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28 May, 2022

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Ethernet/IP neck and neck with Profinet in networking stakes

26 May, 2022

Profinet and Ethernet/IP are now the front-runners in the industrial networking market, with each holding 17% of the global market, according to the latest annual survey conducted by HMS Networks. Profinet has slipped slightly (from 18%) over the past year, while Ethernet/IP has maintained its market share. But both face a potential challenge from EtherCat which has raised its share of the market from 8% to 11% over the past year. Modbus-TCP has grown slightly from 5% to 6%.


Cyberattack victim Pilz creates industrial security service

23 May, 2022

In October 2019, the Germany machinery safety specialist Pilz was hit by devastating ransomware cyberattack which knocked out its production, IT and Web systems for months in some cases. The company, which refused to pay the ransom, had to revert to using phones and whiteboards. “It almost killed us,” admits joint managing partner, Thomas Pilz. But “we fought back,” he adds. “It was wake-up call.”


Schneider ‘in talks to sell’ Telemecanique arm for around $1bn

19 May, 2022

Schneider Electric is talking to several potential buyers of its Telemecanique automation and control activities, according to the Bloomberg news service. It says that the business, which could be sold for around $1bn, has attracted interested from several private equity firms as well as the connectors and sensors manufacturer, Amphenol.


Service identifies motors that could save most energy

11 May, 2022

ABB has launched a digital service that will help industrial operators to maximise their energy efficiency and boost their sustainability by identifying motor-driven equipment in their facilities with the biggest energy-saving potential. The ABB Ability Digital Powertrain Energy Appraisal service will draw data from fleets of digitally-connected electric motors and VSDs (variable-speed drives) to show where – and how much – energy can be saved by upgrading to the latest high-efficiency technologies. The users can then make data-driven decisions to prioritise their investments.


Slotless motor maker ThinGap merges with Allied Motion

10 May, 2022

ThinGap, the Californian manufacturer of zero-cogging slotless motors, is merging with Allied Motion Technologies, the US group that designs and produces precision motion products for the global market. The terms of the merger have not been revealed.


PI invests $60m to boost production and ease supply chains

09 May, 2022

The precision motion control specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) is investing almost $60m in locations around the world to boost productivity, expand production capacity and optimise its supply chains. The German-headquartered company is focussing on growth markets such as industrial automation, semiconductors, photonics and life sciences.


Global survey reveals industry plans to invest in efficiency

04 May, 2022

Almost two thirds (65%) of industrial companies around the world are planning to upgrade the efficiency of their equipment to best-in-class technologies such as high-efficiency motors and variable-speed drives as they attempt to move towards net-zero emissions, according to a new survey carried out in 13 countries for ABB.


On-line market links buyers and sellers of industrial spares

03 May, 2022

A British start-up is helping companies to sell items from their stock of surplus spares to others who are looking for particular components. The Web-based business, called Machine Compare Marketplace, is operating globally to link sellers and buyers of surplus stock including industrial controls, sensors, relays, connectors, switches and mechanical components such as bearings, brakes, gears and couplings.


Timken buys Spinea to boost robotics and automation portfolio

03 May, 2022

The US bearings and power transmission manufacturer The Timken Company is buying the Slovakian company Spinea, which manufactures cycloidal reduction gears and actuators aimed at precision automation and robotics applications. Details of the transaction have not been released.


SKF and Amazon join forces to ‘re-invent’ machine reliability

28 April, 2022

SKF and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced a collaboration to “re-invent” the field of industrial machine reliability and predictive maintenance. They plan to deliver an easy-to-use and easy-to-scale condition-monitoring and analysis package that will make the ability to collect and analyse data using ML (machine learning) technologies available to more applications and users.


Amazon makes creating digital twins ‘faster and easier’

26 April, 2022

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a service that, it says, will make it faster and easier for anyone to create digital twins of real-world systems such as factories, industrial equipment and production lines. Digital twins are virtual representations of physical systems that use real-world data to mimic the structure, state and behaviour of the objects they represent, and can be updated with new data as conditions change.


Nidec invests $80m to take lead in strainwave gears

19 April, 2022

The Japanese motion engineering giant Nidec is investing 10 billion yen (around $80m) to double the size of a manufacturing facility in the Philippines where it produces gear reducers – especially, strainwave gears. It is aiming to double its sales of these products to 100 billion yen ($800m) by 2025, thus overtaking the current global market-leader in these technologies, Harmonic Drive Systems, which is also based in Japan.


Cobot sales set to surge as ROIs come down to 2-3 years

19 April, 2022

Sales of collaborative robots (cobots) will grow by 20–30% a year in the period to 2025/2026 – faster than previously predicted – according to new projections by Interact Analysis. It also reports that the average ROI (return on investment) on cobots has come down from five years to just two to three.


Danfoss-Semikron merger creates power electronics giant

04 April, 2022

The power semiconductor manufacturers Semikron and Danfoss Silicon Power are merging to create a joint business focusing on power semiconductor modules for use in variable-speed drives and other applications such as electric vehicle chargers and renewable energy power converters. With a workforce of more than 3,500, the new Semikron-Danfoss will be owned by the current owner-families of Semikron and the Danfoss Group, with Danfoss being the majority shareholder. They say they plan to invest “significantly” in innovation, technology, and capacity with the aim of at least doubling the size of the business within five years.


Mitsubishi announces plans for $110m automation plant

28 March, 2022

Mitsubishi Electric has announced plans to invest about 13 billion yen ($110m) to build a new factory to produce FA (factory automation) products in Japan. It has acquired 42,000m2 site in Owariasahi City, near its main FA plant in Nagoya, for the new factory which is due to come on stream in April 2025.


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