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Weiss joins Siemens; Vectron joins Bonfiglioli

01 August, 2001

Siemens Automation & Drives has taken a majority interest in the German motor spindle specialist, Weiss. The company, which was hived off from the ball-bearing supplier FAG in 1993, has joined Siemens` Motion Control Systems division.

Weiss employs 190 people and had sales worth €30m (£18.5m) last year, making it one of Europe`s largest motor spindle manufacturers.

Siegfried Weiss, the former managing director, will continue to run the company. He sees the Siemens takeover as "the right step into the future," and thinks that the business will integrate "very well" into Siemens` motion control activities.

Siemens sees the machine tools industry as a key market and hopes that the acquisition will help it to tap into the trend for machine tool drives to move from belt systems to motor spindles. Siemens claims to be a clear market leader in the European machine tools market, and says it is now the second-largest global supplier, with around 23% of the business.

In a separate deal, the Italian gear and gearmotor manufacturer, Bonfiglioli, has bought the German drives-maker, Vectron Elektronik. The move is designed to boost Bonfiglioli`s presence in the inverter market which is growing by about 8% a year. It has been predicted that by the end of this year, 62% of companies that are not already using inverters with their motors or gearmotors, are likely to start doing so.

Vectron, which was formed in 1986, has 51 employees. Its company structure and management team will not be affected by the takeover.

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