The UK subsidiary of the German TÜV SÜD testing and certification organisation has launched a UK-based Safety Integrity Level (SIL) certification service, that will help manufacturers of safety-related controls to assure their customers that their products comply with the required performance levels.
EEF, the UK manufacturers’ organisation, has opened a £2m centre to train manufacturers and engineers in facilities that replicate a real manufacturing environment. The centre, located at Aston in the West Midlands, will train around 250 apprentices a year in skills including milling, CNC machining, welding and fabrication.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for UK manufacturing eased to an eight-month low of 55.3 in March, signalling a further cooling of growth from the peaks achieved towards the end of last year. However, the PMI remains well above its long-term average of 51.4, recording an improvement in operating conditions in each of the past 12 months.
With less than two weeks to go to the 2014 Drives & Controls Show, exhibitors are still signing up to appear at the event. The latest manufacturers to join the line-up include the sensor-maker ifm electronic, and the small motors specialist Delta Line, whose brands include Portescap and Nanotec.
ABB in the UK has created a team that will offer engineered and medium voltage drives systems based on its machines, transformers, VSDs and lifecycle services. It says that the Drives Solutions Team will provide customers with a single point of contact for optimised and integrated products, cut their project costs, and offer them a single warranty.
The activities of Newall, the Leicester, UK-based manufacturer of linear encoders and digital readout systems, could be transferred to Tijuana, Mexico, if Schneider Electric’s planned sale of most of its Custom Sensors and Technologies (CST) business goes ahead.
A survey of UK manufacturers has revealed that many believe that robotic automation is not suitable for low-volume or bespoke production processes.
Visitors to the Lafert Electric Motors stand at the Drives & Controls Show in April will be able to see an electric racing car built by girls from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College. The company is sponsoring teams at the school who are taking part in the IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology) Formula 24 and 24+ battery-powered racing car competitions.
ABB Robotics UK has launched an online calculator to help smaller manufacturers (SMEs) to discover the cost and productivity benefits that can be achieved by using industrial robots. The calculator demonstrates how companies can often recoup their outlay on robots within two years through enhanced levels of performance and competitiveness.
The Coventry–based automation systems specialist Expert Group, has acquired Widnes-based Tracoinsa Systems UK, which produces conveyor systems for the automotive sector. Tracoinsa is the fifth company in the Expert group and is expected to boost the group’s revenues to more than £50m in 2014.
UK manufacturers are enjoying increasingly strong growth thanks to a combination of strong domestic sales and a boost in overseas trade, according to the latest quarterly survey by EEF, the UK manufacturers’ organisation and BDO, the business adviser and accountancy firm.
A world-record-beating electric dragster, that can accelerate from 0–60mph (96.5km/h) in 1.5 seconds, will be a star of the upcoming Drives & Controls Show, taking place in Birmingham, UK, in April. The dragster, called Black Current, will be on display on the Amtecs stand, whose engineers designed, built and race the vehicle.
Graham Dewhurst, director general of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, is to retire in the summer, after running the organisation for seven years. During his tenure, the number of members has grown by a third and the range of industries and type of company that the MTA represents has increased dramatically.
The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) is calling for action to make careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) more attractive and easier to access. In a new report, Engineering our Future, the CBI urges the Government to consider: financing a cut in tuition fees for some Stem courses; developing new training routes for existing workers; and creating a one-year crossover qualification.
A talk describing the technology behind Drayson Racing Technologies’ world-record-breaking electric sportscar is part of a wide-ranging programme of free presentations, seminars and discussion forums that will take place across all three days of next month’s Drives & Controls Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.