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Monthly Archives: November 2019
Aluminum Heat Transfer Material Market Upcoming Challenges, Opportunities and Forecast from 2019-2025 | Alcoa, Granges, Applied Nanotech – The Connect…
Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:47 am
Global Aluminum Heat Transfer Material market 2019-2025 in-depth study accumulated to supply latest insights concerning acute options. The report contains different predictions associated with Aluminum Heat Transfer Material market size, revenue, production, CAGR, consumption, profit margin, price, and different substantial factors. Whereas accentuation the key driving and Aluminum Heat Transfer Material restraining forces for this market, the report offers trends and developments. It additionally examines the role of the leading Aluminum Heat Transfer Material market players concerned within the business together with their company summary, monetary outline and SWOT analysis.
The objective of Aluminum Heat Transfer Material report is to outline, segment, and project the market on the idea of product types, application, and region, and to explain the factors concerning the factors influencing global Aluminum Heat Transfer Material market dynamics, policies, economics, and technology etc.
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Alcoa, Granges, Applied Nanotech, Kobe Steel, Norsk Hydro, Novelis, Wickeder Steel, Nantong Hengxiu
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Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market Industry analysis and forecast (2018-2026) – BeetleVersion
Posted: at 10:47 am
Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Marketis expected to reach US$ 10.5 Bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 11.5 % during the forecast period.
Nanotechnology in medical devices is a field, where there is scope for remarkable growth. This technology for the treatment of specific atoms, molecules, or compounds into structures to produce materials and devices with special properties. Cellular level repairs can be carried by nanorobots through this technology. Nanotechnology is used for new medical devices such as diagnostics and implantable devices as well as stents and catheters. Nanotechnology can be integrated into applications such as bioassays, monitoring devices, and imaging devices. The potential for nanotechnology market in medical devices is growing due to rising adoption of innovative technological advancement.
A rising aging population and increasing incidence of cardiovascular diseases and diseases associated with bones, ear, and others organ systems would create commercial market opportunities. Furthermore, high costs and time-consuming product approval processes of the nanotechnology-based medical devices may hamper the growth of the market.
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Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices market is segmented by product and region. Among products, biochips and implantable materials market accounted for the largest share in 2015, owing to the increasing demand of innovative surgically implanted medical devices for safety treatment.
Among regions, the North America region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the rising aging population, increasing international research collaborations and nanotechnology R&D expenditure. The APAC region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Furthermore, large-scale improvements in the healthcare infrastructure of countries such as China, Taiwan, and India are further driving the market in these regions.
The key players of the Nanotechnology in Medical Devices market include St. Jude Medical, Inc. (U.S.), Starkey Hearing Technologies (U.S.), PerkinElmer, Inc. (U.S.), Stryker Corporation (U.S.), and Affymetrix, Inc. (U.S.).In the Nanotechnology in Medical Devices market, St. Jude Medical, Inc. holds the leadership position due to production capacity expansion, brand portfolio expansion, mergers, collaborations, and acquisitions. In 2018, the company has adopted new product launches, product enhancements, and geographic expansion as its crucial business plans to certify its dominance in this market.
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Scope of Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market report:
Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market, By Product
Active Implantable Deviceso Cardiac Rhythm Management Deviceso Hearing Aid Deviceso Retinal Implants Biochipso DNA Microarrayso Lab-On-Chip Implantable Materialso Dental Restorative Materialo Bone Substitute Materials Medical Textiles and Wound Dressings OthersGlobal nanotechnology in medical devices market, By Application
Therapeutics Diagnostics Research applications Global Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market, By Region
North America Europe APAC Latin America MEA Key Players St. Jude Medical, Inc. Starkey Hearing Technologies PerkinElmer, Inc. Stryker Corporation Affymetrix, Inc. AstraZeneca Capsulution Nanoscience AG AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc.Key Players Global nanotechnology in medical devices market
St. Jude Medical, Inc. Starkey Hearing Technologies PerkinElmer, Inc. Stryker Corporation Affymetrix, Inc. AstraZeneca Capsulution Nanoscience AG 3M Company Smith & Nephew plc AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. EOS GmbH Medtronic EnvisionTEC GE Global Research Merck KGaA Integran Technologies Inc Apnano Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. AAP Implantate AG Dentsply International Zyvex Corporation Shenzhen Nanotech Port Co. Ltd., Nanophase Technologies Nanocyl SA
MAJOR TOC OF THE REPORT
Chapter One: nanotechnology in medical devices Market Overview
Chapter Two: Manufacturers Profiles
Chapter Three: Global nanotechnology in medical devices Market Competition, by Players
Chapter Four: Global nanotechnology in medical devices Market Size by Regions
Chapter Five: North America nanotechnology in medical devices Revenue by Countries
Chapter Six: Europe nanotechnology in medical devices Revenue by Countries
Chapter Seven: Asia-Pacific nanotechnology in medical devices Revenue by Countries
Chapter Eight: South America nanotechnology in medical devices Revenue by Countries
Chapter Nine: Middle East and Africa Revenue nanotechnology in medical devices by Countries
Chapter Ten: Global nanotechnology in medical devices Market Segment by Type
Chapter Eleven: Global nanotechnology in medical devices Market Segment by Application
Chapter Twelve: Global nanotechnology in medical devices Market Size Forecast (2019-2026)
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Posted: at 10:44 am
[ aw-tuh-mey-shuhn ]SHOW IPA
/ tmen /PHONETIC RESPELLING
OTHER WORDS FROM automationproautomation, adjective
Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2019
Heroin blocks this automation so that when you fall asleep, you stop breathing.
Beyond doubt, the steady advance of automation on airplane flight decks has greatly helped to reduce accidents.
Automation or not, Leoh thought smilingly, there were certain human values that transcended mere efficiency.
We must modernize our unemployment insurance and establish a high-level commission on automation.
Automation, the second industrial revolution, has eliminated for all practical purposes the need for their labor.
Strong emphasis was placed on the introduction of automation in both production and management processes.
Automation rationalized away the literate component of many activities.
/ (tmen) /
the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, esp by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower
the extent to which a process is so controlled
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Posted: at 10:44 am
(This is the first in a three-part series on small- and medium-sized manufacturers and robotics; the series will continue tomorrow, Wednesday Nov. 27.)
At Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Mike Garman, senior engineer-automation, tends to the nonprofit ... [+] organization's array of robotic arms.
If you look up at the night sky and happen upon some little lights on the move it might be a shooting star. Likely it is not a UFO.
The better bet, of course, is that the lights belong to an airplane. And the odds are very high they come from Astronics Luminescent Systems Inc (LSI).
These ingeniously designed, extra-durable LED exterior lights are made at Astronics LSI's flagship factory in East Aurora, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. The facility, utterly nondescript from the outside, though a sprawling, bustling workshop inside, employs 300 mostly blue-collar workers.
With its motto of innovation at 30,000 feet, Astronics LSI is well-known in the industry for aircraft lighting. Its also a major supplier of cockpit instrument panels. The companys hundreds of products are subjected to rigorous quality control measures as dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Cockpit lights need to be bright, but not too bright. And they cant ever suddenly go out.
Demand is usually sky high with new jet fleets being rolled out regularly. Astronics products are custom-crafted. They are tested and re-tested. Nothing is rushed.
Still, the company is eager to ramp up production. And they would, too. If only they could hire more people.
Its been a continual challenge for us, Astronics CFO David Burney said. "We cant find enough qualified workers.
The company needs machinists and engineers and assemblers careful, not easily distracted people who like working with their hands.
Astronics is not alone.
The National Association of Manufacturers has sounded an alarm, estimating some 2.4 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2028 due to labor shortages.
Somewhere along the line, over the past several generations, high school shop courses fell out of favor as communities steered their youths toward college degrees tied to white-collar work. New forces are at now reshaping the labor market.
Automation, as well as AI technology that takes robotics closer to sci-fi levels, has and will continue to reconfigure work as humans have known it. At risk, it seems, are people who weld, fabricate, mill, join, lathe, wire, cut, hoist, assemble, package and load stuff.
AI could affect work in virtually every occupational group," said the Brookings Institute in a new report. And while manufacturing and production workers will be among the most affected, white-collar workers are seen as equally vulnerable.
Most big companies, such as those in the automotive industry, already have become mostly automated; smaller companies, not so much.
Robotic arms have become nimbler, safer and less expensive. It has never made more sense for so-called SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to automate.
Advanced manufacturing has a chance to transform smaller manufacturers like Astronics, and hundreds of others like them in the Western New York region.
Written off by some as a rust-belt relic, Buffalo tried to reinvent itself during the 1980s and 90s as more of a white-collar hub. But its blue-collar roots run deep, going back to the early part of the nineteenth century.
The first waves of Irish immigrants, many of whom helped build the Erie Canal, found work unloading grain shipments from eastbound lake freighters hauling barley, wheat and rye across Lake Michigan, by way of the Detroit River, to Buffalo. In the latter part of the 19th century, that task was automated. Grain elevators (buckets fastened to steam-powered conveyor belts) may have displaced some Irishmen (who became scoopers, going down into hulls to shovel the corner piles that the buckets couldnt snag) and, as more Irish (and German and Polish and Jewish and Italian and black Southerners) poured into Buffalo, they found abundant employment. Bethlehem Steel and Curtiss-Wright and GM and Ford plants at one time all ranked among the most productive manufacturing sites on the planet.
By the 1970s, most of the large manufacturers were gone, leaving behind empty, too-massive-to-knock down facilities most of which still stand today like "the ruins of a manufacturing empire," as one local business leader has said.
In 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, through his Buffalo Billion initiative, opened Buffalo Manufacturing Works. It runs an ambitious nonprofit program to help revitalize the areas manufacturing base through technology, including robotics and also additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing.
Buffalo Manufacturing Works (and don't ever call them "BMW" if only because the German multinational has that trademarked) was born of a vision by state and local leaders to reinvigorate the citys manufacturing base. Because Buffalo had few, if any, automation consultants and no real robotics industry of which to speak, the state partnered with Columbus, Ohio-based technology innovator EWI.
For more than three decades, EWI has been providing advanced manufacturing support to companies across the rust belt and throughout the country. Expanding on what EWI has done in Ohio, Buffalo Manufacturing Works serves as a central resource for Western New York manufacturers as they tip-toe toward innovation, including automation.
The Buffalo area is still home to more than a dozen large manufacturers, including Moog, Sumitomo Rubber, Fisher-Price/Mattel and Dresser-Rand. Two GM plants still make engines here. And there is a Ford stamping plant.
Tesla's controversial factory in South Buffalo, originally SolarCity, employs about 300 people making energy storage products for electric cars. Panasonic Corp, which makes solar panels, has about 400 employees. Whether the Tesla-Panasonic partnership creates hundreds more jobs remains to be seen. (Based on the amount of subsidies provided, New York State believes it will).
Despite the dramatic reduction of large manufacturers over the decades, there are roughly 1,600 small- and medium-sized factories based in Western New York (a region also often dubbed Buffalo/Niagara) still making stuff aircraft lights and radio antennas and countless other items. Mostly we are talking about small parts and components of other products. To stay competitive, these small companies, many of them run like family businesses, will need to invest in the future.
An Astronics employee meticulously hand-crafts cockpit instrument panels.
"Only about 20% of the small factories in the Buffalo area have some form of automation," said Mike Garman, Senior Engineer-Automation, Buffalo Manufacturing Works. "The rest are just starting out down this road. A lot of these companies know they need to automate but putting in a robotic arm? That's overwhelming to them they don't know where to begin."
If Buffalo is ever to regain past manufacturing glory, the companies calling it home might have no choice but to automate.
"We project more than 20,000 advanced manufacturing job openings in Western New York in the next 10 years," said Stephen Tucker, President and CEO of the Northland Workforce Training Center, another key player in the regions advanced manufacturing initiative. The openings owe to an aging workforce and pending retirements, Tucker added.
[The training center] is working to prepare local residents with 21st century technical skills necessary to fill those jobs, he said.
About a 15-minute drive north from Astronics' East Aurora factory is one of Buffalos best-known suburbs, Orchard Park, home of the NFLs Bills.
In a bland corporate complex, not that much more than a Josh Allen deep ball away from New Era Field, is a company called STI-CO. They make mobile radio antenna systems. STI-COs customers include law enforcement agencies and the military which need customized covert equipment. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the companys products to outfit low-profile overseas operations and in natural disasters.
Additionally, STI-CO engineers antenna systems for freight and passenger railroads that communicate critical Positive Train Control data such as how fast a train is moving and if it needs to be remotely controlled to slow down.
We recognize that we need to automate and have allocated the resources to do it, said CEO Kyle Swiat, whose late father, Robert Kaiser, a machinist, founded the company in 1967. But we are involving all of our people in the conversation.
Theyve added CNC machines and a 3-D printer to speed up processes.
Our employees are excited about the technologies, she said. They want to see the company invest in future growth.
Today, STI-CO produces hundreds of products and is keen to stay competitive in a global market. That means exploring alternatives, including, eventually, robotics.
She also confirmed the challenge of finding qualified, reliable workers and sees automation as inevitable and a win for her 45 employees.
This is a family, she said. Even if we could automate the whole operation we wouldnt ever do that because we believe that people still make the difference.
One of the worst jobs at the STI-CO plant had been the dreaded taping and labeling detail. Each set of antennas come with sets of color-coded wires (like when you hook up a stereo). STI-COs process for packaging and marking the wires not only was tedious but woefully inefficient i.e. done in an outdated manner the way they've always done it by hand.
So in something of a baby step into the future, STI-CO, about ten months ago, invested in a computer-enabled system. While not a robot, the creatively engineered set-up was a modern machine that took on the bundling and labeling tasks previously done by humans, freeing up those workers to focus more on quality control.
"When a company looks to automate, the first project should be an easy win," Garman said.
Simply automating for the sake of automating, without fully thinking it through, creates more headaches, not less, he warns; a robot deployed without a clear problem to solve is just "a hammer in search of nail," Garman explains. "We always say, start slow, start small and keep it simple and then move from there to something more ambitious."
As far as its first foray into actual robots, STI-CO is still coming up the curve with help from Garman and the team at Buffalo Manufacturing Works, as well as from a host of robotics industry people: advisory professionals; robotic arm distributors; systems integrators and consultants. These firms form a village of advanced manufacturing enablers supporting smaller factories in their efforts to automate more activities.
In the next installment, we'll take a deeper dive into this robotics ecosystem and the work they are doing to reboot the Buffalo area.
(Part two of this three-part series will run tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 27.)
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Posted: at 10:44 am
In this joint article, Ingo Ernst and Chantel Meeley from 4Stop explain how to obtain a fully dynamic and seamless underwriting process for merchant with enriched data
Businesses that emerge and engage in our ever-changing, fast-paced global online ecosystem require significant virtues composed of steadiness, stability and adaptability. Companies are continually managing outside forces from savvy competitors, technology demands, customer engagement preferences, regulatory evolutions, and economic changes. It is essential for businesses globally to rethink strategy, sync with leading technology developments and adapt their business mantras with dynamic decision-making intelligence to maximise their business performance potential and have empowerment for continued innovation.
Underwriting merchants is a vital part of businesses sustainability. Its the first level of defence against fraud and illicit activity towards an entity. However, for many businesses worldwide, obtaining a harmonised view of the risk associated with onboarding comes with an array of cumbersome processes and manual due-diligence. Manual processes bring an abundance of cost and resource demand to an entity along with long-delayed onboarding times, which, in turn, affects the viability of business revenue.
So how as an industry do we improve our first level of defence? How quickly can we have quality merchants in the pipeline? How fast can we verify businesses and directors and dramatically improve the time it takes to onboard our merchants?
Leveraging modern technologies such as data automation paired with real-time analytics, dynamic decision-making frameworks and artificial intelligence solves the cumbersome annoyances of the manual due-diligence process. Ultimately, the only way to onboard merchants, directors, and customers with the confidence that risk is managed, and then verify every transaction afterwards is by having access to world-class data.
The payment industry is driven to protect and secure the ecosystem from bots, sophisticated fraudsters and large-scale data breaches. In the last year alone, we have seen a substantial increase in cyber-attacks, where security breaches increased11% this year from 2018, and within thefirst half-year of 2019, 4.1 billion records were breached. No industry segment is as committed to the fight against fraud than fintechs. Theyll invest more in advanced fraud detection and prevention technologies in the coming years than any other industry, and Gartner has stated that globally, it will reachUSD133.7 billion on cybersecurity by 2022.
If businesses have access to the same dynamic fraud detection and prevention technologies that are so well established for the B2C customer journey and implement these technology services towards their B2B relationships, it will eliminate the manual process burden - from obtaining all KYB verifications required such as credit reports, corporate structures, entity documentation, UBOs/directors verified against KYC checks through to clearly defined risk indicators all in an instant. They are obtaining a fully dynamic and seamless underwriting process regardless of global jurisdiction, all with a centralised view of checks and risk for every custom compliance workflow and on-going checks. There would be a new level of confidence obtained through trusted information and dynamic intelligence. Businesses would maximise fraud prevention from the first level of defence, accelerate their performance and ensure that every entity they onboard are the right fit for their portfolio and maintains a strong brand reputation continuously.
However, obtaining this data and automation can be an obstacle in itself for many businesses. With most of their fraud prevention focus put forth once a merchant is active with live volumes, integrating a single API to access data points for just one aspect of their underwriting process can take some businesses up to 6 months to implement. Establishing data access and automation for all segments of their underwriting can seem too much of an arduous task, leaving them forced to maintain their manual due-diligence despite the costs, resource demands and time associated.
As an industry, we need to continue our support for businesses that provide access to world-class data with data automation and dynamic intelligence. Partnerships have become increasingly prevalent, whereS&P Global 2018 Fintech Market Reportstates that Software-as-a-Service business model is being embraced more and more by Financial Institutions (FIs) globally as a part of their overall business strategy. Fintech segments are finding it more beneficial to license their innovative technology where, in turn, digital lenders see the actual benefits and ease in implementing technology services rather than building them internally. We are evolving into a genuine network of harnessed intelligence and technology to serve online engagement best. Access to all data required from one or even two APIs through fintech partnerships would impact our growing ecosystem substantially.
Data aggregation with automation is where the marketplace is going, and providers such as 4Stop know and understand the real value and impact enriched data experiences can provide a business bottom line. Allowing companies to refocus their energy and resources to doing what matters the most: growing their business, continuing their innovation and driving change for our online ecosystem.
About Ingo Ernst
Ingo Ernst is a committed fintech entrepreneur with extensive experience developing risk management and compliance software. He has proven significant virtues in managing outside forces from savvy competitors, technology demands, regulatory evolutions and economic changes in an unwavering, modest leadership style. From the conception of 4Stop back in 2016 he has been a driving force to 4Stops success. Leveraging his excellent technical knowledge, operations management and supervisory skills gained over 15+ years. Prior to 4Stop, Ingo was head of EMEA for Vogogo Inc. and held senior risk management positions at Deutsche Bank and Wirecard.
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Posted: at 10:44 am
A report by IT firm SITA has revealed that Chinese airlines and airports are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to offer a hyper-personalised self-service experience to their customers.
SITA 2019 China IT Insights revealed that AI is a key technology attracting investment.
The report states that 88% of Chinese airlines and airports have plans for programmes or research involving AI by 2022 and are prioritising virtual agents and chatbots.
This investment follows the countrys increasing demand for digital services as highlighted by the report, which found that 64% of Chinese passengers request a digital travel concierge.
In China, 43% of airlines currently use AI-powered chatbot customer services. It is expected that the use of such technologies will increase in the future.
The report revealed that 27% of Chinese airports have installed self-boarding gates that utilise biometrics with travel documents. This figure is estimated to increase to 66% in three years.
By 2022, over half of Chinas airports plan to incorporate secure single biometric tokens for all touchpoints.
Airlines are also considering the use of self-boarding gates that leverage biometrics with ID. Approximately 60% of the airlines intend to use them.
SITA China vice-president and general manager May Zhou said: Chinas airlines and airports have a strong record in embracing technology and automation to drive efficient operations and high levels of passenger services.
Now they are moving to the next level where they will harness AI to deliver more services, faster and to more people.
By 2022, 93% of Chinas airports and all of its airlines are planning to use mobile applications such as flight discovery, airline offers, check-in and flight status notifications.
Zhou added: The adoption of self-service by passengers across China has been very encouraging for airlines and airports. At SITA, we see many in the industry who are now ready and planning to add biometrics to bring self-service to the next level.
Robotic Process Automation in Oil & Gas Market Rising Trends and Demand Industry 2019 to 2026 by Top Players AETOS, GE Inspection Robotics,…
Posted: at 10:44 am
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Automation, laser technology and sustainability: innovation in concrete spraying – Mining Technology
Posted: at 10:44 am
Concrete spraying is a cost-effective, mechanised technological solution to concrete construction and shaft lining in underground tunnels that improves safety and reduces the environmental impact of mining operations.
Spraying equipment allows workers to utilise innovative technology to carry out underground construction from a safe distance, requiring a smaller team of specialised staff for more efficient and sustainable construction methods.
Due to the diversity of spray concrete equipment, training staff in all process areas can be difficult. Automation technology makes operations easier for workers and helps to improve productivity. SmartSpray, developed by Normet, is designed to simplify the process for operators by automating the nozzle position. This process technology is available in three variations; Lite, Pro and ProPlus.
SmartSpray Lite allows operators to control a spraying nozzle, which maintains its position to spray the concrete at the target surface. Operations are controlled from a single joystick to simplify use. The SmartSpray Pro has an automated nozzle, meaning that operators need only to control the distance from the target and move between segments. The ProPlus calculates the path to automate the entire process, including distance and speed for optimal concrete layering.
Recent developments in 3D laser technology have improved the efficiency and safety of concrete spraying processes. Normets SmartScan is mounted on concrete spraying equipment and scans the targeted area before and after spraying in order to provide the user with a colour-coded visualisation of the thickness of the concrete and an overview of areas that are under or over-sprayed.
This technology improves efficiency and reduces wastage, as well as allowing operators to scan the areas where repairs may be required.
Accurate data secured by the laser and its associated software is uploaded to the cloud, allowing for introspective analysis in addition to instant concrete thickness reports.
Sustainability is becoming an increasing focus for industry innovators. Normets battery electric vehicle (BEV) technology, SmartDrive, is emission-free and designed for use in harsh environments. Hot gases and heat are not produced, improving air quality in confined spaces and reducing ventilation costs.
SmartDrive equipment can be charged from any underground AC socket, or using fast-chargers. The split module battery architecture also allows equipment to continue operating in the case of a malfunction as the faulty module will be isolated, reducing the risk of unplanned maintenance shutting down operations.
Energy recuperation technology allows SmartDrive vehicles to regenerate and store braking energy during deceleration and downhill driving. A number of Normets products utilise SmartDrive technology for concrete spraying equipment, as well as other mining construction applications, including but not limited to the Spraymec 8100 SD and Spraymec MF 050 VC SD.
Normet offers a broad portfolio of wet concrete spraying equipment for mining and tunnelling applications, including the Spraymec range comprising the NorRunner 140 DVC, Alpha 1430 PC, Alpha 30, LF 050 DC, MF 050 VC, SF 050 D and 8100 VC, as well as its dry concrete spraying products; the Normet Piccola and Normet GM.
It also supplies the Minimec 2, a mechanised concrete spraying manipulator designed for smaller-scale construction in escalator and tunnel shafts, small diameter tunnels or locations that large machinery cannot access.
Posted: at 10:44 am
Automation is commonly thought of as an attempt by rich companies to get richer. Instead, its often an effort to cut costs when the future of the economy looks bleak. Take, for example, the economic slump of the 1950s. Though 13 million jobs were ultimately destroyed during the decade, an astounding 20 million new ones were created thanks, in large part, to technological advancements such as automation.
With visions of the next recession already clouding the horizon for many Americans, we can bet on a sweeping wave of automation technology to shake up the workforce once again. Only this time with technology thats advanced by leaps and bounds since the 50s the disruption will be stronger and reach further than ever before.
A 2011 study evaluated how the Great Recession impacted structural unemployment in the United States. The studys authors reported that the structural unemployment rate rose by nearly 2 percentage points between the end of 2006 and 2010. It was enough to disrupt industries and permanently alter local economies, but the next recession could be far worse.
Over the past decade, companies have made huge strides in automation. Consider that innovations like self-driving cars, which used to be the stuff of fantasies, are already becoming a reality. As a lesson in history plays out before us, the next recession will cause companies to reach for more cost-cutting automation, which will likely lead to larger job losses than in previous recessions.
The availability and maturity of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies could be the catalyst for a massive wave of automation in all kinds of industries. In a recession where profits dip and human labor becomes one of a businesss biggest expenses, the incentive for companies to pursue automation will drastically increase.
To make matters worse, automation disproportionately affects economically vulnerable workers because simple, repetitive tasks are the most likely to be automated. Employment will primarily contract in industries such as food service, manufacturing and transportation, where workers struggle to make a living even under ideal employment circumstances.
The good news is that other fields will be starving for employees, but it will take purposeful policy changes to prepare displaced workers.
MORE FROM FEDTECH: Discover why feds see promise in robotic process automation.
Although most employees understand the need to learn new skills and data from the Pew Research Center suggests that 49 percent of Americans anticipate reduced job security by 2050 that doesnt mean they have access to the resources necessary to pursue new employment avenues. At present, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that the employees who need training the most are the least likely to receive it, setting the stage for alarming levels of unemployment.
Governments, however, have the power to quell this growing issue by aiding workers growth. Here are two ways they can start:
Thankfully, government doesnt need to reinvent the wheel when it comes time to map out these programs. If they dont have the infrastructure in place to help workers learn new skills already, they can partner with pre-existing training organizations to achieve worker security and strengthen community roots.
Finding ways to support or partner with employers making strides to do this is a viable way to encourage on-the-job learning opportunities. This approach is already tried and tested as well: In July 2018, the federal government announced a partnership with 23 organizations to further an apprenticeship and employee reskilling initiative.
Its true that automation has historically created more jobs than its eliminated, but it still causes incredible upheaval for the millions of workers who are left looking for new employment. If the federal government wants to reduce the fallout from the next major wave of automation, it must implement training programs that prepare employees for the next chapter in their careers.
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From Donald Trumps trade war with China to a slowdown in global economic growth, the outlook for steel demand is weakening. According to the federal governments latest quarterly resources report, iron ore prices will plunge from an average of $US80 a tonne this year to $US57 by 2021. As for Australias top Pilbara miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue the race is now on to strip out costs, drive productivity gains and preserve prosperity through whatever lies ahead. And much of that will be achieved through technology.
For mining companies, Rio Tinto iron ore chief Chris Salisbury said this week, the key focus is to control the controllables.
On a hot Tuesday morning at Jimblebar,the temperature is quickly approaching 40 degrees. BHPs technology boss, Diane Jurgens, is giving a presentation in an air-conditioned room usually reserved for training sessions. The topic of her speech is the companys technology push and the major changes it's been driving. Why shes chosen to make the address here in Jimblebar is that this site 400 kilometres inland from Port Hedland has become something of a testing ground for the mining giants autonomous ambitions over the past few years.
Jimblebar is now close to fully autonomous, she explains its fleet of blast-hole drills are automated, largely controlled by the companys remote integrated operations centre based far away in Perth. Since their introduction, drilling costs at the mine are down 25 per cent and the cost of maintaining the drills has fallen 40 per cent.
More recently, as of November 2017, Jimblebars haulage fleet of 57 trucks has become fully autonomous, too.
Wait until you see these trucks, says Jurgens. Huge. Wheels taller than this ceiling.
Diane Jurgens, BHP chief technology officer, at the Eastern Ridge innovation mine in Western Australia.Credit:
Day or night, rain or shine in fact, right this very second there are 50 such trucks moving between Jimblebars pits and processing plants, many of them driving one behind the other, exactly 30.00 metres apart.
What thats done for us is increased our truck utilisation the availability so we can run them almost 24 hours a day, Jurgens says. On good days the trucks will only have to stop for refuelling, which takes 15 minutes, before they are back at work again.
The productivity results are meaningful. Since the introduction of autonomous trucks, Jimbleblars haulage costs have been slashed by 20 per cent and the mine is now considered the benchmark site for haulage costs within BHPs portfolio.
But for Jurgens and the management team at Jimblebar, the most important results are seen in the incidence of whats known in the mining sector as PL4s. Significant events events that could have seriouslyinjured or potentially killed somebody. Despite Jimblebars expansion and almost doubling of the truck fleet size, PL4s are nearly 90 per cent lower.
The push to achieve productivity gains, of course, is nothing new in Australias fiercely competitive resources industry. Steady progress has been on foot for some time. Rio Tinto, the nations second-biggest miner, is widely considered to be the industry leader in the development and adoption of autonomous mining technologies. More than a decade ago now, Rio set itself a vision called mine of the future, which has included the adoption of autonomous drills and driverless trucks. Its highest-profile and latest milestone, however, has been the successful deployment of its AutoHaul technology the worlds first automated, heavy-haul long-distance train network.
Rio Tinto refers to it as the worlds largest robot. And with a network of 200 locomotives and 1700 kilometres of railway track transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals, its a boast that is technically correct.
Since 2017, under Jurgens and the leadership of BHPs outgoing chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, the company has been eager to shake its reputation as the follower in the field of technological innovation. By some measures, it might just be paying off.
Autohaul trains at Rio Tinto's 7 Mile rail operations in Karratha. Credit:Hamish Hastie
BHPs iron ore operations, its biggest cash generator, has increased production by 20 per cent while reducing costs by more than 50 per cent. And last year, it toppled its rivals to take the mantle as the worlds lowest-cost iron ore producer, with unit costs of $US11.89 per tonne for the six months to June and $US12.86 per tonne for the full year.
Salisbury, at Rio Tinto, says today's more subdued outlook for iron ore caused by the predicted drop in Chinese imports and greater use of scrap metal in the country's steel mills means Australian miners will adopt an even greater focus on insulating their businesses by investing in technology and productivity.
Just this week, the board of Rio Tinto signed off on a $1 billion investment to sustain production capacity and drive down costs at its oldest mine in the Pilbara, the Greater Tom Price operation. The funding will go towards the construction of a new crusher and a 13-kilometre conveyor and, crucially, it will also be used to turn half of its truck fleet at one of the mines into autonomous trucks by the end of the year.
Up to180 haulage trucks, about half its iron ore fleet, would be fully autonomous by the end of the year, Salisbury says.
And we have a pathway to go to 80 per cent over the next few years, he says.
For those who work in on-the-ground mining roles, the obvious flip side of lower costs and fewer safety incidents is that the rise of automation is displacing jobs that were once done by humans.
"Nowhere has the nature of work changed as much as in the mining and resources sector," says Deloitte's head of mining, Ian Sanders. "Automation has become integrated at all stages of production, improving health and safety and raising productivity. This trend is here to stay."
According to research by consultancy firm McKinsey earlier this year, the automation of the nations workforce will be most pronounced in mining regions. In areas like the Pilbara,it found more than 30 per cent of jobs could be affected. So for the trade union officials representing mine workers, the transition to automated practices, including autonomous vehicles, is often a cause of concern.
The latest flashpoint of this tension has been an announcement by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance that it will automate many jobs in Queenslands Bowen Basin as a result of the staged conversion of 86 Komatsu trucks into autonomous vehicles over two years. Management has assured staff the decision will not lead to layoffs forced or voluntary saying existing jobs will be relocated to Brisbane or elsewhere. As well, staff have been told, the move to automation will result in 50 new full-time positions, including jobs to manage the fleet.
Some workers, however, are unconvinced and remain fearful of workplace disruption.
Stephen Smyth from the Queensland branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), has warned the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance that it risks a community backlash if workers are displaced.
BHP can choose to put the interests of the workforce and local community at the centre of their automation strategy or simply chase profits by replacing local jobs with robots, Smyth says.
Its a balance, says Jurgens, acknowledging there are challenges for workers affected by the companys wider move to automated practices. Some staff are able to be redeployed within the organisation, she says, while others will be offered transition planning. But she points to the workforce at BHPs Jimblebar to highlight the point that automation is also creating new jobs, particularly technician roles, and bringing new skills to worksites that werent there before.
BHP's new chief executive Mike Henry wants to forge closer ties and enter into partnerships with the mining equipment and technology developers.Credit:Trevor Collens
We are creating jobs as well as ensuring all of our key members understand where and when we are implementing autonomy, she says. We communicate openly with our team members in the operations about what we are doing and where we are going.
Two weeks ago, BHP dropped a long-awaited announcement: Mike Henry, the companys hugely respected head of Australian operations, would succeed Andrew Mackenzie as chief executive from January.
At his first appearance, just hours after the news, Henry faced a barrage of questions about what he intended to do differently questions ranging from climate and emissions policies and the future of thermal coal to longer-term plans for its oil and gas business. Henry gave little away, sticking largely to script that the business was in great shape. He said he would spend the rest of 2019 touring BHPs global operations and engaging with staff before making any significant decisions.
One comment, however, appears to have offered some insight into his vision for the future: We will unlock even greater value from our ore bodies and petroleum basins by enabling our people with the capability, data and technology to innovate and improve.
Henry this week took the theme further still, flagging BHP will forge closer ties and enter into partnerships with the mining equipment and technology developers including startups, in order to accelerate the introduction of new products that canlift performance, make us safer, reduce costs, grow value.
He singled out the result of a recent partnership with a Perth startup in developing a special acoustic monitoring system, which detects anomalies on BHPs mining operations conveyor belts and other rotating equipment using real-time, data-powered monitoring.
I never tire of hearing stories like this, he said. The ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy that exists in the mining equipment and technology sector holds such potential for not only companies like BHP, but for the economy.
The head of Fortescue Metals Group, Elizabeth Gaines, is also eyeing an increasingly automated future. She says the adoption of autonomous haulage trucks has driven a 30 per cent productivity boost, as well as the obvious safety benefits.
It would be pretty easy to attribute the results to what we saw in the strength of the iron ore price, she says. But in fact, they were the product of Fortescues strong profit margins, too, which are underpinned by the use of innovation and technology.
Next, she says, Fortescue plans to collaborate with equipment makers on the prospect of autonomous light vehicles, too.
We are focusing on some of the other technologies that are still evolving but not quite there yet, she says.
We are still on a journey.
The author flew from Perth to Jimblebar courtesy of BHP.
Business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
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