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Motortronics buys UK soft-start pioneer, Fairford Electronics

Fairford Electronics, the UK pioneer of soft-starter technology, has been bought by Motortronics, a manufacturer of solid-state AC motor controls and motor protection products, with headquarters in Florida, and operations in the British West Indies, Korea and China. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

European network aims to deliver ‘best Brexit’ for industry

Euris, the umbrella group of industrial trade organisations that together represent more than 25% of the UK’s imports and exports, has set up an advisory body to help deliver the best outcome from Brexit for the industrial product supply sector.

UK manufacturing is twice as big as usually thought

Manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter of the UK economy and more than 7.4 million jobs depend on it – far more than usually thought – according to new research commissioned by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

Oxlee is Drives & Controls’ new sales director

Damien Oxlee has been appointed director of sales for Drives & Controls magazine, the Drives & Controls Exhibition and associated products. He is taking on the role in addition to his existing position of director of sales for DFA Media’s Plant & Works Engineering Division.

Drives & Controls Show is another record-breaker

The recent Drives & Controls Show, held at the Birmingham NEC, set a new record for visitor attendance. By the time, the three-day exhibition had ended, it and the other events organised by DFA Media – Plant & Asset Management, Fluid Power & Systems, Air-Tech and the new Smart Industry Expo – had attracted a total of 13,518 visitors through the doors. This represents an increase of more than 3% on the attendance at the previous event in 2016.

Sewtec aims to double turnover to £32m and workforce to 120

The West Yorkshire robotics and automation specialist Sewtec has announced plans to double its turnover to £32m within five years, following a management buyout in August last year. This would also entail a doubling of the number of skilled personnel in the company, taking its workforce to more than 120 people.

Stamp-sized 5kW servodrive wins innovation award

The Israeli manufacturer Elmo Motion Control has won the technical innovation of the year award in the 2018 Motion Control Industry Awards (MCIA), for its tiny Gold Twitter servodrive, which packs 5kW of “qualitative” power into a footprint the size of a stamp. Elmo, which set up a UK operation last year, was one of ten contenders for the award, which was announced at a ceremony at the National Conference Centre in the same week that the Drives & Controls Show was held at the nearby NEC. Elmo has recently announced a 10kW version of the Gold Twitter that weighs 33 grams.

35-tonne truck rolls into the Drives & Controls show

With two weeks to go before the 2018 Drives & Controls Show opens its doors at the Birmingham NEC, there has been a last-minute flurry of exhibitors snapping up the last remaining stands in Drives & Controls and the new Smart Industry Expo.

Siemens invests £27m in UK 3D printing facility

Siemens is investing up to £27m in a 3D printing factory in Worcester, UK, to create a global centre of excellence for additive manufacturing. The facility, due to open September, will generate about 55 high-quality jobs and allow Siemens to increase its fleet of high-tech 3D printing machines from 15 to 50 over the next five years.

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.