Is there such a thing as too much profit? One company thinks so.

Fanuc is a group of companies located across the globe, headquartered in Japan; Fanuc is one of the world’s leading producers of autonomous products and services such as robotics and computer numerical control systems. The primary consumers of Fanuc products are those of US and Japanese automobile and electronics manufacturers. Due to the robotics provided by Fanuc, Panasonics factories in Amagasaki can produce 2 million televisions a month… with just 25 employees. Fanuc is the global leader of factory automation systems.
However, recently instated president Kenji Yamaguchi has said that a company can indeed make too much profit; this was said referring to the fact the company made 43% profit in 2011. Fanuc are without doubt the one of the biggest suppliers of factory equipment and therefore, it must be of concern that China, the biggest manufacturer in the world is showing it’s worth growth rates for two decades.

When reaching profit levels of 43% in 2011, Fanuc was every investors dream; however Yamaguchi has warned investors to not be expecting those rates anytime soon. Yamaguchi even controversially admitted that there is perhaps such thing as too much profit, he stated that if you are making that much money, you are probably not investing enough into the company’s future. To confirm that Yamaguchi was not bluffing, Fanuc have now ventured into a series of investments that might not necessarily reach profits for 5 or 10 years, and last month Fanuc announced it had purchased land for a new industrial robot factory and Yamaguchi said it plans to spend several hundred million dollars to as much as double its production capacity for them.

In May, the company completed two new research centers at its headquarters. To staff them, Yamaguchi said Fanuc more than tripled its hiring of engineers over the last few years to about 100 annually. Overall, headcount has grown by more than 1,000 since 2013, a 20 percent increase.
Well, Fanuc are not holding back and as the world becomes more involved in autonomous motors with the latest announcements, you can only think that Fanuc are going to have a big role to play in the advancements of the autonomous industry.

Railway Galore in China!

China’s commitment and belief to efficient transportation systems roles on, this time Ganzhou and Shenzhen are the beneficiaries. The 432-kilometer rail is designed to run at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour through 14 stations. It will have two stations – Guangmingcheng Station and Shenzhen North Railway Station – in Shenzhen, and it may extend to Xili in Nanshan District.

The construction of the line is going to begin this year and the maiden trip is projected to take place in 2020. The rail will cut the trip from Shenzhen to Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, to three hours. Investment for the project is estimated at $9.97 billion.

The report shows that two rail links will be built in Tangxia to enable trains from the Ganzhou-Shenzhen High-speed Railway to reach the Shenzhen East Railway Station and Shenzhen Railway Station through the Guangzhou-Shenzhen inter-city railway.

Another two rail links will enable trains from the Ganzhou-Shenzhen High-speed Railway to reach Guangzhou Railway Station through the Guangzhou-Shenzhen inter-city railway.

This news comes not long after the Shenzhen and Hong-Kong stock connection, which was a hugely beneficial move for the city in terms of gaining international investment and stronger raillinks are certainly not going to harm that either.

It would be difficult to find a city in China that is making more progress at this point in time.

Uber to install self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

In what seems to be the week for companies to release statements with regards to autonomous vehicles, Uber, the firm whose operations are based on members of the public ride-sharing, has stated its set to release its first fleet of fully autonomous cars within a fortnight. The launch is to start with, is only going to be based in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Uber have collaborated with Volvo in this venture, who are going to provide Uber with the first batch of vehicles for testing, it should be noted that Volvo are not going to be exclusive contractor and that other motor companies could collaborate with Uber in the future. To begin with, the car is going to have a driver who can take control if necessary, just as a precaution due to the current caution of people around self-driving vehicles. In the beginning stages, trips in the autonomous car are going to be free as opposed to the traditional fee of $1.30 per mile in Pittsburgh.

A spokeswoman for the firm has stated that “Volvo had already sent a small number of sensor-equipped XC90 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to Uber, which would be used in the initial trials. The carmaker intends to have delivered 100 such cars to its partner by the end of the year.

Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick has been outlining a vision of a self-driving fleet for some years – but it always sounded like a long-term vision. Just two years ago the company’s operations direct, Ryan Graves, told the BBC that focusing on self-driving cars in the short term would be a mistake. However, with the release of self-driving cars in a couple of weeks, how long with it really be till autonomous vehicles are the norm?

Something that was a few years ago was deemed as foolish to invest so much time and money into, is now looking like the future.  Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber is on a mission to be seen as the number one ‘autonomous’ company and with over $1 billion of financial backing, who is to stop him?

So Google, Uber have played their card, what is your response?



UK Approves World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm

The UK government has approved the construction of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, in a $7.8 billion project. Danish utility company ‘Dong Energy’ is going to be the group responsible for carrying out the project, the location will be approximately 89 kilometers off the coast, in the North-West of England.

“Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we’re determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country,” Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

It’s anticipated that the construction of the farm will generate roughly 2000 jobs and about 600 operation and maintenance posts, proving positive to the British economically as well as environmentally.

300 wind turbines are going to span an area of 480 sq km, when fully operational the turbines are going to provide 1,800MW of low-CO2 electricity to 1.8m UK homes. Greg Clark is keen for Britain’s rapid developments of off-shore wind farms to continue, in order for Britain to be an example to the rest of world in showing it’s possible to be economically sound and environmentally clean.

Panama – The unsung hero of International Trade

The Expanded Panama Canal is a Success

The expanded Panama Canal has proved to date, to be nothing but a success. August 15th,1914 saw the ‘SS Ancon’ pass through Panama Canal, a ship that would be the first of thousands in what is it to be a prosperous 102-year history.


Panama Canal is a 48-mile waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean; it’s often referred to as one of the greatest feats of engineering ever seen. ThePanama Canal is absolutely indispensable to the efficiency of global trade. To put the canals importance into perspective, pre-Panama Canal saw ships from New York to San Francisco having to travel down to the tip of South America and back up again, even though they sit on the same latitudinal lines. The Panama Canal saves a route from New York to San Francisco a staggering 7’782 miles.


However, up until June 26th, 2016, the canal had seen little expansion, meaning as international trade continued to grow throughout history, the capacity of the canal stood still. The newly built lane has doubled the capacity of the Panama Canal by adding a new lane of traffic allowing for a larger number of ships, and increasing the width and depth of the lanes and locks allowing larger ships to pass. Ships over 1 and a half times the size are now passing through, which can carry twice as much cargo.


The Expansion project has seen:

• Built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavated new channels to the new locks.

• Widened and deepened existing channels.

• Raised the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.


It is estimated that the extension will have cost Panama In the region of $5.25 billion, a significant sum of money. However, it is also predicted that the canal will be financially profitable with the ACP anticipating a 12% internal rate of return. In addition to financial gain, it’s predicted that the canal will be beneficial to employment rates, with the 9 years of construction seeing between 35’000-40’000 people employed, and political bodies also believe the economic rewards of the extension will see more jobs created in a more prosperous economy.


With the imminent opening of the first berth of ‘liverpool2’, Merseyside is looking to become the gateway to the UK for imported goods. When operating at full capacity, it’s expected that Liverpool2 will be the destination for 1.5million imported containers, annually. The chief executive of Peel Ports’, Mark Whitworth, predicts that the opportunities presented by the opening of Liverpool2 will see the cities share on the UK container market rise from 7% to 20%.

However, this significant increase in volume could potentially come at a cost, with extra lorry journeys expected to contribute to the already congested roads of Liverpool.

However, a number of influential people in the Liverpool Maritime sector, including Mayor Anderson, are proposing that barges could be the way forward to counteract increased levels of road traffic. Forecasted plans suggest that that new, purpose built barges will be travelling from the deepwater ports of Liverpool2 up the Manchester ship canal and to the Salford docks, allowing for easier transportation to other areas of the UK.

As well as being a more environmentally friendly way of transporting potentially millions of containers per year, the introduction of barges builds its own business case by not only providing more efficient transportation methods between two powerhouse cities but also by reducing the possible negative implications to other businesses because of increased road congestion.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is one of China’s leading suppliers of containers and is almost definitely responsible for the construction of some of those 1.5 million containers. Why not visit our website to read more interesting articles or to view the range of containers we offer?


A jacking gear (also known as a turning gear) is a device placed on the main shaft of an engine or the rotor of a turbine.


The major purposes of turning gear operation during turbine startup are:

  1. To rollout shaft hogging or sagging before runup is begun.

As mentioned in the previous module, any attempt to run up the turbine with an excessively deformed shaft is bound to fail because high vibration would sooner or later force a turbine trip. Meanwhile, the turbine generator would be unnecessarily exposed to increased risk of damage due to high vibration and/or rubbing.

  1. To enable uniform prewarming of the turbine generator.

If the turbine generator were prewarmed with the rotor held stationary, rotor and casing hogging would develop due to thermal stratification of . the atmosphere  inside the machine as outlined in the earlier turbine courses. This would make runup impossible until the hogging is roiled out.


To achieve these two objectives, the turning gear is started early during unit startup such that the turbine generator can spend enough time on turning gear. In principle, the duration or turning gear operation must be enough to:

Straighten up the turbine generator shaft such that the HP turbine rotor eccentricity is within the acceptable limit.

Meet the additional requirements (if any) regarding the minimum time on U1Dling gear that is necessary to equalize turbine casing temperature. This allows us to make sure that the casing is straight, despite lack of instrumentation that would measure casing hogging or sagging.

The required minimum time on turning gear varies from station to station, reflecting the operating experience of the turbine manufacturer. Usually, the minimum time depends on the duration of the preceding shutdown during which the turbine generator rotor was left stationary, and may reach up to 24 hours.

When the turning gear is started up, its motor is energized and the turning gear drive is engaged to the turbine generator rotor. Normally, the turning gear is started manually. but in some new stations, this – along with many other startup activities- can be done automatically by appropriate DCC software.


When turbine runup begins, the U1Dling gear disengages automatically as soon as turbine speed starts increasing. The turning gear motor, however, keeps running until turbine speed reaches a certain level· at which the motor switches off automatically. The extended period of motor operation is a precaution taken to make sure the turning gear is available for proper turbine shutdown, should the turbine runup have to be aborted.

Adverse consequences and operating concerns caused by inadequate operation

Failure to turn the turbine generator rotor long enough prior to runup causes the following adverse consequences/operating concerns due to turbine generator operation with an excessively bowed rotor:

  1. Increased risk of rubbing damage to turbine generator internals·. Recall that at low speeds rubbing can go undetected because indicated bearing vibration can be misleadingly low despite the abnormal rotor defamation.
  2. Increased turbine generator bearing vibrations. As soon as speed is high enough, and particularly while passing through a critical speed range, the vibrations can become abnormally.


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