All You Need to Know About the Original Equipment Manufacturer

Although they are among the most important parties in computer manufacturing, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is often overlooked. The majority of people only see the final product and don’t understand the work that goes into producing computers, laptops, printers, etc. either.

In this article, we will shed some light on this process through the role of the OEM. First, we will identify OEM is and determine how they work. Then we will compare OEM to other parties such as aftermarket and ODM to provide further practical context.

Let’s get started!

What Does OEM Mean?

OEM stands for the original equipment manufacturer. So, the term is used to refer to companies that produce parts to be used by other companies to create larger-scale finished products.

For example, a company tasked with building an electrical train track may outsource the production of hardware for the track to an electrical OEM. That way, they can focus on the electrical side and software products, and use a specialist OEM to take care of the hardware.

Apart from electrical engineering, OEMs are common in industries such as computer manufacturing and the auto industry. This is typical because end products in these industries are made up of several different parts, as shown by the diagram below of an electric train.

what is OEM

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s take a closer look at how OEMs work.

How Do OEMs Work?

OEMs can operate in different ways. First of all, they can be hired by other companies on a freelance basis. For example, an engineering company working on a one-off job may require unique parts to complete the project. In that case, it makes sense to outsource the production of those parts to an OEM who will work on the project on a temporary basis.

On the other hand, an OEM may produce and sell some parts regularly. For example, a spark plug for a car is something that an auto-parts manufacturer would regularly produce. Companies can simply buy the parts like any other product. In some cases, an automatic order and invoice may be set up between the OEM and the purchasing company.

Finally, some companies hire OEM partners to produce parts for their end products as contract manufacturers. The OEM is paid to produce the parts and gets a share of the revenue on products they contribute to. Overall, it becomes more of a collaborative process. The OEM works with the partner company to manufacture a specific part for a larger scale project as opposed to selling a product that they already manufacture.

It is important to note that OEMs are not tied down to a single company. Depending on the size of the OEM they may partner with multiple companies on different types of projects.

Original Equipment Manufacturer vs. Aftermarket

It is important to understand the difference between OEM and other similar parties that provide parts for end products. First, let’s take a look at aftermarket manufacturers and establish how they differ from OEMs.

Aftermarket products are parts that can be used to replace parts manufactured by an OEM. The first difference to note is that aftermarket products are generic, meaning they can be used for a wide variety of similar products.

OEM versus aftermarket part

For example, a wire pulling compound designed to be compatible with all types of cables and conduits could be considered an aftermarket product. On the other hand, an OEM manufactures quality products for use as part of a specific end product, not for general use.

As they are generic, aftermarket products are also much cheaper than OEM products. Aftermarket products are also readily available, unlike OEM products. These differences are summed up perfectly in the graphic below in the context of the automotive industry.

Companies working on an end product with a fast-approaching deadline may resort to aftermarket products for a quick fix if an OEM product becomes obsolete. However, despite the convenience they provide, you may have to sacrifice quality by choosing to use aftermarket products.

As we mentioned earlier, aftermarket products are not designed for a specific product. So, in the long run, it may be best to solve the issue with the help of the OEM. Most OEM parts should have a warranty, so you can also save on production costs by going back to your OEM partner.

OEM vs ODM

ODM stands for original design manufacturer. It refers to a company that produced the initial design for a product.

As we know, an OEM manufactures products and sells them to other companies to be used in a larger-scale product. On the other hand, an ODM creates a product design and hires another company to manufacture the product using their product specifications.

OEM vs ODM

In summary, an ODM designs products and an OEM produces them. The graphic below sums up the difference nicely.

When purchasing parts in industries such as electrical engineering, it is critical to understand this distinction. If you are looking for a very specific type of part with specifications, you may need to consult an ODM to come up with a design for an original product.

It’s also worth noting that some companies may be an ODM and OEM rolled into one. If you can find a partner like this, it is probably the best scenario. You can cut out the middleman and collaborate on design and manufacturing with the same company.

In Closing

In summary, OEM stands for an original equipment manufacturer. OEMs can be very helpful. Outsourcing to OEMs is quite common, particularly in industries such as engineering and car manufacturing, where many individual parts make up the end product.

Depending on your business and the project you are working on you can hire an OEM on a freelance basis, or partner with them. In the long term, partnering is probably the best option, as you can regularly call on the OEMs’ expertise.

You should also keep in mind the differences between an OEM and both ODMs and aftermarket products. ODM stands for original design manufacturer while aftermarket products are cheaper, generic parts that can be used to replace OEM parts at short notice.

Keep these tips in mind when outsourcing. Good luck!

5 Sustainable Gardening Practices for a Greener Garden

There’s no question that there is quite a bit of buzz around organic and sustainable gardening along with permaculture. Everyone wants access to safe veggies, fruits and even eggs, which means that many of the older “Victorian” style practices of gardening and keeping animals and poultry are really making a comeback. There are more and more people practicing urban agriculture in backyards and vacant lots across the country.

If you are interested in joining this group of eco-conscious individuals, then be sure to implement the top sustainable gardening ideas found here.

1. Reduce the Size of Your Lawn

Rather than having your entire property covered in grass and plants, consider adding more hardscape fixtures as time passes. As you do this, you can minimize the upkeep, water, and other maintenance that your lawn needs. It will also minimize the tools that you need to care for your garden and make the use of smaller, more green hand tools, like the ones at Easy Digging, a viable option when it comes to caring for your lawn.

2. Gather Water On-Site

In the past, people would say that “rainwater does magic on plants.” This is a phrase that has some truth to it. There is nothing quite as effective as rainwater when it comes to encouraging your garden to grow. Rather than letting the water runoff your property before it can soak in, why not gather some and use it for your plants. This is a great way to reduce the amount of water that you have to use from public or drilled sources, thus helping with water conservation.

3. Create a Compost Pile

You can create your own compost pile by using non-meat kitchen scraps and other plant materials. When done properly, you can create rich black soil. Rather than putting grass clippings and leaves in your garbage, add them to your compost, too. If you don’t want to start this from scratch, you can purchase a “starter” compost pile and then add to it.

benefits-composting

4. Mulch with the Materials You Have Available

You can mulch with the materials that are readily available to you, such as wood chips, pine needles, and leaves. These are going to help keep the soil moist while enriching it and minimizing the presence of weeds. Avoid using cypress much because this is usually made from grinding and harvesting younger trees which is not a sustainable gardening method.

5. Use Native Plants

Only use the plants that are native to your area. This is going to help ensure they can grow with little intervention from you.

Are You Using Sustainable Gardening Practices?

As you can see, there are several ways you can make your gardening efforts more sustainable and more eco-friendly. Consider implementing the tips here and see how your property can flourish while you are still doing something good for the planet. It’s a win-win situation that will help you save time, money, and effort while still having a beautiful lawn.

Recycling of Lead-Acid Batteries: Perspectives

Lead-acid batteries are used on a mass-scale in all parts of the world for energy storage. Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and large amounts of lead. The acid is extremely corrosive and is also a good carrier for soluble lead and lead particulate. Lead is a highly toxic metal that produces a range of adverse health impacts particularly among young children.

lead-acid-battery-recycling

Exposure to excessive levels of lead can cause damage to brain and kidney, impair hearing; and lead to numerous other associated problems. On average, each automobile manufactured contains approximately 12 kilograms of lead. Around 96% lead is used in the common lead-acid battery, while the remaining 4% in other applications including wheel balance weights, protective coatings and vibration dampers.

Recycling Perspectives

Recycling of lead-acid batteries is a profitable business, albeit dangerous, in developing countries. Many developing countries buy used lead-acid batteries (also known as ULABs) from industrialized countries (and Middle East) in bulk in order to extract lead. ULAB recycling occurs in almost every city in the developing world where ULAB recycling and smelting operations are often located in densely populated urban areas with hardly any pollution control and safety measures for workers.

Usually ULAB recycling operations release lead-contaminated waste into the environment and natural ecosystems.  Infact, Blacksmith Institute estimates that over 12 million people are affected by lead contamination from processing of used lead acid batteries in the developing world, with South America, South Asia and Africa being the most affected regions.

Associated Problems

The problems associated with recycling of ULABs are well-documented and recognized by the industry and the Basel Convention Secretariat. As much of the informal ULAB recycling is small-scale and difficult to regulate or control, progress is possible only through cleanup, outreach, policy, and education.

For example, Blacksmith’s Lead Poisoning and Car Batteries Project is currently active in eight countries, including Senegal, the Dominican Republic, India, and the Philippines. The Project aims to end widespread lead poisoning from the improper recycling of ULABs, and consists of several different strategies and programs, with the most important priority being the health of children in the surrounding communities.

Lead poisoning, from improper recycling of used batteries, impacts tens of millions of people worldwide.

Lead poisoning, from improper recycling of used batteries, impacts tens of millions of people worldwide.

There is no effective means of tracking shipments of used lead-acid batteries from foreign exporters to recycling plants in developing world which makes it difficult to trace ULABs going to unauthorized or inadequate facilities.

The Way Forward

An effective method to reduce the hazards posed by trans-boundary movements of ULABs is to encourage companies that generate used lead batteries to voluntarily stop exporting lead batteries to developing countries. These types of voluntary restrictions on transboundary shipments can help pressure companies involved in recycling lead batteries in developing to improve their environmental performance. It may also help encourage policy makers to close the gaps in both regulations and enforcement capacity.

Another interesting way is to encourage regeneration of lead-acid batteries which can prolong its life significantly. The advantage of battery regeneration over regular recycling is the reduced carbon footprint incurred by mitigating the collecting, packing, shipping and smelting of millions of tonnes of batteries and their cases. Most importantly, it takes about 25kWh of energy to remake a 15Kg, 12V 70Ah battery and just 2.1KWh to regenerate it electronically.

Waste-to-Energy in India: An Interview with Salman Zafar

India’s waste-to-energy sector, which kicked off in 1987, is still searching for a successful role model, even after tens of millions of dollars of investment. In recent years, many ambitious waste-to-energy projects have been established or are being planned in different parts of the country, and it is hoped that things will brighten up in the coming years. Salman Zafar, CEO of BioEnergy Consult, talks to Power Today magazine on India’s tryst with waste-to-energy and highlights major challenges and obstacles in making waste-to-energy a success story in India.

waste-mountain

Power Today: What are the challenges that the Waste to Energy sector faces in the current scenario where there is a rejuvenated interest in clean energy? Do you think the buzz around solar and wind power has relegated the Waste to Energy sector to the back benches?

Salman Zafar: India’s experience with waste-to-energy has been lackluster until now. The progress of waste-to-energy sector in India is hampered by multiples issues including

  1. poor quality of municipal waste,
  2. high capital and O&M costs of waste-to-energy systems,
  3. lack of indigenous technology,
  4. lack of successful projects and failure of several ambitious projects,
  5. lack of coordination between municipalities, state and central governments,
  6. heavy reliance on government subsidies,
  7. difficulties in obtaining long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with state electricity boards (SEBs)
  8. lukewarm response of banks and financial institutions and (9) weak supply chain.

Waste-to-energy is different from solar (or wind) as it essentially aims to reduce the colossal amount of solid wastes accumulating in cities and towns all over India. In addition to managing wastes, waste-to-energy has the added advantage of producing power which can be used to meet rapidly increasing energy requirements of urban India.

In my opinion, waste-to-energy sector has attracted renewed interest in the last couple of years due to Swachch Bharat Mission, though government’s heavy focus on solar power has impacted the development of waste-to-energy as well as biomass energy sectors.

Power Today: India has a Waste to Energy potential of 17,000 MW, of which only around 1,365 MW has been realised so far. How much growth do you expect in the sector?

Salman Zafar: As per Energy Statistics 2015 (refer to http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/Energy_stats_2015_26mar15.pdf), waste-to-energy potential in India is estimated to be 2,556 MW, of which approximately 150 MW (around 6%) has been harnessed till March 2016.

The progress of waste-to-energy sector in India is dependent on resolution of MSW supply chain issues, better understanding of waste management practices, lowering of technology costs and flexible financial model. For the next two years, I am anticipating an increase of around 75-100 MW of installed capacity across India.

Power Today: On the technological front, what kinds of advancements are happening in the sector?

Salman Zafar: Nowadays, advanced thermal technologies like MBT, thermal depolymerisation, gasification, pyrolysis and plasma gasification are hogging limelight, mainly due to better energy efficiency, high conversion rates and less emissions. Incineration is still the most popular waste-to-energy technology, though there are serious emission concerns in developing countries as many project developers try to cut down costs by going for less efficient air pollution control system.

Power Today: What according to you, is the general sentiment towards setting up of Waste to Energy plants? Do you get enough cooperation from municipal bodies, since setting up of plants involves land acquisition and capital expenditure?

Salman Zafar: MSW-to-energy projects, be it in India or any other developing country, is plagued by NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) effect. The general attitude towards waste-to-energy is that of indifference resulting in lukewarm public participation and community engagement in such projects.

Government should setup dedicated waste-to-energy research centres to develop lost-cost and low-tech waste to energy solutions

Government should setup dedicated waste-to-energy research centres to develop lost-cost and low-tech waste to energy solutions

Lack of cooperation from municipalities is a major factor in sluggish growth of waste-to-energy sector in India. It has been observed that sometimes municipal officials connive with local politicians and ‘garbage mafia’ to create hurdles in waste collection and waste transport.

Supply of poor quality feedstock to waste-to-energy plants by municipal bodies has led to failure of several high-profile projects, such as 6 MW MSW-to-biogas project in Lucknow, which was shut down within a year of commissioning due to waste quality issues.

Power Today: Do you think that government policies are in tandem when it comes to enabling this segment? What policies need to be changed, evolved or adopted to boost this sector?

Salman Zafar: A successful waste management strategy demands an integrated approach where recycling and waste-to-energy are given due importance in government policies. Government should strive to setup a dedicated waste-to-energy research centre to develop a lost-cost and low-tech solution to harness clean energy from millions of tons of waste generated in India.

The government is planning many waste-to-energy projects in different cities in the coming years which may help in easing the waste situation to a certain extent. However, government policies should be inclined towards inclusive waste management, whereby the informal recycling community is not robbed of its livelihood due to waste-to-energy projects.

Government should also try to create favourable policies for establishment of decentralized waste-to-energy plants as big projects are a logistical nightmare and more prone to failure than small-to-medium scale venture.

How To Find Premium CBD Products Online

CBD is quickly becoming one of the most popular wellness trends of the decade. However, with so many different options, finding high-quality products that meet your needs and budget can take time. Many people turn to their friends for recommendations or even search Google for suggestions on where to buy CBD. But both methods are often unreliable due to personal bias or a lack of industry knowledge, which means you could purchase low-quality! I’ve created this guide: To help you find premium koi CBD products online in five easy steps.

tips to buy CBD products online

1. Purchase From a Reputable Vendor

When looking for a reputable vendor, they must know they’re reliable and trustworthy. You want to make sure that the company has a good reputation, too—that way, you’ll be able to trust their product and use it confidently.

Reputable vendors will offer warranties or guarantees on their products so that you don’t have to worry about paying for something that might not work as advertised. They also tend to be transparent in their business practices, such as providing information on where they source their CBD products and how they conduct quality control tests on those products before releasing them into the marketplace (if applicable). In addition, reputable vendors provide knowledgeable customer service agents who can answer any questions about their offerings by phone or email anytime during regular business hours.

2. Consider Your Source

To get the most out of your CBD experience, you must consider where you purchase your products. Unlike some supplements that you might buy at a grocery store or even online without much research, CBD is a relatively new phenomenon in the health and wellness space. As such, many people need help buying premium-quality CBD.

If you’re going to shell out any amount of money on CBD oil or other products that contain this substance (which is likely one of the best investments you can make for yourself), make sure it comes from a reputable source!

The first step towards finding a great product is researching its manufacturer or seller. Do they have any certifications? What are their reviews like? Are they selling synthetic THC? All these questions should be answered before purchasing anything—and if they aren’t, steer clear!

3. Research the Product

When you want to find the best CBD products online, research the product. Before you buy anything, know the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. If you need help finding a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on a product website, wait to buy it. Avoid buying anything that claims to cure everything from cancer to acne because these products are usually scams and contain harmful chemicals.

4. Look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA)

COAs should be readily available on the manufacturer’s website and show the results of tests on the product. These tests determine if there are any impurities in your CBD oil, how much CBD is present, and more. If you’re buying your products online, you want to ensure they have a COA from a third-party lab with clearly listed results.

Also look for an amount of CBD per milliliter or gram. If a company doesn’t list this information on their site or packaging materials, contact them directly to ask about it because knowing how much CBD is present in each serving size can help you gauge whether or not one bottle will last you long enough before running out again.

How does CBD affect us

5. Check Reviews Of The Website

You should also check reviews of the website. This can help you determine whether other customers have had a good experience with the company. Make sure you look at studies that are not too positive or negative, as these may not be genuine and could be fake reviews aimed at pushing sales. In addition to this, look for reviews that are specific to the product you are interested in.

For example, if you want CBD oil for pain relief, only consider reading through those reviews where people have purchased from the site and tried out their products before writing about it on third-party sites. Finally, make sure that you check how recently these posts were written to save you time reading through outdated posts which might no longer reflect current conditions at an online store .

Finding CBD products online can be easier than you think

Finding premium CBD products online can be easier than you think. There are many places to look, and finding a reputable vendor with high-quality products and a reasonable price is essential. You can also check for certificates of analysis (COA) for each product before purchasing to know precisely what you are buying from the vendor. This will ensure that your CBD oil is safe and effective for treating your ailments or health goals.

Use premium CBD products with proper quality assurance

To ensure that you are using a premium CBD product, you will need to look into quality assurance. The best way to do this is by checking the lab tests and certificates of authenticity. You should also check if it is full-spectrum CBD oil.

If you want to avoid taking any chances, ensure that your product has been tested by a third-party lab and has undergone rigorous testing procedures. This can help ensure that your CBD is safe for consumption and free of contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals.

Conclusion

It may seem like much work to find premium CBD products online, but it’s worth it. The world of CBD is new and exciting, with so many different options for consumers. You can make your life easier by finding reputable vendors with good customer service who sell high-quality products backed by scientific research.

And remember: no matter how much time you spend researching before making a purchase, there will always be something new! So don’t worry if you can’t find exactly what you want immediately; keep exploring until you find something great!

Zero Waste Trends to Watch

Most people have heard about concepts such as single-stream recycling, but there’s another approach known as zero waste. People who support the concept of zero waste agree that, in a broader sense, it means reducing dependence on landfills and increasing reliance on material recovery facilities. But, after that, the definition varies primarily based on industries, manufacturers and even entire countries.

Even so, there are inspiring trends that show how people and companies are working hard to reduce the amount of waste produced, thereby getting ever closer to that desirable zero benchmark. Below are some of the major trends taking place across the world in the field of zero waste:

Circular-Economy

More Reusable Packaging

We live in a world where it’s possible to order almost anything online and have it quickly arrive on a doorstep — sometimes the same day a person placed the order. And, society loves the convenience, but the dependence on delivered products causes an increase in packaging materials.

It is often astounding how many packing peanuts, layers of bubble wrap and cardboard cartons come with the things we buy. And, the manufacturers and shipping companies consistently bring up how boxes get dropped or otherwise mishandled during transit, making the extraordinary amounts of protective packaging products necessary.

packaging-LCA

Packaging that adorns your product can have serious environmental impact.

On a positive note, a company called Limeloop makes a shipping envelope designed from recycled billboard wrapping people can reuse thousands of times. Another company called Returnity communicates with distributors to urge them to use the establishment’s boxes and envelopes, both of which people can rely on dozens of times instead of throwing them away after single uses.

If you are a business looking to adopt eco-friendly practices, you should read this article on green packaging methods.

Ceramic Mugs in British Coffee Shops

In some regions of the world, customers who visit coffee shops don’t get asked whether they’ll be drinking their coffee on site or taking it with them to go. However, many leading coffee shops in the United Kingdom find out that detail from customers who order drinks, then serve the beverages in non-disposable mugs to people who’ll enjoy their purchases on the spot.

Also, all 950 Starbucks locations in Great Britain recently began charging customers five cents for getting their drinks in disposable cups. Conversely, it rewards them by taking 25 cents off the costs of their orders when they bring reusable cups into the stores.

Creative Ways to Cut Down on Farm Waste

Manure (or fertilizer) is a reality on farms around the world. And, the commercially bought versions of it contribute to excessive waste and inflated costs. Some even harm future growth when farmers apply manure too heavily and negatively affect the soil’s balance.

But, besides avoiding commercially-sold manure and not applying it excessively if used, what else can people in the agriculture sector do to make farm waste more manageable? They can look for unique outlets that may want to buy it.

Agriculture_Waste_Biogas

One startup uses a detailed manure-refining process to extract the cellulose from cow dung. Business representatives then use the cellulose — a byproduct from the grass and corn cows eat — for a new kind of fabric.

What about using animal waste for energy? A forward-thinking farmer did that with his manure lagoons, making them produce biogas that powers homes.

These unusual solutions highlight unconventional use cases for animal droppings, such as poultry litter, that support zero-waste goals, provided farmers want to explore them.

An Uptick in Reusable Food Containers

People often pack their lunches in plastic containers before heading off to work, but when they get food delivered or pick it up from a provider to eat at home later, the associated containers usually fill up garbage cans after people chow down.

Some facilities are trying to change that. At The University of California Merced campus, a pilot program occurred where students who stopped by dining halls for meals to take away brought reusable containers with them. After people ate the food from them, they could return them to get washed and ready for future meals.

Moreover, a pizza restaurant in Wales provides an aluminum box for people to use again and again when taking their pies home. One of the problems with cardboard pizza containers is they can’t be recycled when contaminated with grease. However, people can buy the metal ones for a small, one-time fee.

Opt for reusable containers for food and beverages

Then, by using them, they get 50-cent discounts on their pizza. The restaurant also backs the boxes with a lifetime guarantee and will replace them for no charge if necessary due to breakage or damage. Also, because metal conducts heat, the material helps pizza stay hotter for longer than it would in cardboard boxes.

Innovations to Complement Commitment

Adhering to a zero waste lifestyle undoubtedly requires dedication and a willingness to look beyond old habits. However, for people who show those characteristics, numerous inventions and improvements make it easier to do away with the throw-away culture.

How Do CDNs Work?

Why do “heavy” multi-page portals with a lot of graphic and video content sometimes open faster than sites with several pictures per page? A high resource loading speed often indicates that the site uses CDN.

benefits of CDN

Data transfer at maximum speed

In simple terms, CDN hosting is a network infrastructure with a distributed platform base that is intended to reduce content delivery time.

That is, it is a group of specially configured servers located in different geopoints. Platforms function as nodes, allowing data to be rapidly downloaded to nearby users. As a result, large CDN with surrounding information centers can significantly reduce the load time of remote sites.

The usual scheme for transferring data on the Internet (without using CDN) is implemented in such a way that all users receive information directly from a specific info center, which can be located arbitrarily far away.

CDN, on the other hand, allows you to download data instantly, within seconds. It makes no difference where the source platform is located.

Which websites should use CDN technology

The target clients of CDN providers are primarily portals with an abundance of heavy static info and streaming services. The speed of loading resources in this case seriously affects the experience of users who, in case of a serious slowdown, will simply leave the “slowing down” site or service. Speeding up web resources with heavy data is very important not only to attract an audience but also to maintain user loyalty.

Benefits of cooperation

An expert in content delivery is G-Core Labs. Turning to us, you do not need to worry about all the technical details and subtleties of settings. We will connect this service to your site and take care of its correct operation.

Thanks to the developments that we have been using for more than a year, we have been able to automate and make our product more accessible to customers.

We provide our clients with:

  • Complete automation when dealing with virtual dedicated info-centers, including management and gathering statistics on server resource use.
  • Possibility to install any operating system.

A paid hosting plan provides time for a free trial period, which you can always use before paying for the service.

How to Protect Transgender Employees in the Workplace

When you think about workplace safety, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s being issued protective equipment to reduce injury, processes to report employer misconduct, or a clear and concise evacuation plan in the event of a fire or other emergency.

For many of us, feeling safe at work is something we’ve become accustomed to and may take for granted. But for others, especially members of minority groups and the LGBTQ community, workplace safety can feel like an afterthought.

This is certainly true for transgender individuals. Transgender – or trans – is the term used for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. Some trans people identify as trans men or trans women; others describe themselves using descriptive terms including non-binary, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, agender, or bigender. One in three Americans know someone who is transgender – these are our friends and family members, our neighbors, our peers, and our colleagues.

transgender employees

Challenges Facing The Transgender Community

The trans community faces tremendous stigma in society, and discrimination against transgender people is all too common in school settings and the workplace. The Center for America Progress notes that “90 percent of transgender workers report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job” due to their gender identity. This includes being overlooked or fired from a job, having received a negative performance review or been denied a promotion, or verbally or physically abused.

Employers should familiarize themselves with the challenges facing their trans employees. Doing so can help ensure employers are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws established to help protect the trans community, but also with the goal of creating a healthy workplace environment for all.

1. Gender Dysphoria

Some trans people might experience something called gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria refers to the discomfort and distress felt among individuals whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. This condition can become debilitating and interfere with day-to-day activities. Mind Diagnostics offers a confidential test that may be helpful when looking to determine if you’re experiencing gender dysphoria. Based on the results, you can work with your doctor to help manage your feelings.

2. Violence

The rate of discrimination against trans people at the workplace is staggering, and stigma and harassment are also rampant in society. In some cases, harassment can become violent and even life-threatening. According to Human Rights Campaign, the rate of violence perpetrated against trans people is more severe than that against the average person. The majority of transgender people have experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and 47% have been sexually assaulted. Nearly 30 trans and gender non-conforming people were violently killed in 2020.

3. Lack of Healthcare Coverage

The U.S. healthcare system falls short when it comes to serving the trans community. Human Rights Campaign Foundation data shows 22% of trans people and 32% of trans people of color live without health insurance and 29% have been refused healthcare because of their gender identity.

4. Poverty

Studies show that 29% of trans adults live in poverty, and this figure increases for trans people in the Black, Latinx, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Americans, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

Workplace Discrimination Against Transgender People Is Illegal

The Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that federal law prohibits anti-transgender discrimination in the workplace (Bostock v. Clayton County). Yet, more work is needed to ensure all employees are properly protected.

The National Center for Transgender Equality offers helpful information about transgender rights and the avenues transgender individuals can pursue should they be discriminated against at work. In summary:

  • Federal law makes it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, harass, or otherwise discriminate due to gender identity, gender transition, sex assigned at birth, or transgender status.
  • Trans people have a right not to be fired or refused a job or promotion because they are transgender.
  • Severe or widespread sex-based harassment is unlawful when an employer does not take steps to stop it. Harassment may include jokes or derogatory comments, intentional misuse of names or pronouns, and invasive or disrespectful personal questions.
  • Trans people have the right to safe and adequate access to restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.
  • Employers cannot prohibit or force a trans person from disclosing their transgender status or gender identity, nor can they disclose someone’s transgender status without consent.

7 Key Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Home Solar Panels

Installing solar panels in homes is becoming more popular due to increase in the efficiency and availability of solar panels, besides the public concern for environmental preservation. According to experts, “green” energy should eventually replace the traditional sector of the world economy. Solar panels for the home combines several modules of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electrical energy.

different surveys when building a new home

The excess energy generated by solar panels during the day is stored and used when needed. Batteries can be used as a backup power source in the absence of a centralized power supply. They allow significant cost savings when utility rates are too high. For example, the price of residential electricity in 2022 averages 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up 6.1% from 20211.

Solar energy accounts for 3.7% of global electricity production and this figure will steadily increase over time2. According to statistics, every second buyer of solar panels is interested in purchasing them in addition to the system already working in the house. These energy sources are a long-term and significant investment in home improvement. Therefore, the service life of a home solar panel is an important factor for manufacturers and buyers. Manufacturers must ensure that their products are reliable and durable.

Most homeowners prefer power system brands that supply the best solar batteries with a guarantee of reliability and durability. The service life of home energy storage is 5 to 15 years. Solar panels are made from recyclable materials with a guarantee of their operation for 25 years. They can be replaced after the warranty period of use.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Home Solar Panel

The service life of solar panels is an important factor for both manufacturers and owners. It shows how the modules are durable, reliable and make it easy to produce power when needed. The lifespan of solar energy storage devices is affected by the following factors:

1. Degradation of panels (gradual loss of efficiency of modules)

The duration of their operation depends on the degradation factor of the solar energy storage. This indicator is influenced by the manufacturability and quality of the manufacturer’s products. The best manufacturers estimate the annual power loss of the solar panel in the amount of 0.8-1%. This guarantees the buyer that in 20-25 years his solar installation will produce at least 80-85% of the originally installed power rating per year of production.

2. Features of the operation of the solar battery

The life span of a solar panel depends on the cycle of use. The solar panel is a deep cycle unit that can discharge up to 80% of stored energy before recharging. Batteries charge level depends on characteristics such as model and size, which increase their potential. When buying a device, you should pay attention to the manufacturer’s depth of discharge (DoD): the larger it is, the longer the battery will last.

solar energy diy

3. The impact of adverse environmental factors

The relevant environmental factors include difference in night and day temperatures, the influence of ultraviolet radiation, overheating in the daytime, strong gusts of wind. When the air temperature rises, the material of the battery expands, and when the ambient temperature drops, it contracts. Such a temperature difference leads to the formation of microcracks on the panel, which reduces its performance. The air temperature and excessive ultraviolet radiation eventually destroy the hermetic elements of the module, causing loss of their elasticity and mechanical damage.

4. Properties of the material from which the module is made

Polycrystalline systems wear out more than mono crystalline modules. The payback period for batteries made from polycrystalline modules is much faster. However, they also require replacement faster after 25 years of operation. This is especially true for solar panels of the middle and low price segment. Therefore, polycrystalline modules are not recommended to buy and install.

5. Type of solar battery

According to the chemical composition, lead-acid, lithium-ion, salted (with sea water) batteries are distinguished. Among them, lithium-ion panels are characterized by greater depth of discharge (DoD), durability, lightness and compactness3.

6. Heating temperature of the solar battery

The battery pack lasts longer in moderate ambient temperatures. In this case, it is better to install it on the roof of the house. At low temperatures, the battery will work fine if it is operated in a garage or basement. The higher the air temperature, the more the solar panels power generation performance decreases in summer.

7. Quality assurance and regular maintenance of the solar battery

They play a leading role in ensuring the durability of the device. Manufacturers must guarantee the performance and life expectancy of a solar power system. Regular maintenance always costs less than replacing or buying a new battery. For example, maintenance of a battery costs between $150 and $300 per year, but you can spend $100 to $3,200 to repair it4.

In addition to these factors, the performance of a solar station is affected by the presence of a shadow, the orientation and angle of inclination of the batteries, the quality of design and installation work carried out by the installer. When choosing a contractor who will mount your station, you should contact companies with experience in the field of solar energy. A professional installation company will offer you solar energy system maintenance and repair service.

How to extend the life of solar panels

The owner of a home power plant himself can extend the life of solar energy system if he observes the following rules:

  • timely cleaning of panels after snow sticking to them;
  • avoid damage or scratches to the module;
  • protection from strong winds by barrier structures;
  • regular cleaning of panels from dirt and dust with water from a hose;
  • continuous battery charging, as a battery that is not charged for a long time wear out prematurely;
  • regulation of the optimal number of batteries in the solar system, which contributes to its uniform charging.

The solar company Aion.solar offers a full range of services from materials for the production of home energy systems to their installation. Convince yourself of the efficiency and quality of home solar installations offered by this company.

Novelties from the South Korean Game Industry for 2022/23

The gamer community keeps a close eye on the iconic events in the industry to keep abreast of all the latest news and trends. One such major annual event took place on November 17-20 in South Korea. G-Star 2022 provided a glimpse into the immediate future of the gaming industry as South Korea is one of the top five global game makers. The Game Karma platform selects the best gaming products from the world’s famous providers. The results of the G-Star 2022 exhibition promise a very intriguing replenishment of its game library.

What to expect from South Korean Game Industry in 2023

The Scale of the Event

The significance of the exhibition held by the Korea Game Industry Association this year was strengthened because of the opportunity for gamers to gather in a common non-virtual space. The last two years of Covid-19 restrictions made holding such a large-scale event offline impossible. However, in 2022, representatives of almost 1,000 companies from 43 countries of the world took part in the exhibition, placing their products on almost 3,000 stands.

Even if you are the most desperate fan of online games, it was almost impossible to explore all these stands in one day! Therefore, the event took place within 4 days and was covered on the G-STAR TV channel with almost 1 million viewers.

What to Expect in the Near Future from the Leading Game Providers?

1. WeMade

The main sponsor of the exhibition was the leading Korean gaming company WeMade. It presented two of the most anticipated games to gaming fans.

  • “Legend of Ymir” is based on Norse mythology and promises breathtaking majestic scenes with large-scale battles.
  • “Night Crows” is another promising game inspired by Medieval Europe. It will simultaneously be able to host thousands of players, conducting global battles in the air or on the ground.

2. Nexon

Nexon Korea presented as many as 9 new games for fans, 4 of which could be viewed right at the exhibition on a specially equipped platform with computers. Among the most expected games are:

  • “Mabinogi Mobile” is a fantasy MMORPG game made in animation style. It gives the possibility of creating and developing your own world and interacting with other game participants.
  • “Dave the Diver” is a nautical-themed RPG featuring an intriguing Blue Hole that promises incredible adventures.
  • The First Descendant: Return” is a game aimed at fans of shooters and quests, who will find here both one and the other in abundance.

The Advantage of Multiplatform Game Product

Fans of online games no longer have to worry about having a limited budget for purchasing expensive gaming equipment. Since the competition among game providers is high, they strive to bring their products as close as possible to the end consumer. To do this, they release games that can be played not only on consoles but also online on PCs and mobile devices.

The Game Karma platform closely monitors all gaming events in the world to offer its users the most exciting games. The Asia-Pacific region shows very high dynamics in the gaming market. It is ready to delight and surprise fans of online games around the world. Register on the Game Karma platform, and you will be the first to try all new games!