Industry Market Trends

Construction Starts on U.S.’s First Commercial Carbon Capture and Manufacturing Plant

September 30, 2013

Skyonic Corp. of Austin, Texas, has just broken ground on a new facility in San Antonio that is designed to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions from a cement factory and produce chemical products to be sold commercially. Called Capitol SkyMine, the new plant will be “the first commercial-scale facility of its kind that offers a way for emitters to deal with their CO2 and SOx-NOx emissions and do so profitably instead of as a cost,” I was told by Stacy MacDiarmid, communications director for the company.

The Capitol SkyMine facility is being retrofitted onto the 65-year-old Capitol Aggregates Cement Plant owned by owned by Zachry Corp., a construction and materials company in San Antonio. Although the new carbon capture plant is the first of its kind to be built at commercial scale, MacDiarmid told me “we’ve already run a few small-scale pilots.” Read More

Industry Market Trends

Advanced Materials for Lightweighting Cars: Stainless Magnesium Could Become a Contender

September 27, 2013

In this final installment in our series examining various lightweight materials for cars, we look at the use of magnesium, which is gaining increased attention from carmakers. In part one, we examined new advances in steel and their potential for weight reduction. The following week we looked at the benefits of  aluminum. Last week, we explored carbon fiber composites, also known as carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The use of magnesium in automobiles goes back to the 1920s when it was used in racing cars because of its high strength and light weight. Magnesium has the highest strength to weight ratio, or specific strength, of all common structural metals. It is lighter than aluminum by a third and considered particularly easy to work with, both in machining as well as die-casting applications, though not so good for roll-forming. Magnesium is also valued for its specific damping capability, which makes it well-suited for speaker diaphragms and acoustic cable shielding. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Friday Focus: New Efforts in Manufacturing Education

September 27, 2013

Manufacturing education is imperative to the strength of American industry and the restoration of  its outdated image. Initiatives to educate the future workforce come in many forms, from high-tech classroom learning to companies opening their doors to students during such events as next week's national Manufacturing Day (MFG Day). Read More

Industry Market Trends

Could the New IPCC Carbon Budget Cause Another Recession?

September 27, 2013

factorypollutionA report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a stark new picture of global warming's effects on the environment. It also includes a revised "carbon budget" that could have dramatic ramifications for the global economy.

The carbon budget is the amount of carbon dioxide that climate scientists say humans can emit and still keep global warming below 2°C -- a target that nearly every country on Earth, including the United States, has agreed to meet. IPCC has set the world's carbon budget at 1 trillion tons.  Read More

Industry Market Trends

From Engineering.com: Biomimicry and Nature-Inspired Design

September 27, 2013

In this episode of Product Design Show, Vince Penman and Allison Toepperwein report on important examples of biology in design, from birds in flight to a new car whose shape was inspired by a box fish.  Read More

Industry Market Trends

Sustainability Happens When People and Innovation Collide

September 26, 2013

This is part three of the exclusive three-part Manufacturing Sustainability series, intended to delve deeper into the dynamics of sustainable manufacturing, what it means, how it is achieved, the value it can bring to the business enterprise and customers. This article focuses on the integration of people and innovation to drive sustainable manufacturing.  Read More

Industry Market Trends

Career Spotlight: Eric Meyhofer, Principal Commercialization Specialist

September 26, 2013

Not everyone gets the chance to build life-changing robots. But with a dedicated team and intense workdays, Eric Meyhofer, principal commercialization specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University, is transforming the way the world uses advanced humanoid robots. Read More