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August 10th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on August 10th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here’s what we are hearing:

Trek Inc. strategic partnership with M4 Sciences enables ultraprecision machining

Trek Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-voltage amplifiers and electrostatic voltmeters has established a strategic partnership with M4 Sciences LLC which leverages technical strengths from both companies to provide high-productivity ultraprecision machining technology for use in aerospace, automotive, commercial, consumer, industrial, medical, military/defense, optics and space applications. M4 Sciences, W. Lafayette, Ind., is a designer and developer of advanced technologies for ultraprecision machining. M4 Sciences is commercializing a range of devices based on their innovative patent-pending modulation assisted machining technology. MAM is a productivity-enhancing cutting/drilling technology which controls chip formation, improves cutting fluid effectiveness, removes the need for peck cycles, and increases process stability and feed rates. It can be used in a wide range of metals/alloys such as aluminum, cast iron, cobalt-chrome, copper, stainless steel, steel, tantalum and titanium. Trek partnered with M4 Sciences to design and develop high-voltage amplifiers that meet the demanding specifications involved in driving their patented piezo-based machining tools.

Ultra Electronics, AMI Delivers 45 SOFCs for use in military drones

Ultra Electronics, AMI recently delivered 45 of its Roamio D245XR fuel cells for use by the U.S. military in unmanned aerial systems. The contract award for this delivery is valued at more than $2 million. The Roamio D245XR is the most advanced power technology available today, providing unparalleled long duration flight of more than eight hours in small UAS platforms. The delivery is the latest in a series of multiunit manufacturing runs of small propane-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology. AMI continues to follow its manufacturing plan that has successful deliveries to the Army, including 30 units to the Rapid Equipping Force, 15 units to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and 10 units to the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. All branches of the military have tested AMI fuel cells. The ROAMIO D245XR weighs significantly less than a traditional battery pack or other power source, reducing the overall weight burden of putting advanced UAS payloads and flight duration capabilities into small squads and making it possible for the system to be operated by only one or two warfighters.

Rubicon patent allowed for in-situ crystal orientation

Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, semiconductor and optical industries, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has allowed Rubicon’s patent application entitled, “Intelligent Machines and Process for Production of Monocrystalline Products with Goniometer Continual Feedback.” The patent covers Rubicon’s equipment and process developed to perform in-situ orientation of its sapphire crystals within the various fabrication tools used by the company. Rubicon’s customers in the LED, SoS/RFIC and optical markets all have specific and distinct requirements for the crystal planar orientation of the sapphire products used in their applications. The new patented orientation technology provides greater precision in sapphire planar orientation and eliminates time-consuming steps by performing the orientation at the fabrication tool. These resulting efficiencies will ultimately translate into savings for Rubicon customers.

Resco Products CEO Bill Brown to retire; board elects John Midea as successor

Resco Products, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.), announced that president and chief executive officer Bill Brown has informed the Board of Directors of his decision to retire after 14 years with the company. The Board of Directors has elected John Midea, former president and chief operating officer at Ennis Traffic Safety Solutions, to succeed Brown as chief executive officer. Brown will remain a member of Resco’s Board of Directors. Midea earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and held various senior leadership positions at The Valspar Corporation and Georgia-Pacific Corporation. Midea graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1987 and was selected for the Naval Nuclear program upon graduation and served for six years as a submarine officer.

Lockheed Martin gets Marines’ contract to add solar panels to Cleveland-developed fuel cells

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has won a $3 million contract to integrate solar panels into Cleveland-developed fuel cells for the Marines. Lockheed and Cleveland-based Technology Management Inc. have been developing and marketing portable fuel cells to the military for more than two years. TMI’s cells can generate electricity from the diesel-like fuel mix the military uses for its vehicles and generators. The military is looking for alternatives to the noisy diesel generators it uses to power computers and other electronic devices in war zones. In 1994, the Army estimated that fuel can make up 70 percent of the material (by weight) brought to war. Fuel has been a logistical problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, requiring the military to use delivery convoys that have become targets of insurgent groups.

Corps of Engineers seeking to purchase $7B of renewable energy over 30 years from private operators for US military installations

Army Corps of Engineers, through its Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, has issued a Multiple-Award Task Order RFP for $7 billion in total contract capacity to procure reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements. The $7 billion capacity would be expended for the purchase of energy over a period of 30 years or less from renewable energy plants that are constructed and operated by contractors using private sector financing. “We believe the Federal Renewable and Alternative Energy contract will provide the Army with an important means to achieve its goal of one gigawatt of renewable energy projects by 2025, “says Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh.

Gugolz pitch polishing optics is all-natural

A line of optical polishing pitch that is made from all-natural wood resin, rather than petroleum byproducts, and can precisely match the optics being polished is available from Meller Optics Inc. of Providence, R.I. Gugolz polishing pitch from Meller is made from all-natural wood resin, instead of petroleum byproducts, and comes in five grades, from very-soft to very-hard with melting points from 52°C to 87°C. Allowing users to exactly match pitch hardness to the optics being polished, this pitch is ideal for blocking, lapping, and polishing virtually any optical substrate material.

American Elements urges Senate to pass critical minerals & rare earths mining law

Los Angeles-based American Elements, which supplies rare earths, neodymium, lithium, indium and other green technology elemental materials to the US military and national labs and 40 percent of the Fortune 50, including GE, Honeywell, GM and Boeing, urged Senate democrats to pass the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill. The law fast-tracks new critical metal mines by setting timeframes for reviews, challenges and the filing of lawsuits. It presently takes an average 40 years to site a new metal mine in the US today. “It is time environmentalists who object to this law appreciate the whole supply chain to building the energy efficient non-polluting America we all hope for our children. They cannot both oppose critical mineral mining and demand the government build a green technology future. The two approaches are mutually exclusive”, says Michael Silver, CEO of American Elements.


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