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Published on October 7th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


Ceramic and glass business news of the week

Published on October 7th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


Where does your cobalt come from? Tracing the path from deadly hand-dug mines in Congo to consumers’ phones and laptops

The world’s soaring demand for cobalt is at times met by workers, including children, who labor in harsh and dangerous conditions. An estimated 100,000 cobalt miners in Congo use hand tools to dig hundreds of feet underground with little oversight and few safety measures, according to workers, government officials and evidence found by The Washington Post during visits to remote mines.


DOE invests $1.2M to advance national lab partnerships with manufacturing leaders

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the initial selections for the second cohort of the Technologist in Residence Program. Three national laboratories will receive nearly $1.2 million to advance collaborative research and development focused on improving the manufacturing processes of industry partners.


Saint-Gobain Glass wants to launch new production line in Romania

French group Saint Gobain analyzes the possibility of launching a new production line for special glass for windshields, in 2018, according to Norbert Teschner, general manager of Saint-Gobain Glass Romania. The investment would create around 130 jobs, but the project needs to be approved at group level.


Corning’s Fulcher sabbatical scholars study impact of pressure on glass structure and more

Continuing with its journey in helping to build a strong future for glass research, Corning’s Gordon S. Fulcher distinguished scholars Professor Phil Salmon and Research Fellow Anita Zeidler recently began their six-month sabbatical at the company’s Sullivan Park Research Center.


Amedica announces 38% workforce reduction

Amedica Corp., a technology company that manufactures and commercializes silicon nitride ceramic for biomedical applications, announced that it has reduced its workforce by approximately 38% to lower its operating expenses. The company will continue to focus on its commercial sales strategy to add new surgeons, territories, and distributors.


AGC glass furnace to go back into production at Boussois, France

AGC Glass Europe is to re-start its furnace for production of float glass at Boussois (Northern France) in April 2017. The furnace has been shut down since 2013 due to the economic crisis in Europe. The re-entry into service of the furnace has been prompted by several interlinked factors.


RAK Ceramics launches new global brand identity

RAK Ceramics has announced the launch of its new corporate brand identity, which is designed to unify all of its global subsidiaries. The official roll out will be effective immediately in the UAE, with subsidiaries expected to adopt the new brand identity throughout 2017, said a statement from the company.


Morgan Advanced Materials awarded £1.1M ballistic shields contract

The Composites and Defense Systems business of Morgan Advanced Materials has secured a £1.1 million contract from the Ministry of Defense (United Kingdom) to supply ballistic shields and supporting services. The contract will see Morgan provide a range of bespoke ballistic shields drawing on Morgan’s class-leading composite armor technology capability.


Vitro completes acquisition of PPG’s flat glass business

Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V., the leading glass manufacturer in Mexico, has successfully concluded the acquisition of the flat glass business from PPG. The business includes PPG’s entire flat glass manufacturing and glass coatings operations in the United States and Canada, which includes four manufacturing plants with a total of five flat glass furnaces; a research and development center; and four distribution and fabrication facilities in Canada.


Avancis and Sunpartner team up on solar glass for BIPV market

A strategic partnership has been announced for the copper indium gallium diselenide thin-film photovoltaic cell technology of Avancis GmbH of Torgau, Germany to be used in the semi-transparent WYSIPS Design Glass energy-producing solar glass of Sunpartner Technologies of Rousset, Aix-en-Provence, France for construction and use in smart city markets.


NREL report shows US solar photovoltaic costs continuing to fall in 2016

The modeled costs to install solar photovoltaic systems continued to decline in the first quarter of 2016 in the U.S. residential, commercial, and utility-scale sectors, according to updated benchmarks from NREL. Driving the cost reductions were lower module and inverter prices, increased competition, lower installer and developer overheads, improved labor productivity, and optimized system configurations.


Cevital starts window profile plant in Algeria

Algerian conglomerate Cevital Group is launching into the window profile business in a big way, starting up a facility near Algiers with 19 extrusion lines. The Algerian firm has been making flat glass for the construction industry since 2008, with a daily capacity of 1,400 metric tons, and decided to expand into window profiles, according to the announcement from KraussMaffei.


DOE announces manufacturing training for Cleantech Entrepreneurs

The Energy Department recently announced the new Build4Scale Manufacturing Training for Cleantech Entrepreneurs at the 2016 MForesight National Summit in Washington, D.C. Build4Scale helps entrepreneurs build their clean energy products by providing training on manufacturing fundamentals like material selection, design for assembly, and working with production partners.


Alcoa Inc. board of directors approves separation of company

Alcoa Inc. announced that its board of directors has approved the completion of the company’s separation into two independent, publicly-traded companies. Arconic will be a leading global provider of high-performance materials and engineered products. Alcoa Corporation will be a globally-competitive industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products.


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