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December 20th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on December 20th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:

Blasch names DeCarlo manager of R&D department

(The Business Review) Blasch Precision Ceramics Inc. has created a new position—manager of the research and development department—and named Keith DeCarlo to fill that slot. DeCarlo joined Blasch in 2010 as a research engineer. In his new position, he will be working directly with Blasch customers to develop new materials and products that improve their process performance. Blasch, located in Albany, N.Y., makes ceramic parts for high-temperature applications in a range of industries, including petroleum, mining and power-generation. The company had revenue of $14.5 million in 2011, according to Business Review research.

Rubicon patent allowed for ultraflat, high-throughput wafer lapping

Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, semiconductor, and optical industries, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has allowed Rubicon’s patent application entitled, “Ultra-Flat, High-Throughput Wafer Lapping Process.” The patent covers Rubicon’s process developed to perform grinding and polishing to achieve consistent, ultra-flat and defect-free surface quality for the high-volume production of large diameter sapphire wafers. The patent addresses the quality and flatness challenges inherent in the production of sapphire wafers at larger diameters. As wafers are lapped and polished, the platens facing the wafers become worn and deformed, leading to the deterioration of wafer quality. In the patented process, the platens are continuously self-conditioned and self-optimized to maintain high performance.

GE demonstrates battery-dominant fuel cell bus using new Durathon battery

Researchers at GE Global Research have achieved a first step in reducing the cost of clean fuel, zero emission buses, with a vehicle powered by GE’s new Durathon battery in tandem with a lithium battery and a hydrogen fuel cell. This promising development of a new energy management system could help accelerate both fuel cell acceptance and electrification of bus fleets, delivery trucks and other larger, heavy-duty vehicle fleets enabling clean vehicle technologies. In 2010, the GE team first successfully demonstrated a dual battery system on a zero tailpipe emissions hybrid transit bus by pairing a high-energy density sodium battery with a high-power lithium battery. Now, two years later, further testing using GE’s new Durathon battery has produced even better results. Most types of batteries today come with a trade-off between power and energy storage. For example, lithium batteries, provide a lot of power for acceleration, but are not optimized to store energy for driving range. Sodium batteries, like GE’s Durathon, are on the opposite side of the spectrum. They store large amounts of energy, but are less optimized for power. GE’s dual battery combines the best attributes of both chemistries into a single system. In the hybrid transit bus demonstration, the lithium battery focused on the high power acceleration and braking, while the Durathon battery provided an even electric power flow to extend the bus range.

Lux Research: Which Emerging Technology Companies Will Shape 2013?

The tech scouting firm Lux Research calls out 10 companies to watch in 2013 – firms with breakthrough potential in heavy oil extraction, desalination, carbon fiber recycling, drug delivery, and more. The landscape of emerging technology start-ups is always changing, and last year’s leaders may be supplanted by tomorrow’s upstarts. Lux’s analysts have selected the 10 “companies to watch” for 2013 (to follow up its 10 Most Compelling Companies Profiled in 2012″ across all its coverage areas. Lux analysts base company profiles on primary and secondary research, rating each firm on a 10-metric scorecard, while providing critical analysis of their prospects. Each firm gets a “Lux Take” that ranges from “Strong Caution” to “Strong Positive,” to provide a bottom-line assessment of its prospects, with a “Wait and see” rating for companies that still face too much uncertainty for a definitive call.

Zimmer Holdings to present at 31st annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference; live webcast available

Zimmer Holdings Inc., a global leader in musculoskeletal care, announced that it will be participating in the 31st Annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time. A live webcast of the presentation can be accessed via Zimmer’s Investor Relations website. The webcast will be archived for replay following the conference. Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Warsaw, Ind., Zimmer designs, develops, manufactures, and markets orthopaedic reconstructive, spinal, and trauma devices, dental implants, and related surgical products. Zimmer has operations in more than 25 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer’s 2011 sales were approximately $4.5 billion. The company is supported by the efforts of more than 8,500 employees worldwide.

Semiconductor industry group again sends unhappy letter to DOD regarding anti-counterfeiting proposal (pdf)

“This is the second letter from the Semiconductor Industry Association in response to the Defense Logistics Agency proposal to mandate use of the Applied DNA Science’s marker on semiconductor products covered by FSC 5962 or for future reference other semiconductor classes such as FSC 5961. This letter responds to the Request for Information for DNA Marking Technologies posted by DLA on Oct. 15, 2012. SIA recommends against mandating the DNA Marking Technologies for original component manufacturers and their authorized distributors for current and future production of FSC5962 and FSC5961 products for several practical, financial, and, most importantly, legal reasons detailed in the SIA conclusions in this document. Instead, DLA and the Department of Defense should work with the entire semiconductor industry, to leverage existing technologies, individual company R&D projects underway, and a multimillion dollar research and development project to select a more effective anti-counterfeit technology.”


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