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24 October, 2017

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‘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.


ISA White Paper will help SMEs to tackle cyber-security

27 July, 2017

At the request of the US Department of Homeland Security, ISA (the International Society of Automation), has produced a White Paper intended to help SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) to recognise their vulnerability to industrial cyber-attacks and to forge effective cyber-security plans based on established standards and practices.


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.


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