GoI striving to bolster the firecracker industry

The firecracker industry, which is largely an SME-dominated industry, is gradually gaining prominence at the home turf. The firecracker units in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu (TN) account for about 95% of the total firecracker output in India. However, due to certain constraints the industry is unable to gain traction in the global market. Therefore, the state government has undertaken the initiative to incorporate certain measures to uplift the small and mid-sized players in the firecracker industry and make them globally competitive.

The Government of India (GoI) has decided to conduct a detailed study on the firecracker industry in China and is exploring various ways to acquire funds for the project. �•The study would help the SMEs in the Indian firecracker industry to analyse and undertake various strategies to boost manufacturing of firecrackers and subsequently make their presence felt in the global market,” says Ritesh Desai, manager of Spark Private Limited, a small-sized firecracker manufacturing company in TN.

Industry experts believe that the study involving SME players in China would be able to aid GoI to gain knowledge about the firecracker industry in China and the various issues that the industry is witnessing. �•The firecracker industry in China has been recognised as one of the established industries in the global market. Therefore, a study of this market will certainly provide valuable insights to GoI and SME firecracker units about efficient means of firecracker production,” says Nitin Kumar, manager of Infra Limited, a mid-sized firecracker manufacturing company in TN.

There are about 8,000 unorganised units in Sivakasi that can provide valuable data on the firecracker industry in India. The study would help the government in setting up an industrial cluster or special economic zone (SEZ) that would uplift the Indian firecracker industry to compete with its global counterparts.

Challenges of the firecracker project

Setting up an organised sector for the firecracker industry involves certain challenges. Each unit would require 50 acres of land to set up sheds well at a distance from one another, as has been made mandatory by the safety regulations issued by GoI. Therefore, as compared to China, manufacturing of firecrackers in India may become more expensive as setting up of each unit would require huge amount of funds. As a result, the industry would take time to become globally competitive.

Gamma Medica-Ideas Wins Industry Innovation Award From the World Congress on Medical Physics

NORTHRIDGE, CA–(Marketwire – November 24, 2009) – Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc. (“GMI”), a leading developer of digital molecular imaging systems, announced today that it has been awarded an Innovation Award for its new prototype imaging system that combines the molecular imaging (MI) capability of single-photon nuclear imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The award was presented to GMI at the 2009 World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Munich, Germany that took place on September 7th, 2009. The innovation award was one of three awards given during the plenary awards ceremony. The World Congress on Medical Physics is the world’s largest medical physics convention, which attracted more than 3,000 attendees and featured over 2,800 scientific presentations. GMI’s award was selected from over 100 competing papers nominated for the award.

Dr. Dirk Meier, Senior Scientist from Gamma Medica-Ideas accepted the Innovation Award on behalf of GMI. According to Dr. Meier, “The new dual modality SPECT/MRI system which GMI has pioneered creates an entirely new enabling imaging modality that fuses the high resolution anatomical abilities of MRI imaging with the physiological imaging capability of SPECT in one instrument. This was not possible previously because the glass-encased vacuum tubes used in conventional SPECT detectors are not capable of operating in magnetic fields.” Dr. Douglas Wagenaar, Gamma Medica-Ideas Director of Research added, “This breakthrough could significantly impact the future of medical imaging across many fields. An example where it could make an impact is in the diagnosis of vulnerable plaque. Vulnerable plaque is a thrombogenic plaque that is distinct from the arterial wall calcification that most people associate with heart attacks, and is in fact implicated now in 70% of cardiovascular events. Vulnerable plaque spontaneously ruptures leading to acute and often fatal results. With a dual SPECT-MRI system one could simultaneously use the MRI to visualize the swelling and inflammation associated with the build up of the plaque and the SPECT to identify and localize specific molecular processes underlying the disease such as metabolism, endothelial cell activation, and apoptosis where the cells are ‘behaving’ differently than normal.”

Parts of GMI’s development were funded by the NIH’s Biomedical Imaging Institute (NIBIB) in the USA, and others by the Research Council of Norway. The research team includes experts from several key institutions in the United States, notably: Dr. Orhan Nalcioglu (University of California, Irvine), who specializes in the physics of MRI systems, and Dr. Benjamin M.W. Tsui (Johns Hopkins University Medical Center), who specializes in the development of novel image reconstruction techniques.

Gamma Medica-Ideas is currently targeting the pre-clinical market for introduction of its first product employing the new technology. The company believes that the pre-clinical setting is a perfect environment to challenge new imaging systems to develop optimized performance and to prove out new technologies before launching large-scale clinical applications. As such it aims to expand its market-leading range of products for pre-clinical imaging with the addition of the MRI-SPECT product in 2010. In the future, GM-I plans to target specific clinical applications of the technology such as breast cancer imaging; neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; and atherosclerotic plaque in cardiovascular disease, areas where it believes the technology will make a large impact.

About Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc.

Gamma Medica-Ideas (GMI) designs, builds and services imaging systems based on novel technologies to improve patient health through early diagnosis of disease, improved patient treatment and by enabling new drug discovery. GMI is dedicated to leading medical imaging into a new digital era with its unique sensor readout systems. The company’s core digital imaging technologies also hold great promise for a new class of solutions for the safety and security markets. In the pre-clinical space, GMI’s FLEX Triumph™ imaging platform is marketed for medical research and drug development. The FLEX Triumph system combines PET (LabPET™), SPECT (X-SPECT®) and CT (X-O™) modalities in the world’s first tri-modality system. GMI’s pre-clinical imaging products are distributed exclusively by GE Healthcare globally and in Japan by SII NanoTechnology, a Seiko company. In the clinical space, GMI offers LumaGEM®, its dual-headed Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) based system for early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The digital gamma ray imaging technology in LumaGEM offers significant advances in resolution and contrast, which has allowed for identification of millimeter sized breast cancers missed by mammography, especially in women with dense breast tissue

Industry’s Top 2 Corded Drills

A good corded drill is one of the most important components of any tool-box, and although each may claim to be better than their neighbor, there are some power drills that truly do it better. Its also true that the most heavy-duty craftsmen require an equally heavy-duty tool, and these drills, built with uncommon power, precision, and innovation, exemplify top-tier craftsmanship while yielding always superior results. When compared to any of the competition, these two power tools regally stand their ground as the best corded drills in the industry.

Milwaukee’s 0234-6 (1/2″) Magnum drill is specifically designed for the most heavy-duty industrial and construction applications. With the huge power of a 5.5 amp motor, and the un-dwindling reliability of a corded drill, the tool has the capacities to take on any project. With speed control from 0 – 850 RPM, a reversing ability, and Milwaukee’s quick Quick-Lok cord that can pop right off the drill for easy storage or replacement, the tool is both convenient and versatile. Craftsmen continually accolade the 0234-6 for its exclusive brush cartridge system which uniquely allows you to change your brushes in, usually, less than one minute. The cartridge also comes with a spare set of brushes to keep you out of trouble on the jobsite. Additionally, the Magnum can be adapted to many Milwaukee accessories to make your drilling possibilities nearly limitless.

Additionally, the Makita DP4000 (1/2″) variable speed, reversible drill is one of the more powerful, high-performance drills the industry has yet to unveil. With a hugely powerful 7 amp motor the tool is champion over even the most heavy-duty applications. The tool’s variable speed ranges from 0 – 900 RPM for the most effective and controlled drilling in a variety of materials, and because the tool is corded, there is no threat that the drill’s power will deplete or shut-down; a corded tool is continuously and consistently powerful with every (even extended) use. The drill is ergonomically designed to provider users with optimized control and comfort, and because the tool’s side handle oh so nicely rotates a complete 360 degrees, the drill is also surprisingly versatile. Designed with an all ball-bearing construction the tool boasts maximized durability, overall longevity, and smooth operation, and with easily accessible brushes, brush replacements are a far simpler process.

Satisfying all the drilling needs of industrial craftsmen, these models leave nothing to be wanted and bring unique, durable professionalism to your projects. Each offers the unmatched power of a corded, non-dwindling power source, the brilliance of their brand, and the straight-up drilling power to complete your applications better. Representing the absolute best in the tool business, the 0234-6 and DP4000 are forces you’ll definitely want fighting at your side.

The International Packaging Industry on Its Journey to the Future Reproted From Himfr

The international packaging industry meets tomorrow’s trends. A great deal still remains to be done until the next interpack in 2011.

Three main tasks – as became clear at interpack 2008 – will be the continued, relentless fight against product and brand piracy, the further development of “smart” packaging and the use of nano-technology.

Product and brand piracy have come to be among the most serious forms of white-collar crime. They confront business and politicians with major problems because they have developed into a highly professional industry building on a global network. Experts estimate that approximately 10% of global trade is affected. The damage caused totals up to EUR 200 billion each year – and figures are rising.

The spectrum of counterfeited products ranges from parts in original quality at lower prices without the “expensive” producer’s label to criminally forged products in a poor quality but distributed in “genuine” looking packaging. If such a part fails – e.g. a safety-critical machine or aircraft component – it will be just a matter of time before personal injury is caused. Just as precarious are counterfeit drugs – and of many consumables and appliances. Forged products pose a growing threat to consumers’ life and health.

Product and brand protection therefore also become consumer protection.

The immediate consequence of replacing originals with forged products is a loss of turnover and profits: not only is the fight against piracy by patent rights and the legal prosecution of their violators expensive but product and brand piracy also entails a lowering of the price level at the end of the day. Prices for original merchandise come under massive pressure on account of the noticeably lower prices of product copies. And if shoppers have gone through a bad experience with products of one brand then this also negatively impacts the original. The loss of image leads to a loss of market share in the medium term – and, hence, of sales, too. Add to this product liability issues if the original producer is forced to first prove that damages were caused by a copy rather than their product.

Fighting Forgery

More and more institutions, associations and enterprises are taking up the fight against product and brand piracy on a global scale.

VDMA, the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers’ Association, for example, initiated the “Pro Original” campaign in 2007. Its main aim is to raise awareness about the value of original technology. “Choose the Original – Choose Success” is the motto. Because “original” means quality, innovation, efficiency, experience and safety.

The COPACO Group also flies its flag: at the INNOVATIONPARC PACKAGING at interpack 2008 it presented copy-proof packaging solutions under the heading “Innovation vs. Imitation – Concepts & Solutions”. In cooperation with the VDMA and Aktion Plagiarius e.V. plenty of helpful information was presented for protecting the supply chain against copy cats and brand pirates.

In this endeavour Copaco focuses on solutions that affect the entire supply chain – from the manufacturer to the consumer. Alongside the classic safety features provided by printing, concepts for the traceability of products are gaining more and more ground.

Independent from any vendors, this consulting group offers state-of-the-art technology building on the pooled competence of its member firms plus in-house developments. This includes the Karl Knauer 3.0 NFC system, a web-based process for global product and authenticity checks for retailers and consumers. Thanks to the integration of latest radio technology it provides a comprehensive track & trace solution for inventory management along the entire supply chain including the POS.

Further options for safety concepts are offered by still recent processes, e.g. cold-foil transfer, which allows forgery-proofness to be increased in in-line printing just by packaging design. Many exciting developments can be expected in this field by interpack 2011.

Smart Packaging: future technology is pulling all the plugs

According to estimates by the US market research institute IDTechEX the world market for organic electronics will grow from currently US$ 1.2 billion to approx. US$ 48.2 billion over the next nine years. Even though the technology and its integration into industrial-scale processes have not yet reached full maturity, research is in full swing. These developments will also boost the importance of “smart packaging”.

The base material for organic electronics are conductive polymers – printable and still thinner, lighter, more flexible and less costly than silicon chips. Printed RFID transponders, flexible displays, roll-up solar cells, one-way diagnostic devices, little gadgets, “smart” labels, OLED illumination on packaging, advertising surfaces or wallpapers: for track & trace, product and brand protection as well as marketing and convenience decisive advances can be expected.

Tomorrow’s smart packaging will fulfil new functions in addition to the traditional ones – such as changing the colour of labels as soon as the shelf-life ends or packaging units that can warn of salmonella with the help of detectors.

“We are working flat out on materials and printing processes that permit us to apply electronically based intelligence to standardised printing routines,” says Martina Claus, spokeswoman of the COPACO Projekt Group “Product Protection and Smart Packaging”.

Nanotechnology on the advance

Another trend is the use of nanotechnology in the packaging industry. It is considered among the key technologies of the 21st century and will have an influence on many areas over the next few years, including the packaging of products for daily needs.

Over the past few years nanotechnology has enjoyed remarkable research success. Solutions are researched intensely. Consumers demand an increasing degree of transparency for product claims. Improved information and easier use of products, packaging as a type of service rendered – this is the customer benefit in the overall “Smart Packaging” concept.

And, again, the buzzword ‘forgery proof’ plays a role here: copying smart packaging will simply become too expensive for copy cats, even if they have the technical capabilities to do so. And this applies to nano-coatings just as much as to printed organic-electronic components.