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May News in Brief

01 May, 2011

♦  General Motors is the first major US car-maker to set up a plant dedicated to producing electric motors and other components for its electric and hybrid vehicles. The $269.5m plant near Baltimore is due to open in 2013. Around 9% of its energy will come from a 1.23MW rooftop solar array.

♦  Mitsubishi Electric is setting up a company in Changshu, China, to produce servomotors, numerical controllers and other drive products, mainly for the Chinese market. Mitsubishi Electric Automation Manufacturing (Changshu) is due to start operations in December 2012 and is expected to employ 450 people by 2016 when its projected sales will be worth £230m.

♦  The US-based Marsh Bellofram Group has bought the encoder and tachometer manufacturer ServoTek and is moving the company`s manufacturing operation from New Jersey to its corporate headquarters in West Virginia.

♦  The Finnish drives-maker Vacon has inaugurated a 24,000m2 factory in Suzhou, China, which incorporates an r&d laboratory and a service centre for the Asia-Pacific region.

♦  Mitsubishi Electric has bought a 14.9% stake in the South African Scada and HMI software developer, Adroit Technologies, for an undisclosed sum. The move follows their joint development of a scalable hardware and software platform called Mitsubishi Adroit Process Suite (Maps).

♦  Global demand for machine tools will grow at 9.4% a year during the period 2009–2014, taking the market to $121bn, says a new study from the Freedonia Group. The Asia-Pacific region will grow at 12.1%, while European demand will expand by just 3.6%. Although industrial machinery will remain the biggest market, the strongest growth will come from the automotive and aircraft production sectors.
♦  Eriks has bought the German company Sodeco Armaturen, from its Belgian parent, the Sodeco group. The business will join AMG Pesch, which Eriks bought earlier this year, and the combined businesses, with a staff of around 90, will supply actuators and fittings for valve and flow applications.

♦  Toshiba is buying the Swiss energy management and metering specialist Landis & Gyr for $2.3bn, as part of its plans to expand its activities in the burgeoning “smart grid” market.

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