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Low Oil Prices Challenge US Manufacturers

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


A few years back, the US Energy Information Administration predicted that the US would achieve energy self-sufficiency in two decades. Thanks largely to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the US was fast on its way to becoming the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons. If only that game-changing prediction came with a playbook. Full Article

Tesla CEO: Battery Plant Will Succeed, More Vehicle Factories Likely

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


Tesla Motors Inc.’s planned “gigafactory” in Nevada will succeed in cutting the cost of making batteries and the maker of electric cars is likely to add more vehicle-assembly plants in the long run, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in Detroit on Jan. 13.Musk was asked at the Automotive News World Congress whether the battery operation will reduce battery prices by 30%. Full Article

Tech Front: New Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites Hold Promise for Portable Devices

Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe


Researchers at Drexel University (Philadelphia) have developed a strong, flexible, electrically conductive nanocomposite material that could be used to power future wearable energy storage devices. The conductive MXene-polymer nanocomposite material, created by researchers in Drexel’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering in collaboration with scientists at Dalian University of Technology in China, is very flexible yet has the strength to support many times its own weight. Full Article

Pipe Dream Comes True

Edited by Yearbook Editor James D. Sawyer from information supplied by Seco Tools LLC


Most consider threading a simple secondary turning operation, but nothing could be further from the truth at Borusan Mannesmann Pipe US Inc. (Baytown, TX). This industry-leading steel pipe manufacturer produces more than 300,000 tons (272,160 t) of pipe per year, and each piece—some greater than 13" (330 mm) in diameter and 40' (12.2-m) long—needs to be threaded at both ends. Full Article

Set Yourself Up for Success in Oil and Gas

J.R. Quiles, Heavy Industry Program Manager, FANUC America


J.R. Quiles, Heavy Industry Program Manager, FANUC America

The outlook for the oil & gas industry appears to be very positive for 2014 and 2015, which is good news since it is one of the world’s largest industries. As high accuracy and tight tolerances are required on machined parts, revenues in this industry tend to be invested in new technology to increase production and improve product quality. All markets in manufacturing have been affected by the lack of skilled workers and oil & gas is no different. Products and technology that help less experienced workers increase part accuracy and productivity will help offset this situation. Full Article

A Kilowatt is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Glenn Nausley, President, PromessInc.


It is no coincidence that hydraulics became the default technology for pressing applications during the century of cheap energy. Well, that century is over and today’s reality is very different. It is highly unlikely we will ever see energy that cheap again, which means, among other things, that it’s time to rethink the way we use electricity to generate kinetic energy in a broad range of pressing applications. Full Article

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