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24 June, 2017

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Doug Devlin: the heart of Drives & Controls

14 June, 2017

It is with deep regret that we announce that Doug Devlin, Drives & Controls’ advertising sales director for more than 30 years, has passed away unexpectedly after a short illness that he contracted while he was on holiday. He was 64.


Axial-flux motor-maker attracts £4.2m to help it expand

16 June, 2017

An Oxfordshire-based developer of efficient, high-power motors has raised more than 70% of the £5.85m it needs to expand its activities. Saietta develops and manufactures axial-flux motors designed by its chief scientist, Cedric Lynch. The £4.2m raised so far values the company at £24m.


‘World’s smallest servodrive’ maker sets up shop in the UK

15 June, 2017

The Israeli servodrive and motion controls developer, Elmo Motion Control, has set up a UK operation in the West Midlands, with Gary Busby as managing director. Busby has previously worked for Control Techniques, Omron, ABB, PP Electrical and Applied Automation, among others.


Wood Group pushes into automation by buying CEC for $59m

25 May, 2017

The Scottish-based Wood Group has pushed further into the industrial automation and controls sector by buying CEC Controls, a US designer and builder of industrial and process control systems, mainly for the automotive industry. Wood is paying of $44m in cash, with a further deferred consideration of $15m payable over the next three years.


Fanuc’s £19m HQ brings UK activities under one roof

22 May, 2017

Fanuc has brought all of its UK activities – robotics, machine tools and factory automation – together in a purpose-built headquarters in Coventry which has cost more than £19m to build and will employ more than 100 people. The three-storey, 9,940m2 (107,000ft2) facility is four times larger than the company’s previous location, and includes design, manufacturing and training facilities and offices, as well as a showroom area.


Motor control designer chosen as ‘engineer of the year’

19 May, 2017

Graham Fick, technical director of the Yorkshire-based motor controls manufacturer Zikodrive, has won the “engineer of the year” award at the 2017 Motion Control Industry Awards, held in Birmingham, UK. He won the award for his work designing and developing the company’s ZDBL range of compact, custom-programmed brushless motor controllers.


New body champions UK electrotechnical sector

10 May, 2017

A new organisation has been created to represent the interests of the UK’s electrotechnical, electronics and firmware sector. The ElecTech Council has its roots in the former Esco (Electronics Systems Community) and is backed by trade bodies including Gambica and Beama, and organisations including the IET and BSI.


Government pledges to invest £1bn in future technologies

09 May, 2017

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced plans to invest £1bn over the next four years in cutting-edge technologies that the government believes will create jobs and raise living standards. The funding, from the £23bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), will be spent across six key areas, including robotics and AI (artificial intelligence), self-driving vehicles, and manufacturing and materials of the future.


Zettlex and Saco win Queen’s innovation awards

08 May, 2017

The Cambridge-based sensor-maker Zettlex has won one of 57 innovation awards in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for its range of accurate position and speed sensors for use in harsh environments. Other winners of innovation awards include Saco (the Smart Actuator Company), located in Malvern Wells, for its high-efficiency, programmable electric actuators, and Bristol-based Third Dimension, for its laser-based GapGun optical measurement device used to control production quality.


£450,000 project will develop robotics for the food industry

08 May, 2017

Peterborough-based Olympus Automation (OAL) and the University of Lincoln have been awarded a £448,850 grant by Innovate UK and the EPSRC’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems programme to develop robot-based materials-handling systems for food manufacturers. During the one-year project, they will focus on automating the processes of handling, weighing and transporting raw ingredients. The aim is to bring about a step-change in the adoption of robotics and automation in the food and drink industry, and thus to enhance productivity.


Bowman buys Midlands-based John Handley Bearings

18 April, 2017

The Oxfordshire bearings specialist, Bowman International, has bought Midlands-based John Handley Bearings which sells products from Thomson Industries, Cooper Bearings and NSK Linear. The acquisition gives Bowman a stock-holding facility in the Midlands for its ranges of plain bearings, which include the BowMet, Oillite and Oilless brands.


Hammond promises to embrace 4IR to boost UK productivity

30 March, 2017

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has said that the Government will embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to help transform the UK’s productivity and ensure that the country remains at the cutting edge.


UK manufacturers are ‘unprepared’ for Industry 4.0

30 March, 2017

The UK is “badly underprepared” for Industry 4.0, says a new report from the industrial services company, Eriks. The report, based on a survey of 200 UK engineers, reveals that 61% are not undertaking any Industry 4.0 initiatives, despite the vast majority (80%) believing it will have a positive effect on their production and maintenance practices.


UK start-up aims to make life easier for IIoT developers

30 March, 2017

A new UK company has been created to help systems integrators and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) developers to market their products faster and at a lower cost. Bristol-based Sixis has been set up by industry veterans Chris Begent and Tony Richardson and will sell technologies originally developed by Telemesis ­– formerly the telemetry division of AlanDick, which Begent and Richardson acquired as part of an MBO team in 2008.


Mid-sized manufacturers outperform rivals

30 March, 2017

Medium-sized UK manufacturers have outpaced their smaller and larger counterparts’ revenue growth over the past five years – but may be left to fend for themselves post-Brexit, according to business and accountancy firm BDO, which has released a report calling for the Government to prioritise the needs of mid-sized manufacturers.


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