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7 August, 2020

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EU manufacturing expands for the first time in 17 months

03 August, 2020

The Eurozone manufacturing economy recorded its first growth in 17 months during July with output and demand recovering as Covid-19 restrictions eased further. After accounting for seasonality, the IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 51.8, up from 47.4 in the previous month – a figure higher than 50 indicates a move into positive territory.


Rockwell restructures to simplify operations and boost growth

29 July, 2020

Rockwell Automation is restructuring its business to simplify its operations and accelerate profitable growth. Announcing this as part of the company’s third-quarter results – which revealed a 16.3% drop in sales compared to 2019 – chairman and CEO Blake Moret said that the new structure “better aligns us with the evolving needs of our customers”.


Covid-19 accelerates launch of ‘robotic employees’

27 July, 2020

A Japanese-Israeli robotics joint venture that was created late last year before the Coronavirus pandemic had taken hold globally, has announced its first commercial products, claiming that the Covid-19 has made its concept of “robotic workforces” even more relevant in the age of social distancing.


App will help 100,000 Siemens employees to return safely to work

24 July, 2020

100,000 Siemens employees working at 600 locations in 30 countries are getting access to an app that combines location, usage and smart building data with their own personal requirements to ensure that they can return safely to their workplaces following the Covid-19 pandemic.


‘Most efficient’ motor maker aims to end energy waste

24 July, 2020

A Californian company which claims to have developed “the world's most efficient and intelligent electric motor system”, has renamed itself as part of its aim to eliminate the 25% of global electricity consumption that is wasted by legacy motors, thus accelerating the world’s transition from fossil fuels.


AGVs move Porsche’s Taycan EVs through multi-level plant

20 July, 2020

The German car-maker Porsche has commissioned a new line to produce its first fully-electric car, the Taycan, at its space-constrained site in Stuttgart, in just 4½ months, without disrupting the production of sportscars at the same site. Instead of traditional conveyor systems, the multilevel production line uses AGVs (automated guided vehicles) to move the vehicles from one assembly station to the next.


Siemens and Realtime team up to slash robot deployment times

26 June, 2020

Siemens has joined forces with Realtime Robotics, the US specialist in autonomous motion planning for industrial robots, to slash the time it takes to deploy robots. Under the strategic partnership with Siemens’ Digital Industries Software division (formerly known as Siemens PLM Software), Realtime’s technology will be integrated into Siemens simulation software. This will simplify robot programming and workcell coordination by automating the motion programming and interlock processes.


WEG takes control of Brazilian AI machine vision start-up

24 June, 2020

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG is acquiring a controlling stake (51%) in Mvisia, a Brazilian start-up that specialises in applying AI (artificial intelligence) to computer vision systems for industry. Under the agreement, WEG could increase its stake in Mvisia in the future.


Microsoft buys IoT/OT industrial cybersecurity firm

23 June, 2020

Microsoft is buying the Israeli IoT/OT cybersecurity specialist, CyberX, for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around $165m. The acquisition will complement Microsoft’s existing Azure IoT security capabilities and extend them to devices such as those used in industrial IoT, OT (operational technology) and infrastructure applications.


Code-free robot teaching device wins $30m of backing

17 June, 2020

A German start-up has developed a hand-held device for code-free programming of industrial robots, which has attracted $30m of second-round funding from backers including Microsoft’s M12 funding arm. Dresden-based Wandelbots claims that its TracePen device costs a fraction of traditional programming techniques and is up to 70 times faster. “Even a layman can teach a robot a task within minutes,” it adds.


Group aims to link location-tracking technologies

16 June, 2020

UPDATED: A global group of 60 industrial companies, led by the machine-tool maker Trumpf, and including Siemens, Sick and Pepperl+Fuchs as members, is drawing up a new positioning technology standard for tracking items including AGVs and drones. The consortium, called Omlox, had planned to unveil the technology at the 2020 Hannover Fair but, following the event’s cancellation, it is holding an online launch from 29 June to 2 July instead.


Industrial Ethernet powers ahead, while fieldbuses slide

09 June, 2020

Industrial Ethernet increased its share of the global market for new industrial networking nodes from 59% in 2018 to 64% last year, while fieldbuses continued to decline, dropping from 35% in 2018 to 30% in 2019. The figures come from the latest annual analysis of the industrial networking market by the Swedish industrial networking specialist, HMS Networks.


Motion control sales will fall by 7.5% in 2020, but rebound

08 June, 2020

The global motion controls market will fall by 7.5% this year, before starting to recover in 2021 and slowing down again in 2023, according to the latest predictions from Interact Analysis. The smaller CNC (computer numerical controls) market will be particularly badly hit, with a 24.7% decline this year, partly because of its exposure to two major sectors – aerospace and automotive – that have been almost completely shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic.


5G connections are set to disrupt factory communications

08 June, 2020

There will be almost four billion wireless connections in smart factories around the world by 2030, according a new forecast from Nokia and ABI Research. It predicts that between 2019 and 2030, the market for low-power, wide-area (LPWA) LTE (Long-Term Evolution) wireless networking in factories will mushroom with a CAGR of 93.8%.


Siemens suggests using digital twins to keep factories safe

05 June, 2020

By equipping factory workers with personal transponders, Siemens has created a way for companies to model how their employees interact with each other, and with production lines and plant designs. The technology, based on proven hardware and software, will allow organisations to create digital twins that simulate worker safety, and can optimise workspace layouts and validate safety and efficiency measures.


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