Drives and Controls Magazine
Banks to run Siemens' Integrated Drive Systems in the UK

Siemens UK & Ireland has appointed Phil Banks to be head of strategy for its Integrated Drive Systems (IDS) business. As part of his new role, he will be responsible for developing and implementing a business strategy to drive further growth for IDS.

Danfoss Drives appoints Baird as UK and Ireland manager

Danfoss Drives has appointed Alan Baird as its new country manager for the UK and Ireland, following John Martin’s move to the position of head of sales. Baird will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s activities in the region, including sales, marketing, drive solutions, technical and aftermarket support.

UK motor-maker has won more than £50m of orders in 2018

A Northumberland manufacturer of axial-flux electric motors has won more than £50m of new business for its motors since the start of this year, with export orders to Germany, Poland, Spain, the US and Asia already in the pipeline for 2018. The company, Avid Technology, is currently focussing on the EV (electric vehicle) market and claims that its motors have one of the highest power and torque densities of any EV drive motor, making them suitable for high-performance drivetrains. The motors are also attracting interest from the robotics and aerospace sectors.

Drives & Controls Show bookings surge as the deadline looms

With a matter of weeks to go before the doors open for the 2018 Drives & Controls Show at the Birmingham NEC, last-minute exhibitors are still booking stands. Nigel Borrell, the show’s sales director, reports that in the past week more than 500m2 of floor space has been reserved. “We have seen a surge in stand sales, and strongly advise companies who are considering exhibiting this year to confirm their stand requirements as a matter of urgency,” he says.

UK's first automated enclosure-making machine gets going

The British electrical engineering and controls group LCA has combined the operations from its sites in Runcorn and Ewloe in a new multi-million pound manufacturing plant in Hawarden, North Wales. The facilities include a £500,000 laser machining centre for the automated production of enclosures ­– the first of its kind in the UK, and one of only seven in use around the world.

Axial-flux motor-maker opens plant and attracts £15m

Yasa, the UK electric motor manufacturer which claims to be the world’s leading producer of axial-flux motors and controllers, has opened a factory in Oxford with the capacity to produce 100,000 motors a year. The company has also raised a further £15m in growth funding, bringing the total raised so far to £35m.

Smart Industry Expo expands the Drives Show by 20%

The 2018 Drives & Controls Show will be at least 1,000m2 bigger than the 2016 exhibition – an increase of more than 20% –  thanks to the addition of the new Smart Industry Expo event. More than 100 companies have already signed up to exhibit at the Drives Show, which takes place from 10–12 April at the Birmingham NEC, with a further 25 booking stands for the new event, which is dedicated to the factory of the future.

AEMT reveals its inaugural industry award-winners

The UK's Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT) has held its first-ever awards ceremony at an event in Coventry. The six inaugural award-winners were:

Control Techniques names Pickering as its new president

Control Techniques has appointed drives industry stalwart Tony Pickering as its new president. He joins the Welsh-based drives-maker almost a year after it was acquired from Emerson by Japan's Nidec group of companies.

Rockwell buys Scottish 3D imaging specialist, Odos

Rockwell Automation has bought Odos Imaging, a Scottish company that develops and manufactures three-dimensional, time-of-flight sensing systems for industrial imaging applications. Details of the transaction have not been released.

The UK is falling behind its rivals in its use of automation

The UK is “falling seriously behind” its competitors in its uptake of industrial automation “based on pretty much every metric”, the recently published Made Smarter review has warned. “Given the UK’s pivotal historic role as the leader of the industrial age, it seems disturbing that we appear to be falling ever further down the list of automated, digitalised countries – yet that is just what is happening,” the report says.

UK robotics and AI projects win £68m of funding

The UK's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is awarding £68m in funding to several ground-breaking research and innovation projects in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). The awards are part of the government’s £93m of funding for the robotics and AI in extreme environments programme announced by the Chancellor in his April budget.

Extra level almost doubles igus’ UK floorspace

The engineering plastics specialist igus has increased the size of its UK site from 672m2 to 1,000m2 with the creation of a new upper floor that will accommodate its growing sales and technical support team, while freeing up ground-floor space to meet demand for assembled products.

Black Friday deals cut robot starter kit costs by 40%

Mitsubishi Electric is joining the Black Friday frenzy in the UK by offering customers 40% off the price of its Melfa Scara robot starter kits for a limited period, saving them up to £6,785.

UK needs to ‘leapfrog’ rivals to win in the new industrial age

The UK is in pole position to benefit from the fourth industrial revolution, reversing its poor productivity, lifting living standards and resulting in a fairer society – but seizing the opportunity will need a new kind of industrial strategy, the CBI has warned.