Japan is a country often associated with advanced robotics. It has devised machines that can joke, dance, babble, and even baby-sit. Yet when disaster struck, Japan’s domestic robot corps was found wanting. In March 2011, a record 9-magnitude quake shook the northern foundations of Honshu, Japan’s main isle, and unleashed a 40-meter tsunami that claimed thousands of lives, shattered homes and placed a large nuclear power station in a critical condition.
Gas turbines, also known as combustion turbines, are mainstays of electricity generation in the United States, and will continue to be a reliable alternative even as renewable energy steadily gains in popularity. Westinghouse, which is no longer in the business, was for many years a driver of gas turbine technology development, until a decline in its fortunes required outsourcing of some of its manufacturing operations to Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), a long-time licensee of Westinghouse’s gas turbine engines.
METEC—The Bright World of Metals Technologies—is a major industrial trade fair that brings together the movers, minds and technologies that are redefining the knowhow required to make steel mills more productive, produce higher quality metals for all types of uses, and comply with environmental and safety regulations. Attended by machinery and technology providers, mill operators and downstream metals purchasers, METEC is more than a sales conference, it’s a forum for pivotal presentations and intensive dialogue between exhibitors and visitors from around the world on business developments and economic and quality enhancing advances in steel production and processing.
During Japan’s economic miracle decades of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, the nation experienced the fastest economic growth in the world. Consequently, the country climbed to number two in the global economic rankings, second only to the United States. One unwanted by-product of this success was the equally fast growth of the country’s waste, which soared to 44 million tons in 1980—five times the level generated in 1960, according to Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.

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