Industry News: NMC wins patent infringement appeal case; ASTM releases new coating specifications

Aug. 16, 2017

News and market reports from around the process industries

NMC receives successful appellate ruling in patent infringement case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Nidec Motor Corporation (NMC) on an appeal involving a system for controlling the torque of an electromagnetic fan blower motor. The litigation began in 2013 when NMC filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, alleging that certain Broad Ocean companies produced electronically controlled blower motors that infringed upon several NMC patents. The recent ruling reversed a Patent Office ruling and confirmed the validity of multiple claims on NMC’s patent.

ASTM International releases coating specifications

ASTM International’s  committee on nuclear technology and applications created new specifications for coatings that helps prevent the release of radioactive particles when nuclear facilities are being decommissioned. The specifications are designed to immobilize radioactive contamination, minimize worker exposure, and protect uncontaminated areas against the spread of radioactive contamination. The standards and testing protocols are available for purchase.

EPA awards $300,000 to Industrial Microbes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $300,000 to Emeryville, California-based Industrial Microbes Inc., for the company’s innovative work to make chemical manufacturing more efficient and less polluting. Industrial Microbes is one of nine small businesses nationally receiving a total of nearly $2.7 million from the EPA to develop and commercialize new environmental technologies. The company received the funding to develop a microbe that, by consuming carbon dioxide and methane, produces a chemical used to make synthetic fibers and biodegradable plastics.

States adopting policies to encourage energy efficiency

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have either mandated requirements, voluntary goals or pilot projects that encourage energy efficiency in order to lower the growth of electricity consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Seven of these states have either created new or updated existing efficiency standards in the past year, 24 have adopted energy efficiency resource standards since 1999, four have set voluntary goals and two have established energy efficiency pilot programs.

Markets Update

Global food automation market growth boosted by motors & generators

The global food automation market is projected to reach a value of $12.26 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent, according to the MarketsandMarkets report, “Food Automation Market by Type and Region – Global Forecast to 2020.” The market is expanding with considerable growth potential over the next five years, which can be attributed to consumer’s inclination of processed and ready-to-eat foods, technological advances in automation, and stringent international food safety regulations, according to the report.

The "Motors & Generators" segment is estimated to account for the largest market share in the food automation market in 2017. Motors and generators are experiencing steady demand in industrialized countries and occupy a significant share in the market especially in the European region.

The beverages segment is estimated to account for the largest share in the Food Automation Market, in terms of value, in 2017. The rising criticality of processes in the production of beverages, continuous developments, and new product launches in the beverages market are boosting the growth.

Europe is estimated to be the most lucrative market for food automation as a result of the increasing processed food market in Western Europe. Developing regions, such as Eastern Europe, are expected to witness significant growth in the processed food and beverage market, which positively impacts the equipment sector and boosts the market growth. The European market is driven by countries such as Germany, Italy and France.

Mobile robots in material handling and logistics will become a $75B market in next decade

Mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75 billion market by 2027, according to Dr. Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, research director of market analysis firm IDTechEx. His report "Mobile Robots & Drones in Material Handling & Logistics 2017–2037," focuses on all aspects of mobile robotics in material handling and logistics. Technologies considered in the report are automated guided vehicles and carts (AGVs and AGCs); autonomous mobile vehicles and carts/units; mobile picking robots; last mile delivery ground robots (droids) and drones; and autonomous trucks and light delivery vans (level 4 and level 5 automation).

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