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End-user Industries

Canada’s Oil & Gas Industry: The Rise of the Oil Sands

oil sandsCanada as a source of crude has many advantages for United States industry. The countries are close geographically and like the U.S., Canada has a stable democracy with a good human rights record. Also, people in the U.S. have a favorable opinion about doing business with the Canadians—be it oil or otherwise. For example, a recent Harris poll released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) found that people in the United States felt the U.S. should get more of its oil imports from Canada, and the U.S. government should support the use of oil from Canada’s oil sands.


Nuclear Slowdown Result of Natural Gas Costs, Not Events in Japan

HerronNatural gas prices will have more of an effect on the fate of the U.S. nuclear renaissance than the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, according to a recent article for Industrial Info Resources by John Egan. Egan based his article on what a panel of experts had to say at a recent Web conference.

As one of those experts put it: “I don’t believe the nuclear renaissance is dead, but with natural gas costing $4 to $4.50 per million British thermal units, it is difficult to justify investing in a new-build nuclear plant.” Those remarks were made by John Herron (pictured), the president, chief executive and chief nuclear officer at Entergy Nuclear, a unit of Entergy Corporation, New Orleans, LA. Other speakers at the May 19 Web conference were Bill Borchardt, executive director of operations for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and Jim Hunter, utility director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Wireless Networking in the Process Industry

In January VDC Research Group (Natick, MA) published a study entitled “2010 Industrial Networking Infrastructure Products Global Market Requirements and Opportunities Analysis,” which took a look at the key trends expected to shape the 2011 industrial networking solutions market and made predictions of the rate at which the market would expand. While the study covered both wired and wireless networks, this article will concentrate on the wireless area.

In that area, the study predicted that, “[a]fter years of unfulfilled hype and hope, the market for wireless networking solutions will experience material increase in purchase orders, shipments and revenues.” Factors contributing to the increase included “the development of standards, improved technology and security (such as ISA 100 and wireless HART, mesh networking and WPA2, respectively).”

What Goes into the SIP Process

pharmaceutical-mfgClean steam sterilization is the heart of the sanitization routine for most biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes, as well as most pharmaceutical processes that produce parenteral medications (those not administered through the digestive tract such as injections and others) or diagnostic agents. Process tubing, vessels, valves, pumps, equipment and anything that comes in direct or indirect contact with the product feeds or end product must be heated with clean steam to at least 250o F (121o C) and kept at that temperature for at least 1/2 hour before the process can be considered sterilized, or free of all live microbial organisms. The process of sterilizing these process and piping components while they are installed is called sterilize-in-place, or SIP.

Mining Faces Many Political Risks

uraniummineBefore the economic crash, the mining industry was seeing new investors – companies such as steel manufacturers that were not miners by trade were getting into the business, said Steve Ralbovsky, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ralbovsky spoke at the Valve Manufacturers Associations’ Market Outlook Workshop held in San Francisco in mid-August.

“You had hedge funds that previously invested in the minerals themselves who were buying the mining operations,” he said.


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