Business Trends

Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing’

Peak Oil Reality: Industry Experts Warn About Looming World Oil Supply Constraints

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Groups and individuals speaking out about forthcoming world oil supply challenges are frequently stereotyped as a fringe element with little knowledge about the oil industry. But their warnings are increasingly supported by some surprising allies: senior petroleum industry officials, consultants and analysts. Call these serious-minded critics the Harsh Realists.

Most prominent are CEO’s from several large oil companies. Christophe de Margerie, CEO of France’s Total SA, said earlier this year, “world oil production may plateau below 90 million barrels a day (mb/day)” — marginally more supply than today’s 85 mb/day rate. Last month, CEO’s James Mulva (ConocoPhillips) and John Hess (Hess Corp.), sounded similar warnings, though with less specificity about the numbers, at the Oil & Money Conference in London. At ASPO-USA’s October conference in Denver, Ray Leonard, CEO of Hyperdynamics Corp., said, “world oil was nearing peak oil at 90 mb/day, and that isn’t changed by recent events.”

During September, ASPO-USA representatives interviewed numerous oil industry experts from the UK, Ireland and the Middle East. Links to those online videos are below. Featured is Sadad al Husseini, former exploration and production VP with Saudi Aramco and currently a consultant. Said Husseini, “There is not enough new capacity coming on line, within say the next five to six years, to make up for global declines. And that’s assuming a very moderate level of declines.” For groups that remain in fundamental denial about upcoming world oil supply constraints, Husseini said, ” these centers of information or knowledge that try to pacify people — telling them there is no challenge, with good intentions — are probably compromising the solutions. They’re not helping.”

Talisman Energy’s former CEO James Buckee wonders why major oil companies “aren’t more forthcoming on the peak oil issue.” He then opines, “if Exxon were to come out [about peak oil], it would be world-shaking, and political, and maybe they don’t want to go there.”

Jeremy Gilbert, former Chief Petroleum Engineer with BP and now a consultant, stated “I find it hard to believe that the [oil] companies cannot see that the exploration record suggests that there’s a real problem with new discoveries.”

Jeremy Leggett, former petroleum geologist and lead author of the UK’s Industry Task Force on Peak Oil and Energy Security, worries that “we’re dealing with dysfunctional culture in the energy industry in the same way the world had to deal with the really dysfunctional culture in the investment banking community. It’s different [from the financial crisis] in that this time, there are many people warning. Many people in and around the oil industry…But most governments are not listening.”

Related links

IBISWorld industry reports:

Oil Drilling & Gas Extraction in the U.S.
Global Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
Mining, Oil & Gas Machinery Manufacturing
World Production – Oil
World Price – Energy – Crude Oil

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China Losing Manufacturing Appeal as US Companies Turn to Mexico

In business opportunity, economy, Importing from China on July 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

A new international bridge to Mexico is set to open October 2009 in the South Texas city of Mission, Texas. The Anzalduas International Bridge, a $168-million joint project between the United States and Mexico, will be one of the newest and largest border crossings in the country, and will directly connect Mission with Reynosa, Tamaulipas – a Mexican city known for advanced manufacturing and import/export operations.

Since the passing of NAFTA, Mexico has stepped up as a major competitor to China for cost-effective manufacturing. The main reason: lower transportation costs.

Compared to China and other manufacturing hubs, Mexico offers better access to the domestic and North American markets. A shorter, faster and cheaper transportation route to move products and supplies by truck, rather than over thousands of miles by ship, rail, and truck combined.

In South Texas, specifically the Mission metro area, eight international bridges connect the area with the industrial border communities of Reynosa, Matamoros and Monterrey, Mexico — some of the largest Mexican cities dealing with maquiladoras, importing/exporting goods, and vehicle traffic.

This relationship has made Mission and its sister cities an important industrial manufacturing corridor. Sharyland Business Park in Mission is in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) – a “free port” allowing materials and finished goods to be imported or re-exported without payment of customs duties.

Area leaders have also been keen to other infrastructure planning on this side of the border. A new six-lane expressway now connects Mission with its sister cities. Interstate Highway I-69, another major artery of transportation, will soon connect trade routes from Mexico and Latin America to the United States and Canada. The Anzalduas Bridge will directly connect to I-69 – facilitating trade operations between the two countries.

“In the past, when the market softens in the U.S., we have always seen an increase in companies looking at our area as a way to reduce their costs and be more competitive,” said Pat Townsend, President of Mission Economic Development Authority.
This is evident in the number of companies that have visited the region. Companies like Black and Decker, Panasonic, and ALPS Automotive are attracted to the area for its low cost of living, career opportunities and location. Every day, more companies are finding and relocating here.

Jobless Americans Turning to Career Resource Sites

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm

comScore, Inc. released a June 2009 overview of the career services & development category, which revealed that more than 65 million Americans visited the particular category in June, representing a 10-percent increase versus year ago, ranking it as one of the top-growing site categories. Seven of the top ten sites in the category achieved double-digit gains during that period.

CareerBuilder LLC led the category with 21.7 million unique visitors, followed by Yahoo! HotJobs with 17.9 million visitors (up 23 percent vs. year ago) and Monster.com with 14.5 million visitors (up 6 percent). The next three sites in the ranking have each achieved substantial growth in the past year, with Indeed growing 59 percent to 8 million visitors, Job.com Sites up 46 percent to 7.4 million visitors, and SnagAJob up 48 percent to 4.7 million visitors.

Top Career Resource Sites
June 2009 vs. June 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Jun-2008 Jun-2009 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 189,873 193,896 2
Career Services and Development 59,031 65,221 10
CareerBuilder LLC 22,033 21,704 -1
Yahoo! HotJobs 14,535 17,861 23
Monster 13,605 14,472 6
Indeed 5,046 8,046 59
Job.com Sites 5,049 7,378 46
SnagAJob 3,160 4,662 48
Simply Hired, Inc. 2,882 3,876 35
JOBSONLINE.NET 2,294 2,996 31
OPM 973 2,765 184
BRASSRING.COM 2,249 2,005 -11

 

Top 10 Occupations Searched* on Career Service & Development Sites
June 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Marketer
Occupation / Search Term Searchers
Customer Service 273,310
Warehouse 257,484
Sales 216,784
Receptionist 178,787
Medical Assistant 161,232
Clerical 149,728
Construction 144,554
Driver 132,947
Retail 127,751
Security 107,219

 

WorkTree.com, the nation’s largest paid-membership job search portal, recently announced their top job search trends for the month of May, compiling data on many trends such as typical careers searched, desired salaries, and level of education.

The results show that the top careers being searched are in the fields of:

   Information Technology
   Human Resources
   Accounting/Finance
   Engineering
   Manufacturing/Operations

Sales dropped out of the top five most searched list from the previous month. These five fields represent 43% of all career fields searched during the month of May.

WorkTree.com also notes a drop in the salary level sought by its members. More than half of members searched for jobs in the $40,000 to $80,000 range, as compared with the previous month, where 21% of all searches were in the $90,000 to $120,000 range. In May, that salary range represented only 10% of searches. Typical education levels also dropped slightly. Nearly 71% of all searchers hold bachelor’s or master’s degrees as compared with 76% the previous month.

“We continue to see large numbers of highly qualified individuals actively seeking employment,” Board of Managers Chairman Allan Martin said. “One particularly interesting statistic – the willingness of people to relocate for work – is on the rise. It is the first time in many months we have seen that the number of new members willing to relocate is actually greater than the number of people unwilling to relocate for a job.”

Manufacturing Ranked Top Industry of Importance to Economy

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Despite more than a year of bad news as the manufacturing sector continues to contract, a new annual index released today by Deloitte LLP and The Manufacturing Institute shows that Americans view manufacturing as the most important industry for a strong national economy.

There is a wide perception gap, however, between the public’s highly positive views of manufacturing’s contributions to America’s economic success and their negative views about pursuing a career in manufacturing.
The survey, Public Viewpoint on Manufacturing, which assessed public perceptions and understanding of a wide range of issues related to manufacturing, shows that the majority of respondents (71 percent) view manufacturing as a national priority with 59 percent agreeing that the United States manufacturing industry effectively competes on a global scale.

These results fall in line with public perceptions that manufacturing plays a larger role in overall economic prosperity compared to the technology, energy, healthcare, retail, communications and financial services industries.
“The public’s ranking of manufacturing as the top industry of importance to our economy, as well as its belief that U.S. manufacturers can compete globally, is very telling,” said Craig Giffi, Deloitte LLP vice chairman and U.S. Consumer & Industrial Products industry leader. “Americans clearly still believe that manufacturing remains the backbone of the economy.”
Most also agreed that America’s manufacturing industries have a significant impact on their standard of living (81 percent) and on national security (68 percent). When asked what industry they would most want to have creating 1,000 jobs in their community, respondents listed manufacturing as their top choice, followed by technology, energy, healthcare, retailing, communications and financial institutions.
While Americans view manufacturing as the most important industry for a strong national economy, the Index shows that they are not pursuing careers in manufacturing. Only 17 percent named manufacturing as among their top two industry choices to start a career, and only 30 percent of parents said they would encourage their children to pursue jobs in manufacturing.
“These are jobs Americans want for their friends and neighbors — but not for themselves or their family members,” said Giffi. “America’s belief that manufacturing jobs are not clean, safe or interesting may have been accurate at one time, but it’s no longer the case.”
“This survey sheds light on a massive disconnect we are facing in manufacturing,” said Emily DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute. “People have an outdated image of manufacturing and the career opportunities available. Cutting-edge technology has transformed manufacturing in ways that are hard to imagine if you haven’t visited a factory lately. Jobs now require postsecondary education, skills certification and credentials across a broad range of high-quality, middle class career paths. The reality is that manufacturers offer high-paying jobs and rewarding careers for American working men and women. Our job is to close the gap between perception and reality, which will help fuel the industry’s growth and prosperity.”
Respondents agreed with that conclusion. The majority (77 percent) believe that the United States needs a more strategic approach to develop its manufacturing base, and 74 percent said that the United States should further invest in manufacturing industries.
Finally, though Americans believe manufacturing is disadvantaged in the areas of corporate tax policies (46 percent), trade policies (45 percent) and general government business policies (45 percent), they are adamant on what gives the United States the upper hand. By far, the public sees technology use and availability (77 percent), skilled workers (74 percent) and energy availability (72 percent) as resources that give the nation its competitive edge.

MASTInc Announces Manufacturing Supply Agreement with Unotron Incorporated Valued Around $77 Million

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Micromem Technologies Inc.,(Micromem) (OTC BB: MMTIF, CNSX: MRM) through its wholly owned subsidiary Micromem Applied Sensor Technologies, Inc. (MASTInc) (www.mastinc.com), today announces a manufacturing supply agreement whereby, over a five year period, MASTInc will supply to Unotron Incorporated (Unotron) approximately five million keyboard circuits that incorporate Micromem’s patented magnetic sensor technology. Unotron is the inventor of washable keyboard technology and intends to integrate and deploy Micromem’s Hall sensor technology into Unotron’s new line of SoftKey® washable keyboards and upcoming production projects. This agreement is anticipated to result in approximately US$77million in revenue to MASTInc over the next five years. 2009 revenue for MASTInc from units planned to be shipped is expected to be US$5 million dollars.

“This relationship with Unotron not only significantly impacts our sales, but also springboards our position in the computer technology marketplace,” said Steven Van Fleet, president of MASTInc, noting that the personal computer technology market as of June 2008 hit one billion users worldwide, with expectations to add another billion by 2014. “With an esteemed market leader like Unotron as our partner, MASTInc’s hall sensor technology may also have applications for laptops, tablet PCs and pocket PCs.”

Unotron is renowned for manufacturing high quality, washable data input and security devices that are easily cleaned and disinfected to mitigate the spread of infection in healthcare, education, commercial and government environments. Unotron’s patented SpillSeal® protection allows keyboards to become fully submerged in water or antibacterial solutions for disinfecting. This technology is experiencing widespread adoption because it creates a safer environment at a time when health officials warn of an alarming rise in infections related to so-called “super bugs.” These washable wireless keyboards and mouse units are compatible with all PCs, including desktops, laptops, workstations and servers, as well as all healthcare and dental carts and platforms.

MASTInc plans to design, manufacture and ship product to Unotron using patented three-dimensional statistical manufacturing processes.

According to Paul Freeman, vice president of product development for Unotron, “Micromem’s sensor technology will provide significantly enhanced sensitivity to the array of magnets per key on the computer keyboard. This technique, which changes the rules on how circuits are printed, oriented and positioned within a consumer or military product, will incorporate Micromem’s patented magnetic sensor technology. The new form factor releases Unotron to increase our market share and provide access to new markets since this manufacturing process eliminate the inherent high cost of traditional printed circuit boards.”

Micromem’s highly sensitive magnetic sensor technology, which has evolved from over seven years of research and development, has broad base applications across a wide spectrum of industries and sectors, with the potential for providing solutions to previously unsolvable problems. Micromem’s magnetic Hall sensors will be utilized in the manufacturing of all Unotron SoftKey® keyboards in a variety of designs and sizes.

Joseph Fuda, CEO of Micromem Technologies Inc., adds, “We believe that the sensitivity and size of our Hall sensor technology combined with the advanced technology from Unotron will result in extensive market opportunities for Micromem throughout the medical and healthcare industries and beyond. This relationship with Unotron is a game-changer for our company as it’s an entry point into a largely untapped marketplace.”