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18 June, 2024

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US researchers find that every robot replaces 3.3 jobs

15 May, 2020

American researchers have calculated that every new industrial robot installed in the US between 1993 and 2007 replaced 3.3 jobs. But in a separate analysis of French industry from 2010 to 2015, they have also found that firms that adopt robots quickly became more productive and hire more workers, while their competitors fall behind and shed workers – with jobs again being reduced overall.

Siemens plans to spin off its Flender gears and couplings arm

11 May, 2020

Siemens has announced plans to spin off its Flender mechanical power transmission business, which it describes as “the world’s leading manufacturer of mechanical drive systems”.

Voith buys Austrian electric motor manufacturer, Elin

06 May, 2020

The global technology company Voith has taken control of the Austrian motor and generator manufacturer Elin Motoren, by acquiring a 70% stake in the company for an undisclosed sum. Elin will remain an independent business and will continue to use the Elin brand. The remaining 30% of the business is being held by Franz Hrachowitz.

SPE industry groups expand – and one gets a new name

06 May, 2020

Two separate industry groups that are promoting Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) technologies, have both added new members. The SPE Industrial Partner Network, whose previous members included Harting, TE Connectivity, Leoni, Murrelektronik, igus and Softing, has added Belden’s Hirschmann brand to its ranks, while the second group – now called the SPE System Alliance – has attracted several new members including Sick, Rosenberger and Microchip Technology. The Alliance already counted Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller and Fluke Networks among its supporters.

Robots help to make drive-through virus testing safer

17 April, 2020

In a matter of weeks, automation and robotics experts around the world have come up with inventive ways to use their technologies to help tackle the coronavirus epidemic, taking advantage of the fact that automation equipment is not affected by the virus and is ideal for doing repetitive tasks.

Rockwell CEO takes a 25% pay cut, but plant workers get a bonus

14 April, 2020

Rockwell Automation has announced that it is cutting the salaries of its non-manufacturing employees temporarily by 7.5%, with chairman and CEO Blake Moret taking a 25% pay cut, and all senior vice-presidents losing 15% of their salaries, as part of the steps that the company is taking “to align its costs with anticipated market conditions in light of the Cpvid-19 pandemic”. However, Rockwell’s manufacturing workers will not be affected by the pay cuts and are, in fact, receiving one-off additional payments in recognition of their work in serving the company’s customers “during this difficult time”.

ABB makes digital services free to help maintain production

01 April, 2020

ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business has announced that it will make key software services available free-of-charge to its customers until the end of 2020, to help them keep production lines going and to continue to function while many of their staff are working from home.

German Automatica show is postponed to December

26 March, 2020

The Automatica exhibition, which was due to take place in Munich in June, has been postponed until 8–11 December, at the same venue.

Hannover Fair is now cancelled, not postponed

26 March, 2020

The organisers of the Hannover Fair have now cancelled the 2020 event after the regional government issued a decree prohibiting the staging of the world’s biggest industrial trade show in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

GE offers free remote software to engineers working from home

20 March, 2020

GE Digital is offering free Web-based remote monitoring and control licences to users of its industrial HMI/Scada software, allowing them to work remotely to ensure business continuity if they having to work from home as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The 90-day licences will be available to the 20,000 automation software customers that use GE’s iFix and Cimplicity products.

ABB forms AI partnership to create e-commerce robots

12 March, 2020

ABB has formed a partnership with an American AI (artificial intelligence) start-up called Covariant, to bring AI-enabled robotics technologies to market, starting with autonomous systems for fulfilling warehouse orders. Their joint vision is to develop and offer AI-enabled robots that will work alongside humans in dynamic environments, learning and improving as they perform their tasks.

Nidec invests billions to become global leader in EV motors

05 March, 2020

The Japanese motor-maker Nidec has announced ambitious plans that, it hopes, will make it the global leader in motors and drivetrains for electric vehicles. It is investing around 200bn yen ($1.87bn) in three new plants in China, Poland and Mexico, which will have a combined output of around 10 million EV drives per year, with aim of catapulting its global market share from 4% at present to 35% within a decade.

Industrial cyber-threat warnings soared in 2019

04 March, 2020

The number of “advisories” about control system cyber-threats issued by the US government’s ICS-Cert (Industrial Control Systems Cyber-Emergency Response Team) service rose to set a new record in 2019, with 129 being issued – 53% more than in 2018.

Hannover Fair is postposed in response to Coronavirus

04 March, 2020

The organisers of the world’s largest industrial exhibition, the Hannover Fair, have decided to postpone this year’s event from 20–24 April to 13–17 July, in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Deutsche Messe made the decision in cooperation with the Hannover Region Health Authority, the event’s Exhibitors' Council and its partner associations, VDMA (German Engineering Federation) and ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association).

Rockwell buys Italy’s Asem and US-based Kalypso

20 February, 2020

Rockwell Automation is buying Asem, the Italian manufacturer of industrial PCs, HMIs and industrial software, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction includes the purchase of a minority (25%) interest in Asem held by the German KEB Group. Rockwell plans to maintain Asem’s strategic supplier and technology partner relationship with KEB after the deal closes.

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