An employee yawns as he walks among General Motors' new Chinese-made cars at a parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer More
BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM)
News Article | December 25, 2015
A blanket of thick gray smog obscures the skies in New Delhi. Breathing or seeing through the grim air is not healthy, but for some residents, buying a protective mask or an air purifier costs too much. The same thing occurs in Hanoi, where the toxic smog limits visibility. Wearing a mask through the smog will only help a little, as a resident in the city says, because there are other air pollution effects that you have to escape from. Unfortunately, the air pollution in these two cities is a large fragment of the cumulative smog that swathes the planet. New Delhi and Hanoi are part of a list of cities where air pollution is literally seeping into the lives of all inhabitants, causing more harm than what is manageable. Although several of these cities may have clean streets and clean water on the surface or comprehensive waste management programs, a sky teeming with noxious air pollution still implicates deep strife for city inhabitants. Air Pollution in Tehran and Turkey during Winter Months The skies in Tehran are among the most polluted in the world, health experts said. Dangerous levels of air pollution in the city have prompted authorities to temporarily shut down schools and kindergartens. Because of the unhealthy and polluted weather, authorities have also ordered the closure of schools in Arak and Isfahan. Since Dec. 22, the air quality in Tehran has been in the red-alert zone. The volume of air pollutants in the city has elevated seven times more beyond acceptable levels. The Tehran City Council Secretary Mehdi Chamran said the rising air pollution has caused the average number of deaths in the city to increase to 180 people per day. Chamran said the air pollution that plagues the city is "a silent killer." Aside from schools, officials have also ordered the postponing of sand mining in the area, but Chamran believes that this is not enough, and that permanent closure should be done. Meanwhile, data from Acıbadem University Atakent Hospital (AUAH) in Turkey revealed that at least 29,000 people in the country die of air pollution-related diseases, including lung cancer. Haluk Çalışır of AUAH said about 40 percent of patients die by either chronic obstructive pulmonary and respiratory infections or lung cancer. About 34 percent are killed off by stroke, while 26 percent die from ischemic heart disease, Çalışır said, noting that those who are exposed to air pollution are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. Air Pollution in Beijing is Getting Worse In Beijing, cars are taken off roads, while schools and factories are temporarily closed down. Authorities in the city have already issued two red alerts for smog this December, as the United States Embassy in Beijing has recorded a PM2.5 (particulate matter) index of more than 400. The hazardous level threatens respiratory risks for the city's inhabitants. The thick smog in Beijing does not only come from within the city, but also from neighboring industrial hubs such as Handan, Shijiazhuang, and Tangshan. "Often these surrounding areas already emit more pollution than Beijing," said Berkeley Earth scientist Robert Rohde. In China's Northeast cities, smog is also prevalent. Changchun, Harbin, and Shenyang experienced greater pollution spikes than that in 2014 - sometimes, the surge is higher than that of Beijing. Air Pollution in New Delhi is Often Worse than in Beijing New Delhi is also among the top list of cities with the most polluted air. In the early months of 2015, authorities in New Delhi have noted that the levels of PM2.5 in the city are 45 percent higher than the levels in Beijing. Beijing contains more than 30 government monitors that track the city's air quality, while New Delhi only has four and one U.S. embassy monitor. "Delhi doesn't have nearly enough," said Joshua Apte of University of Texas. "And it's still the best off in the country." Mike DeAngelo who had moved to Beijing said the thick smog has left him feeling more than depressed. "In the throes of the most severe bout of smog we suffered in Beijing a few weeks ago, it was five days of walking around in what looked like a nuclear winter," said DeAngelo. DeAngelo said he has learned not to take for granted days when there are blue skies in the city. Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sun Tian said that on days when the smog is bad, they avoid going outside and make sure the windows are all shut. "If I see an open window or door in the hallway, I try to close it. But some windows are too high up for me to reach," said Tian. Sun Tian and 30 others in his class saved up money to buy their classroom an air purifier, and not everyone can afford one. In New Delhi, Surabhi Srivastava said she uses a scarf to cover her nose and mouth, but it does not have any practical benefits. "I would like to buy a mask and/or an air purifier, but they are quite expensive, and while they might be useful in the short term, air pollution in New Delhi is a structural problem that requires a more comprehensive long-term solution," said Srivastava. Lise Wagnac in Beijing said that in the first week of her stay at the city, she had already felt the harmful effects of air pollution. "I've had chronic chest pain and hard time breathing on a daily basis. I never realized the impact of pollution before moving to Beijing," said Wagnac. In Hanoi, Vietnam, Dan Buckley said he and his wife have become "air-quality evangelists." He said despite wearing a mask outside, one will still feel the side effects of air pollution, which often include sore lungs, headaches, and an irritated throat. Why Are Levels of Air Pollution Rising? Volumes of PM2.5 are increasing because of several reasons. Turkey's Çalışır said rapid industrialization, irregular urbanization and heavy traffic are all factors that worsen air pollution not just in Turkey, but also worldwide. In China, the country's heavy reliance on coal has negative effects to the atmosphere. Air pollutants in the country also have the ability to travel far from their sources, thus spreading the toxicity. Coal is often used for heating in China's Northeast cities, which are blanketed in cold weather. Berkeley Earth scientist Rohde said cold weather conditions trap air pollutants close to the ground, thus increasing pollution. Amid all the rising levels of smog, authorities in China have vowed to make its cities "livable" again. "The government will take a more sophisticated approach to its urban planning and encourage enterprises and citizens to participate in creating the cities of the future," revealed a statement by Xinhua news agency. The plan is part of China's goal to improve its urban planning, where authorities will emphasize on the "harmony between people and nature."
News Article | April 24, 2016
With the heightened tension on territories from northern to southern Asia, Japan takes a move on tightening its security environment with its first radar-evading fighter jet. The Japan's stealth fighter jet took its maiden flight on April 22. The stealth fighter jet X-2 took off for its first test flight in Nagoya Airport, Japan. The aircraft was tested with different maneuvers such as descending, circling and climbing. Its test flight reflected simulated training and it "was extremely stable," according to the pilot. After the test flight of the fighter jet, it landed on Japan Air Self-Defense Force at Gifu Air Base. The twin engine stealth fighter jet was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. "[The X-2] integrates an airframe, engines, and other advanced systems and equipment all adaptable to future fighters," said Mitsubishi. The X-2 reflects the red and white colors of Japan. It also has a specialized coating to become less detectable by other devices. This fighter jet has the ability to absorb or deflect radar signals from other electronics. Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed and reviewed by the Defense Ministry Program to be able to further develop the aircraft. Other countries such as China have also developed aircraft with the same characteristics as the Japan's stealth fighter jet. The Shenyang FC-31 of Beijing and fifth gen twin-engine J-20 also have stealth feature. United States' F-117 Nighthawk (no longer in service), B-2 Spirit Bomber, F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor all have the stealth designs. Japan's creation of the first radar-evading jet is just one way of increasing its defense in the country as China also increases its budget on military by 7.6 percent in 2016 and is being aggressive in its offense in territories of interest. Japan strained ties with China is due to a dispute on the Senkaku Island, East China Sea. Leaders across the globe are also alarmed with the increased tension and territorial dispute on the Korean peninsula and seas from northern to southern Asia. A record of 571 times of Chinese aircraft surrounded Japan's airspace in 2015. Just recently, Chinese aircraft are seen flying over Okinawa Island, Miyako Island and East China Sea. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
The voestalpine Group has opened a new plant in its metal forming division, in Shenyang, China. The facility will produce ultra-high strength body-in-white parts for automotive customers. A total of around €25 million has been invested to date in constructing the plant which will employ a staff of around 70 during the first phase. Further expansion phases are already planned. The voestalpine Group currently generates around 32% of its revenue (2014/15) in the automotive industry which is regarded globally as a long-term growth sector. Against this background, for several years the group has been expanding its capacity in this sector, also outside Europe. As well as the additional plant in China, further significant investment is also currently being made in phase two and three of construction at the production site for ultra-high strength body-in-white parts in Cartersville, USA, which opened last year. ‘With the new international sites, particularly in the automotive sector, we are following our premium customers into the growth markets, thereby continually expanding our global presence,’ said Wolfgang Eder, chairman of the management board. This story is reprinted from material from voestalpine, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.
« Bosch beginning autonomous driving testing in Japan; 3rd engineering location after Germany and the US | Main | Orbital ATK successfully tests hypersonic engine combustor produced through additive manufacturing » BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) opened a new engine plant with a light metal foundry in Shenyang today. The new location will produce the latest generation of the BMW TwinPower Turbo three and four-cylinder gasoline engines and forms part of the BBA production network based in Shenyang in Northeastern China. In addition to combustion engines, the new engine plant will also produce high-voltage batteries for future Plug-in Hybrid models. As with engine assembly, this project will entail close cooperation between BBA and the BMW Group to ensure knowledge transfer from high-voltage battery production in Germany. Both the engine plant and the light metal foundry incorporate the latest state-of-the-art production standards. For example machining work at the new plant uses a water recovery system similar to that at the BMW Group Plant Steyr (Austria), resulting in completely wastewater-free production. This process uses innovative combined membrane technologies to treat all wastewater from mechanical production and feed it back into manufacturing. The new BBA plant will supply BMW Brilliance’s Dadong and Tiexi automotive plants. Capacity, which currently stands at up to 300,000 units per year, is tied to production volumes at the two automotive plants. In 2015, local automotive production reached more than 287,000 units. BBA funded the necessary investment from its own resources; no additional capital was needed by the two joint venture partners. BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engines represent the latest development in the BMW EfficientDynamics engine family. Using a high percentage of aluminium has significantly reduced the weight of drive trains. Heat management and acoustic features were also improved. At the heart of this engine range is the award-winning TwinPower Turbo technology, combining variable load control with state-of-the-art direct injection. A special feature of the new engine generation is standardized, location-independent production using a modular system. All engines of this generation are in-line engines and every derivative is produced on the basis of a core engine and a modular kit. This principle increases the proportion of identical parts used within each combustion type, i.e. gasoline or diesel, to up to 60%. Even around 40% of the parts used in gasoline and diesel engines are identical. The standardized production system for modular engines forms synergies with the international BMW Group engine production locations in Munich (Germany), Steyr (Austria) and Hams Hall (UK). Value stream optimization and economies of scale benefit production processes and make them more economical. These locations, which serve as competence centers for various engine types within the global engine production network, are able to share their know-how with other engine plants at any time. A further advantage of a standardized production system is uniform, stable processes that enhance quality. At the same time, location-independent modular production is highly flexible: Its standardized systems and processes allow the company to respond quickly to changes in market and customer demand. Light metal foundry. The foundry sets new standards for sustainable production and has a capacity of up to 15,000 tons of aluminium per year. It is modeled on its partner plant in Landshut, Germany, the experience from which was integrated into production processes. Innovative manufacturing processes enable nearly emission-free production of sand cores. For the first time in China, inorganic binders are used and lead to a reduction of emissions of combustion residues by 98% compared with the organic casting processes typically used in the industry. In addition, 90% of the sand used for casting can be recycled to reduce waste to a minimum. In 2009, the BMW Group became the first to use this state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technology completely in series production of castings worldwide. The aluminium needed for casting will continue to be delivered in solid form and then liquified to around 760 ˚C in the on-site smelter. The returns from the casting process—i.e. metal residues separated from the raw cast during cleaning—are melted down in the foundry’s own smelting and holding furnaces and are reused. Innovative wire arc spraying technology (LDS) is also being introduced for production of cast-aluminium crankcases. The cylinder faces of all crankcases are coated with a wafer-thin layer of iron particles sprayed on in liquid form. This results in a lower weight and less friction in the engine leading to lower fuel consumption. BBA is a long-standing joint venture between the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. A total of around 2,000 BBA employees will work at the engine plant over the long term.