David Brown and Santasalo – two mechanical power transmission companies owned by Clyde Blowers Capital – have merged to create David Brown Santasalo, a global industrial gearbox business with more than 1,000 employees, 5,000 customers, seven manufacturing plants and 23 service centres on six continents.
Protean Electric, which develops in-wheel electric drive systems for vehicles, is to start manufacturing its motors in Tianjin, China, during the second half of 2016, and to build a factory on a permanent site by the end of 2017. The in-wheel motor technology incorporates power and control electronics, and is claimed to increase fuel economy by up to 30%. Protean has an engineering base in the UK, as well as US and Chinese operations.
Rexnord is buying the US-based metal conveyor belt manufacturer, Cambridge International Holdings, for an estimated $210m. Cambridge is one of the world’s largest suppliers of metal conveying and engineered woven metal systems, used mainly in food processing, as well as in architectural, packaging and filtration applications.
Ladder logic continues to be the dominant language for programming PLCs, accounting for more than 81% of the global market, despite the availability of several other languages defined in the IEC 61131-3 standard. New research from Technavio suggests that Functional Block Diagram (FBD) programming represents just over 11% of the market, with other languages accounting for the remaining 7.24%.
ABB has bought SVIA, a Swedish company that specialises in systems for automated machine-tending, using robots to feed components to lathes and mills, and to processes such as assembly, washing and part-marking. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.
Eplan, the German engineering design software developer, has announced that it is opening up its vast library of product data to users of rival products such as AutoCad. It is also making the data available to users of ERP (enterprise resource planning), PDM (product data management) and PLM (product life management) systems.
The world’s largest car-maker, Toyota, has decided that EtherCat will be its industrial Ethernet technology of choice and that it will base all of its new factories worldwide on this communications technology. Announcing the decision at the recent Hannover Fair, Morihiko Ohkura, general manager of Toyota’s production engineering innovation division, said that it was based on a “thorough” analysis of various industrial Ethernet technologies.
SKF is selling its Kaydon velocity control business to Stabilus for $339m. SKF acquired the business as part of the Kaydon Corporation, which it bought for $1.25bn in 2013.
The German manufacturer Harting has won the prestigious Hermes Award for industrial innovation for its Mica (Modular Industry Computing Architecture) mini-industrial computer. This the second time that Harting has won the award, which is presented every year at the Hannover Fair. The presentation was made at the opening ceremony in the presence of US president Barak Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel, who also visited the Harting stand the following day.
Rockwell Automation’s board of directors has elected Blake Moret, a 30-year veteran with the company, to succeed Keith Nosbusch as president and chief executive officer of the company, with effect from 1 July. Nosbusch, 65, who has been president and CEO since 2004, will continue to be chairman of the board. Moret, 53, is currently senior vice-president of Rockwell’s Control Products & Solutions business.
The number of industrial robots sold worldwide last year exceeded 240,000 for the first time – equivalent to a year-on-year growth rate of 8% – according to new figures released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
The precision motion and nanopositioning specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) is investing €13m to build a new technology centre at its global headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany. After a year of planning, the cornerstone for the 9,600m² centre was laid recently.
Siemens and Airbus have signed a long-term collaboration agreement aimed at demonstrating the technical feasibility of hybrid/electric propulsion systems for aircraft by 2020. They have set up a joint development team of around 200 people to drive innovation and the development of electrically powered aircraft in Europe.
The Brazilian motor-maker WEG is buying the US fractional horsepower motor manufacturer, Bluffton Motor Works, for an undisclosed sum. The Indiana-based business – formerly part of Franklin Electric – employs about 400 people and achieved revenues worth $64m in 2015.
The global market for operator terminals was worth $2.4bn in 2014, and will expand to $2.9bn by 2019 – a CAGR of 3.5% – according to the latest analysis from IHS Technology. The figures represent a downward revision as a result of pressure from the slowing economy, weak commodity prices and low oil prices.