MetalMiner’s Most-Read: Lynas, Molycorp in a Fight; Pickled Steel; Autodesk’s New Offerings

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Pickled...like the heavy gauge steel.

Pickled…like the heavy gauge steel.

Ok, so Lynas Corp. and Molycorp aren’t technically in a fight, and steel is not coming in the crunchy form of your grandmother’s classic dills, and Autodesk…well, Autodesk did announce new applications, so we’ve got nothin’ on that front…but the point is that these are the ties that bind the Best of MetalMiner: Thanksgiving 2014 Edition.

It’s definitely that time of year again: to look back at the most-read stories on MetalMiner over the last quarter or so.

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So back to that “fight” regarding Lynas and Molycorp…

1. Lifton vs Kingsnorth: Don’t Believe Lynas Corp, Molycorp Hype?

Celebrity Deathmatch Copyright: MTV

Celebrity Deathmatch Copyright: MTV

Our most-read story over the past three months focused on the “Celebrity Deathmatch” of sorts we dreamed up within the rare earth metals sector: that between renowned REE analysts Jack Lifton and Dudley Kingsnorth.

Although the best part of this may have been our shabby attempt at graphic artistry (or graphic-ripoff-under-guise-of-fair-use, take your pick), the core of the article rests on a very large point of contention in the rare earths analyst space – are the two major Western rare earths producers economical in pumping out their wares, while certain REEs (mostly the “lights”) are oversupplied globally and prices keep slipping overall? Read the full article here.

2. Pickled Steel Coils: Increasing Welding Productivity with Product Substitution

pickle-chipsBesides the fact that pickled steel coil has perhaps the most fun name of any product form, ferrous or otherwise, it serves as an excellent example in MetalMiner Executive Editor Lisa Reisman’s Six-Sigma-inflected exploration that kicks of with the following Big Questions:

“If you could experience a 20% gain in productivity within your welding operation with a switch in material – such as pickled heavy gauge steel – would you consider it? If you knew in advance that some of the world’s largest industrial manufacturers generated that kind of improvement via product substitution already, would that make you switch?”

Lisa, weaving in interviews with professionals from SFI, Steel Warehouse and Wrayco Industries, argues that many procurement folks look to closely to, say, piece part price, rather than considering a more holistic total cost of ownership approach, when it comes to sourcing materials that may hold productivity benefits. Read the full article here.

3. Autodesk Unveils New Sustainable Design Applications at Greenbuild

jeff-yoders-headshot-optimizedOur trusty construction industry correspondent, Jeff Yoders, reported from the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in the Big Easy, authoring a popular story about new Autodesk releases, including “3 new apps that help building and infrastructure project teams cost-justify sustainability strategies and 2 new apps that bring tighter integration between Building Performance Analysis (BPA) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows for Autodesk Revit and Autodesk FormIt, a mobile conceptual design application.”

Whew.

Besides the fact that Revit conjures Kermit the Frog’s preferred method of communication (if he weren’t anthropomorphized), and that FormIt sounds as though it should have a set of Silly Putty attached to quick-test the conceptual designs, most of these offerings sound fascinating. If you’re a construction professional, don’t hesitate to catch up on the tools that can help your workflow – and, by extension, improve facets of the procurement function. Read the full article here.

Check back with us for more Best Of MetalMiner this holiday season!

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