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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Many businesses will not survive the 3D Printing revolution – start adapting now!

So-called 3D Printing describes the manufacture of a three dimensional object from raw material inputs by a machine, as directed by a design program. That is without the intervention of human labour, except to set up the machine and ensure the raw material is supplied.

The term is used because the operation is similar to the type of printing with which we are familiar. To print a document (a two dimensional product) we set up a machine (printer) with paper and ink, and then send it a computer generated program (software code) based on a document we have designed on-screen. The result is a physical output produced from a design input, albeit in two dimensions. 3D Printing works on the same principle.

The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed. (William Ford Gibson)

By way of a quick introduction to this aspect of the future please view the concluding three minutes of the BBC Hard Talk interview with Ms Fu Ping via this link….

Ping Fu: 3D Printing is 'as big as the internet'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9788066.stm

In the linked article Arnold Geelhoed discusses what 3D Printing will mean for some of the industries likely to be affected. His comments should alert Credit Executives everywhere to the significant implications this disruptive technology will have for credit risk assessment.

The article is made available with the kind permission of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), via this link: http://www.barrettwells.co.uk/3DPrintingBCJulAug13AGeelhoed.pdf

The industries that Mr Geelhoed highlights in the article are listed below with a brief paraphrase of his comments under each heading.

Transport and Packaging:
When printing (manufacturing) products at home or at a nearby specialised facility becomes commonplace, the packaging and transportation of many finished products will no longer be required. Only the bulk delivery of raw materials, such as chemicals or metals, will be required.

Waste Processing and Disposal:
Production of product that is subsequently not purchased will be avoided; hence fewer wasted finished products will be produced. Used and discarded printed products will be easily recycled to provide raw material for new product to be printed.

Retail and Distribution:
Product designs will be produced and made available through on-line outlets such as Amazon, to be downloaded directly into the printer and manufactured immediately. Therefore the wholesale distribution and retail sectors will be seriously negatively affected; a large portion will disappear.

Warehouses:
The demand for warehouse space will shrink dramatically.

Manufacturing:
Massive job losses will be incurred, vast quantities of machinery will be idled, and many hectares of manufacturing building and real estate will lie fallow or have to be redeployed.

Marketing and Advertising:
Designers will advertise direct to the consumer via the internet.

Designers, Chemists and Nano-Technologists:
Creators, innovators and engineers will be ‘the new heroes’ (as Mr Geelhoed describes) providing the designs and the materials required to make 3D Printing (local manufacturing of single items) a cost effective and practical reality for many millions of people. The branch of Nano-Technology that is referred to here is that which involves the creation of new materials by manipulating the atomic structure of existing substances, such as carbon.

Mr Geelhoed concludes:

“I believe that this new technology is going to dramatically change the world in many and varied ways. It could mean a cleaner environment, due to less fuel required to transport goods …, as well as less waste from packaging. ….whole chains between manufacturer and consumer will disappear.

Working in credit management will be very exciting, challenging and will require a lot of adjustment in order to monitor the new risks…”

A brief survey of other 3D Printing developments indicates that the implications are much more widespread. Other industries will be affected; employment patterns will be significantly disrupted even in the construction sector. Please view the 12 minute linked presentation to learn about machines being developed to manufacture homes in 20 hours without the need for plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, stonemasons and general low skilled labourers.

3D Printer can build a house in 20 hours
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnzfGP6sq4

The following article published by the Mail Online is also relevant:

3D Printed Room looks like the beautiful interior of a Cathedral
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2425446/3D-printed-ROOM-looks-like-beautiful-interior-cathedral.html

These reports may also be of interest:

‘US space agency NASA announces it will launch a 3D Printer into space next year to test the feasibility of making spare parts in zero-gravity.’ BBC News – Technology Report on September 30, 2013:

NASA plans first 3D Printer space launch in 2014
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24329296


Bastian Schaefer: A 3D-Printed jumbo jet? (six minutes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oQY0uC52jY


To conclude on a lighter note, watch this video presentation:

3D Food Printer Will Start with Pizza (three minutes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qva7uOjbWrQ


BarrettWells

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Oman and Brent Crude Oil Markets explained

OMAN CRUDE OIL MARKET

A new article titled “DME Oman Crude Oil Futures (OQD)” that clearly identifies the credit risks involved and covers all important points related to this market, has been posted on BarrettWells.co.uk, see: http://www.barrettwells.co.uk/OmanCrudeMarket.html

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange’s OQD contract is becoming the crude oil pricing benchmark for the Asian market, displacing the Dubai Crude Oil Futures contract. It is important to understand the credit risk implications of trading in these and the associated OTC Oman Crude Oil Contracts.

BRENT CRUDE OIL MARKET

An updated article titled “25 Day BFOEs - Understanding the related Credit Risk” that clearly identifies the credit risks involved and covers all important points related to this market, has been posted on BarrettWells.co.uk, see: http://www.barrettwells.co.uk/25daybfoes.html

ICE Brent Crude Futures and 25 Day BFOE (Brent-Forties-Oseberg-Ekofisk) Forward contracts create the basis for the determination of the cost of more than 65% of the crude oil bought and sold in the world. However the jargon and processes related to the wider Brent Futures and BFOE market are not easy to unravel. Understanding the credit risk implications is even more challenging. This article clearly covers all important points.

BarrettWells