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25 July, 2017

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ABB completes B&R purchase and announces r&d centre

06 July, 2017

ABB has completed its acquisition of the automation supplier B&R (Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik) and announced plans to build an r&d centre next to B&R’s headquarters near Salzburg, Austria. The deal, which was announced on April 4, 2017, is being financed in cash and is expected to be EPS-accretive in the first year.


44MW synchronous motor ‘breaks world efficiency record’

06 July, 2017

ABB claims that to have set a new world record for motor efficiency. It says that tests carried out on a newly-built 44MW six-pole synchronous motor shortly before it was delivered to a customer recorded an efficiency that was 0.25% higher than the 98.8% stipulated in the contract. This improvement could save around $500,000 in electrical energy costs over the expected 20-year lifetime of the motor.


Motion control sales rebound, with robotics in the lead

30 June, 2017

Following a significant decline in 2015, the global market for motion control products returned to solid growth in 2016, with more than $10.8bn of revenues from hardware, and more than 21 million systems being shipped. In a new study, the analyst IHS Markit predicts that the market will maintain a steady growth from 2016 to 2021, with a CAGR in revenues of 4.4%, to reach a global total of almost $13.4bn by 2021.


Siemens to spin off mechanical drives unit as Flender GmbH

29 June, 2017

Siemens has announced that its mechanical drives (MD) business will operate as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary to be known as Flender GmbH, a Siemens company, from 1 October, 2017.


Teco invests $10m in smart plant and signs Finnish deal

19 June, 2017

The Taiwanese motor manufacturer Teco Electric & Machinery has invested more than $10m to create what is describes as the world’s first “smart” motor production facility. It has upgraded an existing plant in Taoyuan, more than doubling its production capacity for IE3 motors from 100,000 to 220,000 motors per year, and cutting production costs by about 10% compared with traditional manufacturing processes.


Digitalisation of motor plant boosts throughput by 40%

16 June, 2017

Siemens is using one of its German factories that produces electric motors as a testbed and showcase and for the “digitalisation” of manufacturing and has already cut throughput times by 40%. It has also reduced correction loops by 50% at the plant in Bad Neustadt an der Saale, and improved ramp-up times for new machines by 60%.


Only 26% of IoT projects are regarded as a complete success

14 June, 2017

A survey by Cisco has revealed that 60% of IoT (Internet of Things) initiatives stall at the proof-of-concept stage, with only 26% of companies having had an IoT initiative that they considered a complete success, and a third of all completed projects regarded as failures.


Idec partners with AMCI to simplify multi-axis controls

31 May, 2017

The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec has joined forces with the US motion controls specialist Advanced Micro Controls (AMCI) to offer a family of components ‒ including drives, stepper motors, indexers and integrated controls ‒ which will be sold under the “AMCI by Idec” banner. The global arrangement will allow users to implement single- and multi-axis controls quickly and easily, based on Idec’s FC6A PLC, which has embedded motion control macro instructions. In addition, users of Idec PLCs will be able to add motion controls without having to buy separate software.


Advent plans to add IPH to Brammer to form €2.1bn business

19 May, 2017

Advent International, the private equity firm that bought the UK-based MRO (maintenance, repairs and operations) specialist Brammer earlier this year, is now negotiating to buy the European industrial supplies distributor, IPH. It plans to combine the two businesses to create a “leading” European distributor of industrial supplies with revenues of more than €2.1bn.


Cyber-researchers show how to hack an industrial robot

11 May, 2017

Researchers working for the cyber-security firm Trend Micro and at the Politecnico di Milano (Polimi) in Italy have demonstrated that it is relatively easy to hack an industrial robot to change its behaviour – with potentially deadly consequences.


Hannover tie-ups include ABB-IBM plan to apply AI

09 May, 2017

A flurry of of collaborations and tie-ups were announced at the recent Hannover Fair, including a strategic collaboration between ABB and IBM aimed at combining ABB’s Ability digital portfolio with IBM Watson’s Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities. Some of the other collabrations are listed in the table below.


Profinet jumps aboard the TSN bandwagon

09 May, 2017

PI (Profibus and Profinet International) is the latest organisation to adopt the IEEE’s TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking) technology, which combines the bandwidth of IT (information technology) networks with the latency of OT (operational technology) networks.


ABB-B&R merger is 'a fantastic platform for growth'

08 May, 2017

At the recent Hannover Fair, the Austrian firm B&R Automation announced plans to expand its operations, including an expansion to accommodate new production lines for its mechatronic products, and a new surface-mount line which will boost its PCB production capacity by 20%. The company also plans to add 50 jobs at its r&d offices in Salzburg to work on communications, robotics and controls.


Collaborative robot gripper wins 2017 Hermes Award

24 April, 2017

The German gripping systems specialist Schunk has won this year’s Hermes technology award at the Hannover Fair for an intelligent gripper for human-robot collaboration that can interact and communicate with human operators. It is the second time in three years that Schunk has won the prestigious award, which celebrates innovative technologies.


Sumitomo buys US developer of spray motor technology

18 April, 2017

Japan’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) has acquired a US start-up, Persimmon Technologies, which is developing a “disruptive” electric motor manufacturing technology in which metallic particles are sprayed to form composite components that are used instead of conventional laminated cores. The magnetic composite cores suppress eddy currents and are claimed to have 40% higher power densities and up to 15% lower energy losses than today’s best motors.


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