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22 September, 2017

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Omron sets up two robot production lines in the Netherlands

19 September, 2017

Omron has installed two new lines to produce parallel robots at its European manufacturing site in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. The aim is to cut lead times, accelerate responses and improve productivity for robots delivered to customers in Europe.


Brammer and IPH unite to create a €2.2bn MRO giant

18 September, 2017

The European industrial equipment distributors Brammer and IPH have joined forces to form a single business, called IPH-Brammer, with close to €2.2bn in revenues and more than 8,000 employees in 23 European countries. The MRO (maintenance, repairs and operations) business will be headquartered in London, with Pierre Pouletty, former CEO of IPH serving as CEO of the merged operation, and Hermann Maier, former CEO of Brammer, serving as its chief operating officer.


Machine-builders join forces to offer open IIoT platform

13 September, 2017

A group of machine-builders and software developers – consisting of DMG Mori, Dürr, Software AG, Zeiss and ASM PT – have formed a strategic alliance to set a new digital standard for machine- and plant-building, based on an open, non-proprietary IIoT platform, and customised to meet the needs of machine- and plant-builders and their customers. They want to establish the platform, called Adamos (ADAptive Manufacturing Open Solutions), as a global standard for the sector and to attract other machine-builders to become partners.


Rockwell CEO Blake Moret becomes chairman as well

13 September, 2017

Rockwell Automation has announced that Blake Moret, the company’s president and chief executive, has been elected chairman of the board, succeeding Keith Nosbusch, who has been chairman since 2005 and will remain a director. Moret will take on his expanded role on 1 January, 2018.


Festo and Huawei collaborate on smart 5G manufacturing

11 September, 2017

The Chinese telecommunications and electronics giant Huawei has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the German pneumatics and automation supplier Festo to explore the use of ultra-high-speed 5G networks in manufacturing, and to promote the digital transformation of manufacturing using 5G “slicing” technology.


Schneider Electric hopes to win Aveva at the third attempt

11 September, 2017

Schneider Electric is taking a majority stake in the British industrial software developer Aveva and plans to merge it with its own software operation “to create a global leader in engineering and industrial software”. The deal follows the failure of two earlier attempts to merge the businesses over the past three years.


Siemens and ISA join forces to raise cyber-security awareness

31 August, 2017

Siemens and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have entered a global partnership to raise the awareness about industrial security needs and standards, and to promote best practices for security to owner-operators of industrial equipment.


Omron buys code-reading specialist Microscan for $157m

30 August, 2017

Omron is buying the US-based industrial barcode-reader and machine vision specialist, Microscan Systems, from its UK parent, Spectris, for $157m (£123m) in cash. The Japanese automation supplier says that the aim of the purchase is “to further advance the control of manufacturing equipment and production lines, using IoT (Internet of Things) to connect virtually all objects on a manufacturing floor, including components and machines”.


Hackers ‘could turn collaborative robots into killers’

24 August, 2017

UPDATED: A US cyber-security researcher claims to have discovered vulnerabilities in collaborative robots (cobots) which, if exploited by hackers, “could directly threaten human life”.


‘GE restarts talks to sell industrial arm to ABB for over $2bn’

24 August, 2017

General Electric is reported to have resumed negotiations to sell its Industrial Solutions business to ABB after earlier talks broke down over the value of the business. According to the Reuters news agency, GE is looking to sell the operation – which makes and sells variable-speed drives, circuit-breakers, relays and other industrial electrical equipment – for more than $2bn.


North American half-year robot sales top $1bn for the first time

18 August, 2017

The first half of 2017 was the best-ever for the North American robotics market, with new records set for orders, revenues and units shipped, according to Association for Advancing Automation (A3). It also reports a 14% rise in orders for motion control and motor products, and the best-ever first-half performance by the machine vision sector.


China is world’s biggest buyer and user of robots

16 August, 2017

China has broken new records in its uptake of industrial robots. The number of robots it bought during 2016 soared by 27% to 87,000, making China the world’s largest market, both in terms of robots sold and the total number in service (340,000 – a 33% increase on 2015). These figures come from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), which predicts that the number of industrial robots bought in China will grow by 15–20% per year between 2018 and 2020.


‘Rotation for life’ plan guarantees that machinery will turn

07 August, 2017

SKF has launched a novel maintenance service package under which, in return for a fixed monthly fee, it will guarantee the reliability and availability of specified rotating machinery at a customer’s site. The package, called “rotation for life” sets out agreed performance targets which the bearing-maker commits itself to achieve.


$15m r&d centre brings motion experts together

07 August, 2017

The precision motion and nanopositioning specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) has opened a $15m research and development centre at its global headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany. The 10,000m2 (108,000ft2) centre brings PI’s development teams together in a shared space, intended to promote interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration.


Nidec adds two more European companies to its portfolio

03 August, 2017

Nidec, the acquisitive Japanese motor-maker which now owns Control Techniques and Leroy-Somer, has added two more European businesses to its portfolio: the German compressor manufacturer, Secop, which it has bought for €185m in cash; and the Italian pump and motor producer, LGB Elettropompe.


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