In the five years leading up to the economic downturn in 2009, revenues from global sales of low-voltage drives grew at an annual average of more than 12%. In the six years since then, the CAGR has been only about 2%.
A series of tests, funded by the Copper Development Association (CDA), comparing the efficiencies of a copper-rotor motor (CRM) with three permanent magnet (PM) motors, have failed to show that one type is clearly more efficient than the other. In one test, the efficiency of a copper-rotor induction motor was found to be higher than that of a commercially available PM motor.
The Japanese automation giant Omron is buying Adept, the largest American manufacturer of industrial robots, in a deal that values Adept at about $200m. Omron is offering Adept investors $13 per share of common stock, which represents a 63% premium over the closing price on September 15, 2015.
ABB has announced plans to slim down from five divisions to four as part of a programme aimed at delivering $1bn of white-collar cost savings across its 140,000-strong workforce. The main change – which will take effect from January 2016 – is to combine most of its Power Products and Power Systems divisions into a new Power Grids Division.
RS Components has launched a free electrical design software package which, it says, will bring the benefits of design software to those not already using electrical CAD (computer-aided design) tools. The global launch of DesignSpark Electrical follows RS’ earlier free packages, DesignSpark PCB (which has had 230,000 activations since its launch in 2010) and DesignSpark Mechanical (which has had 175,000 activations since its launch in 2013).
The Japanese motor manufacturer Nidec has acquired the privately-owned US motor controls producer KB Electronics, for an undisclosed sum.
The global market for industrial robots will climb from $26.8bn in 2012 to reach $41.2bn by 2020, according to a new report from Allied Market Research. This represents a CAGR of 5.4% from 2013 to 2020. Allied attributes the rapid growth to a combination of demand for automation applications, and a reduction of duties on refurbished goods in the Asia-Pacific region.
The global market for precision electric motors will be worth $52.2bn by 2020 – more than double its 2013 value of $22.7bn – according to a new report from Transparency Market Research. This represents a CAGR of 12.7% between 2014 and 2020.
Cyber-security researchers in the US say that they have found security flaws in industrial Ethernet switches and gateways which could be used to attack industrial control systems in industries ranging from manufacturing to power generation. They have found vulnerabilities in four makes of Ethernet switch, but say that similar problems could exist in other devices.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) have announced that they are collaborating to develop an architecture for an interoperable industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
The Japanese robotics and motion controls manufacturer, Yaskawa, is setting up two joint ventures with the Chinese domestic appliances giant, Midea, to produce robots in China. The partners plan to invest a total of 400m yuan ($63m) in the ventures, one of which will produce industrial robots, the other service robots.
The economic benefits of industrial robots installed since the early 1990s have been similar to those of the railways in the 19th century, US highways in the 20th century, and information and communications technologies more recently, according to a new analysis by two economics professors.
Global revenues from sales of medium-voltage variable-speed drives (MV VSDs) slumped by more than 10% during 2014 to reach a total of $2.5bn, as prices were eroded by a combination of increasing competition and lower demand.
The Japanese automation manufacturer Omron is buying the Californian motion control specialist Delta Tau Data Systems, as part of a strategy to enhance its factory automation technology and strengthen its position in the control devices market. Details of the transaction have not been released.
The US materials-handling specialist Columbus McKinnon Corporation is buying the digital power and motion control manufacturer Magnetek for $188.9m. Columbus McKinnon describes the deal as “an excellent strategic and cultural fit between two market-leaders”, and says it will accelerate its plan to achieve $1bn in revenues.