All posts in "Advanced Manufacturing"

First Solar Bets Its Future On A New Panel

 

Via bloomberg.com

First Solar Inc. is poised to take the wraps off the Series 6 panel Tuesday, a long-awaited product rollout that has huge implications for the biggest U.S. solar manufacturer.

It’s not a stretch to say that Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar has bet its future on the success of this product. As solar panels get cheaper and cheaper, and global demand continues to swell, production costs have become key to competing against other companies, especially in Asia where most of the world’s panels are produced.

First Solar has “become a pure widget manufacturer and they need to compete exclusively on cost,” said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. “It’s a risky bet. They need to show a cost road map that keeps them ahead of China.”

 

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A Year Later, Still No Lucid Motors Factory

Via azfamily.com

One year after an exciting announcement, there’s still no sign of the state’s first-ever car manufacturing assembly plant along Casa Grande’s industrial corridor.

Governor Doug Ducey enthusiastically made the announcement this time last year that Lucid Motors, a luxury electric car company aiming to compete with Tesla, was going to build a factory in Arizona and create an estimated 2,000 jobs.

The company’s initial plan was to start production in 2018, but the Lucid Motors hasn’t broken ground yet.

 

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Chinese Startup TuSimple Just Raised $55 Million For Self-Driving Trucks In AZ

via fortune.com

TuSimple, a China-based autonomous truck technology startup that is backed by Nvidia(NVDA, -3.53%), has raised $55 million in a Series C funding round led by Composite Capital.

Existing investors Sina (SINA, -2.58%), operator of China’s biggest microblogging site Weibo, and ZP Capital also participated in the round. In August, the company announced $20 million in funding from investors that included Nvidia and Sina. The company is working on a “full-stack solution,” an industry term that means it’s developing and bringing together all of the technological pieces required for autonomous driving. TuSimple is developing a Level 4 system is a designation by the SAE that means the vehicle takes over all of the driving in certain conditions.

The autonomous trucking startup, which was founded in 2015, plans to use the new influx of capital to scale up its testing to two full truck fleets in China and the U.S. The eventual plan is to introduce commercial autonomous trucking services in 2019. The company will start truck fleet testing in 2018, beginning with two routes: 120-mile highway stretch between Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona and another segment in Shanghai.

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Badger Meter Shutting Down AZ Facility

 

Via biztimes.com

Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. plans to move about 35 jobs from Arizona to Racine by March of next year, according to the company’s top executive.

Rich Meeusen, Badger Meter chairman, president and chief executive officer, told BizTimes the company informed employees last month it would be closing its Scottsdale, Arizona facility and moving the work to its Racine operations. Badger Meter has a 134,400-square-foot facility in Racine.

The 32,000-square-foot Arizona facility houses both manufacturing and offices. Meeusen said it focuses on manufacturing turbine meters and the work involves precision machining and advanced assembly. He added the facility has a National Institute of Standards and Technology certified lab that will also be moved to Racine.

 

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UA Begins Casting the Giant Magellan Telescope’s 5th Mirror

 

Via universetoday.com

The fifth mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is now being cast, according to an announcement from the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO), the body behind the project. The GMT is a ground-breaking segmented telescope consisting of 7 gigantic mirrors, and is being built at the Las Campanas Observatory, in Atacama, Chile.

The mirrors for the GMT are being cast at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, at the University of Arizona. This lab is the world centre when it comes to building large mirrors for telescopes. But in a lab known for ground-breaking, precision manufacturing, the GMT’s mirrors are pushing the engineering to its limits.

Seven separate mirrors, each the same size (8.4 meters,) will make up the GMT’s primary mirror. One mirror will be in the centre, and six will be arranged in a circle around it. Each one of these mirrors is a 20 ton glass behemoth, and each one is cast separately. Once the seven are manufactured (and one extra, just in case) they will be assembled at the observatory site.

 

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Wärtsilä To Get Smart Power Generation From TEP

Via powermag.com

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a contract in Arizona, USA to provide smart power generation equipment for a new natural gas power plant with up to 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP), a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is building the plant on the site of an existing generating station that currently consists of both natural gas-fired and renewable energy assets. TEP selected a Wärtsilä smart power generation solution offering fast-start flexibility, which is well equipped to address intermittency and other challenges associated with an expanding renewable energy portfolio. TEP, which is working to deliver at least 30 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, booked the order with Wärtsilä in October 2017.

“As we add more solar and wind, we’ll need a resource that will respond quickly and reliably to the variable production of renewable resources,” said Conrad Spencer, director of the modernization project for TEP. “The latest generation of Wärtsilä natural gas-fueled engines take just a few minutes to start and reach full output, and they are more efficient than gas turbines.”

 

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Mercury Systems, Inc. Opens 115,000 sqft AMC in Phoenix,

 

Via areadevelopment.com

A leading commercial provider of secure sensor and mission processing subsystems, Mercury Systems, Inc. opened its Advanced Microelectronics Center of Excellence in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Company’s new AMC facility is a high-tech, 115,000 square foot design and manufacturing center of excellence for advanced digital microelectronic solutions addressing the defense industry’s most rigorous performance and quality standards.

According to company officials, with 15,000 sq. ft. of class 100k clean room space, the facility manufactures embedded processing modules, high-density secure memory, military-grade solid-state storage and custom built-to-specification microelectronics. All products built in the new center are integrated by customers into highly sophisticated computing systems which are then deployed in a variety of military applications such as electronic warfare, radar, platform management and command, control, communications and intelligence.

 

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3D Printing Courses in Arizona and Dubai Will Prepare Workforce for Industry Additive Manufacturing

 

Via 3dprint.com

This week, as part of a long-term strategic alliance, Advanced Curriculum in Additive Design, Engineering and Manufacturing Innovation (ACADEMI) was launched as the first hands-on certification program in the US that’s focused on designing and producing products for 3D printing. Right on the heels of this exciting news, the Manufacturing Research and Innovation Hub at Arizona State University (ASU), the largest lab in the Southwest, recently hired three faculty members to capitalize on the lab’s high-tech 3D printing equipment.

Dhruv Bhate, an Associate Professor at ASU’s Polytechnic School, said about 3D printing, “It’s a way of making things that penetrates many disciplines. We are at the start of something exciting. We are going to see a lot of growth.”

ASU Associate Professor Dhruv Bhate, standing with FDM polymer printers, is preparing engineering students for careers that involve industrial or aerospace-grade 3D printing. The students will be working with both polymer and metal printers. [Image: Charlie Leight, ASU Now]The 15,000-square-foot lab, which opened this winter, has over $2 million worth of plastic, polymer, and metal 3D printing equipment, along with advanced processing and analysis capabilities so that the students, faculty, and industry partners that use the lab, such as Honeywell Aerospace and Concept Laser Inc., can be prepared to work in the expanding AM sector. A new PolyJet printer that can use two different materials for limited-run tooling arrived at the lab on Friday, joining four other technologies that can be used to print functional parts.

 

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MB Business Capital Announces $9 Million Credit Facility For Triumph Manufacturing, LLC

 

Via prweb.com

MB Business Capital, a division of MB Financial Bank, N.A., announced it recently provided a new $9,050,000 senior credit facility to Tempe, Arizona-based Triumph Manufacturing, LLC (“Triumph”). Founded in 1957, Triumph is an automotive parts manufacturer specializing in the production of turned and machined precision parts in high volume, utilizing a variety of machining processes. MB’s credit facility will be used to fund working capital needs.

“The MB Business Capital team used their expertise and experience in the automotive industry to provide a complete one-stop-shop solution for Triumph. We are very pleased to welcome Triumph to MB and we look forward to a successful relationship.” says Michael Sharkey, President of MB Business Capital.

“MB Business Capital was terrific to work with. They are a very professional team that understands manufacturing.” says Ben Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Triumph Manufacturing, LLC.

 

 

 

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MDHI Awarded $1.4 Billion IDIQ for Armed Scout Attack Helicopters

 

Via mdhelicopters.com

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced today that it has been awarded a 5-year, firm-fixed price Contract to provide an estimated quantity of 150 armed MD 530 aircraft and the required production support services, including program management, delivery support, pilot training, and maintenance, to U.S. and Partner Nation Army Aviation Forces in support of U.S. Army foreign military sales (FMS) opportunities.

The Contract has an estimated completion date of Sep. 30, 2022 and a potential value of $1,385,497,987. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is the contracting agency (W58RGZ-17-D-0089).

“This Contract is recognition of our ability to rapidly respond to the needs of our military customers,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MDHI, “and a testament to the effective, efficient role the MD 530 Armed Scout Attack Helicopters play in the global fight against terror. It is MDHI’s great honor to continue to serve and support the Warfighter.”

Initial Delivery

The first Deliveries under the Contract will be thirty (30) new MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters for the Afghan Air Force. Valued at $176.6 million, these first aircraft will be configured with MDHI’s newly certified Block 1 glass cockpit, featuring the Howell Instruments Engine Instrumentation System, Garmin GDU 620 Electronic Flight Instruments, Garmin GTN 650H Communication/Navigation/Global Positioning System (COM/NAV/GPS), and Northern Airborne Technology Cabin Audio System.

Mission Equipment for these aircraft will include a ballistic crash worthy fuel system, consisting of a main fuel tank and a 38-gallon Auxiliary Fuel Tank, high capacity landing gear, FN Herstal Weapons Management System, DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) weapons plank and Fixed-Forward Sighting System, Rohde & Schwarz M3AR Tactical Mission Radio, and FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods and M260 7-shot rocket pods.

“The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has been a proven performer in support of ground operations and in the execution of close air support interactions since it first arrived in Kabul,” Tilton continues. “It is extremely gratifying to see that our focus on quality, technology, and rapid delivery has resulted in such a significant contract; one that solidifies MDHI’s position as a preferred provider of armed scout attack helicopter solutions.”

“Serving the Warfighter is our legacy. It is at the heart of who we are as a company,” Tilton concludes. “We are honored to have received this contract and the initial Delivery Order for Afghanistan, and remain steadfast in our commitment to rapidly delivering safe, reliable, and customizable armed scout attack helicopter solutions that meet a full range of mission profiles.”

Aircraft deliveries on the initial Contract Delivery Order will be complete by September 2019.

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