Drones have been one of the fastest growing phenomenon’s in the last few years, both in terms of private and commercial use. To be the expansion into context, back in 2012 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that by 2012, 30’000 drones will be operating in US airspace; at this current time (2016) around 2.5 million drones are operational in the United States, of which 500’000 are being used commercially. Unsurprisingly, the FAA has since revised their forecast and now predicts the country will have 7 million drones in the air by 2020.
Many believe drones are the next step in the process of the ‘industrial revolution’. Before the availability of the modern cranes and industrial equipment, we rely so heavily upon today, laborers would be forced to complete every single job on the construction site by hand. Jobs that today take months to complete would have in years gone by taken years, and in maybe 20 years time, the jobs we see today taking months could take weeks, thanks to the use of drones.
Assessing the earth for the foundations of construction is also something that a drone can be considerably more efficient for. Traditional land survey equipment gets the job done and provides accurate results, however, when the apt software is installed into a drone, it will also attain accurate result but it will complete the job in a time 85-percent quicker at a cost of 10 times cheaper than traditional methods.
Furthermore, the job a project manager is also made fundamentally easier through the assistance of drones. In years gone by builders manually assessed project dimensions, which would predominantly be unreliable, timely and costly. By using drone data tools, the drone can automatically measure essential projects components, such as stockpile volumetric, whilst also sending instant feedback to the project manager who can begin analysis.
Drones are becoming increasingly common in day-to-day life but this is just for leisure, more importantly, drones are becoming more and more prevalent in a variety of industries but none more crucially than construction. Construction is an industry very much built on efficiency, in the sense of cost and time; hence the reason drones potentially have such a pivotal role to play, when the above reasons are taken into consideration.
You would be a brave person to bet against drones being a key player in the next industrial revolution.
Everyone knows the Brexit story; it’s been captivating every media source since the decision was made in June. The general consensus around the world is that it was a bad decision and that the British economy is going to suffer considerably, as a result. However, the British manufacturing industry is very much enjoying life after Brexit, in September the industry grew at its fastest pace since the middle of 2014.
The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index reading jumped to 55.4 in September, up from 53.3 in August, with any figure above 50 showing expansion. The result far exceeded the expectation of the cities analysts, whom predicted that the September readings would see a decline from August, with activity moderating at 52.1.
The manufacturing index had plummeted to 48.2 in July, immediately after the June referendum.But it surged the following month, helped by a jump in export orders on the back of the 10 per cent depreciation of sterling against the euro and the dollar in the immediate wake of the vote.
It’s believed the reason for the September surge was a high-number of domestic orders; however, exports did also increase slightly. The manufacturing industry is continuing to have a positive effect on the GDP and economic outlook of the country; all the signs are indicating that the country will avoid another recession.
After it was announced on Friday that the EU had set higher import duties on two popular steel products from China, the country has hit back labelling the investigation methods as ‘unfair’. China’s commerce ministry have led the protests against the decision, labelling it “unfair and unreasonable” and “seriously damages the interests of Chinese enterprises”, due to it being a method commonly used against non-market economies.
The duties have been imposed after recent outcries of concern over the declining state of European steel industry; Britain alone has seen 5’000 jobs axed this year, primarily down to the collapse of Tata Steel UK. The EU has largely blamed China for the declining European Steel market, accusing them of dumping ludicrously cheap steel on the market, which doesn’t give competitors the opportunity to compete.
However, China who is the suppliers of 50% of the world’s steel and the largest consumer of steel, have claimed that the accusations are unjust, considering Chinese steel products represent just 5% of the European Market and have said weak economic growth is the reason behind said problems. “China hopes the EU will strictly respect relevant World Trade Organization rules and fully guarantee Chinese companies’ right to protest,” the ministry said.
The EU’s duties are set at between 13.2 and 22.6 percent for hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and at between 65.1 and 73.7 percent for heavy plate steel.
The war of trade between the EU and China doesn’t look like ending any time soon, considering the EU are still debating whether to grant china ‘market economy’ status, something China firmly argues is a given right considering in December they will have been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for 15 years. The commission has said that China is not a market economy and that it would not recognize it as such, but would adopt a new method to set duties that would abide by WTO rules.
As manufacturing plants are being under pressure to reduce their energy spending, many countries and companies are trying to make progress in innovating. some researchers from Germany and South Africa have proposed a technique to reduce the emission in metal processing factories. and will use South Africa’s large aluminium processing industry as a test bed.
In addition to powering electricity-generating turbines , the large mirrors can also melt metals thanks to their ability to concentrate solar rays. The process helps reducing carbon footprint of the metal processing industry.
The preliminary concept is going to be tested first in Germany at the Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) by the Institute of Solar Research in Julich before launching it in South Africa.
According to these researchers, solar mirrors would focus sun rays reaching 700°C to a rotary solar kiln which will be able to melt aluminum ore but also recycled aluminum objects. In addition the research team will develop a logistics plan to transport the molten aluminium from the central solar melting plant to the production facilities where liquid metal will be processed.
“The aim of the project is to develop an energy and cost effective method that can be implemented across a variety of system sizes, depending on the requirements,” said Martina Neises-von Puttkamer, project manager at DLR.
South Africa is a particularly interesting place to start the project because the country’s metal processing facilities rely mostly on electric energy coming from coal-fired power plants which brought them to become the 15th largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Also Metal processing is the country’s largest industry.
Shanghai Metal Corporation is specialized in manufacturing a wide variety of metal products and understand the importance of a green environment and efficient manufacturing. For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.
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Houria // SMC Editor