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17 April, 2024

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China installs half of the world’s new industrial robots

26 September, 2023

Global installations of new industrial robots rose by 5% in 2022 to reach a total of 553,052 – and more than half of them (290,258) were installed in China, according to the latest figures from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). In fact, 73% of all newly deployed robots were installed in Asia, compared to 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas.

WEG buys Regal Rexnord’s motors businesses for $400m

26 September, 2023

The Brazilian motor-maker WEG is buying the industrial motors and generators businesses that make up the majority of Regal Rexnord Industrial Systems segment for $400m.

Red Hat and Intel say edge platform will ‘transform’ industry

20 September, 2023

The open-source software specialist Red Hat has teamed up with the semiconductor giant Intel to develop an industrial edge platform that, they say, will provide a modern approach to building and operating industrial controls.

Report blames state ‘actors’ for 60% of industrial cybercrime

19 September, 2023

A global survey of cyberattacks on industrial control system (ICSs) and/or operational technology (OT) operations, has found that more than half (60%) are led by state-affiliated “actors” and that about a third are unintentionally enabled by internal personnel.

Rockwell to develop high-efficiency motor-drives with Infinitum

15 September, 2023

Rockwell Automation and Infinitum, the Texas-based creator of high-efficiency air-core motors, have signed an exclusive agreement to jointly develop and distribute a new class of high-efficiency, integrated low-voltage drive and motor technology that, they say, will “significantly” save energy and cut costs for industrial customers, while helping them to become more sustainable.

European shipping offers DigiKey buyers next-day deliveries

14 September, 2023

The US-based automation products distributor DigiKey has announced that direct shipments from European suppliers to European customers are now possible under its Marketplace programme. Shipments sent within Europe will typically arrive on the next day, rather than in a couple of days as happened before.

ABB invests $280m in European robotics hub in Sweden

13 September, 2023

ABB is investing $280m to build a new state-of-the-art ABB Robotics European Campus in Västerås, Sweden, which will serve as a robotics hub for Europe and will boost ABB’s robot production capacity by 50%. The 65,000m2 Campus, will replace an existing facility at the site and will bring together automated manufacturing, R&D, and customer experience and training centres to develop next generation AI-enabled technologies, strengthening ABB’s global leadership in robotics. It is planned to open in late 2026.

Emerson buys Swiss firm to expand into electric linear motion

08 September, 2023

Emerson has bought Afag Holding, the Swiss specialist in electric linear motion, feeding and handling automation, for an undisclosed sum. Emerson says the acquisition will enhance its factory automation capabilities and create a motion portfolio that combines Afag’s linear motion systems with its own pneumatic motion technologies. Afag will report to Emerson’s Discrete Automation business.

Rockwell buys Canadian AMR specialist Clearpath

06 September, 2023

Rockwell Automation is buying the Canadian autonomous robotics specialist Clearpath Robotics for an undisclosed sum. Rockwell believes that AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) are the next frontier in industrial automation, and predicts that the acquisition “will supercharge Rockwell’s lead in bringing the connected enterprise to life”.

US robot sales plummet by 37% in Q2 of 2023

01 September, 2023

The slow US economy and high interest rates are being blamed for a 37% drop in the number of industrial robots ordered in North America from April to July 2023, compared to same period in 2022. When combined with a fall in first quarter, the robotics market in North America was down 29% for the first half the year, with a total of 16,865 robots being ordered.

Mobile robots are driving ULV motor sales above $6bn

31 August, 2023

The burgeoning use of mobile robots will drive the market for ultra-low-voltage (ULV) motors to $6.5bn by 2027 – representing a CAGR of 12.6% between 2022 and 2027 – according to a new report from Interact Analysis. Demand for these motors, which have operating voltages below 60V, is also being driven by battery-powered applications and the requirement for more flexible manufacturing and logistics processes.

Old Rockwell had a hydroponic farm at its US headquarters

25 August, 2023

Rockwell Automation has announced plans build an automated, indoor 7,300ft2 (6,780m2) hydroponic vertical farm at its US headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the summer of 2024. It is collaborating with a US start-up Fork Farms to create the farm which will be able to produce 540,000 plants and up to 149,000lb (6,7585kg) of food annually – the equivalent of more than three acres (1.2ha) of conventional farmland.

Allied Motion becomes Allient and aims for £1bn of sales

24 August, 2023

The US-headquartered motion control specialist Allied Motion Technologies has changed its name to Allient and is aiming to almost double its revenues to more than $1bn. The company, whose headquarters are in Buffalo, New York, and employs more than 2,250 people around the world, designs and manufactures precision and specialty motion, controls and power products and systems for targeted industries and applications.

Microsoft discovers flaws that could affect 1,000s of PLCs

15 August, 2023

Cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft has discovered several “high severity” vulnerabilities in the software development kit (SDK) for the Codesys control platform which is used in around 1,000 automation devices, including PLCs from more than 500 manufacturers. Microsoft warns that exploitation of these vulnerabilities – which affect all versions of Codesys V3 before version – could put operational technology (OT) infrastructure at risk of denial-of-service (DoS) and remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

ICS cyber-threat numbers fall, but a third are unpatched

14 August, 2023

The number of “advisories” about cyber-security vulnerabilities in ICSs (industrial control systems) dropped by 9.8% in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, but more than a third (34%) of the new vulnerabilities do not have any patch or remediation available, compared to just 13% in the first half of 2022.

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