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26 August, 2019

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£80m programme helps UK to develop electric transport

19 August, 2019

The UK government is investing £80m in a programme to help develop the power electronics, electrical machine and drive (PEMD) technologies needed for the next generation of electric vehicles and hybrid aircraft. The investment – through the government's Industrial Strategy programme – will help the UK to develop and supply products that will help to cut carbon emissions in industries such as transport, energy, agriculture and construction.


£35m facility will focus on safety of robotic systems

19 August, 2019

The University of York is to establish a £35m research facility aimed at ensuring the safety of robotics and other systems that use artificial intelligence. The York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy will house specialist laboratories and testing facilities – bringing together industrial partners and experts. The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) will provide £10.5m of the funding, with the rest coming from industrial and philanthropic partners through matched funding.


‘Ground-breaking’ initiative will help UK firms to adopt I4.0

15 August, 2019

Siemens Digital Industries has joined forces with the analytics specialist Atos and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre, to launch a “ground-breaking” Industrial Digitalisation Accelerator (IDA) programme that will offer UK businesses of all sizes a practical, collaborative space in which to explore Industry 4.0 technologies. They claim it is the first time that experts in the fields of IoT, analytics and computing have come together in this way to help industry to discover new pathways to growth.


£3m extension will expand robotics r&d workforce by 50%

15 August, 2019

The UK government is funding a £3m extension to the Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (Race) research facility at the Culham Science Centre, near Oxford. The extension will allow Race to expand its workforce by more than 50%, to around 250, and increase its collaboration with academic and industry partners on the latest robotics equipment and testing facilities.


UK soft-start pioneer Fairford becomes Motortronics UK

05 August, 2019

Fairford Electronics, the long-established British developer and manufacturer of soft-starters for electric motors, has adopted the name of the American company which bought it just over a year ago. It will now be known as Motortronics UK and will supply a much wider range of motor control products and systems.


Equistone buys UK connector-maker Bulgin for £105m

02 August, 2019

The private equity investor, Equistone Partners Europe, is buying a majority stake in Bulgin, the Cambridge-based manufacturer of rugged electrical components, from its current owner, Elektron Technology, in a deal that values the company at £105m. Bulgin will continue to be led by John Wilson, who will move from the role of executive chairman to CEO, and the company will keep its existing management team, who will acquire a minority shareholding. Peter Williamson will join as non-executive chairman.


Automation product sales in the UK grew by 7.3% during 2018

26 July, 2019

Sales of industrial automation products in the UK grew by 7.3% last year – the third consecutive year of growth – according to the latest statistics issued by Gambica, the trade association that covers the sector. However, despite being boosted by including servodrives for the first time, growth in the sector was slower than the 12.3% it achieved in 2017.


UK manufacturers are among the keenest to adopt 5G

13 June, 2019

UK manufacturers are among the keenest to adopt 5G technologies, according to a survey of 800 industrial company executives and 150 telecoms executives in 12 leading countries, performed by Cap Gemini. It found that 75% of UK companies (and a similar proportion in Italy) want to implement 5G within two years of it becoming available. This puts them ahead of the global average of 65% and Germany, where the figure is just 49%.


Engineer of The Year is a German drives developer

12 June, 2019

A German engineer, Juan Carlos González Villar, was named Engineer of the Year at the Motion Control Industry (MCI) Awards ceremony, held last month in Solihull, UK. Villar, who is proprietor of Kabel.Consult.Ing, won the award for his patented “Energy Light” drive system and networked, continuously-variable transmission system, which he says, improves the energy efficiency of drive applications using a combination of a patented motor technology, advanced controls, and a lightweight construction using composite fibre materials. It is designed to minimise drive output during continuous operation, acceleration, delays, and braking, and to standardise the drive system.


UK children get their own engineering institutions

12 June, 2019

The UK’s latest engineering institutions will also have the youngest members. Primary Engineer, the organisation that has spent the past 15 bringing engineering into primary classrooms, has taken its most ambitious step yet by launching the Institutions of Primary and Secondary Engineers which. It says they “are set to change the way skills are taught and nurtured in schools”.


Variohm buys UK displacement sensor specialist, Positek

28 May, 2019

The Variohm Group has acquired the Gloucester-based sensor-maker, Positek, for an undisclosed sum. Positek, which produces linear, rotary, tilt and intrinsically safe position sensors, becomes the fifth member of the Variohm Group, alongside Variohm EuroSensor, Herga, Ixthus Instrumentation and Heason Technology.


UK robot sales fell by 3% in 2018 – while the EU grew by 12%

16 May, 2019

The number of industrial robots installed in the UK fell by 3% during 2018 to 2,306, according to the latest figures issued by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). This compares to a 31% spurt in growth recorded during 2017.


Scots contractor RSE takes a majority stake in Saftronics

16 May, 2019

The Scottish engineering and manufacturing contractor RSE (known until April this year as Ross-shire Engineering) has acquired a majority shareholding in the Leeds-based controls and switchboard manufacturer, Saftronics. The acquisition marks a further expansion for RSE as it develops its offering as a mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation contractor serving municipal and utilitiy customers across the UK. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.


Scottish firm wins €5,000 prize for pipe inspection system

09 May, 2019

A Scottish company has beaten off competition from 445 entries from 32 countries to win this year’s €5,000 manus award for innovative uses for high-performance plastic bearings. Aberdeen-based ToolTec received the award from igus at the recent Hannover Fair.


Schaeffler sale saves UK bearings-maker Barden from closure

08 May, 2019

The Schaeffler Group has agreed to sell The Barden Corporation (UK), located in Plymouth, UK, to another German bearings manufacturer, HQW, for an undisclosed sum. The Plymouth plant will continue to operate without significant changes for employees or customers, and Barden will remain a supplier to Schaeffler as well as to third-party customers.


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