LLNL researchers demo 3D printed, shape-shifting structures fabricated from conductive smart materials

Aug 24, 2016 | By Tess



A team of researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have made a significant advancement in the field of 4D printing recently, having demonstrated their ability to create additively manufactured structures that can change shape, fold and unfold when they are heated or exposed to electricity. What is especially exciting about the recent breakthrough, is that the LLNL team are the first to combine 3D printing and subsequent folding (through origami methods) with conductive smart materials to make complex structures.

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Frazer-Nash Manufacturing

A precision engineering and manufacturing company, based in Petersfield, Hampshire, Frazer-Nash has developed a reputation for technical innovation combined with high quality and good value. Our customer base is international and predominantly serves the food industry.

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Robotics and Automation

The Basics of Lean Construction Methods

Article | July 13, 2022

Most construction companies want to deliver the best possible results for their clients while expending the least possible resources. Yet, the construction industry has traditionally been littered with waste and inefficiencies. Today, some of the most successful companies use lean construction philosophy to guide their operations. Companies that do regularly impress clients, maintain high morale and create high-quality structures.

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Engineering Tech

How Precast is Leading Digitalization in Construction

Article | August 25, 2021

Experts from the construction industry predict a bright future for precast elements: the average annual growth rate of the global precast concrete industry is expected to be 5.3% between 2021 and 2028. In 2020, the precast concrete market was valued at around USD 92.14 billion and is anticipated to grow to over USD 139.33 billion in 2028[1]. However, the average growth rate of the construction industry as a whole is expected to be just 3.2% annually according to the Global Construction Report. Why industrialized construction in particular is growing faster than the rest of the construction industry can be explained by the numerous advantages of this technology.

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Market, Engineering Tech

ICE asks: what should be in the UK's second National Infrastructure Assessment?

Article | July 11, 2022

With major demographic challenges on the horizon – including the growth and ageing of the population, coupled with the need to adapt to a changing climate – it is essential that we take a long-term approach to infrastructure planning.The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) aims to do exactly that. Producing the NIA every five years is one of the NIC’s core responsibilities set out in its charter and its first such report, published in 2018, heavily influenced the government’s recent National Infrastructure Strategy.

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Robotics and Automation

Industrial Robots Popular for Engineering

Article | July 13, 2022

The report "Global Industrial Robot Market: Analysis by Industry, by Type, by Region, Size and Trends with Impact of COVID-19 and Forecast Up to 2026" valued the global industrial robot market at $33.90 billion in 2021 and projected it to $61.09 billion by 2026. Because of increased productivity and efficiency, lower manufacturing costs, and lower overall product purchase prices. Industry 4.0 has accelerated the development of collaborative robots and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled robots, allowing industries to streamline processes, increase productivity, and reduce errors. Sectors are investing in robotic systems as the next generation of industrial robots becomes cheaper, autonomous, more mobile, cooperative, and adaptable. During the forecast period of 2022 to 2026, the industrial robot market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.50%. The Dynamics of the global industrial robot market Growth Drivers: Automation boosts productivity, raises quality, and decreases errors. Rising automation demand has increased the adoption of robots in various industries, and rising automation demand is a major market driver. The growing electronics industry, rapid installation of industrial robots, high wages, and the growing role of AI in robotics are all expected to drive growth in the industrial robot market. Challenges: The purchase and installation of robots requires significant capital investment, and the benefits provided may take many years to outweigh the initial cost. The high initial investment required for industrial robot-assisted production automation may act as a barrier to the market's growth. Other market challenges include safety concerns and privacy concerns. Trends: The development of collaborative robots, or co-bots, is a growing trend in robotics. Cobots are designed to collaborate with humans and are increasingly being used in industrial applications. Cobots use safety-rated sensors, which allow laborers to work in the same area without being harmed. Other trends that are expected to drive the growth of the engineering industry with the help of robot market during the forecasted period include the use of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), the rise of the cloud robotics market, next-generation tech accessories, and job opportunities in industrial robotic advancements.

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Frazer-Nash Manufacturing

A precision engineering and manufacturing company, based in Petersfield, Hampshire, Frazer-Nash has developed a reputation for technical innovation combined with high quality and good value. Our customer base is international and predominantly serves the food industry.

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Materials, Construction

Continental Cement Teams Up with CemAI on Digital Solution for Hannibal Cement Plant

PR Newswire | January 04, 2024

CemAI, Inc. has teamed up with Continental Cement Company L.L.C.'s (Continental Cement) Hannibal, MO plant to install CemAI's predictive and prescriptive maintenance solution, combining a unique licensed software with a continuous monitoring and incident resolution service to further enhance its cement manufacturing performance." The CemAI solution uses Continental Cement's existing historical and real-time manufacturing data and applies machine learning, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring by cement experts to complement the expertise of Continental's local plant maintenance and reliability teams. This robust solution brings plant maintenance into the digital age." "We considered a number of approaches to utilizing our data to improve our maintenance efforts, eliminate downtime and increase equipment reliability," says Timothy J. Noud, Vice President of Manufacturing at Continental Cement. "CemAI offers a cement-centric, end-to-end machine learning/artificial intelligence service solution." Continental Cement has built its business on consistent quality, superior service, and delivering a safe working environment since they began producing cement at their Hannibal location in 1903. A leader in innovation and sustainable cement production, Continental Cement provides high quality cement for projects along the Mississippi corridor and is a subsidiary of Summit Materials, Inc. " "CemAI is proud to be collaborating with an industry leader on innovative ways to use data," says Scott Ziegler, Chief Executive Officer for CemAI. "We thank Continental Cement for their confidence in the CemAI solution to provide increased efficiency, improved reliability and optimized operations."

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Materials, Construction

Construction Procurement Platform Kojo Expands into Mechanical

PRnewswire | June 07, 2023

Kojo, the construction industry's leading materials and inventory management platform, today announced it has expanded to serve mechanical contractors. "At Kojo, our mission has always been to simplify processes for our customers so that they can have more time back to do what's really important – build," said Maria Davidson, Kojo's founder and CEO. "Our mechanical Beta launch has been our most successful to date. We're thrilled that our mechanical customers are already seeing so much value with Kojo and we're excited to continue to onboard many more all over the country." Since the offering launched in Beta, mechanical contractors have sent over 6,000 field requests to the office and created 17,000 purchase orders worth $50 million in Kojo. "By our calculation that's almost 6,000 times the field and office didn't have to call and email back and forth to figure out what was being ordered," Davidson added. Alex Eldridge at Tharco, a leading mechanical contractor in Maryland, said, "Kojo has been really smart in the way they've customized this build for mechanical contractors. For example, there are many nicknames for parts out there and this can create confusion for communication between the field and office. Kojo has a preset catalog field users can order from that even supports slang terms for easy field-to-office part name translation. It's details like this that convinced us Kojo was for us." The mechanical contracting market in the U.S. is huge and rapidly growing. More than $123 billion of mechanical work is done in the U.S. annually. The sector employs nearly 400,000 workers and that number is expected to grow by 5% through 2031. Kojo's expansion into mechanical follows the launch of its Automated Invoice Matching product, which streamlines the accounting process for commercial trade contractors. This builds on Kojo's purchase order and delivery functionality, making Kojo a true all-in-one platform that allows customers to manage the full end-to-end materials procurement process. Automated Invoice Matching launched in Q2 of 2023 and to date has processed $9.2 million in invoices, catching mistakes on 27% of invoices processed. Kojo announced their Series C in September of 2022. Kojo has now powered more than 10,000 construction projects across 47 states, saving customers 75% of the manual entry they previously had to do and reducing materials waste on jobsites by up to 90%. About Kojo Kojo is the construction industry's leading materials and inventory management platform. Kojo enables trade and self-perform general contractors to streamline every step in the procurement and inventory management process from takeoff to closeout. By connecting field, office, warehouse, accounting, and vendors teams on one software platform, Kojo gives contractors visibility into real-time materials spending and usage, helps them source the best prices and availability across vendors, reduces material waste, and increases labor productivity. To learn more, visit www.usekojo.com.

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Products, Materials, Construction

Colony Hardware Acquires New South Building Supplies

Colony Hardware | March 06, 2023

Colony Hardware, a leading direct-to-jobsite distributor of jobsite supplies and construction materials, has declared the acquisition of a South Carolina-based entity New South Construction Supplies, LLC (New South). It is a value-added distributor of concrete, rebar, waterproofing products, masonry, and contractor supplies. Since forming a partnership with Audax Private Equity in November 2018, Colony has made a total of 12 acquisitions, the most recent being this one. New South is one of the leading suppliers of construction supplies and building materials in the Southeast. The company was established in 1981 and now has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. New South caters to commercial, residential, and industrial construction contractors as well as those working in waterproofing, restoration, and road-and-bridge construction. Tim Rash, Chief Executive Officer of Colony Hardware said, “Bringing New South Construction Supply and Colony Hardware together is impactful in several ways and represents Colony’s largest partnership to date.” He added, “Earning the trust of Jim Sobeck and the New South team further reinforces the industry view that we are the partner of choice for owners of distribution companies seeking to scale their business, grow their legacy, and help their valued employees prosper. More importantly, New South’s reputation for quality customer service and their dedicated associates mirror Colony’s ‘client-driven’ culture.” Jim Sobeck, CEO of New South, stated, “We are proud to become part of the Colony Hardware family and especially pleased that our people and locations will remain the same as we add more locations to better service contractors across the South. With Colony's leadership and reputation, I look forward to seeing New South continue on its growth trajectory with Colony’s backing. The future is bright for our business, our associates and the loyal customers of New South and Colony Hardware.” (Source – BusinessWire) About Colony Hardware Colony Hardware, founded in 1988 and headquartered in Orange, CT, has 59 branches across Northeast, Mid-South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida. It provides Equipment & Tools, Safety Products, Supplies, Rental and Repair to construction industry. Their quality and services are unparalleled. Items are carefully chosen based on their value, durability and quality. Colony understands that the public needs goods at the correct place, timing, and price to achieve their rigorous deadlines. They stock more than 25,000 diverse goods from about 750 manufacturers. They aim to finish thousands of orders, so that tradespeople can work safely and efficiently.

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Materials, Construction

Continental Cement Teams Up with CemAI on Digital Solution for Hannibal Cement Plant

PR Newswire | January 04, 2024

CemAI, Inc. has teamed up with Continental Cement Company L.L.C.'s (Continental Cement) Hannibal, MO plant to install CemAI's predictive and prescriptive maintenance solution, combining a unique licensed software with a continuous monitoring and incident resolution service to further enhance its cement manufacturing performance." The CemAI solution uses Continental Cement's existing historical and real-time manufacturing data and applies machine learning, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring by cement experts to complement the expertise of Continental's local plant maintenance and reliability teams. This robust solution brings plant maintenance into the digital age." "We considered a number of approaches to utilizing our data to improve our maintenance efforts, eliminate downtime and increase equipment reliability," says Timothy J. Noud, Vice President of Manufacturing at Continental Cement. "CemAI offers a cement-centric, end-to-end machine learning/artificial intelligence service solution." Continental Cement has built its business on consistent quality, superior service, and delivering a safe working environment since they began producing cement at their Hannibal location in 1903. A leader in innovation and sustainable cement production, Continental Cement provides high quality cement for projects along the Mississippi corridor and is a subsidiary of Summit Materials, Inc. " "CemAI is proud to be collaborating with an industry leader on innovative ways to use data," says Scott Ziegler, Chief Executive Officer for CemAI. "We thank Continental Cement for their confidence in the CemAI solution to provide increased efficiency, improved reliability and optimized operations."

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Materials, Construction

Construction Procurement Platform Kojo Expands into Mechanical

PRnewswire | June 07, 2023

Kojo, the construction industry's leading materials and inventory management platform, today announced it has expanded to serve mechanical contractors. "At Kojo, our mission has always been to simplify processes for our customers so that they can have more time back to do what's really important – build," said Maria Davidson, Kojo's founder and CEO. "Our mechanical Beta launch has been our most successful to date. We're thrilled that our mechanical customers are already seeing so much value with Kojo and we're excited to continue to onboard many more all over the country." Since the offering launched in Beta, mechanical contractors have sent over 6,000 field requests to the office and created 17,000 purchase orders worth $50 million in Kojo. "By our calculation that's almost 6,000 times the field and office didn't have to call and email back and forth to figure out what was being ordered," Davidson added. Alex Eldridge at Tharco, a leading mechanical contractor in Maryland, said, "Kojo has been really smart in the way they've customized this build for mechanical contractors. For example, there are many nicknames for parts out there and this can create confusion for communication between the field and office. Kojo has a preset catalog field users can order from that even supports slang terms for easy field-to-office part name translation. It's details like this that convinced us Kojo was for us." The mechanical contracting market in the U.S. is huge and rapidly growing. More than $123 billion of mechanical work is done in the U.S. annually. The sector employs nearly 400,000 workers and that number is expected to grow by 5% through 2031. Kojo's expansion into mechanical follows the launch of its Automated Invoice Matching product, which streamlines the accounting process for commercial trade contractors. This builds on Kojo's purchase order and delivery functionality, making Kojo a true all-in-one platform that allows customers to manage the full end-to-end materials procurement process. Automated Invoice Matching launched in Q2 of 2023 and to date has processed $9.2 million in invoices, catching mistakes on 27% of invoices processed. Kojo announced their Series C in September of 2022. Kojo has now powered more than 10,000 construction projects across 47 states, saving customers 75% of the manual entry they previously had to do and reducing materials waste on jobsites by up to 90%. About Kojo Kojo is the construction industry's leading materials and inventory management platform. Kojo enables trade and self-perform general contractors to streamline every step in the procurement and inventory management process from takeoff to closeout. By connecting field, office, warehouse, accounting, and vendors teams on one software platform, Kojo gives contractors visibility into real-time materials spending and usage, helps them source the best prices and availability across vendors, reduces material waste, and increases labor productivity. To learn more, visit www.usekojo.com.

Read More

Products, Materials, Construction

Colony Hardware Acquires New South Building Supplies

Colony Hardware | March 06, 2023

Colony Hardware, a leading direct-to-jobsite distributor of jobsite supplies and construction materials, has declared the acquisition of a South Carolina-based entity New South Construction Supplies, LLC (New South). It is a value-added distributor of concrete, rebar, waterproofing products, masonry, and contractor supplies. Since forming a partnership with Audax Private Equity in November 2018, Colony has made a total of 12 acquisitions, the most recent being this one. New South is one of the leading suppliers of construction supplies and building materials in the Southeast. The company was established in 1981 and now has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. New South caters to commercial, residential, and industrial construction contractors as well as those working in waterproofing, restoration, and road-and-bridge construction. Tim Rash, Chief Executive Officer of Colony Hardware said, “Bringing New South Construction Supply and Colony Hardware together is impactful in several ways and represents Colony’s largest partnership to date.” He added, “Earning the trust of Jim Sobeck and the New South team further reinforces the industry view that we are the partner of choice for owners of distribution companies seeking to scale their business, grow their legacy, and help their valued employees prosper. More importantly, New South’s reputation for quality customer service and their dedicated associates mirror Colony’s ‘client-driven’ culture.” Jim Sobeck, CEO of New South, stated, “We are proud to become part of the Colony Hardware family and especially pleased that our people and locations will remain the same as we add more locations to better service contractors across the South. With Colony's leadership and reputation, I look forward to seeing New South continue on its growth trajectory with Colony’s backing. The future is bright for our business, our associates and the loyal customers of New South and Colony Hardware.” (Source – BusinessWire) About Colony Hardware Colony Hardware, founded in 1988 and headquartered in Orange, CT, has 59 branches across Northeast, Mid-South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida. It provides Equipment & Tools, Safety Products, Supplies, Rental and Repair to construction industry. Their quality and services are unparalleled. Items are carefully chosen based on their value, durability and quality. Colony understands that the public needs goods at the correct place, timing, and price to achieve their rigorous deadlines. They stock more than 25,000 diverse goods from about 750 manufacturers. They aim to finish thousands of orders, so that tradespeople can work safely and efficiently.

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