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24 May, 2019

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Mitsubishi buys Iconics and invests in Realtime Robotics

13 May, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric is acquiring the remaining shares in Iconics Inc, the US industrial software developer that focuses on Scada, IoT, mobile, analytics and cloud software products for the manufacturing, industrial and building-automation markets. Mitsubishi has held a 19.9% stake in Iconics since 2011, and the new deal will make the US business a 100% subsidiary. The financial details of the acquisition have not been revealed.


Fieldbus sales go into reverse as Ethernet continues to boom

09 May, 2019

Sales of industrial fieldbus nodes fell for the first time last year, as industrial Ethernet continued to establish its dominance of industrial networking, according to the latest annual survey of the market by the Swedish industrial networking supplier, HMS Networks.


Schaeffler and Mitsubishi join forces on digitalisation

07 May, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric and Schaeffler Technologies have formed a global strategic partnership that will build on existing collaborations between the two companies under Mitsubishi’s e-F@ctory Alliance, which they have both been members of since 2010.


Hitachi buys US robotics SI, JR, for $1.4bn

24 April, 2019

Hitachi is buying the leading US-based robotic systems integrator (SI), JR Automation Technologies, for $1.425m (around ¥158.2bn) to strengthen its factory automation activities in North America and elsewhere. JR, founded in 1980, builds production lines and logistics systems that use industrial robots. It employs more than 2,000 people at 23 locations worldwide and has expanded its revenues by more than 20% a year for the past three years to reach $603m in 2018.


Novanta adds Ingenia servodrives to Celera motion business

18 April, 2019

US-based Celera Motion, part of the Novanta Corporation, has acquired Ingenia Motion Control, the Spanish developer of servodrives and control software. Ingenia will be integrated into Novanta’s Precision Motion group and become part of its Celera Motion business, which also includes Applimotion direct-drive motors and actuators, MicroE optical encoders, Westwind air bearings and spindles, and UK-based Zettlex inductive encoders, which Novanta acquired in 2018.


Manufacturers on Windows XP are risking their systems

09 April, 2019

Many manufacturers are facing an increased risk of cyber-attacks due to their continuing use of old versions of Windows – especially Windows XP – which are no longer receiving security updates, according to the cyber-security analyst, Trend Micro. In a new report, Trend also warns that the closer links between IT (information technology) and shopfloor networks that are essential to Industry 4.0 are posing increased risks to production processes and intellectual property.


Microsoft and BMW want to open up manufacturing tech

08 April, 2019

Microsoft and the BMW Group have launched an initiative aimed at speeding up innovation in the manufacturing sector and making it more cost-effective. The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) is designed to break down barriers caused by proprietary systems, and to create an open technology framework backed by a cross-industry community.


Industry group wants 80% of machines to speak same language

03 April, 2019

A group of European suppliers of equipment and software for smart factories have formed an alliance that wants to ensure that 80% of the machines in smart factories will speak the same language. The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, whose founders include Beckhoff, Endress+Hauser, Hischer, ifm, Kuka and SAP, is committed to offering an open “ecosystem” and framework to achieve interoperability between equipment.


Timken buys Diamond Chain to expand portfolio

02 April, 2019

The bearings and power transmission manufacturer Timken has acquired The Diamond Chain Company from Amsted Industries for an undisclosed amount. US-headquartered Diamond Chain supplies high-performance roller chains for industrial markets. In the 12 months ended 31 March, 2019, Diamond Chain posted sales of more than $60m.


Cyber-flaw could allow hackers to halt Rockwell drives

01 April, 2019

US cyber-researchers have found a software flaw in some Rockwell Automation variable-speed drives that could be exploited to manipulate the drive’s operation or to stop it remotely. The “denial of service” bug in PowerFlex 525 drives with embedded Ethernet I/P could allow a cyber-attacker to crash the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) so that it will not accept any new connections. The current connections would, however, remain active, allowing potential attackers to take control of the drive.


Small enclosures will be built in €250m Industry 4.0 factory

01 April, 2019

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, Rittal has unveiled a new generation of the world’s best-selling range of small and compact enclosures, designed to meet the needs of the digital era. The new AX (compact) and KX (small) enclosures are being built in a brand-new €250m factory – the biggest investment in Rittal’s history – that will operate on Industry 4.0 principles, allowing the company to deliver custom-built enclosures to German customers within 24 hours of them placing an order. Elsewhere in Europe, it will take 48 hours.


HMS takes control at German IIoT firm, WEBfactory

14 March, 2019

Swedish-based HMS Industrial Networks AB, a subsidiary of HMS Networks AB, has acquired 74.9% of the shares in the German company WEBfactory, which provides Web-based software for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).


ABB ties up with Dassault and unveils new structure

04 March, 2019

ABB has formed a global software partnership with Dassault Systèmes and revealed details of its global reorganisation following its recent decision to sell its Power Grids business to Hitachi. The company’s focus will now be predominantly on the industrial sector with more than half of its almost 2018 revenues of $30bn coming from its automation, motion, robotics and discrete automation activities, which make up three of the four businesses in its new structure – the fourth being electrification.


IIC and OPC will collaborate to promote the IIoT

25 February, 2019

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OPC Foundation have agreed to work together to advance their shared interests. Under a deal signed in the US, they will collaborate to promote the digital economy by preventing fragmentation and harmonising various aspects of the industrial Internet.


IO-Link revenues hit $3.5bn in 2018 and are booming

07 February, 2019

Global sales of IO-Link compatible equipment were worth more than $3.5bn in 2018 and will grow by a further 12.2% in 2019, according to a new study by the analyst, Future Market Insights (FMI). It adds that IO-Link devices accounted for more than 56% of global turnover (almost $2bn) last year, with IO-Link masters accounting for the remainder.


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