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21 April, 2024

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Industrial robot sales hit new high in 2021 – but UK sales fall

17 October, 2022

The number of industrial robots installed around the world hit last year an all-time high of 517,385, representing a 31% year-on-year expansion. The number was 22% higher than the pre-pandemic record of 422,000 reached in 2018, and took the total number of operational robots around the globe to a new record of around 3.5 million.

Mars makes plans for cloud-based ‘factories of the future’

05 October, 2022

Mars, the global manufacturer of confectionery, food, and pet care products, which employs more than 140,000 people in more than 80 countries, has announced plans for a new cloud-based platform for its manufacturing, data-handling and artificial intelligence (AI) operations that will lay the foundation for its vision of the “factory of the future”.

Rockwell buys Danish modular switchboard specialist, Cubic

03 October, 2022

Rockwell Automation is buying Cubic, a Danish company that produces modular systems for constructing electrical panels. Rockwell says that combining Cubic’s flexible systems with its own intelligent devices and expertise will achieve faster times to market for intelligent motor controls, and help to generate smart data for users. The terms of the transaction have not been revealed.

ABB takes stake in Dutch machine monitoring specialist

26 September, 2022

ABB is taking a 10% stake in Samotics, a Dutch specialist in analysing the health of rotating machines, and has entered a long-term strategic partnership with the company to provide enhanced condition-monitoring services. They aim to reach the next level of condition-monitoring by co-developing advanced digital services focused on energy efficiency and operational resilience. As a first step, ABB will integrate Samotics’ plug-and-play monitoring technologies into its portfolio by the end of 2022 as part of its services for rotating equipment.

ABB rebrands AMR line-up following its purchase of Asti

23 September, 2022

Following its acquisition last year of the Spanish autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer Asti Mobile Robotics, ABB Robotics is rebranding its AMR portfolio under the Flexley name. The first models to be released, Flexley Tug and Flexley Mover, cover applications such as towing, trolley transportation for loads of up to 2,000kg, as well as lifting and transporting racks, containers, and pallets up to 1,500kg.

SPS expects 1,100 exhibitors after three-year absence

16 September, 2022

The SPS (Smart Production Solutions) automation megashow will return to its Nuremberg venue in Germany in November for its first physical show since 2019, with the organisers hoping to attract around 1,100 exhibitors, compared to the 1,585 in 2019. Last year, the exhibition had to be cancelled at the last minute because of soaring Covid rates in Bavaria.

Smart linear conveyor system sales will hit $1bn by 2026

14 September, 2022

The global market for “smart” production line conveyor systems – both linear and planar – is outpacing the general manufacturing and machinery market and will expand from $300m in 2021 to almost $1bn by 2026, according to new research by Interact Analysis. Sales grew by 27% in 2021 and are likely to expand by a further 36% this year, it reports. Over the period 2021-206, it expects the linear market to achieve a CAGR of 26.5%.

Firms plan to invest in automation, but training is lagging

13 September, 2022

An ABB survey of business leaders in Europe and the US has revealed that most are planning to invest in automation and to re-shore their manufacturing operations in the next few years. But another survey, also conducted by ABB, has discovered a lack of investment in the education and training needed to develop the skills needed for the increasingly automated and connected workplaces of the future.

Timken buys GGB Bearings from EnPro for $305m

07 September, 2022

The Timken Company is buying the metal-polymer plain bearings producer GGB Bearing Technology from EnPro Industries for $305m in cash. Timken says that GGB’s expertise in plain bearing coatings complements its own strong positions in roller and ball bearings. GGB's products are used mainly in industrial applications, including pumps and compressors, HVAC, off-highway, energy, material handling and aerospace.

€50m centre will include flexible motor production plant

01 September, 2022

Schaeffler is investing €50m in a new centre of excellence for electrified mobility at its Automotive Technologies headquarters in Bühl, Germany. The new complex will consist of two buildings connected by a bridge. It will cover a floor area of 15,000m2, providing space for around 400 employees to work collaboratively on customer projects and develop new systems for electric powertrains.

Magnax raises €20m to boost development of axial-flux motors

26 August, 2022

The Belgian axial-flux motor developer Magnax has raised a further €20m of funding which it plans to use to accelerate product development, expand its engineering team, and enhance support for its customers and partners. The latest funding, from two new investors, brings the total capital raised by Magnax to date to €36m.

‘Tripadvisor for industrial technology’ attracts €1m of funds

25 August, 2022

A Belgian start-up which calls itself the “Tripadvisor for industrial technology” has attracted €1m of capital from three investment funds to help roll out its online review site for industrial automation equipment. Called Qviro, the search platform helps industrial users to make informed purchasing decisions based on reviews from other users.

Distribution centre is one of the largest warehouses in US

19 August, 2022

Digi-Key Electronics, the US-based distributor which claims to offer the world’s largest selection of automation products and electronic components in stock for immediate shipment, has opened an 2.2 million square feet (204,000m2) expansion to its Product Distribution Centre, taking its total area to more than 3 million square feet (278,000m2). The $400m facility – one of the 10 largest warehouses in North America – will allow the company to pick, pack and ship nearly three times its previous daily average of 27,000 packages to customers in more than 180 countries around the world.

ABB buys Siemens’ LV Nema motors arm to boost growth

11 August, 2022

ABB has agreed to buy Siemens’ low-voltage Nema motors operation for an undisclosed sum. The business, which has manufacturing operations in Guadalajara, Mexico, produces motors mainly for the North America market. It employs about 600 people and last year generated revenues of around $63m.

Motion control sales rose by 21.6% in 2021, and prices too

09 August, 2022

The global market for motion controls – including servomotors, drives and controls – expanded by 21.6% during 2021 and will grow by a further 9.1% in 2022, according new research by Interact Analysis. This growth will continue until 2026, but at a slower pace, with a CAGR of 5.5%, according to Interact.

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