Developments

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It was just the other day that Switzerland opened the longest railway tunnel in the world. Now, Norway is planning the world's first underwater tube-shaped tunnel. A masterpiece of structural engineering that will consist of two 1,200 meters (4,000 ft) concrete tubes that will lie 30 meters below the surface of the Norwegian sea. The tunnel will connect the city of Kristiansand to the city of Trondheim. Norway already has the record for the largest road tunnel in the world ;The Lærdal...

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With two weeks to go, the Rio Olympics' grim outlook continues. The Australian Olympics team has a bone to pick with the civil engineers that constructed the Athletes Village. They have complained that the village is "not safe or ready" to live in. The complaints range from blocked toilets to exposed electrical wiring. The Aussies have refused to live in the apartments and have rather opted for hotels in the surrounding area until their building is ready. The Australian team's head of mission...

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Want to be a successful engineer? Have a master plan. Or better yet, have two master plans. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla Motors and co-founder of SolarCity, OpenAI and PayPal has released his second master plan. The master plans refer to the feats of engineering he hopes to achieve in the new future. Basically, a vision and mission statement as if he was sat in a job interview and asked: So, what do you want to achieve in the next ten years?

Musk says that ten years ago he penned his...

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Residential energy storage systems have seen a major uptake in Australia. LG Chem has said that Australia's interest in energy storage systems has signalled a "critical solar decade" for the country. 2016, in the first seven months, has been the biggest year for Australian residential home batteries due to entire suburbs receiving subsidised energy storage systems. 200 houses in Canberra received discounted Tesla PowerWalls in a pilot program that emphasized Australia's willingness to adopt...

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Ever had a cell phone overheat when using a battery-heavy application like the GPS or playing a CPU-intensive game? Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have announced that they have perfected a 'sand' that could be used to cool down electronic devices. Electronic devices tend to run at high temperatures. What kind of sand are we talking about here? Silicon dioxide nanoparticles that are covered with a "high dielectric constant polymer". The researchers explain that the...

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Bridges need to be sturdy. It's just one of those things. If you don't build a sturdy bridge, what were you building one for, in the first place? A former researcher at the University of Warwick thinks that she may have perfected the method for building the perfect bridge. People are using the word 'indestructible'. The researchers attached to the product say a production method called 'form finding' could build a bridge that has no weak points. To get a clearer picture of what form finding...

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Self-driving technology will never stop being a hot topic until it is perfected and fully integrated into our society. Until then, engineers are having to grapple with the shortcomings of the technology to figure out how to create a fully safe, efficient, self-driving car. On June 30th, Tesla's Autopilot feature failed to notice a trailer in the way of a freeway, causing a fatal crash. Now, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has announced that it will be investigating all...

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Does the future success of the Internet of Things lie in the collaborations between companies joining their expertise together for a one-size-fits-all approach to IoT? IBM and Cisco think so. The two companies are joining forces to bring a cloud-based IoT-connected workplace kit available. IBM would be bringing their artificial intelligence supercomputer, Watson, to the table. Cisco would be bringing their connectivity equipment and data producing apps. 

Cisco's hardware will work...

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Australia's clean energy storage market is growing at a speed that other countries are struggling to keep up with. The market has always been forward thinking and proactive. Now, South Korean company, LG Chem is using Australia as their platform, to launch their new battery storage solution. LG Chem's energy storage units have already been previewed but are finally ready to launch to consumers. 

The company had initially announced that it would make 600 Residental Energy Storage...

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Want to go work in Singapore? According to veteran engineers, Singapore's engineers are flocking to other industries. This has caused a shortage of engineers in key industries that require them, most notably in telecommunications and railway engineering applications. The dean of the engineering faculty at the National University of Singapore, Professor Chua Kee Chaing, has said there is a lack of engineering talent in critical infrastructure industries such as broadband and power networks...

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Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) is a company that integrates clean renewable energy into buildings through supplying energy storage units. Their solutions ensure that businesses use less utility grid energy. The company operates out of San Francisco, California. They are teaming up with Macquarie Group, an investment banking, and diversified financial services group. Macquarie will be supplying the energy giant $200 million to kick-start new energy storage projects. 

Chief Executive...

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Industrial workers have to operate some heavy machinery and carry some heavy equipment. Now, a new glove that makes it easier to do those things is here.  Engineers from General Motors have shown off a new innovation they have been working on for quite some time. A robotic glove turned industrial glove. The glove is a collaborative project between General Motors and NASA. The glove is called the RoboGlove. It was a joint venture between GM and NASA that took nine years to...

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Research group Gartner tell us that 6.4 billion devices are soon to be connected to the Internet of Things this year. That will be 30 percent more than 2015. This would mean that 5 million devices will be connected to the internet every single day. In 2020, the number is expected to grow to 20.8 billion connected things. Some of these devices will be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT-connected devices will ensure that industrial automation reaches new heights, redefining...

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Transparency Market Research has issued a new report on the global supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems market. They have been tracking the market since 2014 and will continue to do so until 2020. The report is titled 'Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2020'. SCADA systems run all of the major players in industry. They're used in substations, oil and gas, water distribution...

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The global smart energy market will see seven vendors rising up above the rest, to capitalize on the new era of clean energy production with an added layer of digitization as the Industrial Internet of Things. The seven leading vendors were determined by a study done by Technavio, which considered energy companies that provided services in "smart-grid, HEMS, digital oil fields" and leading solar technologies, all in the name of clean and smart energy production. The efficiency of these power...

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The Twinkie is America's snack. Or, at least it used to be. If anything, it is a wonderfully engineered bit of a pastry for people who desire a cake with a bit of stuffing - or is that icing? Regardless, the company who make Twinkies, Hostess, almost went bankrupt twice. Just imagine if you were an American living in a world without Twinkies. In 2013, as Hostess admitted to bankruptcy due to employee and union "arrangements", the company was bought by another company named Apollo. Now, the...

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The global smart energy market will see seven vendors rising up above the rest, to capitalize on the new era of clean energy production with an added layer of digitization as the Industrial Internet of Things. The seven leading vendors were determined by a study done by Technavio, which considered energy companies that provided services in "smart-grid, HEMS, digital oil fields" and leading solar technologies, all in the name of clean and smart energy production. The efficiency of these power...

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A recent report by Research and Markets indicated that wind and solar generated 77 percent of the global renewable energy in 2015. The American Wind Energy Association says that wind energy currently powers up to 20 million homes in the United States. Wind farms are gaining popularity all over the world, equipped with row upon row of wind turbines. Even companies like Walmart now have stakes in wind farms that generate some of the electricity they power their buildings with. Ikea has also...

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The safety helmet seems to be the worldwide symbol for engineers. If you go to Google Images and type the word 'engineers', almost every single image that comes back is of people with hard hats on. To an average joe, engineers wear hard hats in their occupations. However, a new report indicates that engineers are tired of the hard hat as the worldwide symbol for engineering. Engineers want the symbol to be changed in educational works that emphasize the stereotype that all engineers wear hard...

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Industrial control system cybersecurity continues to be an elusive concept to companies who have not made advancements in securing company assets that are connected to the internet. The guys at Automation World have you covered, though. They have compiled a very simple 3 principle approach to protecting your industrial operations that will or do function with the Industrial Internet of Things. 

One of the issues for industrial operations is that attacks can be performed on the...

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Australia's construction market is doing quite well. In the Performance of Construction Index, Australia rose by 6.5 points in June, giving them an average score of 53.2. Their score in May was 46.7. A healthy score is above 50.0 which separates the line of expansion versus contraction. Therefore, Australia's construction is looking healthy. Recent reports indicate that the Australian construction industry has taken a dip since March 2013. Sourceable confirmed that construction...

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The global smart energy market will see seven vendors rising up above the rest, to capitalize on the new era of clean energy production with an added layer of digitization as the Industrial Internet of Things. The seven leading vendors were determined by a study done by Technavio, which considered energy companies that provided services in "smart-grid, HEMS, digital oil fields" and leading solar technologies, all in the name of clean and smart energy production. The efficiency of these power...

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A wearable. A word that has a very simple definition. It is an item/s that can be worn. When we think about wearables, we think about the current applications available in the media; smart-watches, head-mounted VR gear etc. However, wearable technology has become valuable to engineering industries. Wearables for industrial operations, coupled with modern day automation with the Internet of Things , will ensure that everyone attached to a project or a factory - or even a mine -  will all be...

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Amazon has announced the winner of a competition held to find the next big warehouse/factory robot arm picker. Teaming up with Germany's RoboCup, Amazon urged engineers to create robot item-pickers in a competition that "aimed to strengthen the ties between industrial and academic robotic communities. The winners would receive $25,000 for first place, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third. Amazon is currently investigating how to further automate their packaging plants and automate their...

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Another day, another robotics market research report. Robotics is an immensely important engineering industry that has the power to influence many other industries. Robotics has forever changed the industrial world. BCC Research, an industrial research firm,  has published their latest investigation into Robotics: Technologies and Global Markets

The report focuses on six different industries that robotics have been most prominent in:

  • Industrial robots
  • Professional...

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The global smart energy market will see seven vendors rising up above the rest, to capitalize on the new era of clean energy production with an added layer of digitization as the Industrial Internet of Things. The seven leading vendors were determined by a study done by Technavio, which considered energy companies that provided services in "smart-grid, HEMS, digital oil fields" and leading solar technologies, all in the name of clean and smart energy production. The efficiency of these power...

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Engineers have to account for noise in modern day engineering. The health of ears need to be protected. In the same breath, engineers need to ensure whatever they are manufacturing doesn't produce enough noise pollution to damage the hearing of consumers. Even the manufacturing machinery needs to abide by certain noise parameters. Engineers these days are told that less noise means healthier workers and makes a manufactured product that much more attractive in sales. 

The control...

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3D printing - or rather 'additive manufacturing - has seen a boom in the engineering industry recently. We have reported on the multiple ways additive manufacturing is being used in engineering industries. Chinese construction companies are printing 400-square-meter villas in 45 days, mining equipment like longwall shearers have been printed in the mining sector, 3D printing of metal tools, etcetera. It is clear that additive manufacturing - whilst being fairly new to some industries - is here...

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The Internet of Things. It's a buzzword that won't be getting old anytime soon. The Internet of Things will see everyday objects connected to cloud-based solutions, with the ability to interact with other devices or live alongside each other in an interconnected network. Now, the first country-wide Internet of Things networks are popping up globally. 

The Netherlands have become the first country to establish a country-wide network dedicated to the future of connecting cars, smart-grids...

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A recent report by Markets and Markets focuses on electric substation automation. The report indicated that revenue growth in the market is expected to reach $48.25 billion by 2020. This would mean that a CAGR of 6.71% annually from 2013 to 2018 in the substation automation market. Another report recently released was the  Global Substation Automation Market 2016 Industry Trends, Sales, Supply, Demand, Analysis & Forecast to 2021 released by QY Research Group that emphasized...

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30 billion Internet-of-Things-connected devices are supposed to up and running by 2020. Some of these connected devices will be in the industrial automation industry, that will ensure manufacturing of goods never dies. But how many were running in 2015? A study conducted by an IoT analyst firm named Berg Insight has given a clear picture of just how many devices were connected. The report indicated that 14.3 million wireless IoT devices were connected in the industrial automation industry in...

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Research and Markets have released their projections for the growth of global battery energy storage systems pertaining to the smart grid. The report investigates the growth from 2016 to 2020. What the report reveals is that the market for smart grid battery technology will grow at a CAGR of 72.91% from 2016 to 2020. The report was generated through industry analysis which included market analysis and interviewing engineering experts.

The companies who took part in the report are some of the...

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When designing a substation, engineers have to think about everything. They need to ensure the safety of a substation and need to ensure that at all times they would be able to control any situation that could put substations in danger. However, hurricane weather is one of those 'act-of-god' problems that can't exactly be predicted decades in advance. Therefore, once weather interferes, a different level of safety is exercised. Substation robots. 

A utility named FPL, in Florida, have...

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Thirty football fields in size. 500 metres wide. A marvel of civil engineering. It's the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, also known as FAST, and the construction is complete. The final touches are happening and it will be fully operational in September. The Xinhua News confirmed that the final 4,4450 panels were positioned in the center of the dish. 

Chinese scientists had the idea for the telescope back in 1994, and now it has been completed. Engineer Zhu Boqin...

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Making the switch to renewable energy is slowly becoming easier and easier in a world that desperately desires progress in clean energy markets. Energy consumers want more control. Car manufacturers noticed this and companies like Tesla, BMW, Nissan and more, saw the gap in the market. Car manufacturers want to power homes and power vehicles in one all-inclusive, multi-faceted system. This future, cars manufacturers envision, all depend on lithium technologies. And more companies are jumping on...

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Formula E is an auto-racing competition that uses only electric-powered cars. The battery packs inside the vehicles are developed by Williams Advanced Engineering that is housed inside a body shell named the Spark-Renault SRT 01E. The car goes 0 to 60 MPH in 3 seconds and can reach a maximum speed of 140 MPH. 

The batteries were updated by Williams Advanced Engineering in what they called the 'season two' battery, a year ago. The engineers have said that they intend to deliver...

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As renewable technologies make their way into our lives, we wonder how we will integrate the newly available technologies with our older technology that we still use to power our homes, our electronics and much more. Ir's hard to imagine calling some sort of firm and asking them to strip your house of its electricity and replace everything with solar cells tomorrow. So what we are left with is buying home energy storage units and saving ourselves some money by using less energy from the old...

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The time for getting your qualifications in engineering for oil and gas facilities has never been better. Kenya is ready to construct a 538-mile crude oil pipeline that will provide oil for a new port being built on the Indian Ocean coastline. This was confirmed by a government official on Thursday. 

Pipeline engineers are now in a unique position because they can now apply to be considered to design the front-end engineering design of the pipeline. 

Ministry of Energy...

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Rutgers University is New Jersey's own state university in the United States. The university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have shown off their new squishy robot. Yes, you read that right. To be more specific, the robot is considered to be a pneumatically driven elastomeric structure robot. The researchers have used the recent bendable robot technology to create a new robot that could have a host of applications in future industries where bendable, 'squishy' robots might...

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A survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group has revealed that Germany has shown more interest than the United States in industrial automation technologies. After receiving the opinions of 300 German and US manufacturing executives, the study showed that German executives were more ready for digital solutions in factories.  However, only 17 percent of American and German manufacturers have adopted industrial automation. Business Insider confirms that 40 percent of German companies...

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The world needs helium. We use it for many things, and then usually waste it by sucking it out of a balloon and putting on a cartoonish voice. Recent reports have indicated that the world is running low on helium due to the lack of new reserves. Thankfully, researchers in Tanzania have discovered a new reserve. Good news for balloon animals but also good news for MRI scanners and nuclear power plants. However, nuclear power plants need a special kind of helium, but the good news continues...

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Emissions testing company Emissions Analytics have written a report indicating that Diesel cars produce more emissions during winter. The group says that once the outside temperature reached below 18 degrees centigrade (65,4 Fahrenheit) cars began to release more emissions. The company reportedly tested 213 different models from 31 different auto engineering companies. The group found that cars built in the 2009-2011 bracket have produced the most emissions.

The tweaking of the engine...

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What is a dark warehouse? It's not a warehouse with its lights off if that's what you're wondering. No, the dark warehouse, or otherwise known as the "lights-out facility", is a factory that runs completely through automated means without any human intervention. Warehouses are opting in for self-driving forklifts, robots equipped with vision cameras, automatic storage and retrieval systems and more. Adidas recently announced a lights-out facility in Germany that would see robots in charge...

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We know it's going to play a big part in our future, but how big are we talking here? Lithium seems to be on everyone's lips these days due to being in the driver's seat in the push for renewable energy. Needless to say, it powers most home electronics as it is. It is also leading the charge in home energy storage units. So what does the demand for lithium look like?

Experts say that as of 2015, the global lithium supply was approximately at 160,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent...

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The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is a collaboration that involves multiple telecommunications companies who were behind the expansion of third-generation (3G) mobile phone system technology. The collaboration now wants to focus its efforts on Industrie 4.0 and focus on communication for the Internet of Things. This involves working on fifth generation technology. The group has released the first specifications for a new radio technology that will be ready to be used in devices by June...

The civil engineering industry is desperately wanting to use automated drone technology in the United States. Current unmanned vehicle laws from the Federal Aviation Administration have limited some of the automated operations that could be run on construction sites, which would perform site monitoring, mapping, and inspection. Now, they are updating the laws but have still left out amendments that would benefit the engineering companies.

Companies in the US that want to use drones, want to...

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The European Union has been reading some Isaac Asimov novels, it seems. The expansion of industrial robotics has made the EU question whether or not to finally give robots the "electronic persons" classification. We are seeing robots in factories around the world furthering the fourth industrial revolution and slowly making their way into households around the world. The fact of the matter cannot be denied, robots being considered "electronic persons" is soon not going to be the stuff of...

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I can sometimes be seen on a rod but I'm not a fish. I can be forked but I'm not a tongue. I'm bright but I'm not the sun. I'm electric but I don't have any wires. I'm seen during a storm but I'm not a cloud. What am I? Seeing as though it's Friday, I'll let you off the hook and give you the answer. It's lightning. 

In this article, two industries that seem to produce conductive elements that attract lightning, will be focused on. However, here is a list of just some of the objects that...

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Robots are expensive. Some companies can overlook the fact that installing industrial robots would be an expensive endeavor because they have the funds available. But, what about start-up companies that can't exactly put down a lot of money for industrial robotics? The International Federation of Robotics has said that by 2018, there will be 2.3 million industrial robots at work. However, that number could be adjusted upwards if robotics becomes affordable by then.

This would be...

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Getting your professional certificate in 3D printing and design could take you many places. After all, additive manufacturing is becoming an important part of a lot of industrial endeavours in the world of engineering today. However, the biomedical field is always an interesting one when it works in tandem with 3D printing. We've seen everything from artificial arms to tracheas get printed and used for biomedical purposes. But now bioprinting has taken another step forward. And it's got to...

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