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Manufacturing

Utilities Ready to Invest in FRP Solutions

Grid hardening drives massive surge in FRP pole demand. Less than a decade ago, FRP composite utility pole manufacturers were going to utility companies to make the value case for installing their more expensive, yet significantly lighter weight products in difficult-to-access areas. Then came Hurricane Sandy in 2012, followed by Irma, Maria and Michael among […]

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Grid hardening drives massive surge in FRP pole demand.

Less than a decade ago, FRP composite utility pole manufacturers were going to utility companies to make the value case for installing their more expensive, yet significantly lighter weight products in difficult-to-access areas. Then came Hurricane Sandy in 2012, followed by Irma, Maria and Michael among other massive hurricanes and two years of record-setting wildfires in California. Suddenly there’s been an explosion in discussions about – and funding for – hardening the nation’s electric grid.

Today, the case has been made and utilities are turning to composite pole and crossarm manufacturers for solutions. “In the last two years, it’s like someone threw a switch. All of a sudden we can’t make enough of these poles,” says Galen Fecht, director of technical service and international sales for composite utility pole manufacturer RS Technologies Inc.

Withstanding Fire Tests

Perhaps nowhere has this trend been more dramatic than in response to the wildfires tearing through California. 2018 became the worst year on record for wildfires in the state, but a state climate change assessment predicts that by the end of this century the average burned area in California will increase by 77%. Wooden poles contribute to the problem when they snap under strong winds and live wires fall onto dry grass, providing sparks that ignite some of the most destructive fires. As utility companies face public scrutiny – and in some cases lawsuits – they are no longer standing idly by.

A couple years ago, California utilities began reaching out to FRP pole manufacturers in search of a solution that could better withstand wildfires. “Most composite poles and crossarms are inherently self-extinguishing, so they perform well in fires,” Fecht says.

There are other factors that set composite materials apart from traditional wood materials, too. “Fiberglass crossarms are stronger and more consistent than wood crossarms, resulting in less crossarm breakages and reduced likelihood of energized conductors dropping and starting fires in the first place,” says Michael Schoenoff, vice president of engineering for FRP crossarm manufacturer Geotek. “Additionally, the smooth surface of a fiberglass crossarm is less likely to build up with contaminants and is therefore less likely to lead to arc tracking.” Schoenoff notes that several utilities have reported a significant reduction in pole-top fires after switching to composite crossarms.

Eric Haddad, composite unit general manager for Valmont Industries, shares that PG&E, with support from San Diego Gas & Electric, sponsored a series of tests of FRP distribution poles in September 2019. Independent labs Southwest Research Institute and EDM organized a fire test, followed by a bend and break test to validate the structural integrity of the poles after fire.

Source: http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com/2020/03/utilities-ready-to-invest-in-frp-solutions/

Manufacturing

145 – Revisited: James Eden, Private White V.C.

In this episode, I revisit an interview I did back in 2018 which is still very relevant today. It’s a ‘no holds barred’ interview with James Eden, owner of Private White V.C. who tells me how he’s turned a clothing factory that solely manufactured for other brands, including Burberry, into one that makes 90% own-brand…

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In this episode, I revisit an interview I did back in 2018 which is still very relevant today.

It’s a ‘no holds barred’ interview with James Eden, owner of Private White V.C. who tells me how he’s turned a clothing factory that solely manufactured for other brands, including Burberry, into one that makes 90% own-brand luxury clothing sold direct to the customer.

Find out how (and why) James took on this challenge and his unique costing policies which have helped his business stand out in the crowd.

It’s great advice for any British-made brand or UK manufacturer.

Discover

  • The history behind the Private White V.C. brand
  • Why James decided to switch his factories production from solely manufacturing for other brands to launching his own label
  • Advice he’d give to other manufacturers that want to launch their own brand
  • The challenges the factory faced when supplying big brands and retailers
  • The pros and cons of selling wholesale
  • How he’s flipped his pricing strategy on its head and the reaction that it’s had with their customers
  • His decision to offer transparent costings
  • Why good design is so important
  • His thoughts on Black Friday – “zero discount on everything”
  • How to build a loyal customer base
  • His initiatives to recruit and develop staff and skills

Source: https://makeitbritish.co.uk/podcast/145-revisited-james-eden-private-white-v-c/

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Manufacturing

Building Fundamentals of Manufacturing

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If you were to recommend books or websites to help a new hire build up their fundamental knowledge of manufacturing, what might they be? Topic overviews would cover material considerations, different manufacturing processes, basic history, why different countries seem to focus on different categories of manufacturing for the export market (textiles v automotive v electronics), optimization and DFM, Quality Control methodology, outsourcing considerations, basics of logistics, rapid prototyping, etc…

Also, any that might be good candidates for a team book club.

Sorry if this just an insanely broad question. An example of what I personally found helpful are Paul Midler’s books and posts on manufacturing in China.

Source: https://old.reddit.com/r/manufacturing/comments/jzxq05/building_fundamentals_of_manufacturing/

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Manufacturing

Future of manufacturing

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I’d like to ask everyones help in imaging what US manufacturing will become. In my area (Houston) oil and gas manufacturing is huge. I think O&G employs almost 20% of the entire metro area! But it’s clear that the global desire for oil is on the decline which means there will be a vacuum within the manufacturing sector. In addition the sentiment of the country seems to be wanting to move away from plastics and other products with a negative environmental impact.

How do we shift US manufacturing moveing away from O&G and the numerous industries that surround it in a way that supports both business owners and working class employees?

Source: https://old.reddit.com/r/manufacturing/comments/jztwpg/future_of_manufacturing/

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