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Energy Manufacturing Yearbook 2018

The 2018 edition of the Energy Manufacturing Yearbook is available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Thomas Kurfess

Energy Industry’s Up-and-Down Cycle Continues

December 6, 2018
The energy industry is often at the forefront of our minds as we watch fuel prices climb and then celebrate when they come down. We continually find ways to be as energy efficient as possible in our homes and workplaces. Media outlets keep us constantly informed of this often-volatile industry’s ups and downs.
Thomas Kurfess
By Thomas Kurfess 2018 SME President

U.S. Energy Market Projected to Become Net Energy Exporter

November 14, 2018
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018), which includes its Reference case and a number of sensitivity cases, shows continued development of the U.S. shale and tight oil and gas resources paired with modest energy consumption growth, leading to the U.S. to transition from a net energy importer to a net energy exporter across most cases examined in AEO2018.
By U.S. Energy Information Administration


  • Lean Manufacturing

    Ten Safety Tips for Oil and Gas Industry Workers

    November 21, 2018
    Workers in the oil and gas industry continue to be one of the groups at the highest risk of injuries and fatalities on the job compared to all other U.S. industries. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015) revealed that out of 120 workplace deaths in the mining, oil, and gas extraction industry, 74 of them occurred within the support activities for oil and gas operations.
    By Kelsey Rzepecki - Writer, Author, Graphic Products
  • Taming the Duck: Solutions for Renewables Integration

    November 26, 2018
    As renewables are increasingly integrated into the energy infrastructure, we continue to gain deeper appreciations for both the benefits and challenges they present. The challenges, highlighted in the so-called “Duck curve” first identified in the solar-rich California market, show how disruptive solar power can be for grid stability.
    By Ken Boyce, PE - Director, UL
  • Automation

    Tool Life, Scalability Drives New Thinking in Machining

    November 20, 2018
    With larger turbine components, compared to automotive and aerospace, plus assembly challenges, new machining technologies are gaining popularity. The conventional milling and broaching techniques in turbine blade machining, with the high tooling costs and abrasive flow issues, are fast fading, as modern assembly methods continue to drive machining tolerances to new heights
    By Peter Loetzner - CEO, EMAG LLC
  • Creating an Energy Efficiency Plan from Scratch

    November 20, 2018
    Cummins Inc.—a manufacturer of heavy-duty engines, components, and power generators—didn’t exactly set out to become the energy efficiency leader it is today. When the company set its first public greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2006, executives hadn’t yet quite worked out a plan to achieve it.
    By Alexandra Rekkas - Senior Research Associate, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency
  • Saving Energy Sets Steel Producer Apart

    November 27, 2018
    ArcelorMittal cranks out 15 million tons of raw steel every year in the U.S. alone; thus, saving energy for this steel producer is serious business. Plus, it mines the materials used to create liquid iron, the building block for making steel. The company also competes in the global marketplace to sell its steel to a variety of different industries, including the automotive, construction and appliance industries.
    By Alexandra Rekkas - Senior Research Associate, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency

Tech View

  • Scalable Technology For Better Batteries

    November 28, 2018
    Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred power source for devices ranging from cardiac pacemakers to the rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles. They are conceptually simple devices consisting of a uniform bit of lithium compound located on either side of a collector.
    By Glenn Nausley - President, Promess Inc.
  • Tooling & Workholding

    Optimizing Oil Country Workholding

    November 29, 2018
    There is no real problem with threading a pipe. Most DIY types can do it in their workshop with hand tools, but when the pipe is 40′ long and ordered by the ton, you are in oil country. Pumping crude oil out of the ground requires drill pipe, casing, tool joints, tees, crosses, flanges, and couplings. All those items need to be machined. And that takes specialized workholding.
    By Tom McKinney - South Central Regional Manager, SMW Autoblok Corp.
  • Fuel Cells, Lithium-Ion Batteries are Stand-Out Candidates for Energy Storage

    December 3, 2018
    As the world moves toward reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, renewable energy generation sources such as wind and solar will be expected to fill the gap. Due to their cyclical nature, grid scale energy storage is essential for maximizing the utilization of renewable generation assets.
    By Brandon Bartling - Advanced Product Development Specialist, 3M Electronics & Energy Business Lab, Michael Yandrasits - Product Development Specialist, 3M Electrochem Components Lab

Oil & Gas

  • Automation

    Price Downturn Leads Shale Producers to Greater Efficiency

    November 15, 2018
    After petroleum prices collapsed in the mid-2010s, shale oil and gas producers responded to the down-swing by borrowing techniques and technology from the energy sector’s offshore well operations, manufacturing, and even the medical industry to increase efficiency.
    By Ilene Wolff - Contributing Editor, SME Media
  • Controls

    Rethinking Control Systems for Multi-Well Pads

    November 20, 2018
    Drilling advancements have spurred the evolution of oil and gas operations from simplistic single-well pad fields to more complex multi-well pads. Today, many producers are using fracking and lateral drilling techniques to place 10 or more wells on one pad.
    By Zack Munk, Rockwell Automation

Pipes, Plants & Process

  • Quality/Inspection/Test

    Using 3D Scanning to Find Pipe Problems at a Nuclear Power Plant

    December 3, 2018
    Nuclear power has long been a clean, dependable source of energy throughout the world. However, as power plants age, concerns grow on their continued reliability. There are many components that make up the infrastructure of a nuclear power plant with the design intent to reduce radiation and contamination exposure to personnel, equipment, and the surrounding environment.
    By Steve Young, Exact Metrology
  • Stamping, Forming & Fabricating

    Kiewit Power Constructors Relies on Faster Welding Processes

    December 4, 2018
    Annual construction spending in the U.S. grew for six consecutive years, from 2012 to 2017, according to data from the Department of Commerce. In each of those six years, spending on power construction projects topped all other segments in nonresidential construction, making it a major driver of industry trends.
    By Jeff Robedeaux, Miller Electric Mfg. LLC
  • Machine Center Produces Oil Field Rock Bit

    December 5, 2018
    Typically, components produced for the oil and gas field are very large, very heavy and often have complex contours, making the machining time long and the tool life short. The DMU 50, although an entry-level five-axis machining center from DMG Mori, is a compact unit that features considerable strength.
    By Randy Pearson, Siemens Industry Inc.

Advanced Automation