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Published on April 15th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


Ceramic and glass business news of the week

Published on April 15th, 2016 | By: April Gocha, PhD


92-cent crash avoidance sensor drives Nippon Ceramic’s gains

The multibillion-dollar business plans being hatched by global automakers and technology companies for self-driving vehicles depend on a sensor that’s less than 1 inch wide and costs all of 92 cents. And Nippon Ceramic Co. controls about half of that market. Its stock is up more than 40% over the past three years and analysts expect profits to nearly double by 2018. In other words, it’s good to be Nippon Ceramic right now.


GE’s $39M 3-D printing facility opens outside Pittsburgh

A $39 million General Electric plant in suburban Pittsburgh is set to begin developing 3-D printing and other high-tech manufacturing processes. The Center for Additive Technology Advancement, a 125,000-square-foot facility about 15 miles west of Pittsburgh in Findlay Township, will employ 50 high-tech engineers, company executives told reporters during a recent open house.


Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred names new board members

The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) at Alfred University has named new members to its industry advisory board. Interacting with industries helps shape the CACT’s programs, and that’s why an active industry advisory board is so necessary to the organization. The new members are Keith Blakely, Max Christie, Denis Cormier, Christine Heckle, Andy Norris, Alan Rae, and Holly Shulman.


Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research partners with America Makes

Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research Inc. (Youngstown, Pa.) continues to be at the forefront of materials testing, additive manufacturing, and 3-D printing research by becoming a member of America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Through membership in America Makes, Westmoreland is working to innovate and accelerate additive manufacturing.


Press Glass expands largest glass plant in Poland

Between 2014 and 2015, Press Glass expanded its plant in Radomsko, Poland, doubling the area of its production halls. Currently, this plant is the largest plant of such a type in mainland Europe at 63,000 m2. The company makes products such as glass units for manufacturers of window frames and façade woodwork and various glass structures and panes for solar panel manufacturers.


International course: Ceramic materials in building heritage

The international association Youth in Conservation of Cultural Heritage – YOCOCU Spain, in collaboration with the Geosciences Institute from Madrid, are organizing the international course “Ceramic materials in building heritage: Conservation problems and intervention.” Registration for the event, which will take place in Madrid June 29–30, is now open.


Oilfield services provider Carbo Ceramics’ executives to take pay cut

Oilfield services provider Carbo Ceramics Inc. said its executives would take a 10%–30% cut in their monthly cash compensation as the company looks to slash costs. The company, which makes ceramic balls used to keep the cracks in fractured shale rock open, said on Monday the cut would be through voluntary participation by executives in furloughs, unpaid time off and leaves.


US expected to surpass China in manufacturing competitiveness by 2020

The United States is expected to overtake China as the most competitive nation for manufacturing over the next few years, according to a recent survey of manufacturing executives. Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index showed that U.S. manufacturing competitiveness rose from fourth in the world in 2010 to second this year—and that it’s expected to assume the top spot by 2020.


DOE announces funding to train engineers for small–medium manufacturers

The U.S. Department of Energy announced approximately $35 million in funding, subject to congressional appropriations, to assist small- and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers with increasing their energy efficiency, productivity, sustainability and competitiveness and to help address the shortage of engineering professionals with applied energy-related skills.


Fantom Materials acquires Trex Advanced Materials

Fantom Materials Inc. (Kauai, Hawaii) recently acquired Trex Advanced Materials (Lihue, Hawaii), a division of Trex Enterprises Corp., for an undisclosed amount. Fantom Materials is committed to continuing the advanced materials facility located in Lihue and grow it to a much larger manufacturing facility for chemical vapor composite silicon carbide.


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