Industry

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The robot takeover continues. Industrial automation and the Industrial Internet of Things are the keywords that you should be following in the year 2016 because there will be news about them every day. Recently, Adidas opened a fully automated branch in Germany and is now making pairs of shoes in a fully automated process. Seemingly, Foxconn, the company behind supplying Apple and Samsung to the world, is doing the same thing.

According to the South China Morning Post, the $4 billion that...

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Facebook and Microsoft have become the new favorite tag team of the internet. The two companies have joined hands and have built a new fiber optic cable that will be laid in the Atlantic Ocean. The project's name is Marea, and will stretch beyond 4,000 miles, sandwiched between Virginia and Spain. The cable has eight pairs of fiber optic strands making the cable the "highest capacity link across the Atlantic". 

Credit: France-Presse

Najam Ahmed, Facebook's vice president of...

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The ego has landed. Dr. Ben Choi, an associate professor of computer science at Louisiana Tech University claims that he has...in his possession...the new technology...that will revolutionize the computing industry...forever. No, really. USA Today affiliate, the News Star, has reported that Choi possesses new hardware that will redefine what we know about the computer engineering industry as we know it. So, expect a big announcement soon...maybe. 

Choi will deliver a keynote at the...

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Chevron Corporation wants to eliminate any chance of being hacked by cyber criminals. They are currently working on "air-gap critical" systems to stay off of the internet whenever possible to minimize the opportunities for cyber criminals to infiltrate. They're hoping through this systems won't be taken down by targeted attacks, such as what happened in the Ukraine Power Plant attack in 2015. 

Dr. Byron K. Wallace, Chevron's cyber security process control network vulnerability assessor...

Adidas is ready to move their manufacturing duties over to the robots and back to Germany. It was 20 years ago that Adidas stopped producing their clothing in Germany and moved their manufacturing plants to Asia. Now they have set up their much-anticipated 'Speed Factory'. They will start large-scale manufacturing in 2017 and will build another factory in the United States. 

The announcements come after Adidas tested the Speed Factory after they indicated they would be moving back...

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Inflatable habitats are the next big thing in space. As we reported back in March, aerospace engineers at NASA are set to inflate a module made out of kevlar-like material that will serve as another room on the International Space Station. The room is called BEAM, otherwise known as The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. It cost around $17.8 million to build and is being inflated, tomorrow, the 26th of May. The success of the mission could see more inflatable habitats being...

A group of engineers from New Zealand have started a small start-up company named Invert Robotics. Their specialty? Robots that inspect industrial facilities. The engineers, originally from the University of Canterbury, patented the world's first climbing robot. The robot (pictured in the video below) can check industrial tanks for cracks, whilst an inspector controls it from a remote location. This means health and safety inspectors don't have to put their health or lives in danger...

A new report made available by MarketsandMarkets has estimated the amount of money the industrial robotics industry will make from now till 2022 is US$79.58 billion. That would mean a growth rate of 11.92 percent combined annual growth rate from this very second until we reach 2022. The report was titled Industrial Robotics Market by Time (Articulated, Cartesian, SCARA, Cylindrical, Parallel), Application (Automotive, Electric and Electronics, Metal and Machinery), Component...

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Civil engineering at its finest. Mayerthorpe in Canda experienced a series of arson attacks that saw a railway trestle bridge engulfed in flames. A crew went straight to work on the bridge after the fire of April 26th and was completed by May 15th. It took a record 20 days to rebuild the bridge after a full redesign of the bridge, then using steel span and concrete tubs they began work. It took 190,000 metric tons of steel and concrete to rebuild the bridge. The bridge is now longer than...

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Electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineering come together once again. Researchers from MIT, the University of Sheffield and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have been working on a robot that you could soon be ingesting. You read that right. They're calling it an origami robot, in the sense that after swallowing it, it is supposed to unfold when it is inside the body. The robot will then be able to follow a specific order as programmed into it by an engineer. 

Daniela Rus, a...

MIT and the University of Edinburgh were recently awarded some of NASA's Mars-bound Valkyrie robots to test out and improve.  The University of Edinburgh has given the world an idea of how challenging the robots are to work with in a new video they have released. The robot is 1.8-metres tall and weighs 275 lbs, equipped with 200 sensors. NASA wants to essentially deliver the bots to Mars in one of their upcoming missions in conjunction with SpaceX. The hope is that the robots will be...

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It's an aerospace and aircraft maintenance engineer's worst nightmare. An Airbus 320 belonging to EgyptAir has gone down in the Mediterranean Sea. At around 2:30 a.m. Cairo time (UCT +2), the plane disappeared from radar tracking and by 4:26 a.m. the rescue operations received a distress signal from the plane's emergency devices. MS804 was being tracked by Greek air traffic controllers who said they had spoken to the pilot and ensured that everything was in order and then an hour later the...

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Google's annual I/O conference kicked off yesterday. This conference is used as a platform for the engineers of the company to announce new products, show off the engineering behind these new products and give the industry a window into what is coming up in the company's future. The first day kicked off with a few updates to some of the preexisting technologies from the company but also brought a host of new consumer products that the world can be looking forward to. Some of what will be shown...

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Suzuki Motor Corp and its engineers have decided to come out with the truth due to a scandal that has been spreading through the automotive engineering world. The car maker divulged details that led to certain discrepancies in fuel efficiency reporting, indicating that the company had not abided to Japanese guidelines, and rather worked around them. 

  • All 16 vehicles currently available used data that did not accurately report emissions through the correct processes leading to...

Think about where you store your information and the processes behind the storing of that information. We have DRAM to hard disk drives and flash memory as well. IBM has made a breakthrough in phase-change memory (PCM) that might replace flash storage and RAM. IBM Research engineers have released their findings in a journal video named Reliable Triple-Level-Cell-Phase-Change Memory Demonstrated for the First Time

Dr. Haris Pozidis, a non-volatile memory scientist for IBM Research...

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Are civil engineers in the United States ignoring the opinions of seismologists and other engineers when it pertains to building in earthquake-prone areas? The Seattle Times definitely thinks so. They have been running a feature of articles called Seismic Neglect, that references decades of engineering research that has indicated building practices in unreinforced masonry construction (URM) occurring in areas that could be hit by earthquakes. Meaning, construction in unreinforced...

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The Internet of Things industry will be connecting over 34 billion devices by 2020, and a lot of that will be industrial factories. We reported at the beginning of May, that manufacturing, households, transportation and almost everything engineering is going to be connected to the Internet of Things in 2020. We also reported that currently only 8 percent of the manufacturing world is utilizing IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) but will grow by 18 percent over the next five...

Tony Seba is a lecturer at Stanford University who was given the opportunity to address the Thailand energy sector. He spoke about four key areas that would see rapid change and bring the most market disruption: energy storage, self-driving cars, electric vehicles and solar. He referenced a report that said that the U.S. and Canada would be running off 80 percent renewable power by 2030, saying the report lacked any truth. 

Seba thinks that consumers would be fully utilizing electric...

As reported on yesterday, Hyperloop One, the company behind taking Elon Musk's desire to redesign the world of public train transport, was to conduct its first open air test. You can see the results of the test below...and spoiler alert...it's quick and disappointing to watch. However, to the engineers working on the project, it is what they need to gather the data and prepare for the next test. 

The sled - seen in the video above - reached 2.5 Gs and got to 167 MPH before...

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Caterpillar is in the news again, soon after they announced their energy storage offerings to the world. Now, in their Global Research & Development Center in the U.S., they have officially opened a 3D Printing & Innovation Accelerator center. Caterpillar produces most of the construction equipment you would see on sites today and will now be 3D printing some of its parts. The new center will also allow engineers to test out creative ideas  

Credit: 3Ders.org

Jim...

Are you keen on marine engineering by any chance? Submarine drones are the new buzzword when talking about the South China Sea this year. China has been slowly reclaiming islands in the South China Sea, so, to keep an eye and allegedly "retain its edge" the United States is sending submarine drones to patrol the areas around these islands. 

Ashton Carter, the US defense secretary, said that the drones are able to navigate in shallow waters, something that submarines cannot do. He also...

Last month, social networking giant, Facebook, announced a new terrestrial connectivity system named Terragraph and Project ARIES. The company believes that no matter where people are in the world, they deserve a premium internet experience, and this new project will assist communities that experience slow internet speeds and perhaps even some places that are devoid of the internet altogether. 

Facebook also didn't mince their words when throwing the laying of fiber...

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Now that the United States is a liquefied natural gas exporter, they no longer need to import as much gas. The U.S. joins immediate neighbor, Canada, in exporting a good amount of gas, so much so, that the two countries could be influencing the price of gas very soon. 

The Canadian National Energy Board have estimated that natural gas exports will shrink in numbers over the next 30 years due to the exports that the U.S. is now making. 

Net imports of natural gas from Canada...

Hannover Messe 2016 is the biggest conference where industry heads come together to chat about where the world is going in the context of the world renowned fourth revolution, known as Industrie 4.0. Now that the conference is over, the immediate outlines of what the world should be expecting can now be summarized and contemplated. This year both Barack Obama and Angela Merkel attended the conference. 

Obama spoke about the fully 3D printed electric car that the United States was...

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Electric vehicles. A word that is forever in our collective vocabulary in the world because of the need to cut down fossil fuels in the world today. We've reported on Tesla's recent intentions to produce half a million of their Model 3s by the end of 2018, Toyota investigating what could be powering vehicles in the future and almost every automaker out there trying to move their operations to cleaner processes after being named and shamed in emission scandals. 

Cars are being...

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Network security engineers, we need your help. Kaspersky Lab has released a report named the IT Threat Evolution in Q1 2016 and names ransomware as the main threat to cybersecurity in the year 2016. According to their report, there was 459,970 known attempted malware attacks in the beginning of the year. Crypto ransomware attacks stood at 372,602 individual computers that had tried to illicit money from unsuspecting victims. 

2016 has only just got underway, but the...

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What could save the oil industry's plummeting price crisis? Perhaps wind-powered water injection could save the oil and gas industry. Allegedly, the water injection will assist with oil recovery in "offshore oil fields." The project to enforce this new system is called WIN WIN which directly translates into WINd-powered Water INjection. How it would work is to build floating wind turbines which will supply power to water injection technology that would include pumps and "basic water...

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The global construction company Caterpillar has announced its very "integrated micro-grid solution" which reportedly utilizes solar photovoltaic panels and units to store the energy in. It is going by the name Cat Microgrid Technology  and will come in 1kW to 100MW solutions. PV-Tech confirms they are including thin-film solar panels, Caterpillar generators and energy storage technologies which now include lithium-ion batteries. 

Caterpillar said that their microgrid...

At Flat Rock Assembly plant in Michigan in the United States, Ford is testing out their new, portable 'aeroacoustic wind tunnel'. They are going as far as to say that this portable wind tunnel is the first mobile version of its kind and are waiting on a patent for the portable invention to clear. Now, Ford's engineers can test vehicles at the plants they are built in without having to transport the vehicles to facilities with built-in wind tunnels.

The aeroacoustic wind tunnels will deal...

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IBM is allowing the public to access its quantum processor from the cloud. Through applying on their website, anyone could get rights to test out the only known quantum computer known to be in operation in the world. NASA, Google, and Microsoft are all reportedly looking into how they could utilize quantum computing and how to use it for the benefit of their companies. 

Credit: IBM Research

Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research in a statement: "This...

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Self-driving cars and self-flying drones are always in the news, however, have you ever heard of self-driving ships?. The Titanic would have been a different story if somehow the self-driving technology the ship had could have spotted and avoided the iceberg. Oh, the possibilities. Just imagine getting on a cruise ship that has no crew steering it. Fiction becomes fact quite quickly in the engineering world these days.

Credit: Reuters

The Pentagon has revealed the world's largest...

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A team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego have taken inspiration from nature for a new model that could be manufactured at a larger scale for usage in multiple engineering industries from civil engineering, but their focus right now is on aerospace engineering. The object is modeled after a sea urchin's mouth and teeth that have been made into a grappling tool. The researchers have published the details of the model in the  Journal of Visualized Experiments. 

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This is survival of the fittest. This is do or die. This is: the winner takes it all. Not just Eminem lyrics, but also the rule of thumb to the evolving renewable energies market. The country making the most strides forward in the renewable energy market is allegedly Britain, if a report by FT.com is to be believed. The report says thanks to the £10 billion cash injection into renewable energy, Britain has "quietly" become the leader in the market. 

Allegedly, over the last year...

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It was the start of the weekend in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday the 29th of April, 2016. Tragedy struck the capital city when a six-storey building collapsed due to a storm. The death toll has risen to 21 in an event that will raise questions about the civil engineering  practices of Kenya and their safety. 

According to News24, the Kenyan Red Cross said 60 people remained missing, meaning the death toll could be much higher. The police, however, spoke to media and said that 121...

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The online crypto-currency, Bitcoin, is no doubt an impressive feat of engineering minds coming together and creating something that has the ability to change the world. However, the engineers behind it and who in fact created Bitcoin was not known. That all changed on the 2nd of May, 2016. 

Craig Wright, an Australian cryptographer, says he is behind the Bitcoin currency. WIRED spoke to the chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation and one of the programming engineers who worked on the...

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It has taken a while but finally the Clean Energy Council of Australia (CEC) has released guidelines that will tighten home battery storage reliability in terms of installations. A picture of an 'exploded' lithium-ion battery was circulating on Australian social media channels back in March which spurred an ongoing push for more reliable installation methods. 

Credit: Whirpool

In Australia, specifically, installation standards have not been upheld and installation training has...

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The civil engineering, defense, forestry and agriculture industry have been adopting LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology. A trend that started in 2014 and will continue to 2020. This according to a report by Allied Market Research that has published its findings in a journal titled  Global LiDAR Market - Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth and Forecast, 2013-2020.

Credit: Directions Mag

Explaining the benefits of LiDAR, Director of Remote sensing at...

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The competition for space on your wall in your garage or in the basement of your business is heating up in the energy storage battle as more companies bring out their answer to renewable, clean energy units. Tesla's Powerwall caught the attention of the public globally, whilst in Australia, Redflow's ZCell impressed audiences. Now, Mercedes-Benz and Lockheed and Martin are entering the game, to confuse consumers even more as to who to give their money to. 

Mercedes-Benz...

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Product engineers reinvented the wheel this week. Okay, maybe they just redesigned the hair dryer. Dyson known for their vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, fans, and heaters has now entered the beauty game with their new design, that reportedly cost $71 million to develop. The company has called it the Dyson Supersonic and will cost $400. The price tag is astounding for a hair dryer, however, the fashion industry is probably going to latch on to the premium product quite quickly, getting...

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The United States' first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has made its way to Europe this week. The U.S. has always been a big LNG producer but not big on export. Now that the country is becoming an exporter, analysts are saying it will be causing competition in the LNG market. 

Credit: Bloomberg News

The market has been dominated by Russians companies. However, Thierry Bros, an analyst at Societe Generale told Wall Street Journal: "It's the start of the price war between...

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Cybersecurity engineering is quickly becoming a lucrative field to become well educated in due to the digital exodus that companies are making into cloud-based solutions. Entire companies and even power utilities that service an entire country are moving their operations and interfaces into the cloud, using the Internet of Things to access data output they were previously never able to observe. These systems need security and that is where cyber security engineers come...

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Engineers are often presented with an opportunity to create something they never thought they'd be attempting due to the way humans integrate with technology. Humans are constantly staring down at their smartphones whether it's the increasingly dangerous texting and driving in a car, or walking down the street, with their eyes glued to the screen. 

Engineers in Germany noticed that when people look at their smartphones at traffic lights, they tend to ignore the traffic...

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Tesla has announced the price information on its commercial and utility-scale products. They will be selling what are known as 'Powerpacks'. Is it time to replace that old generator powering your workplace once the lights go down? Perhaps you should hold onto it a little longer. Critics are saying Tesla's Powerpacks are on the expensive side. 

The minimum amount of Powerpacks you can order today is 2 Powerpacks at the price of US$47,000 each. That is just for the Powerpack itself. The...

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Siemens have announced their entry into the fourth industrial revolution (Industrie 4.0) at Hannover Messe this week. The company is releasing a solution for companies of all sizes in every industry in what they are calling their 'digital expansion' solution. They indicate that they are bringing the virtual world and the real world together in a fully functional 'eco-system' of industrial automation, which a lot of companies are now doing to accommodate the oncoming IoT revolution. 

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The 3D printing industry has been reported on recently due to its successes in the market. It was said that the 3D printing industry would grow by another billion dollars due to personal 3D printers being purchased by enthusiasts. Moreover, an instructor from an Engineering Design Graphics department at San Jacinto College says that 3D printing could be thrusting the world into another industrial revolution. 

William Buel, the instructor in question, in an interview with Chron, said...

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Civil engineers would be pleased to know an update for AutoCAD Civil 3D will be available to them soon. The software gives engineers the ability to give a virtual showcase of what a certain addition to a town might look like. The new AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 is an updated version of Autocad boasting new additions that will assist civil engineering and infrastructure designs. 

The new version will team up with InfraWorks 360 to keep tabs on work progress in engineering teams. This plugin...

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German watchdogs combing through carmakers' technology to uncover emissions test cheating software have discovered that automobile manufacturers are using other methods that lead to lower emission counts. These revelations from German Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt. Allegedly, the carmakers "tweak engine performance" which results in more emissions but less data on those emissions when the software is checked. 

According to Reuters, Germany's KBA Federal Motor Transport...

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Brexit, or rather known as the possible British Exit of the European Union, could damage engineering in a big way, say industry experts. Engineering UK has heard that a vote for Brexit could lead to a slump in "vital research funding" and add to a shortage of skilled engineering workers in Britain. 

According to The Telegraph, companies such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Caterpillar are behind the vote not to leave the European Union due to the companies saying it will cause "unknown and...

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Imagine having your own compact aircraft that you could utilize at any point. Or imagine calling an UberAir to come and pick you up and transport you across town. Those days could be upon us with the introduction of an 18-rotor electric aircraft named the Volocopter. An aircraft that looks like something out of a kid's party packet, the rotors are placed around a network of beams that are connected to a large round beam. The engineers at e-volo who are behind the Volocopter are boasting about...

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Biomedical engineers in Singapore are using what would usually be discarded to facilitate a renewable source of minimizing the amount of food waste that occurs. According to StraitTimes, 66139lbs of soya bean residue gets sent to the dump every year. 

So, the biomedical engineers at Nanyang Technical University (NTU) went to work and used residue from soya milk and tofu production and utilized it to grow yeast. The team is confident it will minimize costs on the...

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