China Tests Country’s First Photovoltaic Highway – Reports


China successfully tested its first photovoltaic highway, based on home-grown technology, in the country’s eastern Shandong province on Thursday, China Central Television (CCTV) said in a video report posted on its official social media account.

The 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) segment of solar-powered highway covers a surface area of 5,875 square meters (about 63,238 square feet), with three layers including translucent concrete on the top, photovoltaic panels in the middle, and insulation on the bottom, the broadcaster specified.

A mini-bus traveled at the speed of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour over the tested road, with the driver praising the braking distance of the new surface as almost identical to that of a traditional asphalt surface, according to the CCTV report.


The photovoltaic panel underneath the surface is capable of generating electricity and has the potential to charge pure electric vehicles (EVs) during transit in the future, when compatible charging technology is developed, Zhang Hongchao, a project designer and transportation engineering expert at China’s Tongji University, told the broadcaster.

The tested segment of highway has a peak power generating capacity of 817.2 kilowatts and is expected to generate 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The electricity generated will be connected to China’s national power grid.

France introduced the world’s first photovoltaic road fitted with solar panels in late 2016. CCTV stressed that the power-generating road tested on Thursday was developed based solely on home-grown technology.

Source: Sputnik International



The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2 percent annual rate from July through September, slightly slower than previously estimated but still enough to give the country the best back-to-back quarterly growth rates in three years.


The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2 percent annual rate from July through September, slightly slower than previously estimated but still enough to give the country the best back-to-back quarterly growth rates in three years.

The figure was revised down from last month’s estimate of 3.3 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The change reflected a bit less spending by consumers, which was offset somewhat by increased spending by state and local governments.

Still, the 3.2 percent growth followed a 3.1 percent gain in the second quarter, the first consecutive quarters that growth has topped 3 percent since 2014.

President Donald Trump has pointed to these gains as evidence his economic program is producing results. Many economists believe GDP growth this quarter could hit 3 percent or better.

Congress this week passed a major tax overhaul, giving Trump the biggest legislative achievement of his first year in office. Economists believe the proposal will boost growth temporarily in 2018 and possibly 2019. But then they forecast that the positive effects will fade, with slower growth going forward due to higher interest rates stemming from the bigger government deficits.

But at the moment, economists are optimistic about growth prospects. The Federal Reserve’s Atlanta regional bank is forecasting GDP growth could hit 3.3 percent this quarter. If GDP does top 3 percent, it would mark the first time that has occurred since three quarters in late 2004 and early 2005.

Trump has predicted the tax cuts will be “rocket fuel” for the economy and many economists are looking for a growth spurt next year.

“The economy is rock solid for now and with fiscal stimulus kicking in next month, the economy’s afterburners could put this economy’s rocketing growth rate into even higher orbit,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial analyst at MUFG Union Bank in New York, said in reaction to the new GDP report.

For all of 2017, the economy is expected to grow around 2.3 percent, a marked improvement from the slight 1.5 percent gain in GDP in 2016. For 2018, economists believe growth will be even better, helped by the boost from the Republican tax cuts and a stronger global economy.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, is forecasting growth of 2.9 percent for 2018, reflecting tax cuts that he predicts will add 0.4 percentage point to GDP next year. He expects the tax cuts to add 0.2 percentage point to growth in 2019. But even with that boost, he sees GDP slowing to a 2.2 percent rate in 2019 before slowing to 1 percent growth in 2020 as the higher interest rates drag on growth.

This forecast is in line with other analysts who see only a temporary gain from the tax cuts. They are at odds with forecasts of the Trump administration that the tax cuts will spur significant momentum that will lift the economy to sustained annual GDP gains of 3 percent or better.

The report on third quarter growth was the government’s third and final look at the quarter. The economy showed resilience last quarter in the face of two hurricanes: Harvey, which hit Texas in late August, and Irma, which battered Florida in September.

The U.S. economy is benefiting from a pickup in global growth, a healthy job market, which supports consumer spending, and a drop in the value of the dollar against other major currencies, which makes U.S. products less expensive in foreign markets.

What you need to know:

  • Business investment in equipment shot up at a 10.8 percent rate, the best showing since the third quarter of 2014.
  • Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic output, grew at an annual pace of 2.2 percent, a slight 0.1 percentage point less than last month’s estimate.
  • Government spending and investment rose for the first time in three quarters, with spending by state and local governments revised to a small positive from a slight negative in the previous report.
  • Housing construction fell for a second quarter, but the drop was not as severe as previously reported.
  • The 1.5 percent annual GDP gain last year was the weakest performance in six years, since the economy contracted by 2.9 percent in 2009.
  • GDP growth has averaged around 2 percent in the current recovery, which is now in its ninth year and is the third longest in U.S. history.



FSG Series Double-Column Fixed Beam Grinder: Align with the Expert for Maximum Productivity


FSG-4080DC series double-column fixed beam grinder

Chevalier customers in a wide range of industries like what they see in the FSG-4080DC series double-column fixed beam grinders. They say the grinders are easy to set-up, program and operate and exceed the most rigorous demands for rigidity, accuracy and speed. All while providing an enormous grinding area.

“With the options in the market within our target group of machines, the Chevalier FSG series stood out as the choice product,” said Brian Young, general manager of Erie Precision Grinding in Pennsylvania. “It provides an easy to use interface, full CNC control system, total workpiece capacity and the rigidity and accuracy of the dual column design.” Young said his high expectations for the FSG Series has been meet.

“Now that we have completed a number of workpieces, I am truly impressed by its performance,” he added. “By meeting my expectations, it has exceeded what I thought was possible over such a large platform.  The operator interface, intuitive programming and speed are all working together to provide an exceptional piece of equipment capable of servicing our customers effectively and efficiently.

The user-friendly conversational programming features:

  • Smart-III CNC PC based control and Microsoft Win CE platform
  • Patented designed table stroke can be adjusted from screen
  • Conversational graphic program for grinding and dressing
  • Standard can cycles: step surface, slice and crisscross cycles
  • Switch between manual, semi-automatic, fully automatic or CNC
  • Automatic wheel dressing can be done while machining or at the end of a cycle
  • Simplified data transfer using Ethernet/intranet data saving and transfer, USB port and CF card port

For more information, contact: Chevalier Machinery Inc.


Source: MMSOnline

Christmas shopping is changing – but retailers must accept that pop-up stores are here to stay

At Christmas time, vacant shop spaces suddenly fill with new vendors selling decorations, small toys, gifts and calendars for the following year. Christmas markets seem to materialise out of thin air, and even online retailers set up shop on the high street. By the new year, these will all vanish without a trace. Yet for businesses, the pop-up store phenomenon is more than just a phase.

Pop-up retailing is a simple concept – it’s a retail store that exists for a limited period, measured in weeks, days, sometimes mere hours. They can take any form, from shops, bars and restaurants to cinemas and galleries. And they’re often used as part of strategies to promote brands and launch new products.

The origins of pop-up stores can be traced back to the periodic markets of the Middle Ages, and the salesmen who travelled from place to place, selling their wares. Indeed, since the first German Christmas markets appeared in the 14th century, sellers have used pop-up stores to meet seasonal demands, in cases where having a permanent premises may not make financial sense.

A new tradition

The main attraction of pop-up stores is their flexibility, which is become increasingly important in the rapidly changing world of retail. Businesses are under mounting pressure to evolve, to keep pace with changing customer expectations and behaviour.

As established high-street vendors are overtaken by online-only retailers in terms of market value, many find themselves with excess store space: one estimate says there are 50,000 surplus stores accross the UK.

These spaces present opportunities for pop-up shops, where different retailers can appear unexpectedly, create a buzz and disappear before people have a chance to get bored.

Maximum flexibility

The pop-up enables business to be more flexible in terms of location, financing and strategy. Being able to set up in different places allows retailers to take advantage of the growing amounts of vacant space in many shopping malls and town centres.

Short-term use of this space can benefit property owners by bringing in some rent, while providing opportunities for retailers – especially new business owners seeking to test out their business models.

Pop-up stores also allow retailers to go where their customers are; for example, by capitalising on gatherings of potential customers at events and festivals. Retailers can become “nomadic”, setting up stall in specially-designed marquees, repurposed shipping containers, and even inside other shops.


The financial flexibility of pop-up stores mean that they can be a low-cost alternative for start-ups which want to test a business concept, without the commitment or expense of leasing a permanent premises. The high cost of commercial rent in major cities has also encouraged the emergence of the so-called “shop share”. Here, small retailers can rent a rail, table, shelf or stand in a more established shop.

Such initiatives have encouraged greater collaboration among retailers, and helped small and independent business to boost their brand. Successful business concepts can then develop from pop-up to stay-up. In this way, pop-up stores can offer strategic flexibility.

Online, in person

Well-established businesses can also benefit, using pop-up stores less as a means of driving sales, and more as a way to promote their brand, market new products, and connect face-to-face with the general public. This goes for online retailers too: eBay, for instance, established a pop-up shop in central London over Christmas, featuring their 200 best-selling items.

This gives online-only stores a chance to have more direct interaction with – and feedback from – consumers, as well as providing opportunities to link the brand to specific cultural, fashion or sporting events.

In the retail industry, the boundaries between pop-up and more traditional retailing are blurring. At Christmas time, retailers will take every opportunity to increase sales during this peak trading period – including through pop-up stores. While these snow-festooned stores may be gone come the new year, it seems that for retailers, the pop-up is for life – not just for Christmas.


Source: The Conversation

Roots sales climb 13 per cent

A Roots store in Toronto.jpg

Retailer Roots Corp. says sales were up 13 per cent in its latest quarter compared with a year ago as it released its first quarterly report since completing its initial public offering.

Sales totalled $89.7-million for what was the company’s third quarter, up from $79.4-million in the same quarter last year.

The increase was driven by comparable sales growth of 10.1 per cent and the opening of four net new corporate stores compared with a year ago.

Roots shares were up about 5 per cent at the start of trading in Toronto.

The retailer earned $5-million or 12 cents per share for the 13 weeks ended Oct. 28 compared with a profit of $5.9-million or 14 cents per share in the same period last year.

The drop came as selling, general and administrative expenses increased to $40.8-million compared with $32.3-million a year ago, boosted by costs to support higher sales, investments in the business and costs related to the initial public offering.

On an adjusted basis, Roots says it earned $9.5-million or 23 cents per share, up from $7.6-million or 18 cents per share a year ago. Analysts had expected a profit of 17 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.


Source: The Globe and Mail

Bitcoin Climbs to $12,000 as Futures Move Closer to Reality

Bitcoin surpassed $12,000 for the first time amid speculation that the widespread use of futures will help lead to digital currencies being viewed as a legitimate asset class for mainstream investors.


The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1,000 at the start of the year as optimism climbs for the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain that is at the heart of bitcoin. The price surge has been accompanied by a growing chorus of warnings that the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble poised to burst.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on Dec. 10, while CME Group Inc.’s contracts are set to debut on Dec. 18. Nasdaq Inc. is planning to offer futures in 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s Cantor Exchange is creating a bitcoin derivative, and startup LedgerX already offers options.


Source: Bloomberg

Amazon sold ‘millions’ of Alexa devices over the holiday shopping weekend


On the heels of news that Amazon may have accounted for half of Black Friday online sales, the retailer today announced that the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend – which it defines as Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday – was its best-ever, in terms of Amazon devices sold. The company historically doesn’t release hard numbers related to its device sales. Instead, it claims that “millions” of Alexa devices were sold during this time frame.

One notable item it did share was that its Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were not only the best-selling Amazon devices during this sales holiday, but they were also the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category on Amazon.

Of course, that’s not too surprising given that Amazon gave its devices a big push this year, offering deep discounts to encourage shoppers to buy.

For example, Amazon slashed the price on its Echo Dot on Cyber Monday to $29.99 – the lowest price ever for the small Alexa-powered speaker. It also took advantage of its newly acquired brick-and-mortar footprint to market the device at its Whole Food stores during this sales holiday, which made the Echo Dot the best-seller at those locations, the retailer noted.

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, meanwhile, was discounted $15 to bring it to $24.99 on Cyber Monday, vastly undercutting its closest rival, the Roku Streaming Stick with voice remote, which is $49.99. The retailer said customers purchased 2.7x more Fire TV Sticks than they did last year, which could also be an indication of the drive towards cord cutting and streaming, more so than the popularity of Amazon’s streaming stick in particular.

“Customers purchased millions of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices this weekend, and Alexa devices were the top sellers across all of Amazon,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices & Services, in a statement. “We’re excited that tens of millions of customers around the world will be using Alexa to prepare for the holidays.”

That “tens of millions” is about as close as Amazon gets to talking about Alexa devices sales figures. It’s the same figure CEO Jeff Bezos dropped in Amazon’s Q3 2017 earnings release, seemingly a confirmation that Amazon has sold more than 20 million Alexa devices. That’s in line with earlier estimates of 16.1 million Echo devices sold through the end Q2.

Voicebot’s analysis of Bezos’ earlier statement estimates that Echo sales to date have totaled 19.5 – 21.5 million units, while non-Echo smart speakers with Alexa built-in were in the 1 million unit range through Q3 2017.

Note that Amazon didn’t announce “record” sales for this 2017 holiday shopping weekend, only record numbers of Amazon devices sold. That could mean that shoppers were spreading their dollars around among other online retailers. This year, shoppers spent a record $5.03 billion in Black Friday online sales in the U.S., and a record-breaking $6.59 billion in Cyber Monday online sales. Those numbers extend far beyond Amazon.

But don’t worry about Amazon – it made up its own sales holiday called Prime Day, which was the biggest sales day in company history in 2017 and the year prior.


Source: TechCrunch

Analysis, and Forecast Report of Automatic Capping Machine Market Size

ONE HEAD AUTO CAPPING MACHINEThe automatic capping machine is manufactured with a high quality of raw materials and by using the latest technology. The automatic capping machine is durable, flexible and works with different types of containers and caps. The automatic capping machine provides durable finish standards, rust proof, and flawlessly finished packaging. The automatic capping machines have a wide range of applications in several industries. The automatic capping machine is used in plastic and metal threaded caps, plastic snap caps and also used in some types of plugs and corks. The automatic capping machine caps is used for packaging of different varieties of bottles includes Glass and plastic bottles. Moreover, the global automatic capping machine is used in packaging of a variety of caps such as Ropp, screw, crown, corks and Snap-On-caps. The automatic capping machine saves the time of manufacturers for capping of the bottles of the product. The automatic capping machine has dual servo driven system control for bottles capping functions to ensure that caps are properly tightened so that product meet perfection when it is sent to the market for sales.

The global automatic capping machine market is mainly driven by a rise in food and beverage industry. An increase in demand for packaged foods leads to rising in automatic capping machine market. The automatic machine capping has a wide range of applications in many industries further leads to the growth of the market. The manufacturers of different industries use automatic capping machine which helps in reducing the time of packaging of capping for the products leads to a growth of automatic capping machine market Moreover rise in disposable income, a rapid rate of urbanization, adoption of different culture leads to rising in the automatic capping machine market. Developing regions such as Asia-Pacific leads to has a significant opportunity in the expected year owing to changes in food and beverage industries and pharmaceutical industry. Further, the capping is a usually difficult aspect in liquid packaging line due to several reasons includes a range of sizes of caps and bottles; therefore automatic capping machine components become expensive in the specific type of capping machines which increases the capital cost of machinery leads to restraining the growth of automatic capping machine. Owing to rise in the capital cost of machinery manufacturers prefer less of automatic capping machine.

Based on the geographic region, global automatic capping machine market is segmented into seven regions includes North America, Latin America, Japan, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, and the Middle East and Africa. The North America region has high CAGR in automatic capping machine market owing to technological advancement and demand of packaged food and beverages followed by Europe, Japan. Developing regions such as Asia-Pacific region leads to has an opportunity in forecasted period owing to changes in pharmaceutical and food and beverages industry which leads to a growth of automatic capping machine market in an anticipated year.

Having reliable capping machine is essential in liquid packing line. Taiwan KWT Machines System carries versatility capping solution for different scope of packaging line. All our capping machine can be involved in the capping process depended on the closure type and package shape.

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Russia hopes to launch its own digital currency


Russia has been talking openly about the prospect of creating its own cryptocurrency, and it looks like the country might turn those words into action. Local news outlets report that Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov has confirmed plans to launch a state-controlled digital currency. Don’t expect to generate virtual rubles with your PC any time soon, though. While it would use blockchain to decentralize control and improve trust, you reportedly can’t mine it — instead, it’d be issued and tracked like conventional money. This would theoretically let Russia boost its internet economy without tying the fate of its currency to other countries or third-party brokers.

You could readily exchange digital coins for conventional money, although officials would reportedly require a proof of origin if you wanted to avoid a 13 percent tax meant to discourage money laundering and other dirty tricks.

There’s no mention of a time frame for launching this money, but Nikiforov apparently believes Russia can’t afford to wait. If it doesn’t introduce its own currency, neighbors in Asia and Europe will make their own move “after 2 months,” he said. That’s clearly hyperbolic, but there are reasons for Russia to be nervous. China has been cracking down on cryptocurrency in part because it saw speculators selling off the yuan in favor of bitcoins — Russia probably doesn’t want to see that happen on its own soil. Officials have already called for tight regulations on existing virtual cash.

There are concerns that Russia would be effectively profiting from fraudsters with the 13 percent tax: hey, we’ll look the other way as long as you give us a cut. Short of an outright ban on competing currencies, though, there would be nothing to stop criminals from simply relying on a different currency instead. Rather, this would repeat a familiar strategy of keeping technology on a tight leash so that it can’t be used to undermine authority.

Source: Engadget

Survey of The Taiwan Machine Tool Industry

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The 2016 Taiwan survey of machine tools showed that production value will fall off with business recession on the export and home market. The production value in 2016 was US$3.71 billion, a decrease of 9.0% from the same period in 2015. The value of CNC machine tool production value in the same period of 2016 accounted for 67% of the total production value, or US$2.5 billion, a decrease of 9.0% compared with the same period in 2015.

Export and Import statistics announced by Customs indicate that the value of machine tool exports during 2016 was US$2.9 billion, a decrease of 9.0% compared with 2015. The value for machine tool imports was US$722 million, an increase of 0.3% compared with 2015.

The 2017 Survey of Taiwan machine tools showed that production value will grew up with business boom on the export and home market. The production value in year-to-Aug. 2017 was US$2.74 billion, an increase of 14.3% from the same period in 2016. Meanwhile, production value for CNC Machine tools share 69% to US$1.9 billion.

Export and import statistics announced by the Ministry of Finance indicated that the value of machine tools exports during this year up to Aug. was US$2.13 billion, an increase of 14.3% compared with the same period in 2016. The value for machine tools imports was US$565 million, an increase 19.9% compared with the same period in 2016.

Taiwan Machine Tool Statistics in 2016                                             (Unit:Million US$)

Year/Item 2015 2016 2016/2015
Change (%)
Production, Machine Tool 129,726 119,800 -7.7%
Exports 100,812 93,397 -7.4%
Imports 22,798 23,290 +2.2%
Consumption 51,712 49,693 -3.9%

Taiwan Machine Tool Statistics in 2017(Jan-Aug)                                (Unit:Million US$)

Year/Item 2016
Production, Machine Tool 2,396 2,740 14.3%
Exports 1,862 2,129 14.3%
Imports 472 565 19.9%
Consumption 1,006 1,176 16.9%



Source: Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry