There is a new name in the UK pneumatics market – Aventics – selling the well-established range of products that carry the Rexroth name.
A West Midlands control and automation contractor is reaping the benefits of a trend for OEMs to farm out non-core work out to sub-contractors. PP Electrical Systems, based in Cheslyn Hay, has won £1.5m of new work so far this year and expects to hit a turnover of £20m for 2014. To help achieve this, the company is planning to add 15 people to the nearly 200 it already employs at its 40,000ft2 (3,700m2) site.
ABB has appointed Dave Hawley to be manager of its motors and generators business in the UK from 1 September. He joins from Sulzer Dowding and Mills where he was general manager of the formed coil division. He has more than 15 years’ experience of the rotating equipment industry, including a period as a divisional director at Deritend.
A survey of 163 UK manufacturers has revealed that at least 95% of them have invested in plant and machinery over the past two years, spending an average of £1m. And a third of them are planning to invest similar amounts over the coming two years.
The average pay settlement in the UK manufacturing sector during the six months to July was 2.6%, according to figures released by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. This contrasts with a 0.2% drop in average weekly earnings for the UK economy as a whole in the three months to June – the first fall since 2009.
The drives-maker Control Techniques has started work on a new £1.5m engineering laboratory at its headquarters in Newtown, Wales. The company will use the 900m2 building to develop new products and technologies.
The Italian gearbox and motors manufacturer Motovario has invested more than £650,000 to expand its UK facilities in Droitwich, Worcestershire. The main aim of the investment – the largest in the history of the company's UK operation – is to create a centre for assembling gearboxes from component parts, thus cutting lead times.
Neil Ritchie has been appointed head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division in the UK, following the retirement of Chris Withey. The division encompasses ABB’s motors, generators, variable-speed drives, motion control, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), solar inverters, power electronics and robotics businesses.
Siemens is investing £1m in its UK mechanical drives factory in Leeds, expanding its capabilities to assemble a new range of geared motors and to service rail components. The company says that the investment could lead to the creation of 50 new jobs.
The Austrian automation manufacturer Sigmatek has set up a UK subsidiary to supply and support machine automation systems, mainly to the OEM sector. Russ Kemp, who has more than 25 years experience of the automation sector, has been appointed managing director of the new Sigmatek Automation UK business, located in Nottingham.
A British start-up company specialising in energy-saving technologies has signed a deal to produce a range of soft-starters for Hitachi Power Solutions in Japan. Under an initial five-year agreement, Cornwall-based Suresense Technologies will manufacture the soft-starts for Hitachi, which will market them globally under its Prohestar brand.
A group of experts charged with drawing up a national strategy for robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) in the UK has produced a report arguing that, through a co-ordinated approach and targeted investment, the UK could become a global leader in this area.
The UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has earmarked £72m to support initiatives in high-value manufacturing as part of its recently-published 2014-15 Delivery Plan, which aims to nurture and develop British entrepreneurial talent.
Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC), headquartered in East Kilbride, is buying Sheffield-based Preformed Windings from Deritend Industries for an undisclosed sum. Preformed Windings, which produces coils for traction motors and high-voltage motors and generators, will join CBC’s expanding electric machines group, which also includes the generator and motor manufacturer, Parsons Peebles.
Output from British factories fell by 1.3% in May – its biggest drop since January 2013 – according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Output for the year to May 2014 was up by 3.7%, compared to 4.3% in April.