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Month: February 2009

President’s Budget Targets Our Aging Electrical Grid

President’s Budget Targets Our Aging Electrical Grid

President Obama's proposed new budget was just unveiled, and true to his word he's included modernizing the electrical grid as part of his proposed overhaul of the nation's infrastructure. For example, on pages 22-23: Modernize the Electric Grid. We know that the existing electricity grid today is insufficient and outdated. In order to bring significant amounts of renewable energy online, tens of thousands of miles of new, high-voltage national transmission is necessary. For example, Read more [...]
A Buyer’s Market, Sort of

A Buyer’s Market, Sort of

The banks remain the topic du jour as economists and policymakers debate stress testing, nationalization (pro and con), and the zombie apocalypse. We'll take a break from these topics and focus on the sector that propagated much of the mess in the first place: housing. In a previous post I indicated some housing market indicators might be approaching a bottom. New data released this week suggested this may not be the case, with house prices once again plumbing the depths nationwide. While the Read more [...]
Small Businesses Getting Some New Attention

Small Businesses Getting Some New Attention

Nice "shout out" by our friends at the Electrical Trends blog.  Allen Ray (Allen Ray Associates) and Dave Gordon (Channel Marketing Group) were among a half-dozen guest speakers who spoke to a group of our small electrical manufacturers -- see their rehash of the Small Manufacturers Forum on February 23. NEMA has in its membership among the largest and best-known electrical manufacturing companies in the country, but the majority of its members are actually small companies. Read more [...]
Healthcare Information Technology (IT) – Challenges and Opportunities in 2009 and Beyond

Healthcare Information Technology (IT) – Challenges and Opportunities in 2009 and Beyond

The Economic Stimulus Package, contained within the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), is a hugely important domestic initiative. Within ARRA is a $19,200,000,000 appropriation for implementation of healthcare information technology (HIT) including $2,000,000,000 for infrastructure. A major domestic priority of the new administration, and one of the major goals of the legislation, is to implement electronic health records (EHR) for all Americans by 2014, and accelerate Read more [...]
"Card Check" Bad for Small Business, Too

"Card Check" Bad for Small Business, Too

Proponents of the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA) have sworn that the bill's provisions - allowing unions to be formed when a majority of employees sign authorization cards (often in the presence of their coworkers and union organizers) and forcing employers and employees into mandatory binding arbitration - will not apply to America's small businesses. But here is what they don't tell you - EFCA does not contain any specific exemptions for small firms. In an editorial Read more [...]
A Good Read on Smart Grid

A Good Read on Smart Grid

Very good report just released by ISO New England on smart grid policies, initiatives, and needs. For those searching for information on this issue, this provides a thorough overview.  And whad'ya know, NEMA's mentioned on the first page (the Executive Summary, no less!) -- A fundamental assertion of the EISA Smart Grid is that the existing transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure is capable of delivering greater efficiencies, and simply adding more generators Read more [...]
Tough Times

Tough Times

Even as the new administration rolls out the dough from the stimulus package, offers up an outline to a new financial system rescue and proposes a program to stem the tide of foreclosures, U.S. manufacturers are in the midst of their worst run in decades. So far, industrial production has dropped 13 percent since the current recession started at the end of 2007, marking the largest overall decline in factory output since the recessions of the late 1950s and early 1970s (see chart below). With broader Read more [...]
Billions of Dollars for Energy-Efficient and Smart Grid Technologies

Billions of Dollars for Energy-Efficient and Smart Grid Technologies

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill, which aims to rejuvenate the struggling U.S. economny.  Within this bill were many NEMA-supported provisions.  For the past several months, NEMA met with President Obama's staff and Hill staff to secure funding for NEMA's priority programs.  The bill contains billions of dollars that will benefit NEMA members.  A quick rundown of the NEMA-advocated provision are; $4.5 billion for smart grid related Read more [...]
Miscellaneous Dogs and Cats

Miscellaneous Dogs and Cats

This is another one of those “Amazing Fact” kind of stories about the DICOM* Standard.    If a hospital is going to take an X-ray (or MR or CT or Ultrasound scan) of a patient, we expect them to keep a record of the patient’s name and, probably, some identifying number.  They’ll want to know when the procedure was performed, who performed it, who requested it, where to send the results, and a lot of other things.  The DICOM Standard prescribes a very specific way of keeping Read more [...]
The Next Shoe to Drop

The Next Shoe to Drop

So far the big news in real estate remains the depression-esque performance of the housing market. And with good reason, since the plunge in housing prices and surge in foreclosures has precipitated much of the economic mess we are now in. However, the commercial side of the real estate market is emerging as another area of concern. To date, most of the pain has been felt on the transaction and financing side of commercial real estate deals as data show industrial, office and lodging construction Read more [...]