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15 June, 2024

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Microsoft discovers flaws that could affect 1,000s of PLCs

15 August, 2023

Cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft has discovered several “high severity” vulnerabilities in the software development kit (SDK) for the Codesys control platform which is used in around 1,000 automation devices, including PLCs from more than 500 manufacturers. Microsoft warns that exploitation of these vulnerabilities – which affect all versions of Codesys V3 before version – could put operational technology (OT) infrastructure at risk of denial-of-service (DoS) and remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

ICS cyber-threat numbers fall, but a third are unpatched

14 August, 2023

The number of “advisories” about cyber-security vulnerabilities in ICSs (industrial control systems) dropped by 9.8% in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, but more than a third (34%) of the new vulnerabilities do not have any patch or remediation available, compared to just 13% in the first half of 2022.

Remote robot troubleshooting firm raises $4.1m

14 August, 2023

A Canadian company, Olis Robotics, has raised $4.1m to fund further development of its technology for remote monitoring, control and troubleshooting of industrial robots. The Seattle-based company says that its Olis Connect system tackles costly robot downtime, significantly improving OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) of industrial robots.

Swiss start-up uses robot microfactories to create large parts

11 August, 2023

A Swiss company has emerged from a period of stealth development to offer a new service for creating large components using technologies such as robots, 3D printing and machine vision. Lupfig-based Saeki, which was founded in 2021, has attracted $2.3m of seed funding to build automated plants that will produce large-scale components for industries such as automotive, construction, aerospace, marine and energy.

Adopting robots can cut manufacturers’ profits – at first

04 August, 2023

Installing robots can cause a company’s profit margins to fall – initially, at least – but as more are added, their margins will start to rise. This is the finding of a team of University of Cambridge researchers who analysed industrial data from the UK and 24 other European countries between 1995 and 2017.

Motion controls sales will dip before hitting $22bn by 2027

27 July, 2023

The global market for motion controls will be worth $18.9bn this year, rising to $22.2bn by 2027 – a CAGR of 4.6% – according to new data from Interact Analysis. It expects the market to fall slightly next year as a result of the decline in global economic growth, before returning to steady growth.

WEG opens motors plant in Turkey and expands in Brazil

26 July, 2023

The Brazilian motor and drives manufacturer WEG has opened a plant in Turkey to assemble electric motors and provide technical support for customers in the region. The 7,000m2 facility in Dilovasi will offer shorter times-to-market not only for Turkish buyers, but also for those in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa and central Asia.

Siemens to invest €1bn in industrial metaverse hub

13 July, 2023

Siemens has announced plans to invest around €1bn in Germany, including €500m to establish a new Technology Campus in Erlangen, which will combine development work with high-tech manufacturing. The centre will focus on sustainable and future-oriented high-tech manufacturing, related r&d activities, and on creating an ecosystem of partners from the business and scientific communities.

Honeywell buys SCADAfence to boost cybersecurity suite

12 July, 2023

Honeywell is buying the Israeli industrial cybersecurity start-up SCADAfence for an undisclosed sum. SCADAfence supplies OT (operational technology) and IoT (Internet of Things) cybersecurity systems for monitoring large-scale industrial and building management networks.

ABB and Microsoft bring generative AI to industry

10 July, 2023

ABB is collaborating with Microsoft to integrate the Azure OpenAI generative AI technology into ABB’s Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI suite, leading to safer, smarter and more sustainable industrial operations. They say the integrated platform could provide real-time actionable insights for better decision-making and improved productivity, extending asset lifespans by up to 20% and cutting unplanned downtime by up to 60%.

Ideal Electric buys Louis Allis large motors and machines

05 July, 2023

[UPDATE (October 2023): Louis Allis has obtained a preliminary injunction order from a federal court in Delaware prohibiting Ideal Electric Power Company from using or displaying Louis Allis’ federally registered trademarks, and forbidsding Ideal from claiming to own, or in any way be associated with, Louis Allis. The  injunction order will continue until the court has ruled following a trial on this matter, which is expected to take place in 2025.]

Siemens large motors and drives is now €3bn Innomotics biz

03 July, 2023

As of 1 July, Innomotics has become the new brand for the motors and large-drive activities previously operating under the Siemens name. Innomotics, which employs about 15,000 people globally and generates more than €3bn in revenues, is now a separately managed Siemens subsidiary in Germany, with its headquarters in Nuremberg. Operations elsewhere in the world are on track to be largely converted to the new brand by 1 October, 2023.

Automotive regains ground on electronics as biggest robot buyer

29 June, 2023

The global automotive industry, formerly the world’s biggest buyer of industrial robots, is catching up with the electrical and electronics sector which overtook it to take the lead in 2021. The latest figures released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reveal that the automotive sector installed 137,932 robots around the world last year, putting it just behind the electrical/electronics industry on 139,745 machines. Car-makers added 16,722 new robots in 2022 (a 14% increase), compared to just 1,813 (about 1% more) installed by electronics users.

Siemens works with Google to link robots and automation

23 June, 2023

Siemens has joined forces with Google’s robotics software business, Intrinsic, to explore the possible integration of Siemens Digital Industries’ open, interoperable portfolio for automating and operating industrial production, with Intrinsic’s easy-to-use, AI-based software. They believe that the collaboration could make industrial robotics more accessible and usable, especially for SME manufacturers.

Germany expects automation sales to break record in 2023

20 June, 2023

Germany’s robotics and automation sector is predicting that its sales will climb by 13% this year to hit an all-time high of €16.2bn, despite the country currently being in a recession. This follows a 5% rise in sales to €14.3bn during 2022.

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