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22 March, 2023

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Consortium backs Schneider’s open automation vision

04 November, 2021

A group of more than 25 automation companies and other organisations has be formed to develop, and campaign for, a common software layer that will work on automation technologies of any brand. The founder members of (UAO) include Advantech, Belden, Hirschmann, Intel, Jetter, Phoenix Contact, ProsSoft, Shell, Wood and Yokogawa.

Electronics overtakes automotive as biggest buyer of robots

29 October, 2021

The number of industrial robots being used worldwide for electrical and electronics applications overtook those being bought by the automotive sector for the first time during 2020, according to the latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). While the number of robots being bought for electronic applications soared from 89,000 in 2019 to 109,000 in 2020, those for automotive applications plummeted from 102,000 to 80,000.

EMEA drives sales fell by 17.8% in 2020, but global sales rebound

28 October, 2021

Global sales of low-voltage AC drives fell by about 8.9% during 2020, with the EMEA region being hit hardest with sales plummeting by 17.8%, according to new data from Interact Analysis. The Americas experienced a 11.9% contraction, but in the Asia-Pacific region sales actually grew by 1.1%, driven by the Chinese economy which expanded despite the pandemic.

IBM and Boston Dynamics team up for mobile edge analytics

27 October, 2021

IBM and Boston Dynamics have formed an alliance to deliver data analysis at the edge to help industrial companies improve safety, optimise field operations, and boost maintenance productivity in environments such as factories, power plants, warehouses and more. They plan to transform Boston Dynamic’s robot “dog” Spot into an intelligent roaming edge device, designed to give industrial staff more flexibility to inspect and monitor their equipment with dynamic sensing.

Nidec buys Mitsubishi machine tool business and expertise

21 October, 2021

The Japanese motors and drives manufacturer Nidec has acquired the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool company, which designs and manufactures machine tools, cutting tools and related products. As well as selling machine tools to external customers, Nidec plans to use the gear-cutting capabilities and expertise of the acquired business to boost its E-Axle activities, which produce combined motor, inverter and gearbox systems for use in electric vehicles.

Rexnord merger with Regal creates $5bn giant with new name

21 October, 2021

The electric motors and mechanical power transmission manufacturer Regal Beloit has completed its merger with Rexnord Process and Motion Control (PMC) to create a new business, Regal Rexnord Corporation. The combined business, employing about 29,000 people and with manufacturing facilities on five continents, is predicted to generate revenues of around $5bn in 2022, with an adjusted Ebitda of more than $1bn. The merger is expected to generate synergies worth at least $120m over the coming three years.

UK joins pledge to double motor system efficiencies by 2030

20 October, 2021

Ten countries, including the UK, have pledged to double the efficiency of their electric motor systems and those of three other technologies – air-conditioners, refrigerators and lighting – by 2030. The countries are members of an initiative called Sead (Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment) that promotes the production, purchasing and use of energy-efficient equipment worldwide. Of Sead’s 21 participating governments, fewer than half have so far committed themselves to doubling equipment efficiencies by 2030 – a target which Sead admits is “ambitious”.

Is Siemens planning to sell off its large drives business?

19 October, 2021

Siemens is spinning off its large drives applications (LDA) business as a separate legal entity, before possibly selling the operation or forming a partnership with another company. According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the creation of LDA as a separate entity could be the first step towards divestiture. The operation is one of several businesses that Siemens has said it wants to improve or sell off.

Novanta buys Schneider Electric Motion for $115m

11 October, 2021

Novanta, the US-based industrial conglomerate whose businesses include Celera Motion and ATI Industrial Automation, has bought US-based Schneider Electric Motion for $115m in cash and renamed it Novanta IMS. It specialises in brushless motors, integrated motor drives and electronic controls.

Automation firm founder becomes Japan’s richest man

21 September, 2021

Takemitsu Takizaki, who founded the sensor and controls manufacturer Keyence in in 1974, has become Japan’s richest man with an estimated fortune worth $38.2bn – putting him ahead of the previous frontrunner Tadashi Yanai, who founded the clothing giant Uniqlo and has lost $9.7bn in the past year, leaving him with a mere $35.5bn.

$1.6bn start-up’s software will ‘liberate’ manufacturers

21 September, 2021

Bright Machines, the US automation start-up that was valued at $1.6bn when it announced its intention to go public earlier this year, has released a software package “that liberates manufacturers from the constraints of traditional factory automation and introduces a new self-service capability that enables flexible automation at greater speed and lower cost”.

Aerotech sets up precision metrology offshoot

17 September, 2021

Aerotech, the US-headquartered manufacturer of precision motion control and positioning systems, has set up a subsidiary dedicated to designing and building equipment for accurate surface measurement applications. Called Peak Metrology, and based at Aerotech's Pittsburgh headquarters, it will draw on the company’s expertise in positioning systems, but will focus on surface measurement applications, offering product development, engineering, installation and training services.

Hackers ‘can access networks at 91% of industrial companies’

09 September, 2021

A Russian cyber-research firm, Positive Technologies has reported that industrial companies were the second-most targeted sector by cybercriminals during 2020, and found that external attackers can penetrate corporate networks at 91% of industrial organisations. “Penetration testers” working for the company were able to access to the ICS (industrial control system) networks at 75% of these companies.

ICS vulnerabilities soared by ‘staggering’ 41% in early 2021

19 August, 2021

The number of vulnerabilities discovered in industrial control systems (ICSs) hit a “staggering” level in the first half of 2021, with 637 new vulnerabilities being revealed – 41% more than during the previous six months. A new report from the cyber-researcher Claroty shows that most of these ICS vulnerabilities have a high or critical severity, a low attack complexity, are remotely exploitable, and could result in a total loss of ICS availability.

LiDar collaboration could ‘up-end’ industrial automation

11 August, 2021

The Nikon Corporation has formed a strategic collaboration with the US sensing and perception start-up Aeva Technologies, to bring a 4D LiDar (light detection and ranging) technology with an “unique” micron-level measurement capability to precision industrial automation and metrology applications. The aim is to develop next-generation industrial sensing systems using Aeva’s “industry-first” 4D LiDar-on-chip technology, first developed for use on autonomous vehicles.

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