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19 August, 2019

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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.


Sales of motor-drives and on-machine VSDs ‘will hit $1.4bn’

05 February, 2019

The global market for integrated motors and machine-mounted drives will expand with a CAGR of 6.8% in the five years from 2017, reaching $1.4bn by 2022, according to a new study from IHS Markit. Factors driving the market include an expansion in machinery production and additional revenues being generated by sales of AC brushless servo and AC induction motors and drives.


Nidec takes 70% stake in German gearbox manufacturer, Desch

01 February, 2019

The Japanese motors and drives giant Nidec is acquiring a 70% stake in the German precision gearbox and drive component manufacturer, Desch Antriebstechnik, and its subsidiaries in Germany and China. The transaction will give Nidec’s gearbox subsidiary Nidec-Shimpo access to the market for large precision gearboxes, in addition to its current presence in the small precision gearbox market. Desch’s companies in North America are not part of the agreement, whose financial details have not been disclosed.


P+F buys US industrial comms specialist Comtrol

31 January, 2019

The German industrial automation company Pepperl+Fuchs is acquiring Comtrol Corporation, the US-based pioneer of industrial Ethernet technologies and manufacturer of IO-Link products. From 1 February, Comtrol will join P+F’s Factory Automation division and a new company called Pepperl+Fuchs Comtrol Inc, will be established in the US. The business will remain in Minneapolis and plans to increase its headcount during 2019. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.


KEB takes 30% stake in Italian motor-maker, Brusatori

31 January, 2019

The German motors and drives manufacturer KEB Automation has acquired a 30% stake in the Italian motor producer, Brusatori Motori Elettrici, thus expanding its servo and high-torque portfolio.


EU scheme hopes to create 1,000 start-ups by 2030

29 January, 2019

The European Union has set up a consortium with the goal of creating 1,000 manufacturing start-up businesses, and training and upskilling 50,000 people across the EU by 2030. The EIT Manufacturing consortium brings together 50 partners from 17 countries (not including the UK) with aim of helping the European manufacturing sector to become more competitive, sustainable and productive.


Global group aims to accelerate uptake of Industry 4.0

29 January, 2019

Five organisations – Siemens, SAP, the management consultancy McKinsey, the testing body TÜV SÜD, and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) – have joined forces to help manufacturers around the world adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. The group aims to develop tools that will accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturers in Singapore and elsewhere.


Piezo motors challenge traditional technologies

29 January, 2019

The global market for piezoelectric motors was worth $8.3bn last year and will reach $12.5bn by 2027 – a CAGR of 4.7% – according to a new study from the analyst Fact.MR. It reports that more than two billion piezo motors were sold last year (about a quarter of them linear motors) and says that the market is being driven by factors including the motors’ high torque and force capabilities.


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