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22 October, 2020

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Benshaw-AuCom soft-start business will offer more choice

15 September, 2020

Following the acquisition of the New Zealand soft-start pioneer Aucom by the US motor control specialist Benshaw earlier this year, more details have emerged about how the merged business – described as “the world's largest owner-managed supplier of soft-starters” – will operate.


Phoenix licences PLCnext to Yaskawa for next-gen controls

14 September, 2020

UPDATED: The drives, robotics and mechatronics manufacturer Yaskawa has announced that it plans to use Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext runtime control environment as the basis for its next-generation machine controller and PLC platform. The two companies say they have a shared goal moving away from proprietary systems to offer an open and future-proof ecosystem for industrial automation.


ABB invests $43.5m to upgrade motion and automation r&d

09 September, 2020

ABB is investing about CHF40m ($43.5m) in new research and development facilities and office space for its Motion and Industrial Automation Business in Turgi, Switzerland. The investment will enable ABB to strengthen its position several high-growth areas and to expand its innovation capabilities.


Manufacturing recovery will vary by sector and region

26 August, 2020

A new analysis of how long it will take for global manufacturing to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, suggests that there will be big variations in recovery rates in different sectors of industry and in different regional markets. The study, by Interact Analysis, shows, for example, that the commercial vehicle market and the electrical and electronic equipment sector will both recover much faster than previously thought, while other sectors will suffer longer-term effects.


SPS automation show will be a virtual event this year

26 August, 2020

The organisers of the huge German automation show SPS have announced that it will become an virtual, online-only event this year “due to the ongoing travel restrictions and other fundamental changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic”. The show had been due to take place in Nuremberg in the last week of November.


UK industrial software giant Aveva buys OSIsoft for $5bn

25 August, 2020

The UK industrial software supplier Aveva is buying OSIsoft, the US-based real-time industrial data software and services developer, for $5bn. The two companies will combine their products, bringing together industrial software and data management to help customers accelerate their digital transformation. The merged business will have revenues of around £1.2bn.


'Robotic integrated controller’ eliminates the need for humans

25 August, 2020

The Japanese automation manufacturer Omron has announced what it describes as “the world’s first robotics integrated controller”, which synchronises various technologies to provide highly automated manufacturing operations that do not rely on humans. It says that the controller will: improve the speed and accuracy of production; simulate production lines without needing to deploy physical equipment; simplify maintenance; and save time in design, planning, commissioning and changeover processes.


AC drives sales will fall by 10% in 2020 and rebound in 2021

18 August, 2020

The global market for low-voltage AC drives market will fall by more than 10% this year, according to a new report from Interact Analysis. It points out that the drop is not as severe as it was in 2009, adding that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” with strong prospects for a return to growth in 2021.


Cybersecurity firm warns of new automation dangers

18 August, 2020

The cybersecurity research firm Trend Micro has issued a pair of reports highlighting potential dangers to industrial automation systems posed by vulnerabilities in protocol gateways and programming languages. It says that these flaws could expose automation system to critical attacks that could enable attackers to hijack industrial robots and automation systems to disrupt production or steal intellectual property.


SPE sparks initiative to link OT networking expertise

11 August, 2020

The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to advancing Ethernet technologies, has launched an initiative to bring together people involved in OT (operational technology) networks used in industrial and building automation. The initiative is a response to the development of the Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) cabling technology.


EU manufacturing expands for the first time in 17 months

03 August, 2020

The Eurozone manufacturing economy recorded its first growth in 17 months during July with output and demand recovering as Covid-19 restrictions eased further. After accounting for seasonality, the IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 51.8, up from 47.4 in the previous month – a figure higher than 50 indicates a move into positive territory.


Rockwell restructures to simplify operations and boost growth

29 July, 2020

Rockwell Automation is restructuring its business to simplify its operations and accelerate profitable growth. Announcing this as part of the company’s third-quarter results – which revealed a 16.3% drop in sales compared to 2019 – chairman and CEO Blake Moret said that the new structure “better aligns us with the evolving needs of our customers”.


Covid-19 accelerates launch of ‘robotic employees’

27 July, 2020

A Japanese-Israeli robotics joint venture that was created late last year before the Coronavirus pandemic had taken hold globally, has announced its first commercial products, claiming that the Covid-19 has made its concept of “robotic workforces” even more relevant in the age of social distancing.


App will help 100,000 Siemens employees to return safely to work

24 July, 2020

100,000 Siemens employees working at 600 locations in 30 countries are getting access to an app that combines location, usage and smart building data with their own personal requirements to ensure that they can return safely to their workplaces following the Covid-19 pandemic.


‘Most efficient’ motor maker aims to end energy waste

24 July, 2020

A Californian company which claims to have developed “the world's most efficient and intelligent electric motor system”, has renamed itself as part of its aim to eliminate the 25% of global electricity consumption that is wasted by legacy motors, thus accelerating the world’s transition from fossil fuels.


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