Tuesday, 6 September 2016

New Two-step Turbocharger to Improve Performance and Reduce Lag

Fuel-efficient turbochargers with low emission levels are in demand as environment safety is a growing concern.

Environment awareness and price of fossil fuels will play an important role in development of next generation engines. Organizations are expected to maintain low levels of CO2 emissions so as to reduce fuel consumption. Thus, R&D activities are in full swing to develop environment friendly engines and turbochargers. Multiple organizations worldwide are coming together to come up with a product, which is fuel efficient as well as reliable in its functionality. Companies are investing time and resources to assure the production of top quality turbochargers. The volume of vehicle production has grown exponentially in the last decade, which has boosted the demand for turbochargers worldwide. Allied Market Research has recently published a report which gives useful information related to the industry such as market size, share, and growth. Customers are making a conscious effort to purchase vehicles and engines that comply with environment safety regulations.

Turbocharger technology developed to increase efficiency of 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines

It has become important for organizations to address environmental issues and assure that harmful emissions are kept at minimum levels. Development activities now focus on efficient fuel consumption values along with reduction of harmful emissions without excess fuel consumption. 

In August 2016, MAN D&T Business Unit Turbocharger discussed the present development activities in the field of combustion of air supply. The company introduced its advanced turbocharger technology that enhances efficiency of huge 2-stroke and 4-stroke gas and diesel engines.  The technology does not only concentrate on efficiency but also helps to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Daniel Albrecht , Project Manager quoted, “The combination of a MAN TCR20, for the low-pressure stage, and an MAN TCX17, for the high-pressure stage, offers significant potential for today’s demand for more economical and environmentally-friendly engine operation.” 

The new MAN ECOCHARGE Two-Stage Turbocharging System offers huge benefits to customers and engine builders. Compared to single-stage turbochargers, the new technology increases turbocharging efficiency. This is due to the position of the intercooler that is placed between low pressure-stage and high pressure-stage turbochargers. This reduces the energy that is required to restrict the intake air to high pressure. The tests depict that as much as 8% fuel can be saved. The ECOCHARGE system has been designed for gas as well as HFO-burning engines. 

Turbocharger firm acquired to expand product category

The demand for new technology and products are pushing organizations to join hands and offer a wide range of services and products. 

In August 2016, Motorcar Parts of America announced the acquisition of ZOR Industries. With this move, the company is set to expand its product line with the introduction of in-house developed brake power boosters and turbochargers. Selwyn Joffe, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Motorcar America said, “The launch of brake power boosters follows a similar strategic approach to our previous product line introductions, namely working with an existing customer that is committed to our program and supportive of the wide-range of value-added services that enhance the product category." The move will also provide Motorcar Parts of America a customer base along with present technology. 

New patent for a two-stage turbocharger

Engineers are putting in a lot of effort to improve the performance of turbochargers. Although the modern turbochargers are developed using advanced technology, there is a wide scope for improvement. A traditional two-stage turbocharger is designed to enable turbines to operate concurrently at low and mid-engine speeds. Low-pressure turbines function at high speeds. The setup can’t accommodate low or high pressure side that results in low-end performance. 

The new two-stage turbocharger setup introduced by General Motor will address the issues mentioned above by connecting the high-pressure turbo to the exhaust via a high pressure inlet duct. Depending on the engine load and speed, ECU pilots the actuator to isolate one of the two turbos. This setup increases the performance and reduces lag. It is still unknown when the technology will feature in the vehicles manufactured by General Motors, but the company hopes to use it in premium vehicles before using it in all other vehicles.

Turbocharger market to expand in Asia

The turbocharger market is set to expand in Asia. China is dominating the market in the region as demand for vehicles has increased. The number of turbochargers installed in the country are also growing every year. The business environment and the general infrastructure to manufacture turbochargers in China is favorable compared to some of other countries in the region. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Regenerative Medicines: A Potential Game Changer in the Medical Field

Regenerative medicines offer a wide range of medical opportunities; Improve bone development and healing, aid in severe muscle injuries as well as show traces of muscle regeneration

Regenerative Medicine is considered to be a revolution in the medical field. Technology has taken huge strides forward and come a long way. Medical science has embraced reliable and effective methods that have generated positive results. Robin Smith, CEO and co-founder of ORIG3N, a regenerative medical company, compares the regenerative medicine to the internet in 1993. 

According to him, this could be the next big thing in the medical field. The current regulations do not need a massive tweak to produce cost-effective drugs. Several organizations and industry players seek new pathways to expand their business and growth. Allied Market Research, explores the various aspects of the market in a report, ‘Regenerative Medicine Market’ such as market growth, share, and size. The industry is staring at a bright future as it’s a revolution in the medical industry.

Plasma makes an entry in regenerative medicine market 
Plasma, which is found in sun, stars, TVs, neon signs, and fluorescent light has made its way in the regenerative medicine stream. Traditionally used in the agriculture and in space propulsion industry, plasma is now being utilized in the medical field as well. A team of scientists have explained how plasma can be used to improve bone development in the research titled ‘Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine’. The scientists believe that this is a major breakthrough and a promising factor as far as bone healing and development is concerned. Cold plasma is modified to make a positive impact on bone formation and structuring of the cartilage by revamping the matrix. The study revealed how microsecond pulsed cold plasma had a positive impact on bone development

Dr. Freeman said “As research into medical application of cold plasma expands, it will be important to study various plasma types and conditions in tissue models, rather than isolated cells. Because cold plasma affects each cell type and matrix protein to produce variable physiological effects, it’s important to study not just how each cell behaves when exposed, but also how they react together within the tissue and organismal environment.”

Extra cellular matrix (ECM) derived from pig tissue used to treat patients a big hit
The generic treatment procedures did not have a huge impact on the patients suffering from muscle injuries and other muscle related problems. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine reveal that there was a commendable improvement in strength and motion of patients suffering from a medical condition being treated with regenerative medicines. There was a hint of skeletal regeneration of muscle as well, which boosted their confidence to use the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is derived from pig tissue. This new medical revelation holds a lot of promise and could soon eliminate the current practices. Stephen F Badylak, Ph.D., professor of surgery at Pitt and deputy director of McGowan Institute quoted “This approach could be a game changer and not just an incremental advance. Previously, there was no effective treatment for these patients, but this approach holds significant promise.”

Patients, who were surgically implanted with bioscaffolds from pig tissue, showed 37.3 percent strength improvement and 27.1 percent improvement in the range of motion tasks. CT/MRI scans also revealed soft improved soft tissue formation in all the 13 patients who were treated. Damaged leg muscles of patients grew stronger and were depicting traces of regeneration in three out of five patients. 

Bright future of Regenerative Medicines is changing the competitive landscape of the market
Regenerative medicines are redefining medical technology. Top manufacturers of the world are coming together and forming partnerships to improve and strengthen their foothold in the industry. It is not always feasible for one organization to procure every technology at its disposable. Looking at this situation the regenerative medicine market has started to witness acquisitions and partnerships that reduce the operation costs. 

An Irish pharmaceutical company, Mallinckrodt recently invested to acquire U.S. based regenerative medicine company, Stratatech. As a result of this deal, Mallinckrodt will now be able to focus on their pipeline products with off-the-shelf alternative known as StrataGraft. It is currently in the third phase of testing for partial thickness burns. Throwing a light on the acquisition, chief executive of Mallinckrodt, Mark Trudeau reveals that this move will give the company a stage or a platform to concentrate on the development of cell-based therapies which can be used for the treatment of a wide range of wounds. Mallinckrodt have made a series of acquisitions hoping to become a pharma specialist. 

The company signed two deals in 2015, a $1.3 billion deal to acquire immune cell therapy specialist Therakos and $2.3 billion to buy hospital treatment company Ikaria.

BioTime, Inc. recently made an announcement regarding the issuance of 31 new patents owned or licensed by the company. There are 700 issued and pending patents worldwide and the new patents will add to the number. The issue of these new patents will strengthen the IP position in the regenerative medicine field of the company and other firms affiliated to it. The company also aims to protect its core products keeping an eye on the current and future development prospects and attract new partnerships for product development.

Regenerative medicines are here to stay as research activities are on the rise
Regenerative Medicines are surely a game changer and the medical industry has accepted them with open arms. The use of these medicines have given positive results worldwide and has gained a lot of popularity in last decade. U.S. and Europe are frontrunners in this field as they are technologically sounder than the other regions of the world. The world regenerative market is projected to reach $30,237 million by 2022 according to the report published by Allied Market Research. 

The industry and the market is driven by various factors such as technological advancements in tissue and organ regeneration, increasing rate of chronic diseases, growing popularity of nanotechnology, and the stem cell technology. Another factor that could boost the growth of the market is the increasing number of degenerative diseases and lack of organs that can be used for transplantation. New research conducted by scientists and researchers also help in market growth. New avenues and pockets are being explored every day and supplements the growth of the market as well. Keeping in mind all the factors mentioned, it is safe to say that the regenerative medicine industry is here to stay.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Automotive Interiors: Significant Aspects Influencing Buying Decision

Suppliers and manufacturers focus on offering enhanced overall driving experience by building superior interiors with technological innovation, collaborations, and R&D activities.

 Designed by Freepik

Buying decision of a vehicle is not influenced only by fuel efficiency anymore. It has exceeded the expectations of customers to have a comfortable overall driving experience. So, automakers have to take necessary measures to ensure that they are meeting customer demands and offering the best services at optimal prices. Though it presents challenges to manufacturers, technological advancements and increased focus on R&D activities have enabled them to incorporate changes in design of interiors to provide enhanced experience. Automotive interiors are systems and components designed for providing comfort, sound insulation, and convenience to users. Automakers are developing superior products with an introduction of innovative features that are capable of delivering a better overall experience. In its recent report on the automotive interiors market, Allied Market Research states that the market is expected to garner a revenue of $200 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 6.5% from 2016 to 2022. Technological innovation, recent market trends, future scope, and competitive intelligence are outlined in the report.

Axalta and United Paint’s combined expertise to build superior interiors: 

Manufacturers are acquiring other companies to produce better products by combining expertise of both companies. Axalta Coating Systems, a leading liquid and powder coatings supplier, has acquired the automotive interior rigid thermoplastics coatings division of United Paint & Chemical Corporation. Axalta, headquartered at Philadelphia, U.S. offers innovative and sustainable coating solutions. The acquisition of United Paint will help Axalta to improve durability and aesthetic qualities of automotive components. United Paint, a Michigan-based company founded in 1953 is offering coating solutions for vehicle interior applications. 

Steven R. Markevich, Executive Vice President and President of Transportation Coatings and Greater China of Axalta said, “United Paint’s interior rigid thermoplastics coating technology is a great fit for Axalta as we fulfill our commitment to provide our customers in the global vehicle manufacturing industry with a complete range of coating systems.” He added that there is a demand for lighter alternatives for traditional materials, so vehicle interiors are a logical extension of the expertise they have developed to serve the growing automotive plastic components market. Vehicle manufacturers will benefit by relying on Axalta as a single source supplier of coatings for vehicle interiors as well as exterior surfaces. This acquisition will help auto manufacturers to maximize their potential and gain competitive advantage in global market by implementing solutions developed by combined expertise.

The biggest Automotive Interiors Expo to take place next year:

Interior material suppliers and auto manufacturers must be updated about recent trends and developments. In a rapidly changing world and advancements in technology, they will be benefited from the biggest interiors expo set to take place in 2017. Automotive Interiors Expo will take place on 20–22 June in Stuttgart, Germany. Car interiors of manufacturers ranging from Ferrari, Porsche to GM, Toyota, and others will be displayed at the show. Latest developments in the industry such as plastic compounding & master-batching, metalized plastics, and chrome-look plastics will be showcased. In addition, exhibition of wide range of fabrics, shape-forming materials, acoustical materials, adhesive systems, and lighting will help in bringing innovation in products. This show will help suppliers and interior design teams of manufacturers by offering a wide array of products that will help them innovate and fulfill expectations of customers. 

DuPont’s Hydrel RS to improve airbags systems:

Sustainability has become a prime focus of suppliers for developing interior parts. Taking this into consideration, DuPont collaborated with Takata-Petri to develop the thermoplastic elastomer, Hydrel RS produced from renewable materials. The materials used for producing this thermoplastic elastomer are derived from non-food biomass. Hydrel RS, containing at least 35% of renewable content by weight can be used in airbag systems. This product has technical properties that offer consistent physical properties over different temperature ranges. For more than last 15 years, DuPont and Takata-Petri are manufacturing innovative safety systems that can be used in driver and passenger airbags. 

Hydrel RS is based on a thermoplastic ether-ester elastomer (TPC-ET) having hard segments and soft segments. Hard segments contain a polybutylene terephthalate, while soft segments contain a polyether, which is derived from non-food biomass. In its finished, compounded form, Hydrel RS can be as used in airbag systems. The development team at DuPont demonstrated that the performance of Hytrel RS is superior in terms of use of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions as compared to a petroleum-based TPC-ET.

Less noisy interiors:

Suppliers are implementing various technologies in their products to help manufacturers make interiors less noisy. International Automotive Components, an automotive interiors supplier based in Luxembourg is focusing on production of injection-molded, lightweight inner-dash insulated dashboard that offers superior interior acoustical performance. The company has announced that its Prestice facility in Czech Republic has started production of such dashboards for two manufacturers from Europe. 

The traditional process of production of acoustic parts involve molding of thermoplastic-based heavy layer sheet under vacuum. “This process in itself has limitations,” an IAC spokesperson told WardsAuto. “The thickness of the part is nearly uniform and detailed and precise part geometry is difficult to reproduce.” On the other hand, injection-molded process involves production of parts that are heavier where more insulation is needed and thinner in other areas. “By doing this IAC can optimize the acoustic performance and at the same time reduce the weight of the component,” the spokesperson added. 

The improvement of acoustic properties through molding process offers reliable distribution for designing and production of perfectly fit components for dashboards. So, this material is beneficial for manufacturers as it provides freedom to design the entire dashboard module as per their design considerations. The spokesperson claimed that they are aiming to produce a dashboard that weighs 40% less than conventional dashboards that are formed under vacuum. Furthermore, this insulation technology complements its range of innovative lightweight acoustical insulation products, such as sprayed-polyurethane-dash inner technology. This technology reduces weight by 20% and superior acoustic performance as compared to traditional technologies. Various technologies are emerging that help in reduction of noise from dashboard enabling comfortable and enhanced driving experience.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Liver Disease Treatment Market Grows as Unhealthy Lifestyle Patterns Dominate

Changing lifestyle patterns and unhealthy food habits are pushing researchers to develop new medical solutions to treat liver diseases.

Modern times have seen a significant change in lifestyle and general habits of human beings. Increasing alcohol consumption, unregulated diet patterns, and ignorance towards other minute health problems have all added to the condition. These factors are the major reasons why the number of liver diseases have increased worldwide. Likewise, ageing population that is vulnerable to various medical conditions also contribute to the liver disease treatment market. Eyeing this sudden rise in the number of patients with liver disease is Allied Market Research. This market research firm has published a report titled “Liver Disease Treatment Market.” The study explores the various aspects of the industry such as market share, size, and growth.  

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) on the rise in developed nations

NAFLD is on the rise in the developed nations with number of people indulging in junk food growing each day. Indulgence in such food items has made obesity a genuine problem amongst the masses in regions including North America and Europe. Unhealthy diet, wayward lifestyle and high stress levels have led to an increase of NAFLD not only in the United States but also United Kingdom. Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2016 highlighted that there have been significant advances in clinical practice hepatology to treat liver diseases. This disclosure was in reference to a research presented at the event. 

Ray of light in liver disease treatment: NAFLD & Liver Fibrosis

There has been significant research on the biology of the fatty liver disease to understand how the disease infects the organ, why does it occur and also how it can be dealt with without any side effects. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have made a progress in this direction. They have studied and analyzed the reports that help them understand the situation better. The exchange between two cell nucleus proteins lead to separate as well as symbiotic lives has helped the research team at the Penn state university to gauge the fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is the main cause of liver failure in the United States. Mitchell Lazar, MD PhD, director of the Institute Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism said, “We showed that simply deleting the protein HNF6 in liver cells of adult transgenic mice fed normal laboratory chow leads to fatty liver syndrome.” The research team at the Perelman School of Medicine have done a commendable job to assess the fatty liver disease and open doors to welcome new treatment opportunities to deal with the same.

With no real treatment or therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cure this disease, the new compound is a ray of light, which is believed to have the capacity to deal with the acute problem. In the past, medicines developed to fight liver fibrosis often led to psychiatric side effects as they penetrated the brain and blocked cannabinoid type 1 receptors. New drug developed by the scientists at National Institutes of Health is a massive breakthrough as far as treatment of liver fibrosis. George F Koob, Ph.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) quoted, “This study represents an important step towards an effective treatment for liver fibrosis.” The newly developed drug has passed the initial screening tests for other side effects such as genotoxicity. However, it will further need safety screenings in animals before turning towards FDA for approval for studies of its therapeutic ability in humans. 

Liver disease affecting Asia-Pacific region

According to Dr. Nalini Prasad Ippela, Head of the Gastroenterology Department in the Ramesh Group of Hospitals, the number of alcohol related liver diseases has shown an upward curve in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The trend is higher in the poor sections of society who opt for cheap and poor quality alcohol. Lower middle class were not far behind. Such a medical condition does not come to notice immediately even if the organ is damaged severely. Thus, the disease is detected very late and by the time people take measures to deal with it, it is pretty late. There are various disorders related to ALD such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic hepatitis with liver fibrosis or cirrhosis. FLD is commonly found in individuals who consume large quantities of alcohol. But the bright side is that it is reversible. Once the individual stops consuming alcohol, the condition is reversed. The remedy and cure for ALD is expensive and risky thus it is advised to take good care of your body and regulate the intake of alcohol.

Esteemed scientists returning back to China from premier research centers such as Harvard and MIT are prioritizing research and development for diseases that the Chinese are most expected to be vulnerable to such as liver cancer, chronic hepatitis B, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Frequency of Hepatitis B in China is around 30 times higher than the US. Liver cancer is approximately 11–18 times higher than in Europe and U.S.

The liver disease treatment industry is driven by number of factors. Consumption of alcohol is a major reason why people suffer from liver related diseases. Irregular diet patterns and unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the issue. Thus as more people indulge in the activity, naturally the number of people with liver problems increases. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders are all responsible for the growing rate of diseases that help industry. Government and nonprofit organizations are creating awareness among people and are imparting useful information and data related to it. Scientists and researchers have increased R&D to explore new treatment opportunities and manufacture new medicines that help in curing liver disease. The different types of treatment made available by researchers today are anti-rejection drugs, chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapy, vaccines, anti-viral drugs, immunoglobulins, and corticosteroids.

Future of Automotive Industry: 3D Printing

Increasing R&D activities in 3D printing, joint ventures of leading manufacturers, and ease in development of prototypes are responsible for growth in the automotive industry.

3D printing has transformed the world radically over the past decade with the way things are designed and manufactured. It has enabled manufacturers to build light-weight complex structures at lower costs. Automotive industry has benefited from the emergence of 3D printing technologies with its application extending from rapid prototyping to manufacturing final parts. In addition, it is a vital factor in supply chain and allows rapid innovation in products, thereby saving a lot of time and money. With endless possibilities, from manufacturing spare parts for developing new concepts from scratch, 3D printing is revolutionizing the automotive industry. In its recent report on automotive 3D printing market, Allied Market Research stated that the market is expected to register a CAGR of 21.8% from 2016 to 2022. 3D printed cars would become a reality soon as prominent market players focus to incorporate technologies to drive innovation and reduce manufacturing lead time.

Researchers from China develops a novel metal 3D printing technology:

It is significant to develop novel techniques in 3D printing that uses materials cheaper than the material used in most of the conventional techniques. Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China developed a novel method of 3d printing that would eliminate issues arising during manufacturing process. Zhang Haiou, leader of the research team at the university is working on this method over the past decade. The method, known as ‘intelligent micro casting and forging,’ integrates aspects of forging technology and traditional metal casting with 3D printing to improve strength, stability, and ductility of parts. 

Zhang said, “In the past, conventional 3D printing has been fatally flawed in the following areas. First, without forging, metal parts have a serious chance of wearing. Second, the performance of 3D printed parts has not been high. A third problem is the presence of pores and unfused portions and the fourth is that using a laser or electron beam as a heat source is very costly.” He added that common problems such as cracking, porosity, and crumbling or dropping of fused materials arising due to rapid heating and cooling are eliminated with this method. Parts of China’s stealth jet fighter planes are manufactured using this method. The technology can also be used in automotive industry to make thin-walled parts. According to the research team, parts created using this technology are more reliable and have a longer lifespan, which can make significant impact in the automotive industry. 

Stratasys joins forces with TPM3D:

Companies are adopting strategies, such as partnerships, agreements, joint ventures, and others to lessen production time, increase overall efficiency, and reduce costs. Automotive industry is greatly benefited with a comprehensive portfolio of companies involved in joint venture. Stratasys Shanghai will be expanding its portfolio of 3D printing solutions and services in China with investments in TPM3D. Stratasys Shanghai is a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. and TPM3D is its local joint venture company. Selective Laser Sintering manufacturing system of TPM3D will help Stratasys to fulfill the demands of Chinese clients and improve quality of its 3D printed parts. This system is a complimentary platform for PolyJet and FDM technologies of Stratasys. According to company’s press release, TPM3D SLS 3D printer will help Stratasys expand its 3D printing solutions portfolio throughout the Greater China region. 

Mr. Omer Krieger, General Manager of Stratasys Asia Pacific, said, “The joint venture marks an important milestone for Stratasys. By combining our global vision and local expertise, we are confident that we will meet the unprecedented market demand for high-volume production.” He added that their goal is to meet the unique demands of different industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and others. In addition, their aim is to fulfill customer needs for becoming a truly customer-oriented 3D printing solutions provider. 

Benefits of embracing 3D printing:

3D printing market growth has offered opportunities for innovation and provides a competitive advantage. So, the future of automotive industry largely depends on it. Following are the ways in which automotive industry will be transformed:
  • Faster production
It enables continuous production of parts and eliminates losses taking place during conventional manufacturing process. In addition, if manufacturers need to produce a traditional part that is not included in mass production process, they can print it easily by changing settings on printer.
  • More flexibility
Manufacturers can introduce customized features in design to offer variety of options to customers. Fancier geometries, lightweight lattice structures, and parts made up of various materials are some of the features can be included in the design at any point of time as need arises.
  • Achieves highest level of predictability 
Predictability implies that delivering maximum in less time. It is important for manufacturers to achieve highest level of predictability as possible. The cost of end product is easier to adjust if there are no risks involved in production process. With the help of CAD software, changes can be made at any point of time and parts can be manufactured using 3D printing techniques. Production delivery deadlines can be met even if unpredictable changes occur. 
  • Use of environment friendly material
Manufacturers are using eco-friendly materials, which has lower carbon components for manufacturing 3D printed parts. Furthermore, fabrication process needs very low amount of electricity as compared to the traditional process. 

Nanotechnology in automotive applications:

Nanotechnology in 3D printed cars will make a significant difference in the future. Researchers at Virginia Tech are working on application of nanotechnology in 3D printing. Xiaoyu “Rayne” Zheng and team have published their current findings on ‘Multiscale Metallic Metamaterials’ in journal, Nature Materials. Researchers have explored the issues regarding scalability limitations and steps they are taking to overcome those limitations. They have also demonstrated how metamaterials having 3D features and seven orders of magnitude would help in overcoming scalability limitations. Researchers are creating metamaterials, which are able to achieve tensile elasticity greater than 20 percent. 

“Creation of these materials is enabled by a high-resolution, large-area additive manufacturing technique with scalability not achievable by two-photon polymerization or traditional stereolithography,” said the research team in their paper. “With overall part sizes approaching tens of centimeters, these unique nanostructured metamaterials might find use in a broad array of applications.” Researchers are able to optimize various properties such as mechanical strength, energy, and optical by moving from nano-level to larger sizes and an increase in tensile elasticity of 400% is achieved. Researchers are optimistic that these materials will be helpful in automotive applications by implementation of multiple levels of 3D lattices. 

Automotive companies are using 3D printing technology to develop prototypes and production tools of complex models. Although there is a lot of scope for development in 3D printing technology, increasing adoption in automotive industry will transform the industry by providing innovation opportunities. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Demand Across Sectors Open New Growth Avenues for Control Valves

The control valve market stands a fair chance owing to the demands in sectors like mining, oil & gas, and others. 

With a projected growth rate of over 6% by 2018, the control valves market is driven greatly by the oil and gas sector. It’s basically the controlling and automation requirements in the refineries that kept the industry growing say researchers at Allied Market Research. Besides, these valves demonstrate greater capability in the deep-water explorations continue analysts eyeing the size and share of the control valves market worldwide. That’s not enough! Different designs including sliding stem control valves and rotating shaft control valves are now being linked to greater performance. The demand for hydraulic control valve, pneumatic control valve, and electrical control valve has grown exponentially over the past five to six years. So what’s up with the industry players? 

Cast Steel Range Made a Headway 

Valve manufacturers are seen expanding their range by introducing cast steel variant. Such valves observe an increasing demand particularly in the industrial segment and engineering applications for instance to control the liquid flows. KSB caught several attentions, when it officially launched the BOA-CVE/CVP H range. Not only will the product help the end users replace their existing valve trim but also matches it to the control requirements. Likewise, these valves come along with features like perforated plugs, parabolic plugs, and multi-hole cages to tackle both noise and cavitation problems. 

Companies Invest Generously to Strengthen Its Presence 

Control valve manufacturers are now giving a serious thought over strengthening their competitive landscape. Acquiring the assets of the close factories is also an interesting trend to watch out in 2016. Spirax-Sarco Engineering, a well-known name in the steam and peristaltic pumping engineering space took the control valves industry by storm when it decided to invest in a closed Brazilian company named Hiter. Expressing his sentiment on the deal, Spirax’s board in a statement said “The Hiter brand has a well established reputation in Brazil with a large installed base and had net sales of over £7m in 2015.” The total purchase consideration of the assets paid in cash by Spirax is believed to be about £3.9 million. 

Oil & Gas Sector Keep the Future of The Control Valves Market Bright 

The United States has already become energy independent and invested close to $8 billion, according to a 2014 statistics. A lot in this market depends upon the transportation infrastructure as well as export terminals. So with the emergence of different sites in and constant pressure from Russia, this mainstream category is destined to get bigger in Europe. This indicates that with pipeline installation at its all-time high the control valves market stands a fair chance. Likewise, the booster stations along the newly established pipeline has also increased giving the industry the much awaited boost. Most of these stations are controlled as well as monitored from a centralized location. 

Chemical Industry Re-Defines Industrial Growth  

The shale boom in North America has resulted in the development of the polypropylene and ethylene plants. New participants from Asia-Pacific region including China and India has already started creating demands for control valves. The region now boasts of larger chemical processing facilities than ever. Besides, the power generation companies are witnessing a constant need for control valves especially in China. There are speculations that China will soon have about 30 nuclear power plants. With Europe focusing more on renewable energy sources for generating electricity the role of control valves become more prominent. Therefore, it will not be wrong on our part to quote that valves are finally fulfilling some of the niche applications in the sector compared to the conventional coal fired power plants. 

Wastewater Industry Become a Major End User of Control Valves 

The hydraulic control valve and pneumatic control valve will be driven by the wastewater industry in years to come. Being a major supporter of the growing population and rapid urbanization the industry definitely has a robust future. Moreover, investors are generously investing in developing market such as Asia and Africa. The retrofit market in regions including North America have also managed to attract investors with their high-potentiality. While Asia-Pacific region sees an increasing demand for potable water, the possibilities in water-intensive sectors such as mining remains strong in Africa. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Nuclear Medicine: An On-Demand & Safer Alternative for Conventional Radiation Imaging

The most advanced nuclear medicine manufacturing facility to complete its construction shortly. On the other hand, IAEA is taking initiatives for development in rural areas. 

Increasing number of cardiovascular diseases and cancer cases have enabled growing demand for nuclear medicines. They are alternative for X-rays and other radiation imaging devices and widely used in applications such as bone metastasis and lymphoma. Nuclear medicines, also known as radiopharmaceuticals, are radiating substances used in diagnosis and treatment of diseases and other conditions. For diagnostic purposes, a half-life of the radio nuclides used in radiopharmaceuticals is essential. They generally have half-lives of a few hours or a few minutes. New products with improved sensitivity have developed to get accurate results. 

Approximately 10% of the nuclear medicines is used for treatment of various diseases, majorly in pain relief for cancer patients. R&D activities in the pharmaceutical industry are focused on developing new radiopharmaceuticals that can be used in treatment of cancer. F-18, C-14, Ga-67, Tc-99, and I-123 are few nuclear medicines that are used in diagnostic procedures, whereas Ir-192, I-131, I-125, Y-90, Lu-177, and Ra-223 are used in therapeutics procedures. 

Manufacturing process of radio-labelled molecules is intricate and needs industry expertise to operate within safety constraints of a nuclear facility. In addition, a manufacturing plant must also comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice of the pharmaceutical industry and cling to the AsLowAsReasonablyAchiveable principle of the nuclear industry. These principles are put in place to protect the workers, the environment in facility, and the patient. Mallinckrodt plc., General Electric Co., Mayo Clinic, Bayer AG, Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc., Bracco Imaging S.p.A, NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd., and Medtronic plc. are some of the leading manufacturers operating in the market. 

A nuclear medicine plant nears its completion:
Sutherland Shire, the most advanced nuclear medicine manufacturing facility at Sydney will commence its operation shortly. The International medical community has kept a keen eye on the facility as construction is nearing its completion. The facility is located in the campus of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), at Lucas Heights, Sydney. This facility will produce Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and ensure supplies meet growing demand across the world. The demand for Mo-99 is growing 40 million doses per year. Mo-99 is used in medical facilities to supply Tc-99m, which is used in the diagnosis of heart & lungs conditions and various types of cancers. 

Jayne Senior has been appointed as the General Manager of ANSTO Nuclear Medicine (ANM) Pvt Ltd, to supervise and track the progress of the project. “This is a very large, interesting, and challenging project that can potentially meet up to a quarter of the world’s demand of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99),” said Senior. “We have three different arms of ANSTO working closely together to ensure ANM is delivered as quickly as possible, whilst achieving all the relevant compliance and regulatory milestones.” ANM is targeting to produce 10 million doses of nuclear medicine by the end of 2017. The organization also needs to ensure that the product is delivered to the destination with maximum radioactive activity as it is essential to conduct life-saving procedures. As per the report published by Allied Market Research, the Asia-Pacific will be the fastest growing market, registering a CAGR of 8.4%. 

Scenario of nuclear medicine market in Latin America and the Caribbean:
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are causing more deaths than any other health conditions. About 50 percent of deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean are due to CVDs and cancer. Claudio Tinoco Mesquita, President of the Brazilian Society of Nuclear Medicine, emphasized on the fact that there should be at least double the number of nuclear medicine centers in Brazil to fulfill population needs. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is supporting them to provide access to nuclear medicine services. In Brazil, there are 39 nuclear medicine centers—33 are active, of which 29 centers conduct cardiovascular procedures.

“Early and accurate diagnosis is critical for effective treatment of both cardiovascular diseases and cancer,” said Diana Paez, Head of the Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging Section at the IAEA. “Nuclear medicine provides essential diagnostic and therapeutic services that help doctors care for cardiac and cancer patients, and when diagnosed early, treatment can begin sooner, leading to improved patient outcomes.” Paez also stated that the access to nuclear medicine products and services in the Latin American and Caribbean region is limited and uneven, specifically in rural areas. This outlines the fact that there are tremendous growth opportunities in the region. Manufacturers can capitalize on opportunities by expanding their production facilities in these regions. Investors and shareholders can gain maximum returns on investment by investing in these regions. 

IAEA has taken an initiative in cooperation with the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) to facilitate the development of nuclear medicine across the region. It includes training 600 professionals, conduct 500 expert missions for raising awareness among healthcare professionals, and offer support to purchase equipment. Luis Carlos Longoria Gandara, Director of the IAEA's Division for Latin America and the Caribbean said, "Assisting countries to improve their nuclear medicine services and to transfer innovative technologies to benefit patients is an important aspect of our development efforts in the region."

Drivers & Opportunities:
Increasing number of new cancer cases and growing adoption of SPECT and PET Scans is driving the nuclear medicine market. Moreover, preference for radiation therapy for cancer treatment and technological advancements in imaging technologies using radiopharmaceuticals supplement the growth. On the other hand, demand for non-invasive techniques, multilateral agreements between countries for efficient, and advances in neurological applications create new avenues in the industry. Changing lifestyle, increased levels of stress, and capability to identify various diseases earlier than other diagnostic tests are responsible for the increased use of radiopharmaceuticals. 

A report published on nuclear medicine industry discusses current trends and developments. As per the report, the nuclear medicine/radiopharmaceuticals market is estimated to garner $8,207 million by 2022. The report offers significant statistics on dominant market shares, detailed segmentation, SWOT analysis of key manufacturers, and changing market dynamics.