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22 June, 2024

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First speed-controlled MV motor is ‘new way of creating motion’

13 June, 2024

ABB has announced what it describes as the world’s first speed-controlled medium-voltage motor, claiming that it represents “a new way of converting electricity into motion”. The system – called MV Titanium – combines a 1-5MW MV motor with a frequency converter in one package. It is designed to power loads such as pumps, compressors and fans, reducing the need for equipment such as transformers, switchgear and MV motor cables, and cutting infrastructure costs. It is aimed at both retrofit and new applications, and could cut energy use by up to 40%, paying for itself in less than a year in some applications.


More than 500,000 robots shipped in 2023 as prices fell

10 June, 2024

More than 500,000 industrial robots were shipped globally in 2023, according to a new report from Interact Analysis. This was a similar level to 2022, but the average price of industrial robots dropped last year, following two years of rising prices.


Siemens, Rockwell and others adopt AI technologies

04 June, 2024

The chip-maker Nvidia has announced a series of tie-ups with industrial automation suppliers including Siemens, Rockwell Automation, Teradyne Robotics (which owns Universal Robots and MiR), the Chinese industrial giant and car-maker BYD, and Intrinsic, the software and AI robotics subsidiary of Alphabet/Google. Nvidia says that the collaborations could lead to tens of millions of AI-powered autonomous machines being deployed around the world.


Cobot sales hit $1bn and will grow faster than 20%

03 June, 2024

Global revenues from sales of collaborative robots (cobots) exceeded $1bn during 2023, despite demand recovering more slowly than expected after the Covid pandemic, according to new data from Interact Analysis. It predicts the market will see a 22% increase in shipments during 2024 and expects growth rates to exceed 20% every year in the period to 2028.


USB devices pose a major cyberthreat to OT systems

30 May, 2024

Cyberattacks targeting industrial sites are getting more advanced and more frequent according to the latest edition of Honeywell’s annual USB Threat Report. It also shows that more than half (51%) of malware attacks on OT (operational technology) systems are designed to be injected via removable media such as USB memory sticks. The report reveals that the number of targeted attacks via USB devices has increased nearly six-fold from the 9% it recorded in 2019.


Rockwell warns users to check ICS Internet links ‘immediately’

24 May, 2024

Rockwell Automation has issued a security notice urging all of its customers to take “IMMEDIATE” action to assess whether they have industrial control devices facing the public Internet and, if so, to remove that connectivity “urgently” for devices not specifically designed for public Internet connectivity. It says it is issuing the advice “due to heightened geopolitical tensions and adversarial cyberactivity globally”.


Battery Ventures buys sensor and safety switch maker, steute

20 May, 2024

Battery Ventures, a technology-focused investment firm, is buying steute Technologies, the German manufacturer of switches, sensors and other products for automation and safety applications. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.


Siemens sells Innomotics to KPS for €3.5bn

16 May, 2024

Siemens is selling its Innomotics electric motors and large drives business to the venture capital firm, KPS Capital Partners, for €3.5bn. The sale is expected to close in the first half of fiscal 2025, subject to the foreign-investment and merger control approvals.


SPS show returns to late November slot from 2025

14 May, 2024

The German automation megashow, SPS (Smart Production Solutions) is returning to traditional slot in late November from 2025, following several years in which the event was held earlier in November following disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.


Software workstations replace PLCs in ‘breakthrough’

08 May, 2024

At the Automate 2024 show in the US, Siemens has unveiled a “breakthrough” software-based workstation technology that is designed to replace traditional hardware PLCs, HMIs and edge devices. The company is hailing its Simatic Workstation as a “breakthrough in the longstanding challenge of closely managing numerous hardware control points throughout the factory”. The technology ushers IT workflows into OT (operational technology) environments, it adds.


Mitsubishi and Rockwell expand production in India

08 May, 2024

Mitsubishi Electric and Rockwell Automation have both announced plans to expand production of factory automation (FA) equipment in India. Mitsubishi has just opened a plant in Maharashtra state that will produce inverters and other automation products, while Rockwell plans to open a manufacturing facility in Chennai in the first half of 2025, which is expected to employ around 230 people by the end of the year.


Control Techniques and KB adopt new Nidec Drives brand

01 May, 2024

Japan’s Nidec corporation is bringing together two of its drives-making subsidiaries – Wales-based Control Techniques and US-based KB Electronics – under a new Nidec Drives brand, with effect from 1 May, 2024. The change will not affect any of the products or services currently offered by CT or KB which will continue to be sold under their existing names. There will be some changes to branding on social media, product labels and brochures, but customers are not expected to see other differences.


Hitachi buys MA micro automation to boost SI business

29 April, 2024

Hitachi is buying the German robotic and automation technology specialist, MA micro automation, for €71.5m and plans to combine it with its US-headquartered systems integrator JR Automation Technologies (which it bought in 2019) to accelerate the expansion of its automation activities.


Generative AI is now an industrial tool that generates PLC code

25 April, 2024

The first generative AI product dedicated to industrial engineering has started to roll out into practical applications. Pilot trials of Siemens’ Industrial Copilot for TIA Portal Engineering are now underway and the software will be available for download from its Xcelerator marketplace from the summer of 2024.


Watt Drive becomes WEG Gear Systems and takes on key role

24 April, 2024

Watt Drive Antriebstechnik, the Austrian manufacturer of geared motors and drives which the Brazilian motor-maker WEG acquired in 2011, has been renamed WEG Gear Systems. As part of its new identity, the business will be upgraded to a competence centre for gear technology and will be responsible for the WEG Group's global gears and geared motors activities.


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