One of the UK’s most successful – but least-known – motor manufacturers, the servomotor specialist SEM, is moving to new purpose-built premises in Kent that will double its manufacturing capacity. The company is investing “tens of millions” of pounds in the move from its existing 5,000m2 premises in Orpington to the new 12,000m2 site at The Bridge Technology Park in Dartford.
Emerson Industrial Automation has appointed Gloria Stucchi to be general manager of its UK and Ireland drives and motors operation, which includes the Control Techniques and Leroy-Somer brands.
The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) and the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), which incorporates the British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA), have agreed to form an alliance aimed at providing their members with a stronger, more consolidated voice.
EEF, the UK manufacturers' organisation, has launched a skills manifesto urging the British Government to set a target for 75% of jobs to be medium- or high-skilled by 2020. The target is part of a policy blueprint aimed at meeting the UK manufacturing sector's increasing demand for skills.
Britain's manufacturers have drawn up four key priorities that, they say, the next UK government will have to build on to create the better-balanced economy that the UK needs to secure its economic recovery.
Britain is on the cusp of a technology-driven fourth industrial revolution, with eight in ten manufacturers (80%) saying it will become a business reality by 2025. However 58% fear that the UK is in danger of being left behind.
Torin-Sifan, which manufactures energy-efficient fan technologies for the European air movement industry, has opened a new UK factory dedicated to producing EC (electronically commutated) motors, fans and blower products. It has invested more than £2m in the new plant in Swindon, and has created 25 new jobs at the site, which will employ a total of around 90 people.
ABB in the UK has announced a scheme that offers step-by-step help to enhance the performance of motor-driven applications using variable-speed drives (VSDs) and high-efficiency motors. The ten-stage Energy Efficiency and Productivity Improvement Plan takes into account the often-overlooked productivity benefits that VSDs can bring.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is launching a version of its “lean academy” that will allow mid-sized companies and SMEs to learn “game-changing” methods to boost their efficiency and growth at a relatively low cost. Until now the best-practice training system has been available only to larger organisations.
HMK Automation & Drives, which claims to be the UK’s largest independent supplier of motion products, has completed a £1m refurbishment of its head office in Congleton, Cheshire, including a new 7,000ft2 (650m2) logistics centre that has more than doubled the company’s office space.
ABB in the UK has issued a clarification of how the recent European minimum energy performance standard (EU MEPS) will affect users of IE2 efficiency motors.
Eaton has acquired the UK-based Oxalis Group, which manufactures electrical products for the hazardous area, marine, and industrial communications markets. Details of the deal have not been disclosed.
UK engineering companies need 182,000 people with engineering skills to enter the market every year until 2022 – but there is currently an annual shortfall of 55,000 – according to a new report from EngineeringUK, the independent organisation that promotes engineering in the UK. It says that if enough skilled people were available, engineering could generate an extra £27bn per year for the UK economy from 2022 – the equivalent of building 1,800 schools or 110 hospitals.
Timo Okkonen has been appointed managing director of Vacon UK, succeeding Stephen Takhar, who is stepping down after running the business for more than 15 years. Takhar will remain with the AC drives company, with responsibilities in sales and marketing and to help ensure a smooth transition.
A group of leading UK-based automation companies – including B&R Automation, igus, Kiesling, Omron, Phoenix Contact, Schneider Electric and Weidmuller – are joining forces to explain Industry 4.0 and its implications at an event at Leicester’s National Space Centre on 28 January. The event has been organised by Eplan, which will also be launching a knowledge-based programme for optimising engineering efficiency, called Eplan Experience, which made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany.