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Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), the joint venture between the global aerospace and technology business, Paramount Group and one of Kazakhstan’s leading defence and engineering companies, Kazpetromash, has announced its latest delivery of Arlan 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in accordance with that nation’s State Defence Order.

Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering has for over the past four years delivered several batches of the Arlan APC to the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, where they have since been in operation.

The Arlan, the winterised variant of Paramount Group’s Marauder, is a mine-resistant armoured platform (MRAP) designed to operate in extreme environments to meet the ever-growing array of mission requirements undertaken by Kazakhstan’s Armed Forces, such as quick reaction force operations, infantry fire support or long-range border patrol.

The vehicle is renowned for its adaptability to the diverse conditions of Kazakhstan and the greater Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with features including pre-ignition engine heating and a dynamic temperature control system that can carry personnel safely and comfortably in winter conditions (as low as – 50 degrees Celsius) and summer temperatures (up to 50 degrees Celsius).

The Arlan armoured vehicles are all locally manufactured (comprising up to 70% local content) at the 15,000m2 KPE armoured vehicle production facility in Nursultan, one of the largest and most modern armoured vehicle factories in the region. Over two-hundred Kazakhstanis are presently employed by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), providing modern equipment for Kazakhstan’s Special Operations Forces and its Ministry of Defense. The facilities serve as a center for excellence and high-skills employment, with the capacity to produce hundreds of armored vehicles per year.

John Craig, Executive Chairman of Paramount Land Systems, stated that, “The COVID-19 pandemic and particularly, its direct ramifications to global supply chains has underscored the critical impetus behind governments honing their home-grown capabilities and emboldening their defence industrial complexes to remain resilient in the face of often-fluctuating circumstances and their exogenous aftershocks”.

The indigenously produced Arlan can withstand the debris and dissipating energy of explosions, its double-skin spaced armour providing outstanding security (including blast protection of STANAG 4569 Level 3a & 3b, stopping power against a 50kg TNT side blast, protecting against roadside bombs and IEDs, and with 8kg blast protection under the hull) while reaching a speed of up to 120km/hr for a range of 700km.

In addition to the Arlan’s advanced protections and durability, with a kerb weight of 13,500 kg and offering up to a 4,500kg payload, the highly versatile APC can ford at 1.2m and is capable of climbing gradients of 60% and side slopes of 35%.

The interoperable vehicle, accommodating two crew members and up to seven troops, is further equipped with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system (NBC) which can address the challenges of radiation dust spread, gas and/or biological attacks, along with a mechanical 12,7 mm turret. The Arlan can carry extra fuel tanks, water and additional combat supplies, with optional add-ons including however not limited to a Winterisation Kit and Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS), alongside various weapon and fire suppression systems.

“In 2022, maintaining security of supply in the defence arena will be a key priority for governments across the globe. Accordingly, the successful delivery of this latest fleet of Arlans to the customer emblemises not only our legacy of delivering highly customised solutions on time and on budget, but also our partners’ pragmatic role in mitigating the impact of global threats. KPE is indeed a strategic cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s technological prowess,” Craig concluded.


About Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE)

Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) is the joint venture between Paramount Group, the global technology and aerospace company, and Kazakhstan Engineering, the leading defence company in Kazakhstan. KPE is one of the leading defence companies in Kazakhstan and the greater CIS region.

About Paramount Group

Paramount Group is a global technology and aerospace business, a leader in defence and security innovation and is a trusted partner to sovereign governments across the globe.

Paramount specialises in the creation of portable manufacturing facilities through technology and skills transfer, resulting in new local capabilities and sustainable jobs, proven to not only benefit local defence industrial capabilities but economic diversification and growth.

Paramount Group has been responsible for the development and production of a broad range of highly advanced armored and mine protected vehicles that are in operation around the world. The family of APC and combat vehicles which has been developed from clean-sheet design is at the vanguard of armored vehicle technologies. These vehicles have been designed and developed to meet the increasing demand for multi-role, high mobility, and mine hardened platforms, providing a solution to the ever-changing demands of the global battlefield.

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Sam Amsterdam

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green building

Flat glass demand grows with rising green building construction

The process of glassmaking has made significant strides since the time glass was first discovered thousands of years ago. Today, the field of glassmaking has depicted considerable improvements, as is evident in the escalating demand for glass products in almost every sector. Automotive and construction – sectors that are considered as the building blocks of an economy are among the top contributors toward the global flat glass market share.

However, while several sectors are exploiting the benefits of flat glass and its various forms to manufacture different products, the environmental concerns with respect to glass waste are growing. Populations across the world are becoming aware of the hazards of improper glass disposal. According to the Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the U.S. disposes off an astounding 10 million metric tons of glass every year. However, only one-third of this waste gets recycled.

Another surprising study by Eco Watch states that glass bottles are causing more pollution than plastic ones since it is mined from rare materials and consumes more fossil fuels to manufacture and ship to other places. An article by Forge Recycling states that the glassmaking process releases various harmful gases, such as sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxide.

Therefore, the concept of glass recycling is picking up the pace in many regions. The article further suggests that recycling the glass waste can reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 314 tons and save up to 345,000 kWh of energy.

Green building construction gains momentum:

The concept of eco-friendly construction is gaining traction among customers and companies alike to reduce their carbon footprint. Various advanced technologies are being introduced in the process of glassmaking which has made flat glass among the most preferred products in the construction of green buildings. According to glass and windows solutions company AIS, conventional buildings can consume nearly 40% of energy and the construction itself can cause the generation of solid waste, which can disturb the natural ecosystem.

Several countries are overcoming this challenge by achieving their goals in the construction of green buildings. For example, in 2020, India achieved 75% of the ‘Green Building Footprint’ target, as per a report by the Indian Green Building Council. This creates opportunities to use various advanced versions of flat glass products.

Solar control glasses are being manufactured by leading companies as they reflect heat or UV rays, which can make the buildings more energy efficient. Moreover, 100% of glass can be recycled, which automatically makes it an ideal product in green buildings. Glass can also reduce the overall weight of the building and offer advanced thermal insulation, thereby increasing its demand among architects and construction firms.

Use of glass in interior designing:

The field of interior designing is ever-evolving as new designs and trends make way for more sophisticated yet stylish home settings. Many reputed interior designers have taken cognizance of the importance of combining environmental sustainability with advanced designs. They are incorporating broken glass shards into their designs that will not only help them achieve their glass recycling and sustainability goals but also enrich a dull space with beautiful colors and shapes.

Ceramic glass is becoming popular among interior designing experts as they are being heavily used to construct fireplaces. Fireplaces often pose the threat of accidental fires, on account of which contractors use this glass as a shield as it can withstand extreme heat.

Demand for laminated glass rises:

Laminated glass may hold a significant share of the global flat glass market by 2027. Laminated glass is being extensively used by several end-user sectors as it can act as an effective alternative to conventional glass due to its high strength and uniformity in construction. It is typically used in buildings that require robust security, such as police stations & vehicles and government establishments.

Laminated glass can also be used in buildings that are at a high risk of being affected by hurricanes or other natural calamities. Its other advantages include reduced emissions, high security, decreased noise pollution, and wide range of designs, which make it highly useful for end-users.

The global flat glass market trends will be positively impacted in the coming years as the demand for advanced technologies in glassmaking is growing. Moreover, several end-users in the construction and interior design sectors are shifting towards combining environmental sustainability in their designs and blueprints to fulfill the need for eco-friendly homes and workspaces among consumers.

The automotive sector across the world is expanding at a strong pace, considering the immense demand for vehicles among the younger generation. This has greatly influenced the demand for auto glass to produce unbreakable yet stylish windows.

Reputed organizations, such as Schott AG, Saint Gobain, Astro Cam, Dillmeier Glass Company, CSG Architectural, Corning Inc., Euroglas GmbH, Oldcastle Building Envelope, Paragon Tempered Glass, and GrayGlass Company, among several others, are producing cutting-edge versions of flat glass for a wide range of sectors.

They are also entering into partnerships and merger & acquisition agreements to strengthen their production capabilities and enhance their customer base. For instance, Germany’s specialty glass manufacturing company Schott AG and the Serum Institute of India (SII) came together in a joint venture in August 2021 to enhance SII’s global supply of pharmaceutical products with the help of Schott’s high-quality pharmaceutical packaging.


Understanding How Immersive Mixed Reality Will Power the Metaverse

The way in which businesses, enterprises, industry leaders and consumers utilize technology for everyday tasks is set to undergo one of the most drastic evolutions ever. Just a few short years ago it was nearly impossible to think any sort of technology could have a greater impact than networked computers, the Internet or even mobile computing, but now immersive mixed reality powering the Metaverse is challenging just that.

How Companies Will Leverage “Digital Twins”

Today’s IT leaders are building the Metaverse – knowledge workers and things being represented by “digital twins” – a virtual world where people, consumers, workers all gather to communicate, collaborate, and share through a virtual presence on any device. This means companies will build immersive virtual spaces, aka metaverses, and it will allow employees to virtually collaborate using their digital twin through chats, emails, video calls and even face-to-face meetings.

Well-known companies like Microsoft, Accenture, and Facebook, which itself is now called Meta, are all paving the way toward this new reality of business, but there are companies working behind the scenes building immersive reality, modeling and simulation technologies that will ultimately power this new Metaverse.

What Companies Can Do with the Metaverse

Microsoft in particular believes individuals will engage with one another in an immersive experience once they can co-exist in a virtual setting where they exist as avatars, perhaps even one day as holograms. The company expects people to access virtual settings from its Mesh for Teams application through mixed-reality headsets like HoloLens, as well as everyday smartphones and laptops.

In one of the earlier enterprise-level buildouts, Accenture has been developing a “virtual campus” where its employees meet for coffee, parties, presentations and other virtual events. The company also leverages this virtual meeting space when onboarding new employees so they can build their virtual twins.

Modeling is at the center of powering the Metaverse

In this virtual Metaverse, digital twins based on modeling and simulation play a leading role. Simulation allows companies to take copies of the digital twin, run simulations on it and then identify optimizations that are too complex to find by monitoring the physical environment alone.

The power of simulation will be an exact game-changer for enterprises and businesses throughout the Metaverse in a variety of industries, such as optimizing production planning in the automotive sector, accelerating design in the aerospace industry, improving overall production efficiency for manufacturers, and increasing accuracy for consumer packaged goods companies, many companies are poised to leverage virtual simulation to make better business decisions and generate the greatest return on investment.

Optimum immersive reality systems are needed to support ultra-realistic, high-fidelity digital twin visuals during the modeling and simulation process; precise fusion of the virtual on real world in a multi-platform environment and the ability to demonstrate a variety of realistic environments.

Metaverse is a new kind of application which is enabled by tight integration between real and virtual worlds. Metaverse is enabled by multitude of new technologies broadly in five groups as shown below:

1. Communications and computing infrastructure:  Metaverse will need to perform large scale compute-heavy tasks, and access large databases to merge the real and virtual world.

2. Management Technology: Metaverse will need a lot of resources like energy, compute etc. This layer manages and allocates most optimum resources to run Metaverse.

3. Fundamental common technology: AI, Spatio-Temporal consistency are fundamental common technology for Metaverse.

4. Virtual Reality object connection: Metaverse will create 1:1 connection between real and virtual world objects and technologies like blockchain, and identity modeling will enable that.

5. Virtual Reality Space Convergence: Metaverse will fundamentally need a new medium to interact. AR/VR/MR, BCI, Gaming technologies will enable this.   

Immersive reality solution providers offer the following foundational technologies to run industrial enterprise Metaverse:

1: Virtual Reality Space convergence:

a: AR/VR:

Ultra-low Latency High Fidelity Rendering: Low latency is extremely critical to provide an immersive experience in Metaverse. AR/VR partners provide unparalleled realism of environments by leveraging ultra-low latency remote rendering on cloud/on premise in full fidelity and wirelessly streaming the solution to affordable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) devices – HMD, Tablet and Desktop.

High Precision 3D Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Spatial Mapping: Uses high-fidelity remote spatial mapping with high fidelity 3D scene reconstruction, scene segmentation and 3D object recognition using 3D vision and deep learning-based AI with precise fusion of the real and virtual worlds to merge real world and virtual worlds.

Game engine: Consumer game engines have limitations that they can only handle a Metaverse that can fit in a single server. The metaverse will be ever growing as more digital twins are created to simulate real objects in the virtual world. The right AR/VR partners have created a data-centric simulation engine which scales for any complexity of metaverse.

2: Communications and computing infrastructure:

a: Cloud computing/edge computing: Industrial enterprises will always subscribe to multi-cloud, edge cloud. Depending on different factors like data sensitivity, latency, cost, different parts of the Metaverse need to be run at different clouds/edge in a distributed manner. AR/VR partners automate running the Metaverse for industrial enterprise.

b: Messaging framework: In the distributed Metaverse there is a need to update the Metaverse at global scale so users can collaborate seamlessly. AR/VR partners have messaging framework updates distributed to the Metaverse at global scale.

Fundamental common technology:

Security and privacy: Security and privacy is one of the biggest issues facing today’s world. Since Metaverse has the digital twin as an integral part, the Metaverse will have much richer data. The security and privacy in Metaverse cannot be solved by traditional security tools. AR/VR partners have built tools that handle security and privacy related to digital twins.

The Metaverse is going to be important for all businesses, enterprises and consumers. Today, people and employees can only experience the internet when they log online on their computer or mobile device, but with new connectivity, devices and technologies powered by immersive mixed, we’ll be able to experience the internet all around every single day.


About The Author: Dijam Panigrahi is Co-founder and COO of GridRaster Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based AR/VR platforms that power compelling high-quality AR/VR experiences on mobile devices for enterprises. For more information, please visit

trucking insurance

How Can We Make Trucking More Sustainable?

Transportation accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon emissions, with road freight being one of the largest contributors.

As a result — and as sustainability becomes more important to businesses, investors and consumers — trucking companies are looking for ways to make their work greener. New strategies and technology are helping the industry improve its sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint.

Utilizing these strategies could help make a trucking industry that’s more sustainable and just as capable of moving goods around the country. Here are some tactics that are helping companies to go green.

New Technology Paves the Way for Green Trucking

A handful of innovations may help the trucking industry tackle its most significant sources of carbon — primarily, emissions generated by trucks burning fossil fuels.

The most significant new technology will likely be the electric vehicles (EVs) and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) arriving on the market. These trucks are powered by nondiesel energy sources — like hydrogen, biodiesel, renewable natural gas or pure electricity.

Depending on their particular fuel source, they can produce reduced carbon emissions compared to diesel, or none at all. This allows trucking companies to significantly reduce their largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Limitations of these EVs and AFVs — like a lack of national electric vehicle charging and infrastructure — made them a risky investment in the past. However, as charging stations become common and manufacturers release electric trucks with ranges comparable to diesel ones, companies are beginning to reconsider these vehicles. The growing AFV and EV market segment also means businesses have more options than ever when it comes to nondiesel trucks.

Some AFVs, like those powered by biodiesel and renewable natural gas, aren’t emissions-free but are a more sustainable option than conventional trucks. For example, biodiesel is a renewable resource produced from feedstock that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows. Burning it isn’t completely green, but making it can help to actively sequester atmospheric carbon.

Adopting either AFVs or EVs will take a major investment from the industry, and there are still risks to pivoting away from conventional fuel-powered trucks. However, these AFVs are likely the best way for a trucking business to reduce its individual carbon footprint.

Other significant innovations come from the IT world. New monitoring and driver management software provides businesses with data management and gathering tools that were never available before. Telematics and GPS technology can help companies monitor their fleets and driver behavior, allowing them to identify unsustainable driving habits and route choices.

These GPS devices could be combined with other monitoring technologies, like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors that gather truck health and performance information. They are already being used in the intermodal transportation industry to improve business efficiency.

This technology could make tracking driver behavior and vehicle health much easier.

Best Practices Could Reduce the Trucking Industry’s Carbon Footprint

Businesses may not need to adopt entirely new technology to improve their carbon footprint. Instead, new business services, models and best practices may help the trucking industry cut back on carbon emissions while using existing trucks.

Full truckloads (FTLs) are a strategy that aims to minimize empty miles and underutilized truck storage space. This allows businesses to make trucking a much more sustainable shipping approach.

In some cases, trucking companies may be able to maximize their FTL count by outsourcing logistics operations to the right partner. Business-to-business freight shipping company FlockFreight has launched a new service that combines multiple less-than-truckloads (LTLs) to maximize goods shipped while reducing carbon emissions.

In 2017, empty miles accounted for around 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions from the trucking industry. Cutting down on these miles while maximizing full truckloads could help improve the industry’s productivity and minimize carbon emissions at the same time. All it takes is partnering with a sustainable logistics company.

The Right Maintenance Approach Can Minimize Carbon Emissions

Even simple changes to a business’s maintenance strategy can significantly reduce carbon emissions. For example, tire rolling resistance is considered to be one of the main factors impacting a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, along with the engine and aerodynamics.

A company’s choice of tire and maintenance practices that keep tires inflated can help significantly reduce the amount of fuel a vehicle needs. Lower consumption can reduce operational costs and carbon emissions.

Other effective maintenance practices can also help minimize fuel consumption and risks like downtime. Oil changes and other repairs that keep engines as efficient as possible can improve fuel economy and keep carbon emissions low.

Businesses are also beginning to invest in new telematics strategies that provide them with additional maintenance data. Remote monitoring solutions with IoT devices give companies a real-time snapshot of their entire truck fleet’s health.

Virtual dashboards can collect and display data like fleet-wide tire pressure, maintenance needs and fuel consumption, allowing managers to pinpoint potential problems.

Over time, these monitoring solutions can also lay the foundation for predictive maintenance strategies. They use a combination of real-time maintenance data from telematics systems and artificial intelligence to predict when a truck will need work. These algorithms can often significantly improve vehicle performance, increase life span and reduce the risk of unexpected downtime.

These benefits can help companies reduce operating costs while minimizing their carbon footprint.

New Technology Can Create a Sustainable Trucking Industry

The trucking industry has long struggled with carbon emissions and pollution. Trucks that burn fossil fuels, like diesel, naturally produce a large amount of greenhouse gas. This takes a huge toll on the environment. Trucking companies would be wise to adopt sustainable practices as more consumers and corporations look to green practices.

New technology and best practices can enable the sector to become more sustainable. Combined with new monitoring or maintenance platforms, AFVs and EVs may allow a business to almost eliminate its carbon footprint. Even simple changes to business processes that help maximize the number of FTLs can have a major impact on emissions. Employing these tactics paves the way for a more sustainable trucking industry.


Emily Newton is an industrial journalist. As Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, she regularly covers how technology is changing the industry.


Heat-Resistant Nickel Alloy to Witness Soaring Demand from Onshore Power Plants over 2021-2027

Nickel alloy has always been an important material for various industries, including some high-revenue sectors such as automotive, aerospace & defense, owing to its high solubility with iron, chromium, and other vital metals. The high versatility of the material, along with its exceptional heat and corrosion resistance properties enables its application in aircraft gas turbines, steam turbines in power plants, and other high-performance applications.

In onshore wind power plants, nickel-based alloys are primarily used in the gearing and generator components. On the other hand, in hydroelectric installations, nickel alloys are used in turbines owing to their exceptional erosion and corrosion resistance features.

A growing world government emphasis on scaling up power plant infrastructures, coupled with the soaring number of onshore power projects sanctioned to cater to the rapidly rising electricity demand, would foster the demand for nickel alloy to a large extent.

According to Global Market Insights, Inc., report, the global nickel alloy market size is expected to witness remunerative growth by 2027.

Nickel-based alloys and metals have wide-ranging applications in the automotive sector. Apart from its utilization in many automotive parts, nickel is extensively used in the batteries of electric vehicles. Nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion battery is witnessing significant adoption in EVs due to its extended power backup.

The rise in electric vehicle production globally is likely to drive the demand for nickel alloy in the coming years. As per the International Environment Agency, approximately 2.1 million electric vehicles were sold in 2019. Moreover, nickel and chromium plating are also used on numerous automotive components to enhance vehicles aesthetics.

The heat-resistant nickel alloy segment is forecast to hold considerable market share by the end of 2027, particularly owing to increasing demand in high-temperature applications. These applications include oil & gas production, and power plants, among others. There have been rising government initiatives to develop a large number of onshore and offshore power plants and oil & gas refineries mostly in developed nations.

From a regional frame of reference, the European nickel alloy industry share is anticipated to expand exponentially owing to the rising number of passenger jet fleets. As per the CAPA Fleet Database, the passenger jet fleet in Europe rose by 1.8% month-on-month in February 2021, to 3,400. The applications of nickel in aircraft engine turbines bring toughness, high-temperature strength, and durability.

Meanwhile, stringent environmental norms encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and the establishment of renewable-energy power plants would positively influence nickel alloy business in Europe.

Leading companies involved in global nickel alloy business include Ametek Inc., Sandvik AB, Rolled Alloys, Inc., Aperam S.A., Voestalpine AG, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Haynes International, Precision Castparts Corporation (Berkshire Hathaway), and ThyssenKrupp AG, among others. These industry players are focusing on strategic alliances and novel product development to strengthen their position in the global market.

Nickel alloy plays a vital role in the transportation sector, right from its utilization in EVs, aircraft, and traditional automotive. Nickel-based stainless steel is used in passenger trains and subways to offer strongness and durability to the outer body. Superior mechanical properties, along with the ability to dilute with other materials expected to foster applications of nickel and nickel-based materials in the forthcoming years.

Power Electronics vehicle EV

3 Prominent Trends Influencing the Demand for Power Electronics Market Between 2021-2027

The power electronics market is estimated to witness stellar growth underscored by the rising requirement for electronics modules in smart home appliances and the purchase of advanced consumer electronics. These modules are used extensively in air conditioners, smart TVs, HVAC control systems, robotic vacuums, smart energy meters, and other smart appliances for increasing the power efficiency of devices and to abstain the possibility of electrocutions. Mounting inclination towards IoT and AI technologies in smart homes could create new business prospects for power electronic manufacturers.

According to a report published by Global Market Insights, the power electronics market is projected to surpass USD 30 billion by 2027. This could be possible given to some of the trends mentioned below.

Ramping up sales of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are steadily replacing conventional gasoline vehicles and are gaining prominence across North America and Asia Pacific. Escalating prices of fuel in APAC has incited consumers to shift towards more affordable transportation solutions like EVs. Over the coming years, it is likely that electric vehicles could become with the preferred mode of transit in view of new technological advancements in longer-lasting and affordable batteries.

This shift could also evidently ramp up the production of power electronics systems, such as MOSFETs, power switches, power modules, IGBTs, and power management integrated circuits (PMICs), as there are heavily integrated into battery management units (BMU), automotive powertrain systems, and motor drives. Government initiatives to encourage sales of EVs as to concerns over emissions and the environment could boost the supply and demand of power electronics in the EV sector.

Installation of EV charging stations across Europe

With production and sales of electric vehicles spiking up across European countries like France, the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany, the requirement for effective charging infrastructure is heightened. According to the Department for Transport, in January 2021, there were 20,775 public electric vehicle charging devices in the UK, of which, 3,880 were fast chargers. These charging infrastructures are integrated with a myriad of power electronic systems. Incremental construction of new EV charging stations across remote locations in Europe may augment the power electronics business outlook across the region. As per a report, the Europe power electronics market was valued at over USD 4 billion in 2020 is anticipated to register 4.5% CAGR between 2021 to 2027.

Technological advancements in power electronics

Companies like NXP Semiconductor N.V., Texas Instruments Incorporated, Fuji Electric Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, STMicroelectronics N.V., ON Semiconductor Corporation, Infineon Technologies AG, TOSHIBA ELECTRONIC DEVICES & STORAGE CORPORATION, among others are holding a significant share in the power electronics sector. All these companies are focusing on taking strategic initiatives like investing in R&D activities for developing technologically advanced products, and mergers & acquisitions.

Highlighting such instances, in May 2019, Infineon Technologies AG announced the launch of HybridPack series of power modules, which has applications in electric vehicles. While in December 2020, Toshiba launched 1,200V silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET, which has applications in DC-DC converters, photovoltaic inverters, and AC-DC converters.

metal replacement

Metal Replacement Demand to Rise Across the Electronics Sector in the Coming Years

Over the past few years, manufacturers across the automotive, aerospace & defense, energy, and electronics industries are showing enormous interest in metal alternatives to obtain higher design freedom, improved performance and significant weight reductions. Metal replacement materials largely help in speeding up installations and enhancing the mechanical properties which in turn offers greater durability and reduces the overall cost. The growing prominence of these solutions is expected to proliferate the expansion of the metal replacement market in the ensuing years.

The industry is observing lucrative growth opportunities in the electronics sector on account of the elevated sales of consumer electronics, especially mobile phones, across the globe. According to the Consumer Technology Association statistics, revenue from the retail sales from the consumer technology industry in the U.S. will reach USD 461 billion in 2021, representing a rise of 4.3% year on year.


On the other hand, China is showing promising performance with regard to cell phone exports. According to the data published by the General Administration of Customs of China, cell phone exports in the country accounted for USD 22.9 billion during the first two months of 2021, representing year-on-year growth of 49.2%.

Such a considerable rise in the demand for consumer electronics goods is subsequently driving the adoption of metal replacement solutions. They find important usage in mobile device enclosures, circuit boards, batteries, sensors, audio speakers, etc. to address engineering challenges and improve the performance and reliability of products. For instance, high-performance polymer solutions offer high reliability, versatility, and design freedom for next-generation electronic devices.

The numerous product advantages are essentially driving its demand in the aerospace industry. The high-performance polymers are enabling aerospace companies to enhance the performance of their aircraft by replacing the metals. The adoption of these polymers is being driven by the growing necessity for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft. In addition, they also offer greater reliability, reduce assembly times and minimize operating and manufacturing costs.

As a result of the high product demand in aerospace, several eminent market players are inclined on developing innovative solutions designed according to the industry needs to gain a competitive edge in the market. To illustrate, in 2020, Victrex collaborated with French aircraft manufacturer Daher to develop a 176-ply laminate structural panel for aircraft with a 32 mm thickness, based on VICTREX AE™ 250 LMPAEK thermoplastic composite. According to the company, this new solution will expedite the aircraft manufacturing process and improve efficiency.

Speaking of the application of metal replacement in the transportation sector, it is being extensively used to make vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient. Metal alternatives like polymers, plastics, composites, etc. not only enhance fuel efficiency but also improve durability and driving comfort through reduced noise and vibration.

Quoting an instance, in 2020, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, contributed to the European Mat4Rail project involving the manufacturing of new materials and components for the railway of the future. The initiative was aimed at reducing the weight of railway vehicles by replacing metal components with composite materials to enhance the vehicle capacity and passenger comfort. The role of AIMPLAS was to develop new hybrid resin formulations offering better resistance to flame propagation and to be used in fiber-reinforced polymers.

Rising demand for material that can enhance performance and offer greater freedom during manufacturing has impelled the demand for metal replacement solutions across sectors like electronics, aerospace, automobile, etc. Besides, technological developments in these solutions are further driving their demand and is expected to accelerate the business growth in coming years.



While 2020 was by no means an ordinary year, manufacturing still remains a strong industry in the United States, largely due to manufacturers keeping on their toes and pivoting when necessary. While some categories were able to chug along at the same output as usual, others changed their products to keep with the times, adding hand sanitizer or PPE to their product lines. Some, unfortunately, have not been as lucky, with supply shortages crippling or slowing output.

In better news, manufacturing is starting to rebound in some of the harder-hit places. In fact, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, manufacturing jobs saw growth in March that is expected to continue throughout the year. According to the Institute for Supply Management’s most recent survey, manufacturing saw the fastest expansion growth in March 2021 since December 1983.

That’s great news for manufacturing, but a welcome consequence of rapid expansion is a need for more employees. So, where do you go when you need a skilled workforce that’s ready to go? Here’s a list of the best areas for the top manufacturing categories in the United States.


While many areas around the U.S. boast a strong pharmaceutical economy, Cambridge, Massachusetts, remains the top spot for biotech in the country. The state even offers generous incentives to companies looking to expand in its slice of New England, including tax benefits, incubators, education and pre-permitted worksites.

With the most highly educated workforce in the country and 18 out of the 20 top biotech companies in the world boasting at least a location in the Boston area, Massachusetts should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for biotech or pharmaceutical manufacturing space.


With apologies to some states in the South and areas along the U.S.-Mexico border where automotive manufacturing is thriving and growing, Michigan is still the king—undeniably. With nearly 1,000 automotive-related manufacturing companies, a highly skilled workforce, ample connections and—let’s face it—a deep and rich vehicle history, Michigan once again tops the list, towering over its most closely-ranked competitors. 

In 2020, manufacturing made up nearly 20 percent of the state’s total output, while workers from the sector filled 14.20 percent of Michigan’s jobs, according to data from the National Association of Manufacturers.

Oil Production

If your business is oil or oil adjacent, Texas is still the place to be. With chemicals, petroleum and coal ranking as the top three industries in the state, Texas has abundant natural resources and the skilled workforce to get the job done right. In fact, the Lone Star State was responsible for more than 40 percent of U.S. oil production in 2019 as well as 25 percent of the country’s total natural gas output.

Texas is home to the popular Texas Enterprise Fund, an economic development incentive that helps incoming businesses. The state still boasts its own power grid and is No. 1 in oil, gas and wind energy.

Computers and Electronics

When it comes to computer manufacturing, California naturally gets the top spot. Home to Silicon Valley, computers are California’s largest industry, raking in a whopping $93.1 billion in 2015. According to Wall Street, that’s more than the economy of 14 other states combined! 

California also has a highly-skilled computer science manufacturing workforce, with a variety of tech jobs and strong education programs that attract top talent from all around the world.

Food Production

Once again, California takes the lead when it comes to manufacturing, only this time we are referencing the food manufacturing category. With a pleasant climate and ample farming space, California is an ideal place for farming and food manufacturing. 

California is home to such food manufacturing giants as Annie’s and Del Monte, and between the state’s farm community and skilled food manufacturing workforce, your business will be in good hands in the Golden State.

Quality of Life

Though you can’t manufacture quality of life per se, there’s something to be said for locating your manufacturing business somewhere with a high quality of life for yourself and your workers. For the quality of life metrics, San Jose, California, tops the list. One of the top cities for manufacturing in 2020, San Jose is home to more than 65,000 manufacturing jobs. The city’s manufacturing output was $76 billion in 2018 alone.

As for the quality of life, San Jose is No. 1 for college readiness for high school students, and the city’s mild climate and small city feel earned it the 19th spot (out of 150) in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. Even WalletHub named San Jose the “second happiest place to live in America,” and U.S. News & World Report named the city the third best place to live in America in 2017.

Most Manufacturing Job Growth

Hinesville, Georgia, earns the top spot for manufacturing growth, expanding an impressive 27.50 percent between 2017 and 2018. With nearly 18 percent of its total workforce in manufacturing, Hinesville has also seen recent increases in job growth.

The city, which is home to manufacturers in the paper and plastics industries, among others, was recently named No. 3 for manufacturing workers by SmartAsset.

Top State for Manufacturing, Overall

For the top spot for manufacturing overall, California again takes the crown, with its electronics and computer manufacturing grossing well over the $100 million mark. In 2020, the Golden State employed 1.2 million workers at nearly 39,000 companies, with average pay for a manufacturing engineer coming in around $77k, according to California consistently ranks higher for manufacturing salaries compared to the national average.

The state had $149.56 billion in manufactured goods exports in 2019, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, and has grown 19.87 percent in manufactured goods exports between the years of 2010 and 2019.

Most Manufacturing Jobs

The Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, metropolitan area holds the title for most manufacturing jobs with approximately 38 percent of the region’s workforce in the manufacturing industry, according to the county website. (A recent Fox News report claims it’s actually a whopping 58 percent!)

The area has nearly 1,000 manufacturing companies spanning 14 industries, including recreational vehicle manufacturers Thor Industries and Forest River, Inc. A versatile, skilled workforce is ready to work for new and expanding businesses relocating to the community, and the Elkhart County EDC can assist with everything from incentives to training programs.

Whether you’re looking to manufacture automotive products or electronics, food or technology, there’s no need to look abroad: The United States has plenty of sites and skilled workers to suit your business needs.

carbon fiber industry

Demand for Lightweight Vehicles to Foster Automotive Applications of Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is well known for its exceptional properties, such as low thermal expansion, high-temperature tolerance, high chemical resistance, low weight to high strength ratio, high tensile strength, and high stiffness. These properties make them a highly popular material in many applications in civil engineering, sports equipment, military, motorsports, and others. Carbon fiber-based components witness robust demand from aerospace, automotive, wind energy, and other end-use industries.

In aerospace and automotive industries, there is a growing emphasis on utilizing lightweight, durable, flexible, materials, such as carbon fiber, to enhance the performance and efficiency of automobiles and aircraft and aid in achieving the emission standards set by various authorities. Owing to this, the materials are quickly replacing aluminum and steel. The global carbon fiber market size is forecast to witness notable growth over the coming years.

Demand in automotive and aerospace applications

The carbon fiber industry share from automotive applications is predicted to expand significantly in the upcoming years. In vehicles, carbon fibers, due to lightweight, high thermal stability and electrical conductivity, are used in various important components, such as disk brakes, wheels, automobile hoods, and others.

Soaring carbon fiber consumption is expected due to the increasing production of cars to cater to strong consumer demand. According to the International Organization for Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the global production of commercial vehicles and cars was combinedly around 91.78 million in 2019.

From aerospace applications, the carbon fiber industry share is slated to witness considerable growth by 2027. The superior physical strength, low coefficient of thermal expansion, high dimensional stability, and low abrasion characteristics of carbon fibers complement their applications in aerospace antennas, aircraft brakes, and support structures. Recent research and development in the manufacturing process of carbon fiber composites for aerospace applications are likely to boost its consumption in the sector.

For instance, researchers at the University of Sydney have recently developed an upgraded method for recycling carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, that retain 90% of their original strength and allow their re-utilization in modern commercial airframes.

Flourishing clean energy projects in North America

North America is slated to register a considerable share of the global carbon fiber industry by 2027. The booming wind energy sector in the region is generating strong demand for carbon fiber composites for their use in wind blades. The exceptional fatigue and corrosion resistance property of carbon composites enhance the longevity of wind blades.

Wind energy is one of the major sources of electricity generation in the United States. For instance, approximately 337.5 terawatt-hours of electricity were produced by wind power between January and December 2020, which is equal to nearly 8.42% of all generated electricity in the U.S. Growing adoption of clean energy technologies to reduce emission should positively impact carbon fiber market share across various sectors in the region.

Leading manufacturers of carbon fiber composites are Zoltek, Formosa Plastics Corp, Hexcel Corporation, Toho Tenax (Teijin), SGL Carbon SE, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., and Toray Industries. These prominent companies are focusing on R&D activities and leveraging advanced technologies to develop new procedures for carbon fiber manufacturing to reduce costs.

Carbon fibers are a multipurpose material, which has widespread applications across various sectors. Some of its other applications include the fabrication of carbon-fiber microelectrodes, textiles, and flexible heating.


Economic Recovery in Germany Marked with Fierce Rise in Inflation and a Stronger Green Transition

When examining a recovery for the German economy as the world rebounds from the events of 2020, it’s important to realize that many sectors will continue to struggle throughout this year. Although the response from the government was fast and strong at the start of the pandemic, three main challenges remain top of mind for Germany this year throughout the recovery process as businesses adapt to a withdrawal of government support and the economy reopens. Many of them took up debt last year and are more vulnerable than before the start of the pandemic. In addition, supply bottlenecks across several sectors will affect exports, and lastly, they will face rising inflation, which is forecast to rise to 4% later this year.

At the onset of the pandemic, the German government provided an immediate response to support businesses, which led to a sense of stability for most of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Now, as vaccinations progress and cases go down, the government will evaluate its existing stimulus measures and begin to pull back on fiscal support. The German government’s generous support has already provided for approximately $400 billion in direct support (11% of GDP), higher than most countries in Western Europe. Much of what happens next will be decided during the September parliamentary elections but in the meantime, businesses are preparing to say goodbye to the generous financial aid provided.

One government support staying in place is the suspension of the Debt Brake Rule. This rule – which limits the federal deficit to 0.35% of economic output per year, by adding an investment rule to secure enough public money for climate protection, infrastructure, health care and education– has recently been officially suspended for 2022. Not only does this temporary suspension this rule ease the burden on German businesses and the wider economy, but helps transatlantic relations with the U.S., which has been running a trade deficit with Germany. The suspension of the rule has and will continue to help with the U. S’s high current account deficit with Germany, however, it is only predicted to be suspended through 2022.

Businesses globally are struggling with some of the worst supply chain issues to date. This is hitting German sectors particularly hard, as there is a national shortage of shipping containers and semiconductor chips. Supply chain issues are expected to be mainly short-term for the manufacturing industry, especially the automotive industry, and opportunity lies ahead in the medium-to-long term as demand grows for German exports in China and the U.S. The need to spend more on sustainability is the broad consensus among the German population and the main political parties and it is predicted the green party will be a strong contender in the September election. Demand for electric cars is growing, and the Germany car industry was able to play into this trend pretty well, helped by their strong financial position.

There are business opportunities in Germany for companies providing products or services for digitalization and sustainability, as Germany is striving to catch up in the digitalization process.

In general, the German economy is in good shape. While many businesses adapt as the stimulus pulls back, a few sectors will be struggling – such as textile and retail, where margins were already thin prior to the pandemic. The metal and steel industries are generally in good condition, with some upset from strong competition and small profit margins.

Keeping in mind that despite stimulus and support, businesses operating in Germany will have to protect their trade receivables in anticipation of the economic changes this year will bring.


Theo Smid is a Senior Economist for Atradius based in the Netherlands.