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COVID-19 initial impact to reduce China’s iron ore output by 3% in 2020, says GlobalData

China’s iron ore production is forecast to decline by 3% to 78.2 Mt in 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19). Between January and February 2020, the operating rates at private iron ore mines declined from 34.9% to 29.6% and overall, China’s iron ore production declined by 4.6% year-on-year, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Several mines and
plants had to temporarily cease the production activities. The deliveries and
shipments were either delayed or rescheduled, and there was a shortage of
workers, who could not return to mine sites owing to the prolonged Lunar new year
holidays, followed by the transportation issues due to lockdown.

Vinneth Bajaj, Senior Mining
Analyst at
GlobalData, says: “As a result of the
slowdown in the domestic production, iron ore imports grew by 1.5% year-on-year
in January and February 2020 to reach 176.8 Mt. However, purchases accumulated
at ports due to transportation challenges, owing to the lockdown and inventory
at ports had reached a three-month high of 131.1 Mt by 7 February 2020.”

GlobalData
forecasts the iron ore production in China to grow at a compound annual growth
rate (CAGR) of 1.1% between 2020 and 2024 to reach 81.6 Mt.  

Bajaj concludes: “The growth will be relatively flat due to the elimination of inefficient steel capacity, as part of the three-year ‘Blue Sky’ environmental initiative, which runs from 2018 to 2020. This initiative is driving domestic steelmakers to utilize high-grade iron ore (Fe 58-62%), which principally originates from Australia and Brazil.”

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How IoT Keeps Mine Workers Breathing Underground

Illustration: © IoT For AllUnderground mines are large industrial operations and prime for IoT adoption, especially where safety is concerned. Mines are often in remote geographic locations. While an open-pit mine, even a large one, can be inspected by drones and other straightforward methods, underground mines are dark, complex, and …

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Testing the mettle of the aluminum cup

Which is better: reusable, unrecyclable plastic or single-use, recyclable aluminum?Before we start: If you’re wondering, “How could you write about anything other than COVID-19 at a time like this?” I’ll assure you, it’s not easy. That said, during this strange time as many of us find …

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Lessons Learned Launching a New Connectivity Platform for IIoT | Wolfgang Thieme, CPO of BehrTech

#IoTMakers E054

Listen on Apple Podcast  |  Listen on Spotify  |  Listen on Google Podcasts

In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Chief Product Officer of BehrTech, Wolfgang Thieme, joins us to talk about BehrTech’s MYTHINGS connectivity platform and LPWAN’s greater role in the industrial IoT space. 

To kick off the episode, Wolfgang introduces himself and provides an update on what BehrTech has been up to since we last spoke to their CEO, Albert Behr. Wolfgang shares the latest progress on the launch of the MYTHINGS platform and talks about the process of refining and executing a go-to-market strategy. He also discusses the process BehrTech uses to gather feedback and lessons learned as the team adjusted to best serve customers in the industrial space.

We talk about the role LPWAN plays in the IoT space and how it enables companies to roll out massive deployments with hundreds or thousands of devices at a relatively low cost. Wolfgang shares with us some of the key considerations when building a network meant to scale and how companies launching new IoT deployments must consider scalability upfront.

To close out the conversation, Wolfgang shares his advice for companies looking to get into the IoT space, saying that speed to market and flexibility are key. He also shares some of his excitement for the rest of 2020, speaking to some of the advances in connectivity, in particular, that he believes will propel IoT capabilities forward.

Interested in connecting with Wolfgang? Reach out to him on Linkedin!

About BehrTech: BehrTech offers a disruptive wireless connectivity software platform that is purpose-built for massive-scale Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) networks. At the core of the platform is MIOTY, a new communication technology standardized by ETSI that provides reliable, robust, and scalable connectivity unlike any other technology on the market. With its approach to interoperability, BehrTech makes it easy for end-users to retrofit its MYTHINGS platform in any environment and enables partners, system integrators, and VARs to deliver fully-integrated IIoT solutions that enable data-driven decisions to be made.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(01:40) Introduction to Wolfgang Thieme

(02:35) Introduction to Behrtech

(03:36) Are there any new initiatives happening at Behrtech?

(05:52) What’s the difference between LoRA and Behrtech’s platform MYTHINGS?

(07:42) What are some ideal use cases for LPWAN technologies?

(09:07) In developing the MYTHINGS platform, how did you approach your go-to-market strategy?

(11:35) What has the market response been like since launching MYTHINGS?

(13:56) How important are partnerships in IoT development and deployment?

(15:45) What role does LPWAN play in launching massive and scalable networks of devices?

(20:33) What are some of the challenges in implementing existing LPWAN technologies in industrial IoT deployments?

(22:53) How important is quality of service in industrial IoT deployments?

(24:04) What advice do you have for companies interested in getting into IoT?

(28:03) What are you looking forward to the rest of the new year?

Source: IoT For All

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Spaceflight Industries to sell its satellite rideshare launch business to Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa

Spaceflight Industries, owner of both Spaceflight, Inc. and BlackSky, is selling the Spaceflight, Inc. portion of its business to Japanese industrial megacorporation Mitsui & Co, and Yamasa both of which will co-own the company in a 50/50 joint venture after its closing. The deal will see Spaceflight continue to operate as an independent business based in the U.S. and headquartered in Seattle, with the same mission of providing rideshare launch services for small satellite payloads.

Meanwhile, Spaceflight Industries will use the funds generated from the sale (the terms of the deal were not disclosed) to re-invest in its BlackSky business. BlackSky is an Earth observation company that deals in geospatial intelligence, and that currently operates four satellites in orbit, with eight more planned to join its constellation sometime later this year.

The deal also means that Mistui & Co, which is one of Japan’s largest businesses and which operates in a variety of sectors including infrastructure, energy production, IT, food, consumer products, mining, chemicals and more, will now be in the rocket launch rideshare business as well. Mitsui also has an aerospace arm that includes a space business which provides satellite development, launch and operation services, but noted in a press release that Spaceflight will become “the cornerstone” of its space strategy pending close of the deal.

Spaceflight, Inc. has been offering its services since 2010, and has launched a total of 271 satellites on 29 separate rocket launches, with 10 missions set to take place in 2020 alone. The company’s business seems poised to grow as more launch providers and more small satellite operators enter the market, with many predictions indicating sharp uptakes in orbit-based businesses to come over the next decade.

This arrangement is perhaps indicative of things to come in the space industry, as more young companies look at their overall business and determine how best to delineate things to continue their growth and return funds on investment to stay on mission. SpaceX, for instance, has confirmed it’s looking at spinning out its Starlink business and taking that public, a move that could generate significant funds for it to then funnel back into its core launch business in pursuit of its goals of making humans multi-planetary.

The deal still has to undergo review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) because there’s a national security interest involved, given Spaceflight’s past work. This is expected to take multiple months, and the companies say they anticipate the deal will close sometime during Q2 2020 if everything is approved.

Source: Startups – TechCrunch

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Spaceflight Industries to sell its satellite rideshare launch business to Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa

Spaceflight Industries, owner of both Spaceflight, Inc. and BlackSky, is selling the Spaceflight, Inc. portion of its business to Japanese industrial megacorporation Mitsui & Co, and Yamasa both of which will co-own the company in a 50/50 joint venture after its closing. The deal will see Spaceflight continue to operate as an independent business based in the U.S. and headquartered in Seattle, with the same mission of providing rideshare launch services for small satellite payloads.

Meanwhile, Spaceflight Industries will use the funds generated from the sale (the terms of the deal were not disclosed) to re-invest in its BlackSky business. BlackSky is an Earth observation company that deals in geospatial intelligence, and that currently operates four satellites in orbit, with eight more planned to join its constellation sometime later this year.

The deal also means that Mistui & Co, which is one of Japan’s largest businesses and which operates in a variety of sectors including infrastructure, energy production, IT, food, consumer products, mining, chemicals and more, will now be in the rocket launch rideshare business as well. Mitsui also has an aerospace arm that includes a space business which provides satellite development, launch and operation services, but noted in a press release that Spaceflight will become “the cornerstone” of its space strategy pending close of the deal.

Spaceflight, Inc. has been offering its services since 2010, and has launched a total of 271 satellites on 29 separate rocket launches, with 10 missions set to take place in 2020 alone. The company’s business seems poised to grow as more launch providers and more small satellite operators enter the market, with many predictions indicating sharp uptakes in orbit-based businesses to come over the next decade.

This arrangement is perhaps indicative of things to come in the space industry, as more young companies look at their overall business and determine how best to delineate things to continue their growth and return funds on investment to stay on mission. SpaceX, for instance, has confirmed it’s looking at spinning out its Starlink business and taking that public, a move that could generate significant funds for it to then funnel back into its core launch business in pursuit of its goals of making humans multi-planetary.

The deal still has to undergo review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) because there’s a national security interest involved, given Spaceflight’s past work. This is expected to take multiple months, and the companies say they anticipate the deal will close sometime during Q2 2020 if everything is approved.

Source: Startups – TechCrunch

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Mine communication systems and drones key investment priorities for miners

The drive to improve productivity, efficiency and safety is leading to rising investment by mining companies, large and small, in a wide range of technologies. Already the extent of mines having invested in mine planning and management software is high, but there are rising levels of investment particularly in mine communication systems and drones, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report, ‘Global Mine-Site Technology Adoption Survey 2019’, reveals that 61% of mine sites have already made considerable investment in fully implemented mine communication systems, such as private LTE networks or 5G (55% in 2018), while 56% of mines have invested to some extent in drones compared with 44% in 2018. Furthermore, 47% of mine sites surveyed intend to invest within the next two years, either for the first time or in addition to existing investments, in mine communication systems, while the figure is 41% for drones.

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David Kurtz, Director of Analysis, Mining and Construction at GlobalData, commented: “Further investment in communication systems is critical for mines looking to extend levels of automation or deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is driving the rising use of private LTE networks and 5G use within the mining sector as it seeks continued improvements in productivity through higher utilisation.”

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IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION: Please click here for chart

While the majors have lead the way in investment in communication systems, small and mid-tier miners are now joining suit. Similar shares of both groups have made considerable investments or fully implemented communication systems, while 53% of smaller miners are expecting to make investments in this area over the next two years – the highest share of any of the technologies investigated.

Drones were used less widely, but uptake is growing rapidly. Some 21% of mine sites surveyed at the end of 2019 had fully invested in drones, compared to just 9% in 2018 and 45% of majors and 41% of non-majors expect to invest in drones in the next two years.

Kurtz adds: “Investment in drones is not expensive, but the payback in terms of cost savings, faster decision-making and improved productivity means it is not surprising to see such a rapid increase in levels of investing.”

Source: GlobalData