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16 July, 2018

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Digital manufacturing projects win £11.4m of EPSRC funding

03 July, 2018

The UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded £11.4m in funding to seven projects aimed at creating novel digital tools, techniques and processes to support the use of digital technologies in the manufacturing sector. The projects will bring together academics and industrial partners.


Investment in PP Control puts it on track to hit £40m

03 July, 2018

PP Control & Automation, the UK company that specialises in manufacturing outsourcing, has received a “significant” investment from the Canadian corporate investor, Ardenton Capital Corporation, which now owns a majority stake in the business. Under the deal, aimed at boosting PP’s business to £40m within five years, managing director Tony Hague has become a significant shareholder and will become CEO, while founder David Fox will continue in the role of chairman.


JC-Electronics acquires UK-US spares supplier, Dax

02 July, 2018

JC-Electronics, a Dutch company that specialises in refurbishing industrial electronics, has acquired Dax Automation, the UK-based supplier of new, refurbished and obsolete industrial automation electronics, which also has an operation the US. The financial terms of the deal have not been released.


Novanta buys UK encoder-maker, Zettlex

29 June, 2018

The US-based high-tech component supplier Novanta has acquired Zettlex, the British manufacturer of inductive encoders, for an undisclosed sum. Novanta – which specialises in precision motion, vision and photonics technologies – will integrate Zettlex into its Celera Motion business, which supplies motion control components and subsystems, including encoders, motors and customised mechatronic systems, to industrial and medical OEMs.


UK automation sector grew by a ‘record’ 14% during 2017

27 June, 2018

The UK’s industrial automation sector achieved record growth during 2017, with a 14% improvement over the previous year, according to figures issued by Gambica, the trade body that represents the sector. This growth, recorded by members of Gambica’s automation division, has returned the sector to the level that it would have been at without a downturn in 2015 that was thought to be due largely to political and economic uncertainty.


Motortronics buys UK soft-start pioneer, Fairford Electronics

27 June, 2018

Fairford Electronics, the UK pioneer of soft-starter technology, has been bought by Motortronics, a manufacturer of solid-state AC motor controls and motor protection products, with headquarters in Florida, and operations in the British West Indies, Korea and China. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.


Control Techniques goes back to its roots to rebuild

22 June, 2018

Six months after he was appointed president of the Welsh drives-maker, Control Techniques, Tony Pickering is not mincing words. The company is half the size it was before its previous owner, Emerson, acquired it in 1994. CT which, in its heyday, held more than 30% of the UK drives market, is now down to around 2%. “People are asking: are you still in business?,” Pickering reports.


Drives & Controls’ circulation is now fully requested

22 June, 2018

Every copy of Drives & Controls is now going to someone who asked for it. The latest figures published by the independent Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) show that 87% of the 20,004 copies printed of each issue are going to people who have asked for their own individual copies, with the rest going to companies or organisations who have asked to subscribe.


Service offers free support to users of larger drives

22 June, 2018

ABB has launched a service for users of its medium- and high-power drives, giving them complimentary access to a series of support functions during a VSD’s warranty period. After registering a drive to activate the service – called ABB Initial Care – they will receive access to on-site repairs, rapid exchange of faulty parts, telephone support during office hours, and technical query escalation.


£7.5m advanced manufacturing facility opens in Belfast

22 June, 2018

Queen’s University Belfast has opened a £7.5m advanced manufacturing technology facility, as part of a new Centre for Intelligent Autonomous Manufacturing Systems (i-AMS), which will lead innovation in new technologies for advanced manufacturing. Researchers spanning the disciplines of engineering, computer science, applied mathematics and psychology, will work together in i-AMS to tackle challenges faced by industry and to help make Industry 4.0 a reality.


European network aims to deliver ‘best Brexit’ for industry

14 May, 2018

Euris, the umbrella group of industrial trade organisations that together represent more than 25% of the UK’s imports and exports, has set up an advisory body to help deliver the best outcome from Brexit for the industrial product supply sector.


UK manufacturing is twice as big as usually thought

08 May, 2018

Manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter of the UK economy and more than 7.4 million jobs depend on it – far more than usually thought – according to new research commissioned by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).


Oxlee is Drives & Controls’ new sales director

08 May, 2018

Damien Oxlee has been appointed director of sales for Drives & Controls magazine, the Drives & Controls Exhibition and associated products. He is taking on the role in addition to his existing position of director of sales for DFA Media’s Plant & Works Engineering Division.


Drives & Controls Show is another record-breaker

04 May, 2018

The recent Drives & Controls Show, held at the Birmingham NEC, set a new record for visitor attendance. By the time, the three-day exhibition had ended, it and the other events organised by DFA Media – Plant & Asset Management, Fluid Power & Systems, Air-Tech and the new Smart Industry Expo – had attracted a total of 13,518 visitors through the doors. This represents an increase of more than 3% on the attendance at the previous event in 2016.


Sewtec aims to double turnover to £32m and workforce to 120

04 May, 2018

The West Yorkshire robotics and automation specialist Sewtec has announced plans to double its turnover to £32m within five years, following a management buyout in August last year. This would also entail a doubling of the number of skilled personnel in the company, taking its workforce to more than 120 people.


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