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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.

Steve Brambley to succeed Graeme Philp as Gambica's CEO

Steve Brambley is to take over as chief executive of Gambica, the UK’s trade association for the instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology sectors, when the current CEO, Dr Graeme Philp, retires on 23 January, 2018, after seven years in the role.

Low-cost cobot resurfaces after two years of development

In 2015, a London-based start-up called Automata announced that it had developed a six-axis collaborative robot called Eva that it was planning to sell for about £3,000 – thus undercutting most of the competition substantially. Then things went quiet.

Jones leads drive to boost CT and Leroy-Somer in the UK

Gareth Jones, previously global vice-president of strategic marketing for Control Techniques, has been appointed UK and Ireland country leader of the ACIM (appliance, commercial and industrial motors) operation of CT’s new parent, Nidec. He will focus on expanding Control Techniques, Leroy-Somer and Nidec’s automation businesses in the UK and Ireland.

Digitalisation network links UK industry and universities

Siemens and the University of Sheffield have launched a partnership to accelerate digitalisation, boost digital skills, and promote technology and knowledge exchange to meet the needs of increasingly-digitalised industry. The agreement is the first collaboration in a multi-million pound, UK-wide digitalisation network that will link businesses and universities using the Internet of Things (IoT) to exploit the opportunities offered by digital technology.

US-based Atkore buys British conduit maker, Flexicon

Atkore International, the US-based manufacturer of electrical raceway systems, has acquired Flexicon, the UK-headquartered manufacturer of metallic and non-metallic, flexible cable protection systems. The terms of the transaction have not been revealed.

Hughes succeeds Randery as head of Schneider in the UK

Schneider Electric has announced that Mike Hughes is succeeding Tanuja Randery as president of its UK and Ireland business. Randery, who has been in the post since January 2015, is moving to a new role in the financial sector.