TWO PEAKING UNITS COMPLETED
By Harry Hutchinson
Construction has been completed on two 60-megawatt gas-fired peaking units at Tampa Electric Co.’s H.L. Culbreath Bayside Power Station near Tampa Bay.
The company plans to add three more peaking units, due to be in commercial operation by September 2009. The five together will be able to provide power for approximately 65,000 homes, the company said.
Two of the additional units will be natural gas-fired and located at Bayside Power Station. One dual-fuel (natural gas and fuel oil) unit will be added at Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.
The Bayside Power Station is an 1,800-MW natural gas-fired plant that was built to replace an older coal-fired plant, the Gannon Power Station. Bayside is part of a $1.2 billion, 10-year environmental program.
Two out of four gas-fired peaking units have been completed at Tampa Electric’s Bayside Power Station.
Tampa Electric is spending $330 million of the environmental program’s budget to install selective catalytic reduction equipment at Big Bend Power Station to further curb the plant’s emissions. When the SCR project is completed in 2010, the approximately 1,700 MW Big Bend Station will be one of the cleanest pulverized coal power plants in the country, the company said.
According to Tampa Electric, it has reduced systemwide sulfur dioxide emissions by 93 percent from 1998 levels, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 60 percent. By 2010, NOx emissions will be down 90 percent from 1998 levels. The company said it has reduced overall mercury and particulate matter emissions by more than 70 percent over the same time. It estimates that it has cut carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent since 1998.
Besides Big Bend and Bayside, Tampa Electric operates the Polk Power Station, a 260 MW integrated gasification combined cycle plant, and the J.H. Philips Sebring Station, a 36 MW oil-fired peaking plant.
FORECASTING A GROWTH MARKET
By Harry Hutchinson
The business of nondestructive test equipment is expected to continue growing even in the troubled economy, largely because of demand from emerging economies, especially in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. The report, “World Nondestructive Test (NDT) Equipment Markets,” predicts that business for this type of equipment will reach $1.3 billion in 2013, up from $1.1 billion in 2008.
Frost & Sullivan, the market research and consulting company, said growth will be fueled by a high rate of infrastructure development in the Asia Pacific region and by the need to meet new governmental and environmental regulations in emerging countries. Newer technologies and faster inspection methods combined with the need for compliance with safety legislation bodes well for NDT equipment manufacturers, the company said.
According to a Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst, Vijay Mathew, “The growth of industries like power supply and transmission, transportation, water treatment, oil and gas, as well as aerospace has generated an increase in the demand for quality and frequency of inspection. This trend has been witnessed in markets such as China, South Korea, India, and Thailand, as well as in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.”
The company is offering to e-mail a brochure with a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents. Requests, which must include the recipient’s full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company Web site, city, state and country, can be sent to David Escalante in Frost & Sullivan’s corporate communications office at email@example.com.
TEST DRIVE A LASER SCANNER
By Harry Hutchinson
A manufacturer of 3-D measurement technology, FARO Technologies Inc., is offering potential customers in North America a four-month test run of its equipment for a monthly fee.
Under the program, which the company calls the FARO Technology Test Drive, customers can use measurement equipment, including laser scanners, laser trackers, and measuring arms, in their own facilities. FARO will provide installation and training.
According to FARO, “Use of the technology is billed at a monthly fee beginning as low as $2,000. At the end of the program, customers have the option of purchasing brand-new equipment and 100 percent of the fees will be applied to the order. If they choose not to purchase, they simply return the equipment with no further obligation.”
FARO said the program was started because prospective customers had told the company’s regional managers that the technology might them help win contracts, but without orders in hand it was difficult for them to make an equipment purchase.
The equipment is used for part and assembly inspection, factory planning, and asset documentation, as well as surveying, accident and crime scene investigations, and digital preservation of historical sites, FARO said.
The program is open to any North American company, FARO said.
By Jean Thilmany
Regardless of their field of study, 60 percent of university students evidence math anxiety, according to researchers at the University of Granada in Spain. They found that fewer men than women suffer anxiety. When it comes to dealing mathematical tasks, 47 percent of men become anxious around numbers compared to 62 percent of women, the university study found.
For their study, the researchers looked at 885 first-year students at the university. The researchers gave the students the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales, a questionnaire used since the ’70s to assess mathematical anxiety levels, said Patricia Pérez-Tyteca, a mathematics professor at the university who was part of the research team.
The team found significant differences in students’ attitudes towards math, depending on the major.
The students studied were working toward 23 different types of degrees, though all the degrees included mandatory math courses. The students were majoring in, for example, health sciences, experimental sciences, technical education, and social sciences, Pérez-Tyteca said.
Health science majors seemed to fear math the most while technical education students were least anxous about their math classes, Pérez-Tyteca said. The researchers hypothesized that students choose their field of study in part due to math anxiety.
“So an indirect effect of mathematical anxiety is that of avoiding studies related to math, which conditions the type of degree they can choose,” Pérez-Tyteca said.
Mathematical anxiety manifests itself in a number symptoms including tension, nervousness, concern, worry, edginess, impatience, confusion, fear, and mental block, she added.
ADDING BASIC BLACK
By Harry Hutchinson
A custom parts manufacturer, Quickparts, has added a black stereolithography material, which it says will make low-volume layered manufacturing a more attractive option for customers. The company describes the material, RenShape 7820, as similar to ABS thermoplastic, and recommends it for use in rapid prototyping and in room-temperature-vulcanizing silicone master patterns.
According to Quickparts, RenShape SL 7820 is a black, low viscosity stereolithography resin with excellent accuracy and was designed for use on solid state SLA platforms. The company said the material offers a large working envelope of physical properties as well as high elongation and impact strength suitable for building concept models and functional prototype parts.
“Adding ABS-like black to our SLA offerings gives the product development community a greater range of colors to choose from plus we now offer these materials with a high gloss finish,” said Patrick Hunter, vice president of sales and marketing for Quickparts. “RenShape 7820 is a great material for fit, form and function, with high strength and good dimensional stability, even in humid conditions.”
Many companies, including Quickparts, are recommending stereolithography—that is, layer-by-layer production directly from a CAD file—as a practical method not only for making prototypes, but also for manufacturing finished parts that are needed in small batches.
The company said it can now build parts by stereolithography in white, gray, and black. Quickparts said it is not aware of any other black SLA material on the market.
The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin announced that the five-satellite Milstar constellation, which provides communications for U.S. and allied forces around the world, passed a milestone a few weeks ago with an accumulated 50 years of combined on-orbit operations. /// The Environmental Testing Labs at the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University said it has completed two days of radio frequency susceptibility and emissions testing on the next generation of the Auto-Guide steering receiver from AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions group in Hesston, Kan. Auto-Guide is a multi-frequency, Global Navigation Satellite System receiver that can be configured as an automated steering control for agricultural equipment or as a portable reference station. /// Wayne State University’s College of Engineering officially opened the Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center. The $28 million, 82,500-square-foot facility for traditional university research also will provide engineering services to help companies accelerate their own R&D activities. Detroit philanthropist and Wayne State College of Engineering alumnus Marvin Danto donated $3 million to augment state funds that made construction of the center possible. /// Computer-aided design maker think3 of Milan, Italy, has recently released a product lifecycle management application, TD PLM, which is Web based. /// Dimensional Control Systems Inc. of Troy, Mich., which makes dimensional engineering and tolerance analysis software, has released 3DCS version 126.96.36.199. This release is supported on Catia version five.