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Wacker Equipment Travels Long Road
Large core equipment arrived at the WACKER POLYSILICON site in Charleston, Tenn. this week. This equipment—used for WACKER’s production process—arrived by barge to a unique location, and then traveled to the company’s construction site by various methods including a self-propelled transportation unit.
“The arrival of this core production piece is an exciting and momentous occasion,” said Dr. Martin Richtberg, vice president of engineering and head of the WACKER POLYSILICON construction project. “Detailed planning for this arrival began in March this year. It was necessary to find barge access that could accommodate equipment this size, and to determine the most efficient road transportation route.”
The equipment arrived in Mobile, Ala. earlier this month after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Additional preparations were made to ensure the equipment was protected: four large steel stands were custom-built and welded to the barge so that the equipment would travel securely.
After travelling along the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, the equipment arrived in Decatur, Tenn. The location, however, had not previously been used for barge access and advance groundwork was necessary.
Prior to the barge’s arrival, transportation specialists developed a strategy for preparing the area. New gravel and crane mats were added along the shoreline. This preparation offered additional protection to the riverbank, and minimized the possibility of damage to the barge.
“Safety and environmental protection are core components of all processes at WACKER,” said Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, vice president and site manager for WACKER POLYSILICON North America. “We take proactive steps to ensure every activity on our site is accomplished with the highest attention to environmental care and safety, therefore we have ensured the transportation of our equipment would be carried out with this same level of care.”
Two onshore machines gripped the barge on either side and pulled it in, allowing preparations for road transportation of the equipment to begin.
Engineering experts and transportation specialists reviewed the equipment’s route in advance, noting asphalt conditions and critical points such as road corners.
At no more than two mph, the equipment travelled through Decatur with these experts walking alongside it. Each expert carried a remote to make adjustments and alter the axles individually, ensuring the weight was evenly distributed and that the equipment would not be twisted.
“Every second someone is checking the machine and making sure the next step is possible,” said Ulrich Dankerl, project manager and lead logistics/engineering for the project. “This equipment cannot twist even slightly, therefore it is necessary to navigate uneven surfaces by continuously evaluating the height of each wheel.”
Two trailers were used to transport the equipment through Decatur and to the Charleston site. Both trailers had 13 axles—each connected to the trailer hydraulically—with eight wheels per axle; the weight of the equipment was dispersed over 26 axles and 208 wheels.
“This method of transportation offers less surface impact than a standard transportation trailer because the weight is more evenly distributed,” added Dr. Bachhuber. “Additionally, these trailers have rotating plates to allow for superior navigation; roads with turns and slopes were manageable.”Thursday, July 26 2012, 10:48 AM EDT
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Last Update on November 25, 2014 18:10 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, even faster than first reported, giving the country its strongest back-to-back quarters of growth in more than a decade.
The Commerce Department says the third quarter growth rate climbed from an initial estimate of 3.5 percent because of greater spending by consumers and businesses. The figure followed a 4.6 percent surge in the spring, which resulted in the biggest consecutive quarters of growth since 2003.
Analysts believe growth could slow to around 2.5 percent in the current quarter but then accelerate again in 2015. They expect growth of around 3 percent, representing a sustained acceleration in activity six years after the Great Recession.
PARIS (AP) -- A major international organization is calling on Europe to relax its fiscal rules and for governments to spend more money, saying Europe's sluggishness is dragging down the global economy.
Tuesday's report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a gathering of the world's richest countries, says Europe has consistently underperformed economically and risks remaining economically stagnant unless demand picks up. The report also calls for major reforms in Japan, saying its debt is unsustainable.
EU requirements that members keep budget deficits below 3 percent of GDP are coming under increasing pressure as the bloc's economy fails to pick up.
Germany, a fierce defender of the budget rules, was taken to task in the report, which called on the government to invest more in childcare and infrastructure.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A fresh survey finds U.S. consumer confidence down in November following a big gain in the previous month.
The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index fell to 88.7 in November, down from a seven-year high of 94.5 in October.
Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that the decline primarily reflects reduced optimism in the short-term outlook, as consumers expressed less confidence in current business conditions and the present state of the job market.
But she adds that expectations about future income remain virtually unchanged. With gas prices falling, this should help boost holiday sales.
NEW YORK FED-HOUSEHOLD DEBT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans are slowly but steadily borrowing more money, bringing to an end a five-year effort to cut household debt that has slowed consumer spending and the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says total household debt increased $78 billion in the July-September quarter to $11.7 trillion, led by rising mortgage and auto loans. That is the fourth increase in household debt in the past five quarters.
Total debt is still below the peak of nearly $12.7 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2008. But it has risen 5 percent since bottoming out in the second quarter of last year.
The sustained increase is a sign that Americans are more confident and willing to spend more, trends that could fuel faster economic growth.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in September at the slowest pace in more than two years, reflecting modest sales gains and a rising number of available homes.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 4.9 percent in September from 12 months earlier. But that's down from 5.6 percent in August and the smallest gain since October 2012.
Home price gains have slowed this year after rapid, double-digit increases in the previous two years. Investors helped drive the strong gains by bidding up prices but have started to cut back on their purchases.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The September figures are the latest available.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. bank earnings rose 7.3 percent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and continued to lend out more money, which help drive up revenue.
The data issued Thursday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed a robust picture as the banking industry continues to recover from the financial crisis that struck six years ago.
Banks and other financial institutions insured by the FDIC earned $38.7 billion in the third quarter, up from $36.1 billion a year ago. The percentage of unprofitable banks fell to 6.4 percent of institutions, versus 8.7 percent a year ago.
The agency said the number of "problem banks" fell to 329 during the quarter, the lowest since the first quarter of 2009. Only two insured banks failed last quarter.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thanksgiving could be the best day to shop all year.
An analysis of sales data and store circulars contradicts conventional wisdom that Black Friday is when shoppers can get the most and biggest sales of the year.
Turns out, shoppers will find more discounted items in stores that are open on Thanksgiving. An analysis of promotions for The Associated Press by researcher MarketTrack, for example, shows a total of 86 laptops and tablets deeply discounted as door buster deals at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others on the holiday compared with just nine on Black Friday.
And on the Web, discounts will be deeper on the holiday. Adobe, which tracks data on 4,500 retail web sites, finds online prices on Thanksgiving are expected to be about 24 percent cheaper compared with 23 percent on Black Friday and 20 percent on Cyber Monday.
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