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6 June, 2020

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Reconfigurable UK robot targets SME batch applications

05 March, 2020

A British start-up company is developing a modular collaborative robot (cobot) that can be adapted, by adding or removing extension modules, to handle a variety of payloads and reaches. Guildford-based Inovo Robotics is targeting, in particular, SME (small and medium size enterprise) manufacturers with limited production runs, which may need to reconfigure their robotic systems from one production run to another.


UK government gives electrical machines a £37m boost

05 March, 2020

The UK business secretary Alok Sharma has announced a £36.7m investment programme to design, test and manufacture electric machines for future low-carbon transport applications, aimed at helping the UK to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050. The bulk of the funding (£30m) will be used to create four new centres of excellence – in Newport, Nottingham, Strathclyde and Sunderland – that will research and develop green electric machines, for applications including planes, ships and cars.


SMEs invested £5.4m in first year of Made Smarter programme

04 March, 2020

In the first year of the Made Smarter North West pilot, 300 small and medium-sized manufacturers have have invested £5.4m in new technologies, aided by £1.6m of funding. The pilot is working with SMEs in North West England, offering them impartial advice, and helping them introduce digital tools and technologies to boost their productivity and growth.


UK project aims for ‘world’s most power-dense PM motor’

04 March, 2020

A UK company is developing what it claims will be the world’s most power-dense permanent magnet electric motor. Norfolk-based Equipmake has teamed up with the Bristol-based additive manufacturing organisation HiEta Technologies to develop the next-generation motor with a target peak power density of at least 20kW/kg – more than four times that of a conventional motor. The project is being supported by a grant from the UK government’s innovation funding body, Innovate UK.


‘Multi-million pound’ MBO at Siemens partner HMK

02 March, 2020

HMK Automation Group, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, has undergone a “multi-million pound” management buyout (MBO), led by managing director Gary Kitchin, who has been with the company for almost two decades and took on the role of MD in 2012.


UK plant is the first to join global Industry 4.0 elite

05 February, 2020

A GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical plant in Hertfordshire has become the first UK factory to be chosen to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse network of frontrunners in applying Industry 4.0 technologies. The plant, located in Ware, is one of 18 sites around the world that were added to the network at the WEF’s recent meeting in Davos, Switzerland.


Schneider expands two UK plants to meet renewables demand

05 February, 2020

Schneider Electric has announced plans for a multi-million pound upgrade and expansion of its Leeds and Scarborough manufacturing facilities in the UK in response to the growing demand in renewable and green technologies. It is also planning to create an innovation hub in Leeds, showcasing its sustainable energy management technologies.


Parvalux reveals plans to expand into a new factory in Poole

03 February, 2020

The Bournemouth-based motor manufacturer, Parvalux Electric Motors, has announced plans to build a new 13,000m2 (140,000ft2) factory and headquarters in nearby Poole, where it will amalgamate its operations from three existing sites. It has bought a 3.54ha (8.75-acre) site in Cabot Lane which was previously occupied by Barclays and Siemens. Construction is due to start later this year with occupation scheduled for 2021. 


Igus invests £4m in pioneering UK recycling plant

03 February, 2020

The German engineering plastics specialist igus has invested £4m in a company that is building a first-of-its-kind plant in Cheshire, UK, that will recycle plastic waste into synthetic oil that can be re-used to make new plastic products. Construction is due to start this year on the first commercial catalytic hydrothermal reactor (Cat-HTR) plant which will consist of four reactors and will be able to process more than 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year.


AES buys Dutch condition monitoring firm to add to AVT

17 January, 2020

AES Engineering, based in Rotherham, UK, has acquired the Dutch reliability and vibration monitoring specialist Van Geffen, for an undisclosed sum. Van Geffen, which specialises in preventing and solving of problems with machinery, foundations and structures, will join AES’ condition-monitoring subsidiary, AVT Reliability Group, located in Cheshire, UK.


Just 16% of UK’s SME manufacturers are using robots

06 January, 2020

Just 16% of the UK’s SME (small and medium enterprise) manufacturers are using robots, with another 13% saying they are planning to start using them, according to the latest national Manufacturing Barometer report. But more than 70% have no plans to introduce robots or are unsure about whether to do so.


£9m grant will help to convert planes for hybrid-electric flight

03 January, 2020

A consortium of British business has received a £9m grant from the government to help design, manufacture and integrate a hybrid-electric propulsion system into a nine-seater Britten-Norman (B-N) Islander aircraft, which is typically used on short flights such as island-hopping.


High-efficiency motor pioneer honoured in AEMT awards

03 January, 2020

Professor David Walters, who pioneered technologies for high-efficiency electric motors when he was technical director at Brook Crompton, has received a lifetime contribution award from the AEMT – the Association of Electric and Mechanical trades – at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony, held recently in Coventry, UK. Walters, now retired, was the driving force behind Brook Crompton’s ground-breaking W series of high-efficiency motors.


UK’s strongest robot flexes its muscles at the MTC

03 January, 2020

What is thought to be the UK’s most powerful industrial robot has been installed at Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. The six-axis Fanuc M-2000iA/2300 machine can handle heavy loads, such as automotive chassis and foundry workpieces, weighing up to 2.3 tonnes. It has a reach of 3.7m and vertical lifting stroke of 6.2m.


Automation slashes drive cable lead times from weeks to 24h

02 January, 2020

igus has commissioned an automated assembly line for its readycable drives cables at its UK headquarters in Northampton. The line uses automated machines and lean manufacturing methods to streamline its manufacturing processes, and can produce fully-harnessed drive cables ready for shipping within 24 hours of an order being placed.


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