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6 August, 2020

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Rockwell and PTC offer free AR software for remote servicing

04 June, 2020

As part of their strategic alliance, PTC and Rockwell Automation, are offering free augmented reality (AR) software until August 2020 to help their customers to maintain business continuity while complying with stay-at-home orders. The PTC Vuforia Chalk software allows service personnel and operators to connect and collaborate with remotely located experts to solve unfamiliar or unexpected machinery or equipment problems.


Global manufacturing will not hit 2019 levels until 2024

19 May, 2020

Global manufacturing output will fall by 7.6% in 2020, but most countries will exceed 2019 levels of production by 2024 – some as soon as 2022 – according a new forecast from Interact Analysis. It expects the US, the UK, Italy, India and Brazil to be the countries whose manufacturing sectors will be worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with South Korea and China being the least affected.


Europe's biggest 5G research network targets factory apps

18 May, 2020

Europe’s largest 5G research network has gone live in Germany with the aim of developing technologies and applications for digitised and networked production in factories. The German government is contributing almost €6.2m towards the cost of establishing and running the 5G Industry Campus Europe, which covers an area of 1km2 at RWTH Aachen University, including 7,000m2 of machine halls.


US researchers find that every robot replaces 3.3 jobs

15 May, 2020

American researchers have calculated that every new industrial robot installed in the US between 1993 and 2007 replaced 3.3 jobs. But in a separate analysis of French industry from 2010 to 2015, they have also found that firms that adopt robots quickly became more productive and hire more workers, while their competitors fall behind and shed workers – with jobs again being reduced overall.


Nema publishes guide to disinfecting electrical equipment for Covid-19

15 May, 2020

The US-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (Nema) has published a free downloadable guide on how to disinfect electrical equipment for Covid-19, while preserving the equipment’s functions and integrity.


Siemens plans to spin off its Flender gears and couplings arm

11 May, 2020

Siemens has announced plans to spin off its Flender mechanical power transmission business, which it describes as “the world’s leading manufacturer of mechanical drive systems”.


Voith buys Austrian electric motor manufacturer, Elin

06 May, 2020

The global technology company Voith has taken control of the Austrian motor and generator manufacturer Elin Motoren, by acquiring a 70% stake in the company for an undisclosed sum. Elin will remain an independent business and will continue to use the Elin brand. The remaining 30% of the business is being held by Franz Hrachowitz.


SPE industry groups expand – and one gets a new name

06 May, 2020

Two separate industry groups that are promoting Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) technologies, have both added new members. The SPE Industrial Partner Network, whose previous members included Harting, TE Connectivity, Leoni, Murrelektronik, igus and Softing, has added Belden’s Hirschmann brand to its ranks, while the second group – now called the SPE System Alliance – has attracted several new members including Sick, Rosenberger and Microchip Technology. The Alliance already counted Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller and Fluke Networks among its supporters.


Robots help to make drive-through virus testing safer

17 April, 2020

In a matter of weeks, automation and robotics experts around the world have come up with inventive ways to use their technologies to help tackle the coronavirus epidemic, taking advantage of the fact that automation equipment is not affected by the virus and is ideal for doing repetitive tasks.


Rockwell CEO takes a 25% pay cut, but plant workers get a bonus

14 April, 2020

Rockwell Automation has announced that it is cutting the salaries of its non-manufacturing employees temporarily by 7.5%, with chairman and CEO Blake Moret taking a 25% pay cut, and all senior vice-presidents losing 15% of their salaries, as part of the steps that the company is taking “to align its costs with anticipated market conditions in light of the Cpvid-19 pandemic”. However, Rockwell’s manufacturing workers will not be affected by the pay cuts and are, in fact, receiving one-off additional payments in recognition of their work in serving the company’s customers “during this difficult time”.


ABB makes digital services free to help maintain production

01 April, 2020

ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business has announced that it will make key software services available free-of-charge to its customers until the end of 2020, to help them keep production lines going and to continue to function while many of their staff are working from home.


German Automatica show is postponed to December

26 March, 2020

The Automatica exhibition, which was due to take place in Munich in June, has been postponed until 8–11 December, at the same venue.


Hannover Fair is now cancelled, not postponed

26 March, 2020

The organisers of the Hannover Fair have now cancelled the 2020 event after the regional government issued a decree prohibiting the staging of the world’s biggest industrial trade show in the light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


GE offers free remote software to engineers working from home

20 March, 2020

GE Digital is offering free Web-based remote monitoring and control licences to users of its industrial HMI/Scada software, allowing them to work remotely to ensure business continuity if they having to work from home as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The 90-day licences will be available to the 20,000 automation software customers that use GE’s iFix and Cimplicity products.


ABB forms AI partnership to create e-commerce robots

12 March, 2020

ABB has formed a partnership with an American AI (artificial intelligence) start-up called Covariant, to bring AI-enabled robotics technologies to market, starting with autonomous systems for fulfilling warehouse orders. Their joint vision is to develop and offer AI-enabled robots that will work alongside humans in dynamic environments, learning and improving as they perform their tasks.


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