Nobody would believe it until they saw it—especially leery investors. But FlexEthanol technology is here today and readily available. October 15 was the big day for Coskata Inc. After more than three years spent refining the technology that has excited investors like General Motors, the ambitious cellulosic ethanol company declared itself open for business.
With apologies to the old Red Skelton bit, this is the question that manufacturers are now asking about 2010. The 2009 recession has been replaced by the 2010 recovery but thus far it is hard to tell one from another. If this is the year of recovery what will that mean? How will this coming year be judged? Against the miserable performances of 2008-2009 or by the boom years that preceded them? In some respects both will serve as reference points.
R&M Materials Handling, Inc. (Springfield, OH) has released the NRGmaster, an alternative to C-track festoons. The NRGmaster system eliminates dangling cables and provides a sleek design, increasing hook coverage on the shop floor and decreasing common C-track festoon maintenance pitfalls.
Baumer (Southington, CT) has developed the Long-Range ParCon for sensing applications involving distances as far as 200mm. The analog optical line sensors project a continuous 24mm-wide beam of parallel light to a reflector, creating a reliable detection of moving parts as small as 0.
The MassTracker Insertion Turbine Multi-Variable Flow Meter from Spirax Sarco, Inc. (Blythewood, SC) combines measurement of mass or volumetric flow, density, temperature, and pressure into a single instrument. Typical applications include flow monitoring of steam or natural gas, flue gas for environmental compliance, or measurement of other liquids in line sizes from 3 to 80”.
Wildeck, Inc. (Waukesha, WI) introduces the new V-Lift, a hydraulically-operated, cantilever material lift that can be installed either in a shaftway or free-standing, with optional structural framing. The V-Lift is designed to meet ANSI/ASME B20.1 standards for conveyors, and features a hydraulic ram with large 2-1/2” diameter dual pistons to deliver a smooth lifting motion.
NEW YORK (AP) — Electronics sales rebounded in the just-ended holiday season, but the industry's biggest event will still have the recession hanging over it. The International Consumer Electronics Show, which opens Wednesday, will be smaller than usual, with key products unveiled at prices that are far from extravagant.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha economist says a December survey in nine Midwest and Plains states suggests that the region's economy will recovery weakly over 2010. The Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region rose above growth neutral last month, reaching 50.3, compared with 47.5 in November.
BEIJING (AP) — China's manufacturing expanded in December for a ninth straight month as government stimulus spending boosted domestic demand and foreign sales rose, according to a survey released Monday. The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI rose to 56.1 from November's 55.7 on a 100-point scale where numbers above 50 show activity expanding.
LONDON (AP) — Speculation of a bidding war for British candy maker Cadbury PLC mounted on Monday after Swiss food group Nestle agreed to sell off its majority stake in eyecare unit Alcon and announced a smaller-than-anticipated share buyback program. Analysts suggested that Nestle could be clearing its decks in preparation to counter a hostile 9.
CHICAGO (AP) — Cash-strapped communities have a message for corporations that promised jobs in return for tax breaks: A deal's a deal. As the recession drags on, municipalities struggling to fix roads, fund schools and pay bills increasingly are rescinding tax abatements to companies that don't hire enough workers, lay them off or close up shop.
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Drug maker Novartis AG said Monday it plans to take over Alcon Inc. by paying $38.5 billion for the 77 percent stake it does not already own in a deal that would make it one of the biggest players in the global market for eye-care products. The Swiss pharmaceutical company will purchase Nestle SA's 52 percent stake for $28 billion before carrying out a merger with Alcon that would give it control of the remaining 23 percent held by minority shareholders.
Dake (Grand Haven, MI) has released the VH200, a vertical hydraulic cylinder capable of bending tubing up to a 2” diameter. At 60 pounds, the unit it portable and can be operated in the field, with either a manual pump or an air-operated pump. The VH200 is furnished with one of three standard dies, for either a 6” or 7” radius, and 12 additional dies are available.
Kaba Access Control (Winston-Salem, NC) now offers the new LearnLok feature to its E-Plex PROX-based 5700 electric locks, in addition to the E5770 and E3700 series. The LearnLok feature simplifies programming of up to 300 user credentials (HID PROX cards, fobs, etc.) per door by “learning” them at the lock reader.
Fastenal (Winona, MN) offers a solution to industrial vending with the SmartStore, which is managed by the customer’s local Fastenal store team and stocked with the products they use most. Installation requires only electricity and Internet access, according to the company. Advantages of industrial vending include: Reduction in consumption by tracking employee usage and setting limits.
Dynabrade, Inc. (Clarence, NY) is introducing a series of air-powered Die Grinders, which feature high-quality steel housings. The grinders are available in either .5 or .6 hp air motors and use a rubber grip housing to insulate the operator from vibration and cold air transmission.
The Franciscan Friar William of Occam said it best about 700 years ago in the form of the principle of parsimony, which we now know as Occam’s Razor. William said, “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,” which for you non-Latin speakers (and who is a Latin speaker these days?) means: “Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.
As part of its compliance with a PepsiCo corporate mandate on resource conservation, the Quaker Oats Bridgeview Division food manufacturing plant has installed two Miura Boiler LX200 gas-fired steam boilers to reduce fuel and water consumption, increase energy efficiency, and cut emissions.
Vertal, a British composting company, has introduced some of the most innovative technology when it comes to turning our organic waste — you know, that steak you couldn't quite finish last weekend — into energy. Unlike other technologies, the process is entirely self-heated, so the company does not have to use any energy in the composting process, which is called autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion.
Hackers can bring down government agencies, hijack websites, and snoop on private information. But sometimes, they're just looking for a job. At the U.S. Cyber Challenge, hackers battle each other in a multi-faceted battle — they have to exploit other systems while protecting their own. The contest isn't just about being able to hack into another system, but rather finding these intelligent and tech-savvy youth constructive and non-exploitative outlets for their hacking skills.