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In Brief

01 January, 2006

• Siemens Automation & Drives has set up a new global network of "Siemens Solution Partners" encompassing more than 500 systems houses and integrators operating around the world in the fields of automation and power distribution. The partners will use a new emblem to prove that they are qualified Siemens partners.

• Emerson Industrial Automation`s mechanical power transmission division has bought the Spanish coupling manufacturer, Jaure, which it plans to integrate with its Kop-Flex couplings business. It says the deal will strengthen Jaure`s brand presence in Europe and enable Jaure to provide products and services on a global basis.

• THK has increased its European manufacturing capacity for precision-rolled, DIN-standard ballscrews, by extending the production facilities at its TME plant in France. The new lines will be able to produce up to 6,000 ballscrews a month to meet growing European demand. Previously, these products had to be shipped in from THK in Japan.

• Solomon Technologies, the Florida motor manufacturer accusing Toyota`s hybrid electric vehicles of infringing one of its patents has expanded its litigation by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission. One of the ITC`s roles is to determine whether goods imported into the US infringe US patents. It cannot assess damages against an infringer, but could stop Toyota importing its successful Prius and Highlander hybrid vehicles into the US.

• After several years of decline, the global market for electromechanical switches is starting to show some growth and will expand from $3.7bn in 2004 to over $4.2bn by 2008, according to a study by the US market analyst, the Venture Development Corporation.

•Siemens Energy & Automation is investing some $30m to revitalise an Ohio plant that develops and builds large motors. The three-year project is aimed at making the Norwood plant more efficient and productive. It will include the creation of a "global motor" research and technology development centre that will help to enhance Siemens motors sold around the world.

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