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October News in Brief

01 October, 2011

♦  Some motion control suppliers that serve the semiconductor manufacturing industry have experienced “nearly triple-digit” growth rates as a result of heavy investment by this industry, the market analyst ARC Advisory Group says. In a new study, it reports that the global market for general motion control systems suffered 50% declines during the downturn but has been growing by “double-digit” percentages since 2009, with strong demand coming from the semiconductor and automotive sectors.

♦  The US Department of Energy is giving $31.5m of funding to 14 academic institutions in the US to develop alternatives to rare-earth materials for use is “critical” technologies, such as electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators. A $2.9m contract has been awarded to Virginia Commonwealth University to work on a nano-based chemical process for producing high-capacity magnets.

♦  The DDASCA (Dependable Distributed Architecture for Safety Critical Applications) consortium, formed in Paris earlier this year, has chosen the openSafety protocol as an official standard. DDASCA, which includes EADS, Alstom and EDF as members, is standardising, defining and implanting open systems for safety-critical applications up to SIL4.

♦  The US sensor manufacturer Measurement Specialities (MEAS) has acquired the cable-extension sensing specialist Celesco Transducer Products for $35m from Tedea-Technological Automation and Development. Celesco’s “string-pots” will add a long-stroke position measurement technology to MEAS’s portfolio.

♦  The communications group Belden has acquired the Canadian industrial cyber-security specialist Byres Security for an undisclosed sum. Byres will run as an independent business within Belden, keeping the Tofino Security name, and with Eric Byres as chief technology officer and his wife, Joann as general manager. They will continue to work with partners that market their products including MTL Instruments, Honeywell and Invensys.

♦  ABB has opened its first production line for solar photovoltaic inverters, as well as an engineering centre, in Jüri, Estonia. The new production line can produce 400MW of inverter capacity a year and could be expanded later. ABB motor and drives factories are based at the same location.

♦  The European Commission has given the German mechanical components manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen clearance to buy the Belgian gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions for $725m. The Commission said that the deal would result in only limited overlaps in the market for wind turbine gearboxes.




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