3M has invested in MSi Lighting of Boca Raton, Florida, a company that 3M has been working with for the past year on a line of LED lights for multiple applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. LED lighting is one of the hottest industries in America. It is estimated that switching to LED lighting over the next two decades could save the country $250 billion in energy costs over that period, reduce the electricity consumption for lighting by nearly one half, and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
Corning Incorporated announced that it will transfer the production of Corning Gorilla Glass from its manufacturing facility in Shizuoka, Japan to its facility in Asan, Korea. Corning expects to complete this transfer and to close the east side of its Shizuoka facility by June of 2015. When Corning announced its strategic agreements with Samsung Display Co., Ltd. last October, resulting in the acquisition of Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd. – now Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd. (CPM) – Corning explained that this transaction would deliver strategic and financial benefits to the company. These benefits include the ability to leverage underutilized, low-cost, CPM capacity in Asan, Korea, to produce both LCD display glass and protective cover glass for Corning’s customers worldwide. Corning is now pursuing this particular benefit through its plan to transfer Gorilla Glass production from Shizuoka to CPM.
Owens Corning will unveil nine new products at the upcoming JEC Europe 2014 composites show and conferences in Paris, France. Owens Corning’s new product innovations are designed to collectively deliver productivity improvements and performance benefits in composite applications for the automotive, wind energy, and building and construction markets. Products include: Performax SE4849 Type 30 roving for LFT PP for long fiber reinforced thermoplastic polypropylene used in hot-melt compounding, pultrusion, direct compounding processes, and continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic tapes; ME1510 EP multi-end roving for epoxy sheet molding compound structural composites in automotive applications; WindStrand 2000, 3000, and 4000 Type 30 rovings and Ultrablade G3 and Triax fabrics aimed at reducing total energy production cost to drive wind power to parity with other energy sources; and WUCS 9703 (wet-use chopped strand) products for improved wet web strength and efficient veil manufacturing to support carpet tile, cushion/luxury vinyl flooring, and asphalt roofing shingle applications; and Advantex ME3060 multi-end chop roving for weaving fabrics for industrial applications, such as underground tanks and pipes, wind turbines, and marine products. JEC Europe 2014 is March 11-13 at Porte de Versailles in Paris.
Washington Mills has invested in equipment specially designed for small-scale product development work to help customers test and produce products without costly capital investment. WM’s state-of-the-art experimental furnaces are designed to handle sample volumes as small as five to ten pounds. Complemented by the capacities of their other electric arc fusion furnaces, WM has the capability to test a broad range of product volumes and “scale up” production when needed – from five pounds to thirty tons. WM’s R&D engineers have created a range of new, exotic fused minerals ranging from zirconia-yttria to praseodymium oxide. Clients such as NASA have used Washington Mills’ new product development services to test new fused mineral formulations and to improve the performance of existing materials.
The move toward alternative forms of energy is taking shape in Kelsterbach, a town close to Frankfurt, Germany. Bosch is supplying a flexible energy storage system for a housing complex that is currently under construction there, which comprises 180 townhouses. The system has an installed capacity of 135 kilowatt-hours. The customer is Süwag Erneuerbare Energien GmbH, which is promoting the move toward alternative forms of energy with a concept of its own. The start of operation is planned for the middle of May. The Bosch turnkey energy storage system makes use of lithium-ion technology. The storage unit is some seven meters wide, about 60 centimeters deep, and 1.8 meters high. The storage system has an output of 50 kilowatts and can be charged or discharged within two hours.
Nissan-Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn insists the future is still bright for electric cars despite pushing a global sales target back by four years. Speaking in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan where he sealed a deal to supply the government with a fleet of battery-powered Nissan Leafs, Ghosn said the agreement highlighted the potential for the green vehicle market as pressure grows around the world to meet tougher emission standards. Ghosn said that Bhutan could showcase the possibilities for a market which has had to battle complaints about range, performance, refuelling infrastructure and comparatively high prices. As head of Nissan and its French partner Renault, Ghosn has been a long-time evangelist for electric vehicles and remains confident about the future.
Worldwide markets are poised to achieve significant growth as the Stationary Fuel Cells used to provide distributed power for campus environments achieve better technology and economies of scale. They have achieved grid parity in many cases. Stationary fuel cell markets need government sponsorship. As government funding shifts from huge military obligations, sustainable energy policy becomes a compelling investment model for government. Stationary fuel cell markets at $1.2 billion in 2013 are projected to increase to $14.3 billion in 2020. Growth is anticipated to be based on demand for distributed power generation that uses natural gas. Growth is based on global demand and will shift from simple growth to rapid growth measured as a penetration analysis as markets move beyond the early adopter stage. Big box retailers, such as Walmart, and data centers are early adopters.