Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering

In what might be a sign that traditional industry is increasingly becoming digital, the developer of an industrial estate is making telecommunications and data processing a fundamental component of its offering. 

Traditionally, the priority for industrial estates have been to provide good road and other transport networks. Nowadays, data networks are sometimes even more important to companies of all types – including those in the manufacturing sector.

Bannon Investment Group, which is developing the 85-acre Elk Grove Technology Park near Chicago O’Hare Airport, says the estate will one of the largest of its kind in the US.  Continue reading Billion-dollar industrial estate to feature data centre infrastructure as part of its offering

Industrial internet technical standards groups form alliance

Two of the leading industrial internet technical standards groups have formed an alliance which is likely to accelerate the development of technologies in the sector.

The Industrial Internet Consortium and the Edge Computing Consortium have signed a partnership agreement – technically a memorandum of understanding – to advance the industrial Internet and edge computing.

Under the agreement, the consortia say they will work together to “maximize interoperability and portability for the industrial Internet”.  Continue reading Industrial internet technical standards groups form alliance

Opec and big oil eyeing electric cars with trepidation, says Bloomberg

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec, and big oil companies around the world are looking at the growing popularity of electric cars anew, and revising their forecasts, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The prospect of a massive trend that shows consumers turning away from petrol-driven vehicles would have huge implications for the oil industry.

Petrol-driven vehicles account for almost half of oil production demand, according to the US Department of Energy, while other sources say it’s more than 50 per cent.  Continue reading Opec and big oil eyeing electric cars with trepidation, says Bloomberg

Earth-digging robot could make laying underground cables much easier and cheaper

A robot developed by the MIT university could help bring down the enormous costs of laying underground and undersea cables. 

The machine is being called RoboClam – because it was based on how clams behave – is a relatively small device and it’s been called “the Ferrari of underwater diggers” because it’s particularly good at digging through soft, watery soil, or sand.

It was developed by MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, along with Bluefin Robotics, and the team was led by Anete Hosoi.  Continue reading Earth-digging robot could make laying underground cables much easier and cheaper

China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

open pit lithium mine
An open pit lithium mine. Picture courtesy of The Future of Energy

The market for electric cars in China is huge already and it’s growing at almost an exponential rate annually. 

Commentators in the country include electric cars in the category called “new energy vehicles”, which also refers to hybrid energy vehicles, and are saying the market will be further accelerated as a result of government backing.

Edward Tse, CEO of Gao Feng management consultancy, says: “With the issuance in April 2017 of the Automotive Industry Mid to Long Term Development Plan, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology provides guiding principles for the development of China’s auto industry for the next decade.  Continue reading China’s electric car market given a jump-start by government and looks set to boost lithium industry

Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

fujitsu connectors

Fujitsu Electronics Europe is extending its line card portfolio to include products from Neltron Industrial.

The Taiwan-based company manufactures ROHS compliant connectors of various types. With this partnership, FEEU is seeking to widen the range of its offerings and to create new synergies between them, strengthening its role as a Value Added Distribution Partner for the EMEA market.

Neltron offers a broad range of connector types, including board to board, wire to board, wire to wire, FPC/FCC, IDC connectors, shrouded header, USB connectors and jumpers.  Continue reading Fujitsu extends product portfolio with connectors from Neltron

HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway

hms_ixxat-sg-gateways

New IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS Industrial Networks enable data exchange between infrastructure and energy networks based on IEC61850 or IEC60870-5-104, and common fieldbus and industrial Ethernet systems, says the company.

While industrial communication between devices and systems is typically done with fieldbus and industrial Ethernet, modern infrastructure and energy networks are based upon other protocol standards such as IEC61850 and IEC60870-5-104.

The new IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS address the increasing need for data exchange between these two worlds, offering a wide protocol coverage and easy integration.  Continue reading HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway

5G telecommunications networks being constructed in many places around the world

5G_plans

Fifth generation mobile telecommunication networks – or 5G – are being created in many places around the world, including the US, China and Europe. 

Currently, the majority of mobile device users access either 3G or 4G networks, which both have significantly lower data rates than 5G.

The table below has some basic numbers for how fast each network is – in megabits per second – and dates of when they were operational, or in the case of 5G when it will be.  Continue reading 5G telecommunications networks being constructed in many places around the world

Dana to supply driveshaft assemblies and motion systems for New York Wheel

new york wheel
Photo credits: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman

New York City is planning to construct what will be the world’s largest ferris wheel, and a company called Dana is providing the crucial components.

Dana announced that it is providing driveshaft assemblies and gearboxes for the New York Wheel – which will be the world’s tallest observation wheel.

This attraction is currently under construction on the north shore of Staten Island in New York City and will stand 630 feet (192 meters) high when completed in early 2018.  Continue reading Dana to supply driveshaft assemblies and motion systems for New York Wheel

US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

pence tendon manufacturing 1
US Vice President Mike Pence on a visit to Tendon Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector is experiencing a dramatic turnaround in business, according to figures released by the White House. 

President Donald Trump has consistently said he wants the manufacturing sector to grow and has personally intervened to persuade many large manufacturing companies to consider relocating or expanding their operations in the US.

However, the vast majority of manufacturing companies in the US are small businesses, of less than 100 people.  Continue reading US manufacturing sector is seeing ‘record investment’, says Pence

Solar power revolution ‘unavoidable’ in Asia, says industry expert

REC solar panel manufacturing plant in Singapore
A robot operates at a production line during a tour of an REC solar panel manufacturing plant in Singapore. Reuters / Edgar Su

By Henning Gloystein and Vera Eckert, Reuters

Investors are increasingly excited about the prospects for much faster growth in the solar power industry in Southeast Asia, which has until now been a backwater for renewable energy.

They say that the region is in a perfect position to benefit from rapidly declining prices in solar panels. It has strong economic growth, relatively high costs of electricity and a shortage from traditional sources, undeveloped infrastructure in more remote areas, plenty of sunshine, and backing for more renewable energy from many of Southeast Asia’s governments.

“Dramatically falling costs for solar energy technologies means businesses and governments are choosing renewable energy not for environmental reasons but for economic ones,” said Roberto De Vido, spokesman for Singapore-based Equis, one of Asia’s biggest green energy-focused investment firms with $2.7 billion in committed capital. “It simply makes good business sense. And that’s a trend that’s not going to change.”  Continue reading Solar power revolution ‘unavoidable’ in Asia, says industry expert

World Economic Forum selects robotics and automation companies in its ‘Technology Pioneers 2017’ list

physee window

The World Economic Forum, the global nonprofit foundation whose annual meeting in Davos is attended by global leaders from business and politics, has published a list of companies which it considers to be the most pioneering in the field of technology.

In publishing its Technology Pioneers 2017 list, WEF has chosen 30 different companies to highlight from a variety of industries including biotechnology, agriculture, energy, transport, as well as a number of companies from the robotics and automation sector.

One of them is Horizon Robotics, a Chinese company which develops computer infrastructure to enable artificial intelligence computing and real-time decision-making, mainly aimed at enhancing self-driving vehicle safety.  Continue reading World Economic Forum selects robotics and automation companies in its ‘Technology Pioneers 2017’ list

Trump considering taking US out of global environmental agreement

World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21)
Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris. Reuters / Stephane Mahe

By Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason, Reuters

President Donald Trump plans to make good on his campaign vow to withdraw the United States from a global pact to fight climate change, a source briefed on the decision said on Wednesday, a move that promises to deepen a rift with US allies.

White House officials cautioned that details were still being hammered out and that, although close, the decision on withdrawing from the 195-nation accord – agreed to in Paris in 2015 – was not finalized.

Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days.”  Continue reading Trump considering taking US out of global environmental agreement