Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in August at the slowest pace since May 2013 as anemic demand from emerging markets such as China translated into leaner factory order books. The dollar’s ascent, which has accelerated since the middle of last year, is making it tougher for U.S. producers to drum up overseas sales, prompting plants to slow hiring and production. While factories are finding some relief with robust car sales and a recent rebound in investment in new equipment, record inventory building in the first half of 2015 is an added hurdle.
Pete Raby is the new CEO at global materials technology specialist Morgan Advanced Materials. Raby, 47, has more than 20 years’ industry experience and joins Morgan from aerospace and defense component manufacturer Cobham plc, where he led the company’s Communications and Connectivity division. He takes over from interim CEO Kevin Dangerfield with a brief to continue to develop Morgan’s business across its key target sectors.
Bacanora Minerals Ltd. and Rare Earth Minerals Plc., the owners of the Sonora Lithium Project in northern Mexico (collectively referred to as the Sonora Lithium Project Partners), have finalized a conditional long-term lithium hydroxide supply agreement with Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric vehicles and energy storage solutions. The Sonora Lithium Project Partners are working to develop a mineral-rich, lithium-bearing clay deposit into a planned low-cost, sustainable and environmentally conscious mining operation.
Ross’s operation in Wuxi, China has added 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space and increased manpower to more than 165 full time employees. This recent expansion enables Ross Wuxi Equipment Co. Ltd. to more efficiently handle a surge in new orders from various process industries, particularly from Chinese battery producers.
In the 10 years since RAK Ceramics opened a $40 million tile manufacturing plant in Iran, the United Arab Emirates-based firm has racked up millions of dollars in losses in the Persian country, fired hundreds of employees, and all but stopped its kilns from burning. But then Iran struck a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other foreign powers this summer. Now with sanctions expected to ease, RAK Ceramics is looking to boost output of the kitchen and bathroom tiles it sells in Iran and the wider region.
A South Korean Tier One semiconductor memory manufacturer follows the strategy of applying innovative technologies as a response to the rapidly changing business environment. The Zeiss MeRiT neXT is now a component within that strategy as it enables the repair of smallest defects on photomasks. The manufacturer will process diverse future generation mask types with the Zeiss MeRiT neXT.
Morgan Advanced Materials has further extended its offering to the utilities sector with the addition of a new range of ultra-wide bandwidth, high-sensitivity air coupled ceramic sensors for flow metering. The sensors offer an increase of magnitude in sensitivity compared with alternatives currently on the market, whilst maintaining and widening the bandwidth. The development is made using technology similar to that which underpins four-dimensional imaging.
A wide range of rare earth metal foils is available from Goodfellow, a leading supplier of high-purity metals and materials for research and industry. The foils represent 14 of the 15 metals in the lanthanide series (only promethium is unavailable), plus scandium and yttrium. Applications for rare earth metal foils include their use in aerospace technology, electronics, electromagnetic shielding, x-ray technology, and in other scientific and industrial fields.