Only 8% of UK manufacturers have a significant understanding of Industry 4.0, despite 59% recognising that it will have a big impact on the sector, according to a new report published by the accountancy and business advisory firm BDO in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
Applied Automation (UK) has officially opened its new headquarters in Plymouth, UK, which it moved into last year. The 13,000m2 (140,000ft2) site is more than twice the size of the two factories that it occupied before. The company now employs more than 130 people in Plymouth and at a second site in Cardiff, Wales.
Only about half of UK manufacturers have increased their spending on cyber-security in the past two years, despite Government figures showing that 90% of large businesses and 74% of small businesses reported a cyber-security breach last year – an increase on 2014. The average cost of these breaches was £1.46m–£3.14m for large firms, and £75,000–£311,000 for smaller businesses.
A new exhibition dedicated to digital manufacturing will make its debut alongside the next Drives & Controls Show in 2018. The new event, called Smart Machines and Factories (SM&F), will reflect the changing face of manufacturing and the growing importance of concepts such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.
Visitor numbers at the cluster of exhibitions, including the Drives & Controls Show, held last month at the NEC set a new record, with a total of 13,115 visitors attending the three-day event. The number who registered to attend the Drives Show was up nearly 30% on the figure for the previous show in 2014.
The inaugural UK Motion Control Industry Awards, held in Birmingham during the same week as the Drives & Controls Show, attracted an audience of about 250 people to the National Conference Centre, near the NEC. The awards were produced by Touchwave Media in association with the UK Motion Control Alliance, which consists of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), the British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA) and the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS).
The Manchester-based repairer of variable-speed drives (VSDs), Northern Drives & Controls (NDC), has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its growth and commercial success in international trade.
The Parsons Peebles Group (PPG) has acquired the Reading-based electromechanical services provider Taylor & Goodman for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition provides PPG with expanded product and service capabilities and a combined network of 13 UK locations.
The German motors and drives group Clemens Lammers has acquired the Wellingborough-based motors specialist Exico Electric Motors for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, the Exico name will continue to be used. No changes to personnel, customer or supplier relationships, or computer systems are planned.
The German mechanical power transmission specialist Ringfeder has set up a UK operation, located in Warrington, including a warehouse for time-sensitive spare parts. Adrian Birkin has been appointed area manager for the UK – Ringfeder’s second-largest market in Europe. Birkin has more than 20 years of experience, most recently with the belts and hose manufacturer, Pix.
The UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is offering 16 British companies free consultancy in robot technologies, and a chance to win funding worth up to €150,000 for automation projects, under a new EU-funded project called Robott-Net (Robot Technology Transfer Network).
Following storm-related disruption to the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show in two of the past three years, its organisers have announced that it will be held later in the year from 2017. The show is vulnerable to severe weather because it is held in temporary marquees at its site in Farnborough, Hampshire.
With just over a month to go to the Drives & Controls Show, there has been a flurry of late bookings from exhibitors, many of them from the mechanical power transmission sector.
Sony has placed the first UK order for ABB’s two-armed collaborative robot called YuMi. It will use the robot at its Sony UK Technology Centre (UKTEC) in South Wales to pick-and-place circuit board parts, mainly for research and development purposes. The technology will help Sony to improve its PCB assembly techniques and to explore the benefits of collaborative robotics in high-volume board production.
The machine vision specialist, InterVision Global, has been awarded a £560,000 grant from the UK's innovation funding body, Innovate UK, to develop and manufacture a flexible automated system to produce components for orthopaedic medical devices.