According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nuclear power has reliably and economically contributed almost 20% of electrical generation in the United States over the past two decades, and remains the single largest contributor (more than 70%) of non-greenhouse-gas-emitting electric power generation in the United States.
In order to deploy this type of power, a variety of key technologies are necessary. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are best suited to small electric grids and locations that cannot support large reactors, and can serve as a “plug and play” option, which reduces capital costs and construction times. They also offer utilities the flexibility to scale production as demand changes. Currently, the most common reactors in the United States are the Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR), both variants of the Light Water Reactor (LWR). The large majority of operating LWRs are PWRs – the primary difference is the combination of pressure and the temperature of the coolant, which enables major design differences between the two types of reactors. Advanced Reactor Technologies are being explored by DOE, including the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) to demonstrate the technical viability of high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology and the Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) program supporting research for advanced reactor subsystems addressing long-term technical barriers for the development of advanced nuclear fission energy systems utilizing coolants such as liquid metal, fluoride salt, or gas. Continue reading “Market Snapshot: Nuclear Energy”
With science and technology continually advancing, how do you define advanced manufacturing? Broadly speaking, advanced manufacturing uses innovative technology to improve products or processes. Given the broad definition of advanced manufacturing, several markets fall under its umbrella. Manufacturing.gov provides a glossary that covers key terms in advanced manufacturing with helpful definitions for growing areas such as smart manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping, Robotics, Digital Manufacturing, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), 3D Printing, and Additive Manufacturing. To provide additional insights, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) infographic titled Understanding Advanced Manufacturing.
As part of the advanced manufacturing market, MarketsandMarkets reports that the smart factory market is forecast to be valued at $205.42 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%, between 2017 and 2022. The group attributes this growth to the increase in adoption of industrial robots, and the evolution of Internet of Things (IoT). Furthermore, distributed control system (DCS) technology is expected to hold the largest share of the overall smart factory market in 2017. As described by MnM, DCS is used to offer regulatory controls to the manufacturing process industry and provides the finest control for the regulatory applications and is used for the integration of power measuring devices, drives, and soft starters. Integration of motor managing data in the DCS helps in real-time monitoring of the motors and is used to detect the failures in the motors before their occurrences. In terms of the major players in this space, the following components, equipment manufacturers, system integrators, and distributors provide noteworthy offerings: ABB Ltd.(Switzerland), Atos SE (France), Emerson Electric Co. (U.S.), FANUC Corporation (Japan), General Electric Co. (U.S.), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Rockwell Automation, Inc. (U.S.), Schneider Electric SE (France), Siemens AG (Germany), and Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Japan). Continue reading “Market Snapshot: Advanced Manufacturing”