Saturday, October 21, 2017

Interesting News in Engineering, IoT, PLM, Industry 4.0, and Telecom - Vol 7

These 38 news stories caught my attention last week. These stories are across automotive, aerospace, 3D printing, software, telecom, semiconductor, IoT, and PLM.


Rolls-Royce built the new Phantom VIII for billionaires who like driving. (Read here). I think it’s time to change assumptions in car designing that entry and mid-level cars are self-driven and luxury cars are chauffeur driven. With shared mobility and likes of Uber, Lyft, Ola the entry, and mid cars are increasingly not self-driven, and some billionaires might like driving too.

Tesla Inc is modifying new cars delivered to China and retrofitting the charging network in the country to comply with domestic norms. (Read here). Even Tesla can’t ignore China’s rules of the game.

Tesla also agrees to raise pay at German division. (Read here). Even Tesla is not immune to labor issues.

EV party has not even started, and there is talk that EV battery suppliers such as Samsung and LG Chem will face capacity crunch. (Read here). There is room for new players in this market. Start-up company Northvolt said that it had picked its home country Sweden to build Europe's biggest factory for electric car batteries, rivaling Tesla's American "Gigafactory." Once fully operational, the site is to produce lithium-ion batteries totaling 32 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. (Read here).

Cummins unveils fully electric Urban Hauler Tractor. (Read here).

Shell opens first fast EV charging stations in the UK. (Read here).

Nissan Vehicle-to-Grid program is spreading in Europe. The scheme has been tested in Denmark and is to begin its European rollout next year. The trial involving a fleet of e-NV200 vans resulted in weekly revenue of €40 per vehicle for their owners. (Read here).

While EV is gaining momentum, some deeper questions are also raised. Ferrari CEO says electric cars may not be as clean as they seem. (Read here).

Twelve major car brands in China (Besturn, Changan, Dongfeng Fengshen, Geely, Haval, Hongqi, Lynk, MG, Trumpchi, Roewe, Senova, and Wey) which collectively represent 85% of the Chinese market, will equip all new models with electronic stability control (ESC) starting in January. (Read here).

GM’s Cruise Automation will expand its test pool while keeping a focus on city driving, something it has said gives it an edge in the autonomous driving space. What better city to use for testing, then, than New York, one of the densest and most hectic traffic nightmares in North America. (Read here).

Ford recalls about 1.3 million 2015-17 F-150 and 2017 Super Duty vehicles in North America because of potential door problems. (Read here).

Google parent company leads $1 billion investment in Lyft. (Read here).

The circular economy is gaining traction. Michelin has acquired Lehigh Technologies, a specialty materials company that uses patented cryogenic turbo mill technology to transform rubber from end-of-life tires and industrial goods into materials for new tires and other products, reducing the amount of raw materials initially needed. (Read here).


Airbus and Bombardier announce C Series partnership. (Read here). Some people are calling this the deal of the century in aerospace. Bombardier has been facing financial and scale problem despite having a superior product in the narrow-body single-aisle segment. The US recently levied 300% (Yes 300%) duty on Bombardier. All these problems of Bombardier are taken care of. Airbus got a great product in this segment and will manufacture Ce series in the US to avoid duties. Airbus one step ahead of Boeing now. But for us analysts, the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus continues in Aerospace. The first credible number 3 player is acquired. Now all eyes on China’s COMAC and Brazil’s Embraer.

Speaking of Embraer, it announced the delivery of its first E190-E2 in April 2018. Widerøe, the largest regional carrier operating in the Nordic countries, is the launch customer to receive the newest, upgraded version of the prosperous E-Jet family of aircraft. (Read here).

The one good news for Boeing this week is that India’s Jet Airways had agreed to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the deal value of $9.3 billion at the list price. (Read here).

A Seattle-area startup, Zunum Aero, backed by the venture capital arms of Boeing Co and JetBlue Airways Corp announced plans to bring a small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market by 2022. (Read here).

Boeing, reversing the tide of cuts, rushes to bring back retirees as temps. Boeing is hiring back 500 to 800 retirees on a temporary basis. (Read here). Skill development in aerospace sector is one the biggest challenge which aerospace enterprises and engineering service providers are facing. Hiring retirees could be a temporary solution.

Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powers Airbus A330neo first flight test. The Trent 7000 is not only 6dB quieter than the 700 model, but it also features a 10% specific fuel consumption improvement thanks to its small, high pressure-ratio core and the latest, fully swept, wide-chord fan technology. (Read here).

Software/ High-Tech

Always-On computers are here. Windows 10 ARM devices expected to have unbelievable battery life. (Read here).

Alexa is about to disappear into other devices, thanks to a new technology. (Read here).

AlphaGo’s AI upgrade gets round the need for human input. (Read here).

Industry 4.0

Brewing automation and AI can improve quality of the beer. (Read here).

Telecom/ Semiconductor

Google's first mobile chip is an image processor hidden in the Pixel 2. (Read here).

Samsung has completed the development of the 8-nanometer chip processing technology, moving closer to its commercialization. (Read here).

Nokia announces a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services to enable telco’s easier transition to the cloud. (Read here).

Cisco unveils industry’s first predictive services powered by AI. (Read here).

Intel aims to conquer AI with the Nervana processor. It will release its first all-purpose AI chips by the end of 2017. (Read here).

3D Printing

GE Healthcare opens first 3D Printing Center in Europe. (Read here).


Smart Home. The smart home market continues to heat up, and the legacy giants do not want to get locked out: quite literally. Assa Abloy, the $23 billion Swedish lock giant that owns Yale and many other brands — announced that it is buying US-based smart lock maker August Home to double down on new technology. August home has only 90 employees. (Read here).

Smart Cities. Google is entering into smart cities. Alphabet group company Sidewalk Labs Is trying to reinvent the city, starting with Toronto. (Read here).

Smart Railways. GE uses IoT and AI to find rail track flaws that could cause derailments. (Read here). This solution, if it does what it says, can save many lives in India where every other month we hear about train accidents and derailments. (Read here).

Apple and GE partner to bring Predix industrial apps to iPhone and iPad. (Read here).

Altran and Nokia are developing a joint IoT solution which will help car manufacturers, railways operators, utilities and smart cities to digitalize their operations. (Read here).

Blue Star chooses PTC's Thingworx IoT platform for Industry 4.0 and advanced analytics. (Read here).

SNCF eliminates disruptions and delays on its telecommunication services with IoT remote wireless backup power monitoring. (Read here).


Scania selects Dassault Systèmes. The cooperation aims to enable cost-efficient design, testing, and validation of the complete range of Scania’s high-quality modular products. It will improve realistic simulations of functional properties and processes, such as engineering, manufacturing, service, and sales. (Read here).