Industry Market Trends

Are Big Companies the Answer to Small Business Growth?

March 12, 2013

While they may seem to inhabit two different worlds, small businesses and major corporations are often entwined in symbiotic financial relationships. In fact, support from large companies may be the secret to reinvigorating and expanding the U.S. small business sector. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Skilled Labor Shortage a Trending Topic at 2013 Grainger Show

March 12, 2013

The annual Grainger Show in Orlando ends today. Nearly 15,000 customers and product and service providers attended educational sessions, stopped at the 600-plus supplier booths, and participated in major industry discussions, including those on the skilled labor pandemic. Read More

Industry Market Trends

How Manufacturers Can Compete in Emerging Markets

March 12, 2013

Emerging markets in Asia and South America will be the key drivers of global GDP growth in the next 15 years, outlaying trillions of dollars in consumer and business spending. But U.S. manufacturers looking to take advantage of the massive opportunities in these markets will need to exercise innovative thinking and develop new competitive strategies. Read More

Industry Market Trends

What Happens When the Energy is Green but the Energy Storage Isn’t?

March 12, 2013

The renewable energy industry has been working on storage technologies for years. As the percentage of renewable energy climbs in the U.S.’s energy generation mix, so too will the requirements for large-scale energy storage. Utilities and microgeneration installations have found success with means such as compressed air energy storage (CAES) or pumped hydroelectric storage systems which pump water uphill and store it while energy is available, releasing the stored energy in the form of falling water when it isn't. Some utilities have also had success using flywheels to store energy, and solar farms have experimented with storing energy in the form of heat in salty layered solar ponds. Despite these options, however, energy storage in the world today is still largely about batteries, and there are many different types. Among secondary-cell batteries (the type you can recharge) are the lead-acid batteries you use in your camping lantern to the lithium-ion you use in your cell phone and tablet, plus less common types such as flow batteries or the nickel-cadmium batteries so prevalent in electric vehicles. As anyone who pays attention to battery disposal guidelines knows, batteries aren't exactly the greenest and cleanest technology in the world. So how does it make sense to use them to store clean renewable energy? Read More

Industry Market Trends

Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Industrial Cyber Weapon

March 12, 2013

Researchers at a U.S.-based security firm have traced the origins and design of Stuxnet, the first cyber weapon designed to shut down industrial facilities. Here we look at the true story behind Stuxnet, and what it means for the industrial security infrastructure. Read More