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Food and Beverage Processing

Food and Beverage Processing

When wandering the grocery store aisles,...

Variable Frequency Drives in Electric Actuators

Variable Frequency Drives in Electric Actuators

Electric actuators are vital for operati...

Braided Packing: An Old Technology with a Modern Twist

Braided Packing: An Old Technology with a Modern Twist

Compression packing is the primary metho...

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Industry Headlines

Emerson Opens New Helix Innovation Center

16 HOURS AGO  |  Chris Guy

Emerson announced the launch of its “Helix” initiative, including the opening of The Helix innovation center, an industry-first, $35 milli...

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Industry Headlines

Emerson Opens New Helix Innovation Center

16 HOURS AGO

Emerson announced the launch of its “Helix” initiative, including the opening of The Helix innovation center, an industry-first, $35 million hub dedicated to advancing research and education for the global heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. The new ...

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Mike Train Tapped to Lead Emerson Automation Solutions

1 DAY AGO

Michael H. Train will become Emerson executive vice president and group business leader of Emerson's newly structured Automation Solutions business, effective May 1. He succeeds Steven A. Sonnenberg, who will be chairman of the business.

Automation Solutions will contain the operations and brands of Pr...

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Energy Sector Weighs on Construction Starts

16 HOURS AGO

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $660.5 billion, new construction starts in March receded 1% from February’s pace, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Total construction starts had jumped 13% in February, led by a huge gain for the electric utility and gas plant category. The dolla...

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Chevron Investing Billions in The Permian Basin

1 DAY AGO

At Chevron’s annual security analyst meeting last month, chairman and CEO John Watson said that his company plans on investing billions into oil & gas projects in the Permian Basin.

According to the Hobbs News-Sun , Watson predicted they could be pumping up to 350,000 barrels a day out of West ...

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House Passes Bill To Lower Import Tariffs On Manufacturers

19 HOURS AGO

This week, the House voted 415-2 for the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. The bipartisan, bicameral bill reforms the way Congress considers legislation for suspending tariffs on products not made in the U.S., what some are calling, “manufacturing tax breaks.” The legis...

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Texas Manufacturing Index Shrinks More Than Forecast

2 DAYS AGO

Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 3.3 to 5.8, suggesting a slight pickup in output growth.

Perce...

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Market Outlook 2012: The Winds of Change

vmfall11_market_outlook

Attendees at this year’s VMA Market Outlook walked into the meeting room with a bit of shell shock. The stock market fluctuated wildly in the days leading up to the Aug. 11-12 event in Boston following weeks of tough U.S. federal budget negotiations and the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. Sara Johnson, senior research director of IHS Global Insight, called the events “headwinds” blowing against what had been expected. She said the year 2011 had been filled with such unusual occurrences, including the Japanese earthquake/tsunami earlier that year as well as other natural disasters and political upheavals.

But attendees were soon to learn that outlook speakers, while they admitted some figures might need to be adjusted for the remainder of 2011, felt their overall prediction was on track—the valve and actuator industry will see a brighter 2012.

“I hope as you leave here today, you leave uncertainty behind and realize things are not as bad as you may have thought. There is still force in our sails … it just might be time to adjust those sails to the prevailing winds,” Alan Beaulieu, president, Institute for Trend Research, emphasized.

 

Common Themes

It’s a different world: There wasn’t much talk this year about looking to the past to respond to the future. That’s because almost every presenter pointed out that the world and this nation are in a unique economic situation. Most said to expect the rocky stock market in the U.S. to remain volatile and that while the nation is in recovery mode, it’s going to be a long steady climb back to the prosperity we experienced just before the Great Recession.

Shining stars burning brightly: India was ­mentioned by more speakers this year than at any previous workshop. The country began a climb toward prosperity in the 1990s when ­economic reforms went into effect. It did not suffer the consequences of some other nations during the recent economic woes so it is one of today’s ­shining stars. Brazil continues to prosper and was mentioned by many speakers as a good place to do business. China is still a tough ­contender for business, but it has experienced high inflation rates and other challenges that may mean some business returning to U.S. soil.

Renewables are catching hold: This is the first workshop where one session was devoted to renewable energy sources, but it wasn’t just that speaker who explained why. From international reports on global warming to new technologies that make renewables more cost effective to unfavorable attitudes toward coal, speakers gave reasons why wind, solar, biofuels, biomass, hydropower and other new sources of energy are gaining ground.

Shale drilling “rocks”: Any of the speakers who addressed energy, petroleum or related products mentioned the changes in this country that are occurring because of shale drilling both here and in Canada. Gas prices remain low; drilling has increased; more drilling is occurring on-shore; new technologies are increasing outputs; new shale sources are being discovered. All of these shale drilling developments mean less reliance by North America on foreign sources of fuel.

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