Nov 23, 2017 - New composite material made of carbon nanotubes. Due to their unique properties, carbon nanotubes would be ideal for numerous applications, but to date they cannot be combined adequately with other materials, or they lose their beneficial properties. Scientists have developed an alternative method of combining, so they retain their characteristic properties. As such, they 'felt' the thread-like tubes into a stable 3-D network.
| FULL STORYIn this simple procedure, water is mixed with the carbon nano tubes and dripped into a white ceramic material which is highly porous. Like a sponge, it sucks up the black liquid. If the ceramic scaffolding is chemically etched out, only the fine felted coat remains. The felt made of tiny tubes has thereby interconnected to form a network of larger tubes. The hollow spaces can be filled with polymers, to create a conductive and tear-resistant composite material.Credit: Fabian Schuett
Extremely lightweight, electrically highly conductive, and more stable than steel: due to their unique properties, carbon nanotubes would be ideal for numerous applications, from ultra-lightweight batteries to high-performance plastics, right through to medical implants. However, to date it has been difficult for science and industry to transfer the extraordinary characteristics at the nano-scale into a functional industrial application. The carbon nanotubes either cannot be combined adequately with other materials, or if they can be combined, they then lose their beneficial properties. Scientists from the Functional Nanomaterials working group at Kiel University (CAU) and the University of Trento have now developed an alternative method, with which the tiny tubes can be combined with other materials, so that they retain their characteristic properties. As such, they "felt" the thread-like tubes into a stable 3D network that is able to withstand extreme forces. The research results have now been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Industry and science have been intensively researching the significantly less than one hundred nanometre wide carbon tubes (carbon nanotubes, CNTs), in order to make use of the extraordinary properties of rolled graphene. Yet much still remains just theory. "Although carbon nanotubes are flexible like fibre strands, they are also very sensitive to changes," explained Professor Rainer Adelung, head of the Functional Nanomaterials working group at the CAU. "With previous attempts to chemically connect them with other materials, their molecular structure also changed. This, however, made their properties deteriorate -- mostly drastically."
In contrast, the approach of the research team from Kiel and Trento is based on a simple wet chemical infiltration process. The CNTs are mixed with water and dripped into an extremely porous ceramic material made of zinc oxide, which absorbs the liquid like a sponge. The dripped thread-like CNTs attach themselves to the ceramic scaffolding, and automatically form a stable layer together, similar to a felt. The ceramic scaffolding is coated with nanotubes, so to speak. This has fascinating effects, both for the scaffolding as well as for the coating of nanotubes.
On the one hand, the stability of the ceramic scaffold increases so massively that it can bear 100,000 times its own weight. "With the CNT coating, the ceramic material can hold around 7.5kg, and without it just 50g -- as if we had fitted it with a close-fitting pullover made of carbon nanotubes, which provide mechanical support," summarised first author Fabian Schütt. "The pressure on the material is absorbed by the tensile strength of the CNT felt. Compressive forces are transformed into tensile forces."
The principle behind this is comparable with bamboo buildings, such as those widespread in Asia. Here, bamboo stems are bound so tightly with a simple rope that the lightweight material can form extremely stable scaffolding, and even entire buildings. "We do the same at the nano-scale with the CNT threads, which wrap themselves around the ceramic material -- only much, much smaller," said Helge Krüger, co-author of the publication.
The materials scientists were able to demonstrate another major advantage of their process. In a second step, they dissolved the ceramic scaffolding by using a chemical etching process. All that remains is a fine 3D network of tubes, each of which consists of a layer of tiny CNT tubes. In this way, the researchers were able to greatly increase the felt surface, and thus create more opportunities for reactions. "We basically pack the surface of an entire beach volleyball field into a one centimetre cube," explained Schütt. The huge hollow spaces inside the three-dimensional structure can then be filled with a polymer. As such, CNTs can be connected mechanically with plastics, without their molecular structure -- and thus their properties -- being modified. "We can specifically arrange the CNTs and manufacture an electrically conductive composite material. To do so only requires a fraction of the usual quantity of CNTs, in order to achieve the same conductivity," said Schütt.
Applications for use range from battery and filter technology as a filling material for conductive plastics, implants for regenerative medicine, right through to sensors and electronic components at the nano-scale. The good electrical conductivity of the tear-resistant material could in future also be interesting for flexible electronics applications, in functional clothing or in the field of medical technology, for example. "Creating a plastic which, for example, stimulates bone or heart cells to grow is conceivable," said Adelung. Due to its simplicity, the scientists agree that the process could also be transferred to network structures made of other nanomaterials -- which will further expand the range of possible applications.
| Story Source:
Materials provided by Kiel University. || November 23, 2017 |||
17 Nov 2017 - To mark the launch of Deloitte Access Economics in New Zealand, a new report entitled Shaping our slice of heaven: Industries of opportunity was released in Wellington last night. The report identifies five industries with the greatest opportunity to contribute to New Zealand’s future economic prosperity. The industries lie at the intersection of global growth and national comparative advantage, forming the heart of New Zealand’s “prosperity map”. These industries of opportunity are tourism, agribusiness, food processing, international education and advanced manufacturing.
Each of the five industries is expected to achieve above average global growth over the next twenty years, in a large part due to the rise of the middle class in emerging economies, in particular the Asian powerhouse economies of China and India. Consumers in these countries, and around the world, want many things New Zealand can offer – excellent agricultural and food products, high quality education, the latest health technologies and unique tourism experiences.
Shaping our slice of heaven: Industries of opportunity analyses where global opportunities and New Zealand’s advantages will coincide to create growth opportunities for the economy. Recognising that New Zealand’s prospects are as bright as they were a decade ago is not in itself enough. The report asks how New Zealand companies, industries and government can work together to apply these insights and take a longer-term view around how to ensure future economic prosperity.
Deloitte Access Economics lead partner in New Zealand Linda Meade says the report is a call to action.
“The core message of the report is that while global or domestic opportunity and structural advantages are necessary, they are not sufficient. To ensure success, we need to build on New Zealand’s areas of advantage to maintain and improve performance relative to global competitors,” says Ms Meade.
“We need to seize the day - there are plenty of competitors waiting in the wings if we are complacent,” she warns.
Ms Meade says Deloitte is very pleased to be launching Deloitte Access Economics in New Zealand and she expects strong growth in economic advisory as a key component of Deloitte’s client services.
“Demand for expert knowledge and industry experience in economic advisory services has grown for some years now. Growth has been driven by the pace of business and regulatory change and the value inherent in understanding the economics that drive these changes, at national, state, industry and enterprise levels,” says Ms Meade.
Since forming as Access Economics in 1988, and joining Deloitte in 2011, Deloitte Access Economics has experienced significant growth. They are now a team of 160 professional economists across New Zealand and Australia and are the leading Australian economic advisory practice.
Canberra-based Deloitte Access Economics Lead Partner Stephen Smith says Deloitte Access Economics has deep specialist skills across macroeconomics, microeconomics, health economics and social policy, and competition and regulatory policy, and a strong commitment to delivering client value when it comes to providing insights and advice.
“Our team’s success in combining deep economic rigour with practical commercial advice is helping to shape conversations around any number of social, political and business issues, deliver business insights and inform investment strategy in Australia – and now here in New Zealand,” says Mr Smith.
16 Nov 2017 - Most engineers didn’t go to school aiming to become economists, but that’s often what it feels like once you take on a managerial role. High-performance equipment is expensive, and downtime is costlier than ever. Lubrication is a fact of life, as is maintenance, whether it’s an airliner on the ramp or a conveyor on an assembly line, and the overall cost of preventative maintenance is always in play. High temperature applications make the problem even worse. At 400° F and higher, conventional hydrocarbon lubricant formulations aren’t enough.
For the difficult environments found in aerospace and aviation applications, for example, high-performance perfluoropolyether (PFPE) lubricants can perform under extreme temperatures, pressures and exposure to harsh chemicals. Often, advanced PFPE lubes are the only solution, but what about cases where hydrocarbon formulations can survive? In this case, there are still strong cost and performance advantages to going with higher performance products.
Consider the true cost of lubrication in manufacturing. Maintaining Lubrication in Extreme EnvironmentsMachines can fail for any number of reasons, but improper lubrication is often a leading culprit. This is commonly due to environmental factors such as temperature, pressure or exposure to harsh chemicals, or due to a lack of scheduled maintenance and relubrication. Extreme environments pose a significant challenge for keeping machines properly lubricated. Steam turbine controls, for example, will see wear on cam shafts, valve lift bar anti-friction bushings and gears if they’re using conventional lubricants, leading to
| Continue toread the full article here || November 16, 2017 |||
15 Nov 2017 - Paints supplier DuluxGroup is reviewing the future of its underperforming business in China but is set to launch into the Indonesian market. Paint supplier DuluxGroup may consider pulling out of its joint-venture business in China as its paints brand struggles but has flagged higher hopes for Indonesia, with plans to start selling some its Selleys products into the growing market there.
DuluxGroup lifted profit by 9.6 per cent to $142.9 million for the year to September 30, and said on Wednesday it expects to deliver an even better result in the year ahead.
Strong growth in the group's Dulux Australia-New Zealand business contributed the bulk of earnings, driven by positive markets and good margin management, and Selleys Australia and New Zealand also lifted.
But earnings from DuluxGroup's "other businesses" segment, which includes the Yates garden care range, PNG, south-east Asia, and China's DGL Camel paints business fell because of a weaker Camel result.
DuluxGroup managing director Patrick Houlihan says DuluxGroup's China business generates about $50 million in revenue, or about three per cent of group revenue.
The China business comprises Camel paints, which is the largest part, and the Selleys range.
Camel and Selleys are profitable in Hong Kong, and Selley's has prospects for success on mainland China, but the Camel paints business has struggled from lack of scale and lack of brand awareness and delivered a poor result in fiscal 2017.
The Camel paints joint-venture started in 2012.
"We just don't have the competitive ratio (with Camel)," Mr Houlihan told reporters on Wednesday
"We doing a strategic review of that business at the moment, particularly the coatings (Camel) portion of it.
"As to what that concludes, I won't pre-empt."
Mr Houlihan said Indonesia has good prospects.
DuluxGroup is partnering with Avian Paints, one of the largest paint companies in Indonesia, to sell some of the Selleys adhesives and sealants range starting in mid-2018.
Mr Houlihan said the joint-venture with Avian has the potential to ultimately access about 40,000 retail hardware outlets in a large and growing market.
"It's going to take a few years to build - this won't be transformative overnight," Mr Houlihan said.
"Over the short term, it will really be about launching in quite a considered matter, portions of the range, one at a time."
DuluxGroup expects its Australia-New Zealand business to remain resilient in the year ahead with its core markets - home renovation, housing construction and commercial markets - forecast to provide solid growth in 2018.
DuluxGroup also said its new paint factory in Merrifield in Melbourne is schedule to begin commercial production in the first half of the 218 financial year and will support the company for decades to come.
Shares in DuluxGroup were 20 cents, or 2.6 per cent, higher at $7.74 at 1117 AEDT.
DULUX LIFTS ANNUAL PROFIT, DIVIDEND
* Full-year profit up 9.6pct to $142.9m
* Revenue up 4pct to $1.8b
* Fully-franked final dividend of 13.5cps, up from 12.5 cents
14 Nov 2017 - Desktop Metal is a US based company committed to bringing metal 3D printing to engineers and manufacturers, today announced it will begin accepting international pre-orders of its metal 3D printing system, the Studio System™ from companies throughout Asia Pacific. The announcement comes as Desktop Metal is experiencing tremendous interest and demand from manufacturers and strategic partners around the globe.
“Our vision is to make our Desktop Metal 3D printing solutions accessible to engineers and manufacturers around the world,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “We plan to begin offering our metal 3D printing technology internationally and will be accelerating production to meet worldwide demand first for our Studio System and later for our Production System. Our partnerships with best-in-class resellers in each of these geographies bring us closer to making metal 3D printing solutions available to all who want to realize the benefits of rapid prototyping and mass production of metal parts. We are excited to see what happens next in manufacturing as we welcome these new countries to our landscape.”
To support its international expansion plans, Desktop Metal has developed strategic partnerships with authorized Desktop Metal international resellers to immediately begin pre-selling its Studio System throughout APAC, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Australia and New Zealand. To date, the company has partnered with 13 resellers throughout APAC to pre-sell and support its systems. Availability of the Studio System will vary by country. Interested buyers should visit www.desktopmetal.com/international for the complete list of APAC resellers and country-specific information.
About the Studio SystemThe Studio System, which debuted in May 2017, is the first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping and is 10 times less expensive than existing technology today. The Studio System is a complete platform, including a printer, a debinder, and a sintering furnace that, together, deliver complex and even impossible geometries of metal 3D printed parts right in an engineer’s office or on the shop floor.
To manufacture metal 3D printed parts at scale, Desktop Metal also debuted the only 3D printing system for mass production of high resolution metal parts today, the Production System.
| A Desktop Metal release || November 14, 2017 |||
8 Nov 2017 - Maungatapere residents Gwen and Peter Ras were inspired to introduce a new hot water technology while searching for a more efficient system for their family home.Northern Advocate. Gwen and Peter Ras have launched Calitec, a company which is introducing a new type of hot water heating system to New Zealand.
Having spent 10 years working with heat pump technology, including eight years as a Home Tech heat pump franchisee in Northland, Mr Ras said Calitec is manufacturing the technology which he claimed can save 70 per cent on energy bills.
Calitec is planning to open the company up to franchisees in 2018.
Originally from Arnhem in the Netherlands, Mr Ras is a sparky by trade, while Mrs Ras was a public relations specialist, having worked on campaigns for energy companies.
7 Nov - When it comes to designing a washdown-friendly facility, it really starts before a company even begins to build the factory. That’s according to Elis Owens, director of technical services at Birko, which offers integrated food safety solutions provided by highly trained and experienced professionals. The company should ask itself if the actual structure of the facility has been designed in such a way that will make it amenable to effective cleaning, and if the equipment has been designed and built following the principles of sanitary design, he explains.
“It should be designed in a way that can be easily cleaned and with materials that are compatible with common cleaning chemicals,” he says. “The way the equipment is put together into the various production lines and the way those production lines are put into the facility [are important].”
So, for example, making sure there is enough space all the way around the equipment for people to access it for cleaning, including catwalks for cleaning in high areas and making sure the floors in the facility are sloped toward the drains and that the equipment is not installed over the top of the drains, all come into play.
“There’s a whole host of factors that need to be taken into consideration,” Owens says, “foot traffic, product flow, forklifts’ movement around the facility.”
Scott L. Burnett, director of food safety and quality, global food and beverage at Ecolab, says factories should include procedures and structures for hygienic zoning, which complement their food safety plan. The use of hygienic zoning creates a “tortuous path” to reduce the risks of food safety hazards entering the product stream by protecting the critical processing areas.
6 Nov - Mining giant Rio Tinto Group is adding two alumina refineries in Australia to the Pacific Aluminium portfolio in an effort at sweetening the deal for potential suitors, according to a trio of sources claiming familiarity with the matter.
According to an article run by Reuters earlier this week, Rio Tinto included the QAL and Yarwun refineries to Pacific Aluminium’s existing assets, which include Australian smelters at Bell Bay, Boyne Island, and Tomago, and New Zealand’s Tiwai Point smelter. Sources indicate that the addition of the two refineries could boost the overall value of the portfolio by another billion dollars to US$2 billion.
Neither Glencore plc., Liberty House Group, nor Rio Tinto would comment on the rumors, and U.C. Rusal was unavailable for comment. However, Glencore is known to have operations in the vicinity of the refineries in question. In addition, Liberty House purchased an aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto in Scotland last year and this year purchased Australian steel firm Arrium in a bid to increase its presence Down Under.
Experts see the addition of these assets as a signal to the wider metals market as well, as the previous CEO Sam Walsh was unable to sell the portfolio during his tenure.
“We view inclusion of the refineries into the mix as a stamp of the new leadership at Rio, increasing the chances of a sale,” opined a fund manager with interest in Rio Tinto.
In addition, analysts see no time better than the present for offering alumina assets up for sale, noting that prices are half-again higher than in August on predictions that capacity cuts in the People’s Republic of China will lead to significantly higher imports.
“If ever there was a time to have a supply source for alumina outside of China, it’s now,” said James Wilson of Argonaut to Reuters. “For Rio, it make sense. For a buyer, such as a Glencore or a Rusal, it makes sense.”
| An Aluminium Insider release || November 6, 2017 |||
6 Nov - A New Zealand insurance underwriting agency is providing an exclusive cover for manufacturers which are facing major challenges in relation to recall of contaminated food and beverage products. About 40 manufactured food products have been recalled so far this year, up from 25 for all of last year, Delta Insurance casualty manager Dinesh Murali says. Delta Insurance is a New Zealand based insurance provider and has an office in Singapore. They provide a range of specialty commercial insurance products. The New Zealand manufacturing sector is experiencing strong growth and is a standout on the international stage. Annual merchandise exports from New Zealand are almost $49 billion, according to Statistics NZ. Murali says manufacturing for the construction industry has grown by 9.5 percent while meat and dairy has jumped by 8.36 percent in the last year. “Our New Zealand climate and abundant natural resources make food manufacturing a good strategic choice. We have a particular strength in food manufacturing, but we have also seen growth across non-food manufacturing as well. “Across all manufacturing segments we regularly outsource manufacturing processes and source components from overseas suppliers and this supports an efficient global supply chain. More competition means increased innovation and creating products in new and more efficient ways. But this also poses new challenges and risks in relation to quality control. “Outside the food sector, we are also seeing a major trend where manufacturers are embedding technology into items such as equipment and machinery with these products becoming connected to the “internet of things. This gives rise to risks such as cyber security which was not previously a concern for these items. “Given the increased and evolving risks, Delta is providing manufacturing-risk cover for Kiwi companies which we believe is the most comprehensive coverage solution in New Zealand. “This cover under one umbrella targets both food and non-food manufacturers and insures a range of manufacturing-specific risks including coverage for product recall due to product defects and food contamination, cover for pollution arising from manufacturing process and crisis management cover. It can also be packaged with other coverages such as cyber liability. “If Kiwi manufacturers choose not to take this cover then they run the risk of potential losses being uninsured which would affect their balance sheet and could, in a worse-case scenario, result in the financial ruin of their business. “Beyond the direct financial impact, they could also suffer significant reputational damage if they do not have the resources and expertise to be able to manage some of these critical issues, such as product recall of contaminated products,” Murali says. For further information contact Delta Insurance’s casualty manager Dinesh Murali on 027 7007951 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.
1 Nov - New Zealand wiring company, Fero, is on the move. And unlike most companies moving overseas, Fero is moving to Samoa. From China to Samoa to be exact.
The family-owned company saw an opportunity in Samoa when Yazaki Samoa closed its doors.
Yesterday, General Manager, Sam Fulton and Managing Director, Greg Fulton, were at their new premises at Vaitele. While there is a lot of work to do, they are looking forward to growing their company and to help Samoa.
While it is not common for a major manufacturing company to set up in Samoa, for Sam and Greg Fulton, the move made financial and logistical sense on many different levels.
Fero had been manufacturing in China for some time and the distance and rising costs were one of the factors that made it easier to move their operation to Samoa.
Furthermore, there were quantity issues with New Zealand and Australia being smaller markets than China was used to.
“In New Zealand and Australia, when you start saying to everyone that we are going to start manufacturing in Samoa - most people are a bit surprised about that,” said Sam Fulton.
“There’s not a lot of manufacturing going on in Samoa for export to New Zealand and Australia.”
The added benefits of having a workforce that was trained by the world class Yazaki proved to be even more of an incentive to set up shop in Samoa.
“It’s fantastic because Yazaki have done a great job of training everyone up,” said Sam, “There’s a lot of good talented people who have got a lot of experience."
“Most of the guys have got over 20 years’ experience in the harness industry. There’s a building here that is custom built for wire harnessing manufacturer. We have got enough space to fit about 500 people into it pretty easily. At the moment we have about 75 people that we have employment agreements with and we have a goal for having 200 employees.”
Fero’s General Manager confirmed that they will be hiring their employees at the same rate that they were receiving at Yazaki and that it was important for them to make sure they stayed on level with the Samoan government pay rates.
It’s also part of their strategy to make sure that all the stakeholders in the business are rewarded for the success of the business.
Both company managers anticipate some challenges ahead.
“It’s not going to be easy getting a good operation going on here and delivering to the rest of the world,” he said.
"Freight is not as regular in getting into New Zealand, we still get our raw materials out of China often and they have to go through NZ to here. We have issues with our business in NZ, we are under no illusions, and it’s not an easy business.”
While challenges are to be expected, the transition has been relatively easy in that being in your own Pacific backyard provides a sense of familiarity both in a social and business sense.
The Company Managers also credited the Samoan government, N.P.F. and the New Zealand High Commission for making the process of establishing a business here run smoothly.
“Samoan culture is different to New Zealand culture but we have quite a lot of similarities,” said Sam. “We have a lot of Pacific Islanders working with Fero in New Zealand and it’s a much easier fit culturally than China."
“For a number of reasons such as; travelling here is easy, we speak in the same language and live in the same time zone which helps when you pick up the phone to make a call and we drive on the same side of the road but it is nice to make sure that work stays with our neighbours in the Pacific.”
Managing Director, Greg Fulton added: “We absolutely respect the talents and the abilities here. We have a really well trained and educated team that’s something that we have found right through Samoa, that the skill all the way through the infrastructure through government is really high, that’s a very easy fit.”
Sam Fulton has been quoted in the New Zealand media, calling Samoa as the best kept secret in manufacturing, even going as far as urging other companies in Australasia to look closer to home instead of looking out towards Asia manufacturers.
“When I say that it’s the best kept secret I think that there’s a lot of opportunity for manufacturing in Samoa for NZ and Australia and not just in wire harnessing either."
“We’re also looking at doing a few other automotive products here. You’ve got the infrastructure to export to different countries. It could be that manufacturing can become an industry for Samoa rather than always just relying on tourism and agriculture.”
Setting up in Samoa has given both Sam and Greg Fulton some personal satisfaction in that they have realized that they have come to a place that genuinely appreciates their presence and what they have to offer for our people and the economy,
“It’s been really rewarding, right from the word go,” said Greg Fulton. “Anytime we’ve been involved with different people about what we are doing here and what we are planning to do here, so many people at so many different levels have said ‘thank you very much for coming into Samoa, we are grateful of that’ and that sort of thing is really good to hear and it’s very encouraging. To know that they believe that you can make a difference has got a heck of a lot of reward.”