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12 July, 2024

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In brief
Published:  01 October, 2003

• The Eaton Corporation has adopted the name Eaton Electrical for its industrial and commercial controls division, including its Cutler-Hammer group. The renaming follows Eaton`s acquisition of Delta`s electrical division earlier this year and is intended to emphasize the global nature of its business. Brand names including Cutler-Hammer and MEM will be kept.

• Leroy Somer has set up a "lean manufacturing" division that can manufacture and configure motors and other components rapidly to customers` requirements. The company is now offering "guaranteed availability" on more than 500,000 items, including ATEX motors, integrated drive-motors, and adapted products. These will be delivered on short lead-times on a date specified by the customer.

• The Swiss firm maxon motor is investing €2.74m in a new manufacturing plant in Hungary, which will make precision components for electric motors. The plant, due to be completed by mid-2004, will employ 100—150 people and is expected to generate sales worth €195m.

• Tecnomatix Technologies, an Israeli company specialising in manufacturing process management (MPM) has bought the SCADA and MES developer, USDATA, in a deal worth around $10.3m. Tecnomatix hopes the acquisition will help it to offer a complete MPM range spanning the manufacturing process lifecycle. USDATA`s products include FactoryLink and Xfactory.

• US couplings giant Lovejoy has formed a joint venture with Rahmer & Jansen of Werdohl, Germany, the world`s second-largest supplier of couplings to the hydraulics market. The JV, called Raja-Lovejoy, will produce and sell components for this market. Lovejoy will also move its European base to Germany.

• Matsushita is planning to step up development of MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) devices, such as switches, sensors and relays, and aims to make them a core element of its automation business in three to five years. It hopes to boost its MEMS sales five-fold to reach ₯10bn by 2006. Later this year, Matsushita will launch a relay the size of a grain of rice, and a miniature three-axis acceleration sensor.

• ThinGap Motor Technologies, the US company that has developed a novel, high-efficiency brushless DC motor, has won a major contract from Rietschle Thomas to supply motors and controllers for use in medical compressors. The lightweight ThinGap motors have no iron cores and use machined copper sheets instead of wire windings.

• Pepperl+Fuchs has bought the EPS (enclosure protection systems) division of US-based Bebco Industries. The division makes purge and pressurisation products used to protect equipment and control panels. Pepperl+Fuchs says the acquisition will reinforce its position as a leading supplier of safety equipment.

• Following a period of extreme contraction in the North American market for LV AC induction motors, it will return to growth in the latter part of this year, a report from IMS Research predicts. Growth will peak in 2004, followed by a flat period from 2005 to 2007. IEC motors will exhibit stronger revenue growth than NEMA motors during this period.

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