Is New Zealand about to become a serious player for launching satellites into space? It certainly looks that way when you read about Rocket Lab, an American company with offices in Auckland that has created a light-weight rocket.
The firm, featured on page 13, has built a world-first carboncomposite rocket they call Electron. The company reckons it can put a satellite into orbit around the Earth for US$5m – saving companies who need such things a massive US$128m.
Right now, Rocket Lab is looking for a New Zealand location for a launch pad (and is open to suggestions).
Corrosion is a timeless enemy and keeping on top of it is a full time job for Ron Berry (page 22). Much of the firm’s workload of late has been in the Taranaki region, and on offshore oil & gas structures. He says the key to any successful project has to be the initial inspection and prep work.
He says that if someone is spending a million dollars on a protective coatings project without any inspection then there are lots of things that can go horribly wrong.
Robots may soon become a more familar sight in smaller firms as the makers of these machines make a concerted effort to enter this, as yet, untapped market.
The new generation of robotic arms offer technology that provides ease of use, built-in safety features, and flexibility as key characteristics.
It seems that a single robot can now be deployed for multiple uses – reducing labour costs – and human-machine collaborative robots can be used without safety guarding. The times, they are a-changin’...