles to square off with the Bruins in Bean Town.

Closing Thoughts

Whether your favorite hockey team has the home-ice advantage or not, cheering them on against a fierce competitor can be an emotional whirlwind. The truth is, your commitment to your favorite team means a lot to them– especially when they’re in enemy territory. NHL hockey players travel between cities and sometimes countries multiple times a week to make it to the game. There are many moving parts that go into making sure your favorite players safely get from venue to venue, so consider that next time you cheer them on against a tough rival team!

In the same way, your favorite NHL team has a lot of moving parts and players, your business needs a solid system and plan to make it all happen. As a premier factory automation wholesale distributor, MRO Electric can help your business by working with the best manufacturers to get you the best parts to get the job done.

“They Terk Urr Jurrbs!”: Automation Changing Employment

For those who are not familiar with meme culture or are avid viewers of the long-running Comedy Central show, “South Park”, the title of this article is a call-back to an episode in which the residents of the titular town express outrage in losing their jobs to immigrants–from the future year of 3045–who travels to the present to find employment. These “time immigrants” are willing to work for lower wages than their present-time counterparts. They then send money back to their families–in the future. As absurd as this plot sounds, the story’s overarching theme reflects timeless anxiety that resides in the American psyche: job security. Anxiety that bleeds well into today’s world of automation.

US History with Job Loss Anxiety

Job loss and labor replacement are not anything new to Americans. Since this country’s inception, companies have been looking for ways to increase profit for the lowest cost possible. As any entrepreneur can testify, one of the biggest costs for business operations is labor. If the past reveals anything about our history with labor, it will show that it has been….tedious….at best. Since the abolishment of slavery, affordable labor has always been an objective for many business ventures. Often this manifested itself by companies hiring various immigrant groups and having them work for low wages, then firing them in favor of another immigrant group willing to work for less.

Of course as one would imagine this created great anxiety among an already struggling socioeconomic group, which led to numerous conflicts between different immigrant groups over labor issues. One example of such is the treatment of Chinese immigrants during the 1800s. Not only did these migrant workers deal with laws that targeted Chinese people such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Often Irish workers, frustrated with being replaced, would lash out and attack these migrants from China.

This also doesn’t consider that this was also taking place while the US was going through its Industrial Revolution and the mass migration of people leaving farms and moving to urban areas only to have to compete for jobs amongst each other. These events all happening simultaneously, stand to highlight the underlying fear of job insecurity and foreshadowed what was to come.

An Early Era Warning of Automation

During the 1930s, British economist, John Maynard Keynes, predicted rapid technological progress within 90 years. Industrialized countries were openly embracing technology as a way of job growth for many. Keynes, however, warned of what he referred to as “technological unemployment”. Rather than the optimistic outlook that technology would expand job growth, it would instead shrink the number of available jobs for employees. Keynes went as far as to refer to technological unemployment as a “disease” that would be afflicting the world. Now almost a century later, Keynes’s predictions appear eerily true.

Automation and the 1950s

Despite the ideal iconography that the 1950s invokes for a number of people, the decade had its own brand of challenges. The mid-50s found itself in what would be described as the worst “economic slump since the Great Depression”. Companies like Caterpillar and General Motors were laying off employees by the thousands as they made deeper investments in automation. In a 1958 article, The Nation described America’s transition towards automation as: “stumbling blindly into the automation era with no concept or plan to reconcile the need of workers for income and the need of business for cost-cutting and worker-displacing innovations.”

The AI Age of Automation

The 1980s saw another leap in the world of automation with the introduction of AI technology. The developments in artificial intelligence meant that machines now could work autonomously to an extent without the need for a human controller. This changed the game across multiple industries because now this meant that (at least in certain aspects) where an operator would need to stop, the machine would not have to. This also changed the game in regard to the tradition of employment equilibrium. In the early days changing the workforce simply meant trading out one group of employees for another. Also, in previous decades, despite machines becoming more prominent and replacing the jobs of employees in labor. By in large they still required human operators to make them function. Essentially, while they replaced jobs held by humans, they in turn created jobs to be filled by people as well.

Artificial Intelligence removed the need for humans to be manually manipulating the process, to an extent becoming its own operator. Also, despite these new AI machines still requiring an operator, the expertise of an operator needed became much higher. AI specialization meant a narrowing in jobs available to lesser-skilled employees.

Automation’s Full Throttling During the Pandemic

For the majority of people around the world, the Covid 19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event unlike any other. In less than a month, millions of people lost their jobs, and businesses across various industries were forced to shut down. With unemployment at its highest since the Great Depression, remaining businesses had to find ways to adapt their daily operations to this new global situation. Companies started looking toward automation as a way to fill the employment gap. Restaurants replaced their cashiers with self-service kiosks. With the mandates of social distancing, grocery stores leaned into curbside-service apps, with some even using robots to run items out to customers. This switch to automation goes beyond the scope of the service industry. Hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare have all switched to implementing automation in positions that were once held by human employees.

While it is easy to presume that the pandemic is the leading cause of this wave of unemployment, one New York Times article writes that upwards of 300 global companies had already projected to replace their staff with automation up to 43 percent. This means that this shift towards automating labor was expected to happen, but the pandemic just expedited the process.

An AI algorithm automates taking drive thru orders.

Automation vs The Human Condition

While it may seem that automation is on the verge of outmoding all the jobs held by people, the element of the human experience is our biggest pushback against this future. People want to be able to walk into their local coffee shop and converse with their baristas. How many of us try to impatiently dial through an automated call just to speak to a customer representative? Despite statistics showing that automated vehicles have a lower rate of driver error than people, federal and state laws are being written to restrict automated driving. This is because while yes, machines make more calculative driving decisions. The ability of these machines to adapt and make human-valued decisions are practically non-existent. Not to mention the question of liability should something occur.

The 2003 film, IRobot, portrays a((n)albeit extreme) version of this dilemma. Will Smith’s character, Del, gets into a life-threatening car accident that also involves a 12-yr-old girl. The robot on the scene makes a calculated decision to save Del instead of the child concluding that Del’s chance of survivability was higher. In short, the machine isn’t capable of complying with our human values. Hopefully, it is our value of the human experience that will continue to stem back the push toward automation, and in turn, help alleviate much of the job anxieties that many have.

Diversity in the Engineering Field

Opening Summary

The last decade has seen a huge shift in the way diversity plays a role in companies, with the lessons of diversity and inclusion being taught at more company meetings, and more team-wide open discussions. Often the question of: “Why should there even be conversations about diversity in the workplace?”, comes up in professional spaces. It is easy to dismiss the concepts of diversity and inclusion as simple ‘virtue signaling’ and there are numerous companies performing “diversity theatre”. However, when you get past the superficial and performative layers, there are valid points to make in regards to workplace diversity. The topic of diversity is very controversial, ironically invoking a rather diverse range of emotions and thoughts. The concept of diversity in itself is more complex than just “Oh hey, this person looks different from me so I need to work with them”.

This article will attempt to cover various issues among three demographics. While the issues being written are NOT the only obstacles facing these groups, they are the most common ones.

LGBTQ in the WorkPlace

For decades members on the LGBTQ community have experienced many obstacles in the workplace in regards to discrimination. While this form of discrimination is found across multiple industries, engineering fields such as automotive are historically known to promote that form of discrimination. This has speculated to be due to in part there being a “car guy” culture within the work environment. In an article written by Jeremy Alicandri for Forbes, Alicandri notes that a Ford Foundation-backed study found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ employees experienced discrimination or bullying in the workplace. Another study by Out Leadership, found that 47 percent LGBTQ employees experienced micro aggressions that resulted in 70 percent deciding to cover up or mask their LGBTQ characteristics.

So the question remains: Why is it important to change the work place culture?

The same Forbes article addresses the issue through a pragmatic lense. That is simply that by not including and changing the culture for LGBTQ members, a company is inevitably going to lose money. This comes in the form of both employees and consumers.

From an employment perspective, the loss of valuable talent due to discrimination in the workplace is a huge oversight for a company to make. Potentially a company could lose out on something innovative that would have yielded sizable profits all because they allowed for discrimination to happen in the work place. One example of this is of Dr. Lynn Conway, professor ameritas at Michigan State University. Conway began employment at IBM in 1964, but was fired in 1968 after it was discovered that she was transgendered. Dr. Conway speculates that it was out of fear of the company’s public image if it were discovered that they had a transgendered employee. She was hired by several other organizations (Xerox, MIT, and even the Dept of Defense) over the years and became the top scientists in her field, contributing to innovative technology that are still used in computers today.

Women in Engineering

In an online publication from the University of California, Riverside, the number of women currently working in the field of engineering is about 14 percent. This is a big leap from the 1980’s when the numbers were closer to 5.8 percent. While the number of female employees is on the rise in the field of engineering overall, there are still barriers and challenges that face women in the work place. One of the challenges that women still face are having enough role models in the work force that younger employees can look up to for guidance. Just as much as women are entering the engineering field, many women are leaving just as fast because companies are not flexible. Therefore it still leaves a huge disparity in the number of women in higher managment and leadership positions that more junior female employees can look up to when entering the engineering field.

Another issue is that while more companies are starting to implement policies and changes that can accomodate women in regards to allowing them to be able to balance their work with their family responsibilities, there are still a lot of companies that don’t have effective accomodations for things like maternity leave and needing to leave work for childrent-related issues.

Racial Diversity in Engineering

According a report by the Stem Education Journal (SEJ), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is currently the fastest growing occupational cluster in the US, with engineering being second only to the medical field. However, while a lot of companies are calling for racial diversity, at the same time positions in the STEM field continue to stagnate due to long employee retention by companies. While this is generally seen as a positive in regards to companies valuing their employees, at the same time it is presenting the issue of majority demographic within companies.

A 2019 report released by Georgetown University, found that despite making up a third of the population, the number of Black and LatinX people only made up about 14 percent of employees in the engineering field, while Asians made up 16 percent, and White employees making up 61 percent. Additionally, report goes on to cover the income disparity between racial groups with Black and LatinX employees making 15-18 percent above the average of a bachelor degree holder, while Asian and White employees make 61 – 71 percent more. Further research had also shown that in order to close the wage gap, Black and LatinX employees generally have to gain a graduate degree to make close to what Asian/White employees would make with undergraduate degrees.

One contributing factor begins in high schools where Black and LatinX students attend schools that do not have access to classes that would ideally set them on right career path towards engineering. One example the study shows is that the subject of Calculus tends to be absent in many high schools that are predominantly Black and LatinX students. To address this inequity, some robotics programs like the one in University of Michigan, are changing the curriculum to push Calculus back to later years and starting Freshman off in more linear-based math such as Algebra, as it is something that is more commonly accessible in public high schools.


In his 2005 book, “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century”, economist and author, Thomas L. Friedman covers the economic “flattening of the world” or more simply, globalization. Friedman highlights the inevitibility of interconnectivity between countries and cultures, which the world has seen more of nearly two decades after his book’s release. This highlights the importance of diversity from a pragmatic lense.

An article from UNC Pembroke, highlights a study done by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the growth of a business from diversity. Research from the study showed that companies that had higher averages for innovation also had higher diversity averages as opposed to companies with lower diversity averages. Gender diverse groups tend to out perform more gender homogenous groups by 50 percent. The article also cites a study by McKinsey and Company, showing that companies that scored in the to 25 percent for racial/culture diversity also were 25 – 36 percent more likely to bring in larger financial returns.

Ultimately what these studies are pointing to is that for a company wanting to play the long game, adapting to cultural shifts as opposed to getting locked into culture battles, is better for business.

Micromaster 420

Siemens Micromaster 420 Faults and Alarms

Siemens Micromaster 420: Troubleshooting Faults and Alarms

A blog we posted earlier this week about the Micromaster 420 troubleshooting referenced the Faults and Alarms list for the Micromaster series, so we decided that it would make sense to make the list of Micromaster 420 Faults and Alarms directly available. This is from the corresponding manual for the Micromaster 420 series, but it is buried within the manual which most people most likely don’t even have. Hopefully, this helps with your troubleshooting of Siemens drive fault codes and alarms.

Be sure to also check out our list of Siemens Micromaster 440 fault codes and our article touching on Siemens Simodrive E/R Module Fault Troubleshooting, along with other Siemens series coverage.

If you’re looking to purchase a Siemens Micromaster drive, view our 420 Micromaster Drives in stock. For more information or to request a quote, please call 800-691-8511 or email We also provide pre-priced Micromaster 420 Repairs.

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