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16 November, 2018

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Chinese motors giant buys GE small motors business for $160m

04 July, 2018

China’s largest electric motor manufacturer, Wolong Electric, has bought GE’s Small Industrial Motors (SIM) business for $160m in cash. The deal covers the design, development, manufacturing and sales of low-voltage and TEFC (totally enclosed fan-cooled) medium-voltage motors up to 1,750hp (1.3MW), as well as an agreement that will allow Wolong to sell SIM products carrying the GE brand in the American market for ten years.


ABB finalises $2.6bn acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions

03 July, 2018

ABB has completed its $2.6bn acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions (GEIS), GE’s global electrification solutions business, to strengthen its position as global number two in this sector, behind Schneider Electric. The transaction, announced in September 2017, is expected to produce growth opportunities from combining ABB’s digital offering, ABB Ability, with GEIS’ installed base, and is forecast to deliver about $200m of annual cost synergies by year five.


Conveyor belts: lease, don’t buy?

02 July, 2018

The German conveyor belt manufacturer Continental believes that technology is changing the way that we will buy and maintain conveyor belts in future. At the Hannover Fair earlier this year, it was demonstrating how sensors can now monitor the condition of belts in real time and transmit this information to the manufacturer for analysis, allowing belts to be serviced before they fail and cause downtime. Continental believes that, in future, belts will be leased as a “service”, rather than being bought outright.


Europe’s largest MRO firm, IPH Brammer, is reborn as Rubix

26 June, 2018

UPDATED: Europe’s largest supplier of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, IPH Brammer, has been renamed Rubix. The group was created last year when the venture capital firm Advent International, which already owned Brammer, bought the European industrial supplies distributor, IPH, and combined the businesses.


Global robot sales soar by 29% to hit a new record

25 June, 2018

Global sales of industrial robots soared by 29% last year to hit a new record of 380,550, according to preliminary statistics released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) at the Automatica show in Germany. The 2017 sales were worth around $50bn.


€120m investment applies Industry 4.0 to building enclosures

22 June, 2018

Rittal is investing €120m to build a new plant to manufacture large enclosures at its Rittershausen site in Germany, based on Industry 4.0 principles. It is also installing high-tech lines at a greenfield site in Haiger to produce its new VX25 generation of large enclosures.


ABB and Rittal link up to offer industrial data centres

12 June, 2018

Rittal and ABB have announced a global strategic alliance to supply edge data centre systems to industrial customers wanting to deploy robust IT capacity close to their operations. The alliance, based on an existing UPS (uninterruptible power supply) partnership, will cover areas such as secure edge data centre systems with fire protection, edge data centres for OEM manufacturers, scalable modular data centres, as well as power container systems.


Rockwell invests $1bn in PTC to form a strategic partnership

11 June, 2018

Rockwell Automation has entered a strategic partnership with the US software developer PTC, including a $1bn equity investment which gives Rockwell an 8.4% stake in PTC. The agreement is expected to accelerate growth for both companies who plan to target potential customers around the world wanting to transform their physical operations with digital technology.


Cobot trio merge to create a specialist in end-of-arm tooling

11 June, 2018

Three companies specialising in end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots (cobots) have merged to create a market-leader in this rapidly-growing market which, they say, is currently “under-served”. US-based Perception Robotics, Hungary-based OptoForce and Denmark-based On Robot, have joined forces to create OnRobot, which will drive innovation and ease-of-use for robotic end-of-arm tooling.


Omron and Cisco join forces to enhance factory security

07 June, 2018

Omron and Cisco Systems have agreed to collaborate by integrating Cisco’s networking and security technology into Omron PLCs (programmable logic controllers) to enhance the security of manufacturing sites with IoT, and to help manufacturers to achieve safe and secure manufacturing.


SIG and GE link up to drive ‘new era for food and bev plants’

31 May, 2018

SIG, the Swiss packaging giant, has formed a strategic partnership with GE Digital to deliver digital innovation in food and beverage packaging. Starting in July, SIG will deploy GE’s Predix Asset Performance Management (APM) and Predix ServiceMax applications in more than 400 customer factories worldwide to drive new levels of efficiency, add intelligence and enable new possibilities for its customers. A full global rollout is expected to start in January 2019.


Sumitomo buys Italy’s Lafert for €172m to boost its motors arm

29 May, 2018

Japan’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) is buying the Italian electric motor manufacturer Lafert for €172.65m to reinforce its position in the motors market, to expand its product portfolio, and to reach a wider range of customers. Lafert will join SHI’s Power Transmission and Controls (PTC) division – which uses the Sumitomo Drives Technologies brand – and will become its r&d competence centre for motors.


Emerson buys Aventics for €527m, to create $1.5bn giant

17 May, 2018

Emerson is buying Bosch Rexroth’s former pneumatics business, now known as Aventics, for €527m in cash from its current owner, the German-Scandinavian investor, Triton, which acquired it for around €200m in 2013. Emerson says that the deal will create a $1.5bn business, significantly expanding its reach in the $13bn market for smart pneumatics for machine and factory automation applications.


Sales of AGVs and mobile robots will hit $1.5bn this year

16 May, 2018

Demand for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) used in manufacturing is “exploding”, with global sales set to reach nearly $1.5bn this year, and revenues from AMRs expected to grow by almost 75% during 2018. A new report from Interact Analysis predicts that, within five years, mobile robots will account for a quarter of all robot shipments for manufacturing applications, with sales worth more than $14bn.


Omron-Techman deal will put cobots on mobile platforms

15 May, 2018

The Japanese automation giant Omron is forming a strategic alliance with Techman Robot, the Taiwanese manufacturer of integrated-vision collaborative robots (cobots), under which Omron will sell Techman’s TM series of cobots globally using a co-branded logo. The two companies will also cooperate to develop a new generation of collaborative robots that will be easier to integrate with Omron’s other factory automation products.


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