Trends and Opportunities In UAV
The vast amount of technological advancement we have witnessed over the last two decades is astounding. The concept of unmanned aviation vehicles, or drones as they are commonly referred to, would have seemed like something out of a science fiction novel to someone just 40 years ago. Yet here we are, with fully functioning drones that serve a wide range of functions. Drones have been used heavily for military and defense applications, GPS and scouting work, photography, and as a hobby, just to name a few. Even Amazon has toyed with the idea of using drones to carry out deliveries. This widespread application has created a large industry, one worth almost 8 billion dollars and expected to grow to 12 million by the end of 2020. This large increase presents a great deal of opportunity for investors who can identify trends in the industry. Here we will look at just that. We will begin with a short description of what unmanned aviation vehicles are, where they are used, and what are the current trends in the UAV industry. What Are UAVs: As previously stated, UAV stands for unmanned aviation vehicles and most commonly known as drones. Drones come in all sizes, some are so tiny they can nearly fit in one’s pocket whereas others are the size of a small plane. The main feature of a drone is that they can be controlled remotely by a human operator or a piece of software in conjunction with GPS and sensor technology. Where Are Drones Being Used: Most people became familiar with drones when they emerged on the hobbyist market. People began purchasing drones simply to fly them. Shortly after drones were utilized in civilian photography and video applications. Drones are also being heavily used in military/defense applications, being used for reconnaissance missions as well as for bombing raids and air support. In fact, the Pentagon just passed 6 billion dollars in funding for drone research and development. Current Trends Surveying And Mapping: One of the largest growing areas for drone technology is aerial surveying and mapping. What once required either on foot expeditions or manned aircraft to achieve can now be done with unmanned aerial vehicles. This aspect of drone use has become so popular that it accounts for roughly 37% of the civilian drone market expansion over the last 2 years. Aerial Infrastructure Inspection: This area has greatly expanded due to the rise of pipeline and pipeline infrastructure. Previously, if a company wanted to inspect the state of specific sections of the pipeline it would require either sending people on land or hiring a manned aircraft, both are which are costly. Drones have allowed for a cost-effective method for inspection. This does not apply solely to pipelines, drones are also being used to inspect agricultural land and railroads. Aerial infrastructure inspection has accounted for 25% of the civilian drone market increase over the last couple of years. Transport And Warehousing Industry: Uses for drones in the energy sector, primarily for maintaining and supporting pipeline infrastructure, is the largest civilian drone sector but not the fastest growing. That title belongs to the transportation and warehousing industry. China Will Become World’s Largest UAV Market: As of now the USA is the world’s largest drone market, followed closely by China. This is not expected to last, with the Chinese drone market forecasted to grow to 18.4 billion compared to the expected 11.4 billion for the USA in 2024. Military Largest Drone Application: It might be surprising to some people, but 75% of all UAV market revenue in 2019 was through military contracts. This means that defense spending in the USA is the driving force behind drone sales. The US recently approved 6 billion dollars to be spent solely on UAV technology. India Is The Largest Emerging Drone Market: India did not legalize drones until 2018, years after most other large nations. This means that one of the world’s largest markets has just been exposed to drone technology. Already the fastest-growing drone market, India is expected to become the world’s third-largest UAV technology market by 2024. Drone Sales Expected To Triple From 2019 To 2024: Based on unit sales numbers it is believed that sales of Drones and other UAV technologies will triple by just 2024. GEOSPATIAL WORLD
Why Is Additive Manufacturing Important?
Additive manufacturing (AM) might be nearly four decades old (yes, really), but real-world applications have only taken off in the last decade or so. If you’re exploring this game-changing technology, read this quick primer on what it is and why it matters. What Is Additive Manufacturing? Additive manufacturing simply describes a method of building objects layer by layer. You design a 3D model, generally in a CAD program, and send the data to a machine (sometimes called a 3D printer) that then creates a physical object. (Check out this post for a more in-depth definition of additive manufacturing.) It can use a range of materials and techniques. For example, it can involve simple extrusion (imagine plastic layers applied like glue from a hot gun), material jetting (like an inkjet printer), or fine powders melted with lasers. In fact, AM is so flexible, you can find it used today for both nanotechnology as well as for building houses. Here’s why everybody is so excited about it: Additive Manufacturing Is Rewriting the Rules for Production One of the striking advantages of additive manufacturing is that it’s self-contained. That is, it not only prints your object, it can also create the scaffolding to support the object during production. When the job is completed, post production might be as simple as snapping off the excess supports or blowing off loose powder. Compare that to traditional manufacturing which may require weeks of setup, mold design, and tooling before the first part rolls off the production line. For this very reason, additive manufacturing has proved popular with inventors and engineers, especially during prototyping. Once you have a design, you can create the physical part within hours. Even if you don’t have your own machinery, you can send a 3D CAD model to an agency and, within a day or two, have a physical part shipped back to you. Additive Manufacturing Removes Limits on Design Another shining characteristic of additive manufacturing is its ability to create parts that might not be possible with traditional manufacturing methods. For example, a lattice structure can help you create an object that is lighter and uses less material than a solid. Traditional production methods like casting and milling aren’t well suited to produce those intricate lattices. Parts may not exit molds cleanly. And milling costs skyrocket when you remove material from multiple directions. The lattice structures in this design will save material and weight but wouldn’t be economical to produce with traditional manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing, on the other hand, doesn’t impose those same limits. There are no molds or concerns about cutting tools reaching into tiny crannies. As such, you need not worry about how the machinery will handle every beam, node, and cell. AM works well with artificial intelligence, too. For example, generative design is an AI technology that suggests designs based on the requirements you specify. Often unconventional in appearance, AM can easily handle even the most organic AI shapes. A part designed for additive manufacturing. While generative design can work with traditional manufacturing methods, additive often offers the most design flexibility. The Available Materials Seem Infinite Until recently, AM materials tended to use plastic, but that’s quickly changing. “The number of materials that AM can handle is constantly expanding,” say the business analysts at McKinsey. “A wide range of new plastics has been developed, along with processes and machines for printing with ceramics, glass, paper, wood, cement, graphene, and even living cells.” Dozens of metals have become available recently, too. Meanwhile, researchers at places like MIT and Washington State are innovating new ways to mix materials into a single build, thus creating objects with properties not possible with a single substance. As more and varied materials emerge, additive manufacturing promises to become even more vital to product development in the near future. Will Additive Manufacturing Scale? As noted earlier, companies often prefer additive manufacturing for prototyping and low-volume production. Just send the 3D CAD model to a machine, and a few hours later, you hold the physical part in your hand. Of course, “a few hours later” isn’t acceptable when you have orders for hundreds of thousands of units due in a few weeks. That’s why most companies haven’t seriously considered AM for mass production. However, that’s quickly changing. Vendors are catching up, offering faster and more efficient ways to produce parts every year. In fact, a few companies are already successfully using AM en masse. Chanel, for example, says it will soon produce a million mascara brushes a month using AM. German automaker BMW now 3D prints essential parts for its i8 roadster. While Adidas produces its Futurecraft 4D sneaker midsole via 3D printing mass production. Additive Manufacturing Spurs Innovation Why is additive manufacturing important? It is pushing design engineers to approach problems in new ways. No longer constrained by the old rules for manufacturing and materials, engineers can now explore their own imaginations to find new solutions. That is leading to more competitive designs, more novel use of materials, and better innovation overall. PTC
Why Lidar Is Important for Autonomous Vehicle?
LiDAR acts as an eye of the self-driving vehicles providing them a 360-degree view. Let’s have a look what is the importance of LiDAR in autonomous vehicle Self-driving cars being vague sign-bearers of an indeterminate future would soon become days of the past. Self-driving cars are all set to disrupt the automobile industry and usher its colossal restructuring. In the coming years, you will just need to turn around to see them moving in your neighboring street. Self-driving cars have already hit the roads of California, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other US states and countries. Though, as of now, their mobility is restricted to specific test areas and driving conditions. But a question arises inescapably in our minds – how do autonomous cars function? Of course, there are a slew of technologies that enable the vehicle to drive autonomously, but, how do the cars change lane and keep a safe distance from other vehicles hurtling past them, or how do they spot roadblocks and other such obstructions ahead? Just like human-driven cars, autonomous vehicles too would have to face traffic congestion, potholes, trees and other obstacles on roads. What is the technology that works as an eye of these cars? Let’s look at how Autonomous vehicle handle such situations smoothly. LiDAR – eyes of autonomous vehicles You might have noticed a rotating device installed atop an autonomous vehicle. However, on some, it’s mounted on the bonnet. This device is LiDAR that acts as an eye of the self-driving vehicles. It provides them a 360-degree view of the surrounding helping them to drive themselves safely. Continuously rotating LiDAR system sends thousands of laser pulses every second. These pulses collide with the surrounding objects and reflect back. The resulting light reflections are then used to create a 3D point cloud. An onboard computer records each laser’s reflection point and translates this rapidly updating point cloud into an animated 3D representation. 3D representation is created by measuring the speed of light and the distance covered by it which helps to determine the vehicle’s position with other surrounding objects. The 3D representation monitors the distance between the other passing by vehicle and any other vehicle in front of it. It helps to command the brakes to slow or stop the vehicle. When the road ahead is clear, it also allows the vehicle to speed up. LiDAR is also being incorporated into a new development called Pre-Scan. In Pre-Scan, laser scans the road surface several hundred times a second. This information is then fed to the cars on-board computer and processed in a fraction of a second, adjusting the individual suspension at each wheel.With the help of LiDAR, autonomous vehicles travel smoothly and avoid collisions by detecting the obstructions ahead. This improves the safety of the commuters and makes autonomous cars less prone to accidents because the risk of human negligence and rash driving is absent. GEOSPATIALWORLD
Top CAD Trends in 2020
In 2020, a clear theme for CAD is easy to see: efficiency. Companies of all sizes are using advances in CAD technology to do more with less, whether that means getting by with smaller teams due to labor shortages or creating more cost-effective designs by using emerging technologies to move faster. How will they achieve this? With generative design, cloud-based CAD, and more digital transformation. Enterprises Will Adopt Generative Design What happens when advances in artificial intelligence, analytics, and multi-physics simulation all come together? You get generative design. The right software can now give designers and engineers hundreds or even thousands of options early in the design process based on functional requirements like material, strength, weight, physical size, and more. The design team can also adjust filters for functional and non-functional factors, such as cost and supply, to come up with design options that they might not otherwise have thought of. The result is nothing short of a revolution in CAD capability, and enterprises are noticing. GE, for example, designed a bracket that was 75% lighter than the original design while still maintaining material yield stress requirements. When you consider the number of parts that an enterprise the size of GE has the opportunity to optimize with generative design, it’s hard to wrap your head around the possible savings. But somewhere out there, a cadre of MBAs are surely trying. Cost savings aren’t the only factor that will drive enterprise adoption of generative design in 2020. A shortage of early-career engineers means that companies are being forced to get creative in finding ways to fill their staffing gaps. Generative design will help even the most novice team member optimize design solutions quickly and efficiently. Generative design is capable of far more than most enterprises have used it for thus far. 2020 is poised to be its breakout year. More SMBs Will Adopt CAD on the Cloud Small- to -medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will increasingly see that cloud-based CAD puts the same powerful software used by big companies within their budget. And unlike traditional CAD software, it won't require the overhead of a large IT department or pricey hardware. What about security? Jon Hirschtick, VP, President of SaaS at PTC, predicts a change in perspectives in 2020. How safe is on-premise software when laptops can be stolen, USB drives misplaced, unencrypted information intercepted over the internet? "Skeptics have long been asking if the cloud will ever be secure enough to protect their data," he says. "This year, that question will be flipped: 'How in the world can you ever have your IP securely stored on your desktop?'” CAD on the cloud will also help companies of all sizes navigate an increasingly turbulent geopolitical climate in 2020. Changing supply chains, regulations, and tariffs will drive more and more companies toward cloud software. "Companies of all sizes will seek out product development tools that enable the instant redeployment of their software tools and data – and that can pull back their valuable IP from their old suppliers," says Hirschtick. Companies of All Sizes Will Do More Digitally Digital transformation has been a hot topic in engineering for the last couple of years, and that trend will continue in 2020. Design teams will leverage advanced features in CAD technology to get real-time feedback on designs, optimize designs for additive manufacturing, and communicate better via model-based definition. Real-Time Design Guidance Design engineers no longer need to wait for the analysis team, let alone the full prototyping process, to start evaluating the efficacy of their designs. In 2020, companies will use features fully integrated into the modeling environments of their CAD systems, like Creo Simulation Live, to iterate through design options more quickly. This will have implications for more efficient material use, speed to market, prototyping, and beyond. Advances in Additive Manufacturing Additive manufacturing (AM) continues to draw in product designers as they explore its flexibility and new material choices. CAD plays a key role by offering more sophisticated design options that, in many cases, are best produced via additive manufacturing. Think lattice structures or the more organic generative design shapes. Historically, AM has been limited by its glacial speed, making it only appropriate for prototypes or small batch manufacturing. New CAD innovations are helping to change that with tools that optimize the build tray—so that the printer can produce more parts in a smaller space. In upcoming years, this will help lead to more additive parts finding their way into mass production. MBD Model-based definition has been on the upswing over the past few years. That’s because it can reduce the design to manufacturing to inspection process by as much as 72%. Switching to model-based from drawing-based makes your workflows faster and easier. In some cases, drawings are no longer practical. Think additive manufacturing. As Jennifer Herron of Action Engineering notes “AM is the only method that requires a 3D model to produce it.” As teams become more and more integrated throughout the design and manufacturing process, they are finding that MBD provides a competitive edge as well as the most effective way to keep everyone on the same page. PTC
Stainless Steel 304 vs 316 - How to Select the Right Grade?
Austenitic stainless steel grades are the number one choice for materials that can endure corrosive environments. Austenitic stainless steel tube is rich in chromium and nickel, which make it ideal for resisting corrosion. It also has remarkable mechanical properties across the various grades available in the market. Grade 304 stainless steel Grade 304 is a basic austenitic stainless steel. It contains a high level of nickel and chromium, with the amount of chromium ranging from 18 to 20% by weight and nickel weighing in at between 8 and 10.5%. Grade 304’s other alloying elements include silicon and manganese with iron comprising the remaining chemical composition. Chromium and nickel give 304 stainless steel its high corrosion resistance. Common applications for 304 stainless steel include: *Household appliances *Heat exchangers *Fasteners *Piping *Making structures in the environment that would wear down carbon steel *Commercial food processing equipment Grade 316 stainless steel 316 stainless steel has the same material composition as 304 stainless steel. However, in addition to high amounts of chromium and nickel, it also holds silicon, carbon, and manganese, with a huge portion comprising of iron. Grade 316 stainless steel has a denser chemical composition. It holds a significant amount of molybdenum of about 2-3% in weight compared to the traces found in 304. The higher molybdenum in 316 results in higher corrosion resistance than in 304. 316 stainless steel does well in salty water, making it ideal for marine applications. Other common applications of 316 stainless steel are: *Marine surroundings, especially those with high chloride concentrations *Medical devices *Refinery equipment *Chemical storage equipment and for chemical processing Which should you choose - 304 or 316? There are situations which set apart the two grades of stainless steel, but both are legends on their turf. The circumstances under which Grade 304 is a better choice are: The application requires superb formability. The higher molybdenum content in 316 can have serious consequences on formability, thus making 304 a better choice. The application has underlying cost concerns. Given that grade 316 is more corrosion resistant, it has a higher direct cost. The following situations highlight cases where Grade 316 may be a better choice: *When the surroundings include a high concentration of corroding elements like in marine application or the dishwasher *When the material will be submerged in water or have consistent exposure to water *In applications where formability is less of a concern and strength and durability are required *In applications where non-magnetic permeability is required. *The underlying cost, however, is justified directly by the long life cycle. Therefore formability and corrosion resistance should help you choose between grade 304 and grade 316. Criteria to select the best of grades With over 50 stainless steel grades to choose from, picking a grade is not always easy. With expert advice, you can be certain which grade of pipes best suits your project. Here are some things to consider first: *The timeline of material generation or application *Transition in-process phase *Cost-reduction through the change of basic material *Adaptation of new material due to bad performance The basic types of pipes obtainable are: *Duplex *Basic ferritic *Austenitic peak temperature steel *Basic martensitic *Stainless steel class is a broad spectrum and critical elements include: *Fire-resistance *Mechanical strength *Magnetic response *Corrosion resistance *Life span cost Corrosion resistance The environment in which the stainless steel product will be located is important when determining the choice of grade. The atmospheric conditions, the concentration of chemicals which comprise of chlorides and acids are the fundamental concerns of corrosion resistance. For less corrosive environments, the most preferred grades of austenitic stainless steel would be grades 303 and 304. If your project is set in surroundings which are more corrosive based on the presence of acid and chlorine or seawater, grade 316 is best suited for such environments. The key to choosing the best stainless steel for your application is to evaluate the life cycle cost. STAINLESS STEEL
Stainless Steel – Durable, Sustainable and 100% Recyclable
Sustainability is defined by 3 Ps – People, Planet and Profit. To build a sustainable future, the materials, especially metals we use play a crucial role. And that’s because discarded or scrap metal do not decompose easily and that poses a serious risk to people and planet. To have a sustainable tomorrow, we need to use metals that are clean, durable and recyclable today. Currently, a lot of emphasis is laid on choosing materials that are sustainable and stainless steel, known best for its sustainability and durability properties is gaining significant recognition. Stainless steel sheets have been used for a long time for various applications across various industries and is known to be 100% recyclable. It is therefore the right material for a sustainable planet. Not only do stainless steel products help in implementing environment-friendly solutions, it also helps in implementing cost effective solutions as well. Let’s have a look at the various aspects that contribute to the role of stainless steel in sustainability: Stainless Steel is 100% Recyclable Stainless Steel is non-degradable and 100% recyclable. Therefore, it is recycled to produce more steel and this process goes on indefinitely. The material is made of nickel, iron, chromium, and molybdenum among other raw materials. These metals are high in demand and therefore stainless steel has high capture rates. Despite extremely high recapture rates, the demand for stainless steel is on the rise, which is an excellent trend because it helps to ensure that the new stainless steel that goes into production today will be recycled in the future. Stainless Steel is Durable Due to its excellent mechanical and corrosion properties, stainless steel is chosen for countless applications across various industries because it ensures low maintenance costs, a long life and high recapture rates once that life is over. Companies can foster its high sustainability and durability properties by implementing a proper maintenance system with a commitment to recycle steel and purchase recycled steel whenever the need arises. Stainless Steel Doesn’t Pose a Risk to Human Health Stainless steel is easy to clean and does not breed bacteria easily. Therefore, it is widely used in manufacturing of food and medicine. The presence of chromium in stainless steel forms a natural, passive protective layer that prevents steel from corroding. Therefore, if the correct grade of steel is chosen for an application it poses little to no risk to the people handling it. Moreover, it becomes an environment-friendly choice as 100% of it is recycled at the end of its life. An important fact to note here is that stainless steel does not remain in the environment and poses no threat to humans and animals. Stainless Steel Makes a Perfect Economical Choice Stainless steel doesn’t only make an excellent environmental choice, but it is an excellent economical choice as well. If the correct type or grade of stainless steel is chosen for an application, it can last till the project lasts. In its lifetime, it saves maintenance costs, inspection costs and production downtime costs. Because of its high durability properties, it can sustain in the worst of conditions and retain its original form. At the end of a project, the stainless steel also has a high scrap value and all of it is recycled. With the onset of environmental awareness, people, government, commercial establishments, communities and industries have realized the need to reduce carbon footprints to have a sustainable future. They are now more conscious than ever about their choices in materials as they do not want to contribute to the carbon emissions that could paralyze nature. They would rather invest in looking for better ways to ensure that their products are environmentally friendly and do not cause harm to people and nature. The growing amount of awareness has made stainless steel the material of choice. It is no wonder that stainless steel is deemed as a green product and the demand for this material has been the highest of any material in the world. STAINLESS STEEL WORLD
Principle and Procedure of Colorimeter
What is Colorimeter? A colorimeter is a light-sensitive tool used to measure the absorption and transmission of light that passes through a sample solution. A colorimetric device works based on Beer Lambert's law. The photoelectric colorimeter is a sensitive apparatus intended for use in various colorimetric analyses such as soil component analysis, building materials, water analysis, food ingredients, textile products, additives, and employ in different manufacturing processes. Colorimeter Principle Colorimetry is a sensitive tool used to determine the intensity and concentration of a sample at a particular wavelength. In general, two types of colorimeters are used which are spectrophotometers and tristimulus colorimeters. The colorimeter principle works based on Beer-Lambert's law. This rule states that the absorption of light when passing through a medium is directly proportional to the intermediate convergence. While using a colorimeter, there is a beam of light wherein a given wavelength is directed toward a liquid sample. By entering a sample solution, the light beam travels through a series of different lenses, and the microprocessor is used to determine the absorption or emission of light through the liquid sample. If the concentration of the sample is high, the more light will be absorbed and if the sample has low concentration, it will transmit more light. You may determine colorimetric reactions on a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer. Both measure the intensity of light that passes through a liquid sample and convert the intensity of this light into a concentration based on a specific calibration curve. The colorimetry follows the principles of the Beer-Lambert law is expressed as: A = Ɛ x b x c A is the absorbance of the sample component Ɛ is a wavelength-dependent absorptivity coefficient b is the path length of the cell c is the concentration of the analyte Types of Colorimeter The tristimulus colorimeter and spectrophotometer are the types of colorimeter used for color measurement. Tristimulus colorimeter: Tristimulus colorimeter is usually used for quality control, and appropriate with color variations and resistance determination. The tristimulus method measures the light reflected from the object to have a similar sensitivity using three separate sensors. Spectrophotometer: A spectrophotometer is a device that can determine light intensity as a function of color, or more precisely, the wavelength of light, and other liquid samples. This detects both the entire UV spectrum in the range of 200-400 nm and the visible range of 400-800 nm. It gives accurate data by providing the wavelength of the sample absorbance or transmittance properties by wavelength spectral analysis. A spectrophotometer is simple and fast to operate and is most commonly used for light absorption measurement. Colorimeter Procedure Before beginning a colorimetry analysis, we must recognize the various parts essential to perform the process. Light source: Generally a tungsten or xenon lamp is used to produce the light. Filter: It is made of colored glass, and is used to choose the light of narrow wavelength. Cuvette: It is used to hold the solution of the sample. The monochromatic light passes through the sample solution put in a cuvette. Cuvettes are made up of special quartz or glass. Detector or Photocell: it is used to detect the light transmitted through the sample. It is photosensitive components that transform light energy into electric energy Experimental Procedure of Colorimeter *A colorimeter requires the first calibration using standard solutions of the specified solute concentration to be measured in a test sample. *Prepare samples according to the procedure. *Turn the instrument ON and allow it to warm up for 10-15 minutes. *Choose the correct filter. *Select the appropriate mode, i.e. % transmittance or absorbance. *Insert the test tube containing the “Blank” or “Reference” solution. *Make auto- zero with the blank solution. *Remove the test tube containing the blank solution and insert the sample solution. *Note down the reading in %T mode or optical density. Colorimeter Applications *It uses to confirm the quality and consistency of fabric and paint colors *Applications of colorimeter have the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the samples. *The food industry uses this to ensure the quality of the product. *It is used to determine the quality of the food, to ensure that it does not spoil by determining its particular color. *It can also be used to calculate a reaction's path by evaluating the rate of formation and the disappearance of light-absorbing analytes within the range of the visible light spectrum. *The quality of the water is measured using colorimetry. *It is used by manufacturers of paints, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. *Colorimetry is frequently used to determine a concentration of the sample by determining the transmittance, optical density, or absorption thereof. *By determining the absorption spectrum in the visible range, the component can be identified. The Advantages of Colorimeter are as Follows. *It is cost-effective, rapid and is easy to operate. *Compared to the volumetric or gravimetric processes it is a fast and convenient technique. *No expert is required to handle this. *Using the colorimetry process the chemical substances can be identified in the water. *It subjected colored compounds to quantitative analysis. *It can be used in quantitative analysis of colored compounds. *Another advantage of colorimeter is that it's a portable system that convenient to carry The Disadvantages of Colorimeter are as Follows :*Not analyzing colorless compounds is the major disadvantage of colorimetry. *It requires more sample amounts for analysis. *It requires the standard solution to be prepared. *It has a lower sensitivity than other techniques. *Colorimetry is not functioning in UV and IR regions. *The accurate bandwidth of wavelengths can be essential for a more precise analysis of the molecules. CHROMINFO
New Policy Initiatives to Move European Aluminium Industry Forward
As a European industry association, our focus for 2020 is ensuring that new policymakers in the reconstituted European Commission and Parliament understand our industry. Our agenda features a comprehensive set of policy recommendations across four domains: circular economy, trade, energy & climate, and innovation. First, we must convince more politicians that aluminium is a strategic industrial sector to preserve Europe’s competitiveness and critical for the transition to a climate neutral and circular economy. We will also pay close attention to the new policy initiatives that will be introduced as part of the European Green Deal, presented as Europe’s growth strategy for a resource-efficient and competitive economy to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The European aluminium industry has the ambitious aim of becoming a frontruner in this process. That’s why we have not only developed a long-term vision towards 2050 but also a complementary mid-term recycling strategy that set out different scenarios of how the sector can contribute to Europe’s climate and growth conditions. They also outline the conditions necessary for the sector to realise its full potential for decarbonisation and recycling. Establishing free and fair trade conditions. Our data shows that the increasing aluminium demand in Europe will continue to rise by up to 40% by 2050, driven by high demand in many applications (mobility and transport, building and construction, packaging, to only name the largest sectors). Unfortunately, the long-term growth opportunities are overshadowed by short-term challenges in trade and energy that pose serious threats to our industry. Recent developments on the world trade scene are posing serious threats to our industry. The number one challenge to tackle remains subsidised Chinese excess capacity. Last year, the OECD released a landmark report on the aluminium value chain, which shows just how much support Chinese producers receive: 70 billion dollars between 2013-2017, with 85% of this benefiting just five Chinese companies. The subsidised aluminium production in China undermines European production, distorts global markets, and depresses global aluminium prices, threatening the competitiveness of the European aluminium industry. Thanks to state support, China’s primary production increased to almost 60% of worldwide production in just over a decade, which also led to a boom in the export of semi-fabricated products to the EU. Moreover, these Chinese imports reach our market at unfairly low prices – up to 30% below the market price. The current trade defence measures on aluminium wheels, foil, and radiators are not sufficient as they only cover 5% of the EU production, and we will continue to work with the European Commission to intensify its efforts to safeguard the future of the industry. Together with other industries, we are also calling on governments to reform the WTO to better deal with today’s trade challenges. The reformed WTO rules should protect the multilateral trade system, assess the impact of government support throughout the whole value chain, and develop a better accounting system for the influence of state actors. Boosting recycling of aluminium. Our projections show that up to nearly 50% of the European aluminium demand can be met with recycled aluminium by 2050. However, access to aluminium for recycling in terms of quantity and quality will be a big challenge that prohibits us from achieving full circularity. The Commission’s upcoming Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0 should, therefore, create the right incentives to promote circular business models, taking into consideration the enormous potential lying ahead for the European aluminium recycling industry. Ensuring long-term predictability. There is no way around it: our industry requires a lot of electricity. Electricity costs represent up to 40% of the total primary production costs, and Europe has the highest electricity prices compared to main competitors due to the extra costs that arise from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the greening of power generation systems. No aluminium smelter outside Europe is exposed to carbon costs in their electricity prices. That is why the ongoing overhaul of the EU’s State Aid Policy and the review of the guidelines on the compensation of the indirect costs of the ETS are vital to avoid further plant closures in Europe and preserving the full aluminium value chain in Europe. We need a more comprehensive and less fragmented compensation system while ensuring long-term predictability. It will be equally critical to see similar developments in other parts of the world. Investing in the future. Without innovation, we will not reach Europe’s ambitious climate goals. Aluminium manufacturing and product development need to invest in reinforcing its contribution to more carbon-neutral and circular mobility, building and packaging sectors. However, investments in greenfield operations are challenging due to the lack of predictability related to regulation and access to affordable and green electricity. Large-scale breakthrough production technologies and recycling facilities require considerable upfront capital. Investments in dismantling, sorting, pre- and remelting technologies are also important to further close the loop. We call for a predictable framework and more favourable conditions to encourage investments in greenfield operations and to remove regulatory barriers that prevent scaling up of innovations and more recycling in Europe. We believe that EU funding and investment programmes must equally and fairly address key sectors without diverting massive amounts towards specific sectors such as plastics. Programmes should prioritise sectors that adopt a proactive industrial transformation vision for 2050, based on carbon neutrality, circularity and a positive contribution to society. Despite the challenges mentioned here, with the right conditions the European aluminium industry cannot only defend but even expand its share in the growth of the aluminium demand in Europe. Based on its enormous potential, our industry will be one of the frontrunners in Europe’s transition to a low carbon economy. So, my new year’s wish is that each one of Aluminium Leaderspeak’s readers becomes a proud and outspoken ambassador of our metal! ALCIRCLE
Better Together: Additive Manufacturing and the Digital Thread
Manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to optimize processes and become more lean, flexible, and agile to keep pace with mass customization customer demands. This includes investments in factory assets and machines customized to fit their needs and contribute to larger strategic goals. Consumers are similarly intrigued by customized experiences, which are available through a plethora of purchasing options in today’s global marketplace. Manufacturers have both a challenge and opportunity to weave production lines with customization capabilities to achieve flexibility and agility. Forward-thinking manufactures preemptively addressing this trend are turning to emerging technologies and one of the key combinations for customization is additive manufacturing and the digital thread. Additive manufacturing (AM), sometimes referred to as 3D printing, is the process of creating physical objects in a layer-by-layer procedure. Traditionally, creating new parts or products is a timely and costly process due to the need to reconfigure manufacturing systems (production floors, assembly lines). The costs for both set-up and changeover times is a financial hit, especially for ‘one-off’ products. These inefficiencies cannot take place in today’s fast-paced world of customized products; additive manufacturing provides a solution. Digital Thread Crucial to Scaling Additive Manufacturing Additive can quickly create new prototypes, parts, and products without massive manufacturing equipment overhaul. The cost savings can be significant even just on a ‘one-off’ basis; think of a machine malfunctioning and an on-site 3D printer creating a spare part for a technician to repair it in minutes. This drastically minimizes material, logistics, and downtime costs. For additive manufacturing to reach its full potential it must be linked into the digital thread. In the example mentioned above, through IIoT and analytics we can now preemptively diagnose the machine’s failure and proactively take counter measures. Feeding this digitized information to the 3D printer in-tune with the machine’s digital definition (CAD, PLM, BOM), we can quickly manufacture the replacement part and negate any costly machine downtime. IoT can also provide crucial performance data to create a closed-feedback loop for product designers; real-world product usage data is accessible via the digital thread for designers looking to create the next product iteration. Generative Design and the Digital Thread Artificial Intelligence is transforming industries, companies, and the roles within them. Product design and engineering functions are being equipped with AI-driven generative design tools where they can create higher performing and more efficiently made future product iterations. However, delivering these optimized product iterations (like the wrench below) come in forms with complex lattice structures and geometries that are challenging to manufacture with current machinery. Additive manufacturing brings these innovative generative designs to life with its configurable layer-by-layer material printing. These optimized product designs substantially reduces scrap, materials used, and product weight, which has major implications for product development costs and real-world performance. Case in point, a GE Bracket redesigned through generative design was 75% lighter than the original design and also improved material yield stress. Combining additive with generative design will also substantially reduce prototype overhead costs. Product designers can quickly manufacturer a prototype optimized by generative design through an on-site 3D printer. Rapid prototyping has downstream effects. It enables manufacturers to get new products to market faster than ever and meet the demands of increasingly shorter lead times. Polaris is using additive to quickly develop new parametric lattice structures in its products, which is creating new efficiencies. Final Thoughts Manufacturers will need an additive manufacturing strategy to keep pace with mass customization trends and competitive headwinds. Additive manufacturing combined with the digital thread provides an entryway for innovative technologies to become mainstream and empower collaboration across various roles. AM will physically revolutionize the factory floor, while the digital thread will unlock and scale its widespread impact across all operations. PTC
Aluminium cycle: Machining, Briquetting, Melting
Aluminium’s recycling cycle begins and ends in melting plants. In between, this light metal is machined in many different industrial operations of diverse branches and ideally is then pressed into a compact briquette using a briquetting system from RUF. But where exactly are chips produced and why does briquetting usually make economic sense? Aluminium chips are produced throughout the entire product creation process; during the surface treatment of cast bolts and rolling ingots, during profile, plate and sheet production as well as the machining of components. Depending on whether they are produced by milling, turning, grinding or sawing, the chips, which are often wet, vary in form and properties; wool-like, spiral, rough, fine etc. What they all have in common is: they will be re-melted, whether in a Remelter or a Refiner. This phase describes both: The end and the new beginning of the eternal Aluminium-Recycling-Cycle. Within this cycle, four branches, above all, are concerned with the importance of handling of aluminium chips: Rolling mills, Stamping/pressing plants, Machining companies and Melting works. B02_Ruf_Study-Briquetting Aluminium briquettes achieve up to seven per cent more yield than loose chips But what are the key considerations in detail? Loose chips have a large volume at low weight; so they display low bulk weight, typically lying between 140 to 250 kg/m3. This effects significant costs for storage as well as transport, both internally and externally. In order to react against this, the chips must be pressed. This is where the applied technology is of high importance. RUF’s machines can compress to a level of 2,200 to 2,400 kg/m3 (and in individual cases these figures may be exceeded) when required. As a comparison: the density of solid aluminium lies, on average, at 2,700 kg/m3. Briquetting in Rolling mills Chips are created in Rolling mills through the milling off of the casting surface. So-called edge trimming shavings are also created during the machining of sheets, coils or foils. Briquetting applies for either form. When the company has an affiliated melting works, the pressed aluminium will be conveyed directly there (highest added value). Otherwise they will be stored and sold on the scrap market. On account of the high density when compared to loose chips, storage and transport costs are reduced by the use of briquettes. Furthermore, briquettes achieve higher sales revenue because they are better suited to the melting process. B01_Ruf_Study-Briquetting RUF Maschinenbau delivers tailor-made briquetting solutions for all areas of application – Rolling mills, Extruders, Machining companies as well as Remelters resp. Refiners. Benefits in brief: reduced storage and transport costs, reduced operating costs through in-house recycling, and alternative sales revenues optimized. About 130 RUF briquetting systems are in operation, worldwide. Briquetting in pressing plants Pressing plants produce chips primarily through reprofiling and sawing of casted round bolts as well as finished extruded sections. As very few of these types of companies are affiliated with a melting works, storage and transport costs are extra significant. Another factor above all in achieving higher sales revenues is that Stamping/pressing plants dispose of single origin chips with a clearly defined composition. This means they can be used as alloying additions during the melting process, which is very much in-demand in the melting plants as it means they have to purchase less, very expensive, alloying elements and aggregates. B03_Ruf_Study Briquetting The melting process is both the end and the new beginning of the eternal Aluminium-Recycling-Loop. In between lies the machining of the materials and the briquetting of the chips. Benefits in brief: reduced storage and transport costs, sales revenues optimized, and optimised remelting. About 180 RUF briquetting systems are in operation, worldwide. Briquetting in machining companies Machining companies are to be found in many branches like e.g. in the Automobile industry, Aerospace and Mechanical engineering. Handling chips is daily business for these companies, and it has the association of a “waste product” of machining. The advantages of briquetting regarding storage and transport costs also exist here, just like the optimisation of sales revenues, because of the volume reduction of the chips after briquetting by a factor of between six and twenty. Furthermore, there is another important factor in this area of application: the recovery of cooling lubricants, emulsions or oil. B05_Ruf_Study_Briquetting RUF’s systems are equipped with an integrated catchment device for fluids. This ensures that your storage area remains clean, which is very much in alignment with orderly production processes and environmental protection in practice. Personnel costs are reduced and work safety levels are increased when the machine works automatically and only the conveyance of chips or briquettes requires service personnel. Benefits in brief: reduced storage and transport costs, recovery of emulsion, sales revenues optimised, and work safety and environmental protection. About 850 RUF briquetting systems are in operation, worldwide. Briquetting with Remelters and Refiners Remelters and Refiners are smelters, which are differentiated by e.g. the products they manufacture. Remelters mostly produce wrought alloys as wire, bolts and rolling ingots. Refiners produce casting alloys in the form of ingots. Both utilise chips, amongst others. The difference between using loose chips or briquetted aluminium for remelting is, in both cases, significant. Because under the effect of flames, the light material burns-off very quickly instead of melting. And as the relation between surface area and density is particularly big with chips, a lot of material is lost through this burn-off. Moreover, the large exposed aluminium surface area of the chips mean a high tendency to oxide formation. This leads to further losses in the melting furnace in the form of dross. A further problem factor in the melting of aluminium: when the liquid metal comes into direct contact with other liquids such as cooling lubricants, an almost explosive reaction takes place. Therefore, the factor of residual moisture is important. B04_Ruf_Study Briquetting Four application branches in particular benefit from numerous benefits when aluminium chips are briquetted: Melting works, Stamping/pressing plants, Rolling mills and machining companies. Loose chips often have a moisture content of 20 per cent and more. If they are not briquetted, the chips must go through a centrifuge and further drying systems in order to remove the residual moisture. In contrast briquetting is significantly more economically effective, especially when high quality systems are used. An appropriately high pressing power reduces the moisture content down to between three and five per cent. If the briquettes are subsequently stored in a dry place this reduces to values fewer than two per cent. And the briquettes can be safely and efficiently melted. Benefits in brief: reduced storage costs, higher safety levels, Product quality, efficiency and metal yield increased, reduction in plant investment, sales revenues optimised. Additional benefits for Refiners: no resp. reduced salt application, ancillary costs reduced. About 130 RUF briquetting systems are in operation, worldwide Smelters requirements Because of burn-off and oxidation, loose chips cannot be used in some melting furnaces or only after very cost intensive treatment. The melting process of loose chips in a rotary drum furnace requires the addition of salt. The inherent problem here is: the left over salt slag has to be disposed of or undergo re-treatment, which is very expensive. Hearth type melting furnaces can also be equipped with so-called Vortex-installations, which can be operated with electromagnetic or mechanical pumps. This leads to the chips being stirred into the molten mass. This functions pretty well, but it requires a lot of effort. And apart from the purchase costs, the installation needs space, regular maintenance and there are also extra personnel and operating costs involved, particularly due to the high wear factor. Two to seven per cent more yield from the melting process Independent of which furnace technology is implemented, the melting process functions at its best with highly compressed briquettes. What is decisive is the density of the briquettes, which lies between 2,200 and 2,400 kg/m3. The density of liquid aluminium is, on average, around 2.350 kg/m3, depending on the alloy. Therefore the briquettes hardly float at all, which means burn-off and oxide formation are reduced to the minimum. This is the reason why Refiners generally report a yield at least two per cent higher. Some have confirmed five to seven per cent more metal yield. Adapted briquetting technology from RUF Whether Rolling mill, pressing plant, Machining company or smelters; what is decisive is always using a needs based, high quality briquetting system. RUF has an appropriately large range of systems with customised automation and further accessories. Moreover, the numerous users of RUF systems confirm the high level of robustness, reduced maintenance costs as well as reliable service. This means ROI is achieved often within one or two years. As a leading innovator, the Bavarian company invests regularly in the optimisation of its systems and cooperates with research institutions and universities. Furthermore, RUF works intensively together with their customers. RUF offers the companies the opportunity to test the briquetting of their own chips in in-house test systems and/or they rent them briquetting machines. This is a basis for RUF engineers to optimise system solutions for individual cases and it is a way of introducing new areas of application. ALCIRCLE
5 CAD Modeling Best Practices You Can't Live Without
CAD Modeling is both an art and a skill. Over multiple projects, industries, and years, certain techniques emerge as being critical to success. We commonly refer to these as best practices. Let’s look at a few that are essential to product development. Keep Your Ideas Organized Both new product introduction (NPI) and sustained engineering demand “what if” work. During the former, you iterate different design concepts; during the latter, you implement change as part of a correction or improvement. This leads to multiple “what if” scenarios as you save models into new files, to preserve the original designs, and to perform work on unconnected copies. From past and current experience, I can tell you that the typical "Save As" process doesn’t work when you’re trying to choose which path to take and have to incorporate the solution into the original models. This can mean Copy and Paste or at worst, redoing the work entirely. Keep your design concepts within your CAD package, so that they’re easy to retrieve and update in one place. Practice Top-Down Design Products today are more complex than ever. They often include aesthetic housings, electromechanical components, user interfaces, internet connections, cable harnesses, sensors, and more. A top-down approach provides leaders with the ability to control product design and distribute information to teams and engineers. This in turn provides engineers and designers with the speed and flexibility to develop creative solutions in their areas. Most importantly, top-down enables you to promote reuse of design data and implement significant changes faster and easier than more basic bottom-up approaches. Explore New Technologies We’re living in an exciting time for product development with the introduction and development of technologies like Additive Manufacturing, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, Topology Optimization, Generative Design, and more. Investigating and adopting these tools can provide you significant savings and possibly a competitive advantage. For example, when I was at Amazon, we were spending a fortune and losing time on sending designs to external prototype shops. I could spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars a week in expedited shipping costs. Sadly, the prototype would sometimes be irrelevant by the time it arrived. By adopting Additive Manufacturing into our design process, I could have a prototype in hours instead of days, and iterate a design twice a day instead of twice a week. Augmented reality (AR) superimposes your product onto the real world with the ability to provide supplemental information like process steps, sensor readings, and other operational feedback. AR can be used for reviews, virtual prototyping, and manufacturing process planning. AR also differentiates you from the rest of the market when you incorporate it into the product, as advertising and/or the human interface. An augmented reality experience layers information on top of a real-world scene. These are just a couple examples of benefits from new technologies. Imagine how other emerging trends can tip the scales in your favor. Get Performance Feedback as You Design Speaking of new technologies, you should know that tools now exist that can evaluate the performance of your design in your CAD system as you work. Yes, real-time simulation. Will moving a hole over two centimeters compromise your model's ability to withstand a known load? What if you moved it just one centimeter? What if you tried a different material? In the past, you might have sent the model to simulation experts to find answers to these questions--and then waited. Maybe for days, maybe for weeks. Now you get answers in real time, without all the detailed setup you’d expect from a full-blown simulation tool. So, it's easier to try out different ideas and optimize your model. That saves everybody time, while helping you design the best models possible. An engineer redesigns a guitar effects pedal using feedback from Creo Simulation Live. Don’t Rely on File Systems Maybe you manage your CAD files on network shared folders. Maybe you don’t have that many users, or your products don’t have many components. Even if you think your products aren’t complicated, your processes are. A product lifecycle management (PLM) system not only vaults your CAD models, but also helps with: Configuration Management: know exactly what goes into your products. Change Management: control and track how you make improvements to your designs. Visualization: Enable everyone across your enterprise - planning, procurement, inventory, manufacturing, sales, and marketing – to see what your models and drawings look like using a web browser. These five best practices for CAD will help you improve quality and productivity while lowering errors, cost, and time-to-market. Which of these do you follow? PTC
5 Types of Hydraulic Cylinder
Hydraulic cylinders are an essential component of the hydraulic industry. Almost all the applications use a hydraulic cylinder for converting incompressible hydraulic fluid energy to work. So, having adequate knowledge of this topic will be a great benefit. This article provides you, all the essential information like types, applications, and specifications of hydraulic cylinders. A hydraulic cylinder is a linear actuator used for creating a mechanical force in a straight line either through pushing or pulling. A tube, a piston and ram, two end caps, and suitable oil seals are the basic components required for hydraulic cylinder construction. The tube will be having finished interior and hard chrome-plated piston rods are commonly used for avoiding pitting and scoring. Seals and wipers are attached on the end caps for eliminating contaminants and preventing leakages. Mobile applications such as excavators, dump trucks, loaders, graders, backhoes and dozers use hydraulic cylinders. Other hydraulic cylinder uses are heavy machinery, gym equipment, boats, wheelchair lifts and a lot more. The hydraulic cylinder helps the wheelchair lift to balance the load on it. In the case of heavy machinery, hydraulic cylinders will help to extend the control or usage of equipment. Hydraulic Cylinder Types You can find a vast variety of hydraulic cylinders in the market. The difference in the design of cylinders differs from its applications and industry. The common differences include wall thickness of tube or end caps, the methods used for connecting end caps, the material used, the operating pressure, and temperature. Single acting cylinders, double acting cylinders, tie-rod, welded rod, and telescopic are important cylinder types. 1. Single Acting Cylinders The head end port of these cylinders will operate in a single direction. When the fluid gets pumped into the cylinder barrel, it will extend the piston rod. For generating the return operation(convert to non-pressurized state), a load string or any external force is required. Here, on applying energy, the fluid will drain from barrel to the reservoir. A hydraulic jack is an example of a single acting cylinder. Spring-extend and spring-return are the two types of single acting hydraulic cylinder. The spring-extend, single acting cylinders are used for holding workpieces for a long time. A hydraulic pressure released brake is an example of this type. The commonly used variety of single acting cylinder is spring-return(material handling applications). 2. Double Acting Cylinders In double acting cylinders, both the head and rod ends contain ports for pumping fluids. These ports will control the flow of fluid and provide movement in both directions. Pumping hydraulic fluid to the rod end will retract the piston rod and pumping fluid to the head end will extend the piston rod. Most of the raising and lowering devices are applications of this type. The opening and closing drawers of presses and chippers is a good example of double acting cylinders. Differential and synchronous types are the two categories of double acting cylinders. 3. Tie-Rod Cylinders Most of the industrial and manufacturing applications use tie-rod cylinders. The advantages of the tie-rod cylinder include ease of maintenance, repair, and assembling. For holding the end caps of tie rod cylinders, threaded steel rods are used. These end caps will prevent fluid leakages. Depending on the applications, it can use 4 to 20 tie rods. 4. Welded Rod Cylinders This type of cylinders weld end caps directly to the barrel. So, they are difficult for assembling and disassembling. The compact construction, internal bearing lengths and duty cycle of welded rod cylinders make it suitable for mobile applications. 5. Telescopic Cylinders This is a single or double acting cylinder. Telescopic cylinder contains more than five tubings nested inside each other. These nested tubings are called stages and the diameter of each nested tube will become lesser. WHYPS