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IET announces its first-ever female president

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has announced that Naomi Climer, president of Sony Media Cloud Services, will become its president on 1 October 2015. She will be the first female president in the Institution’s 143-year history.

Safety consultancy splits from TÜV SÜD after four years

The machine safety specialist Safety Systems Technology (SST) has divested itself from TÜV SÜD, which acquired the business in 2010, alongside Laidler Associates. SST will now operate again as an independent company, based in Halifax.

Schools initiative aims to tackle engineering skills gap

Siemens has formed a partnership with the qualifications body OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) to tackle the skills gap in UK engineering and manufacturing. They are developing joint education resources for 14-16 year olds and will deliver a curriculum for schools designed to increase the skills of prospective engineers.

UK manufacturing output is higher than in the 1970s

Total manufacturing output from the UK is now slightly higher than it was in the late 1970s, despite a dramatic fall in the number of people working in the sector, according to a new analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But the figures also chart how manufacturing has declined in size relative to other sectors, from 36% of the economy in 1948 to around 10% in 2013.

Korean automation giant sets up shop in the UK

The South Korean automation manufacturer LSIS has set up a UK operation to support its products, which include VSDs, motors, PLCs, HMIs, servodrives, smart I/O and Scada software. The Milton Keynes-based-business will be managed by Brian Mayne who previously ran IMO’s PLC and HMIs division.

A third of UK SME bosses take less than two weeks leave

A third of SME bosses in the UK manufacturing sector take less than two weeks of holiday a year, according to a new survey. And of those that do take holiday, almost a fifth are in constant contact with their offices while on holiday.

Engineers dominate graduate starting salaries in the UK

Six of the ten highest starting salaries for UK university graduates are for those with engineering degrees, according to the 2015 edition of The Times Good University Guide.

Manufacturers lay out agenda for next UK Government

Britain’s manufacturers have set out their priorities for the next government to drive better balanced growth, boost trade and investment and, deliver long-term economic security.

Family-owned French distributor Sonepar buys Routeco

Sonepar, a global distributor of electrical products with operations in 41 countries and turnover of more than €16bn, is buying the UK automation distributor, Routeco. The family-owned French business says that acquisition is part of its efforts to strengthen its position in the “immense” industrial automation market, and to expand into new countries. Details of the transaction have not been released.

Remote handling centre opens for business

A new UK centre of excellence set up to conduct r&d into remote-handling applications and to offer access to equipment and expertise, has won its first contract. The Race (remote applications in challenging environments) centre is being created at the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and several partners, with £7.8m of backing from the UK Government.

Rexroth pneumatics is reborn under a new name

There is a new name in the UK pneumatics market – Aventics – selling the well-established range of products that carry the Rexroth name.

Automation contractor benefits from OEM outsourcing trend

A West Midlands control and automation contractor is reaping the benefits of a trend for OEMs to farm out non-core work out to sub-contractors. PP Electrical Systems, based in Cheslyn Hay, has won £1.5m of new work so far this year and expects to hit a turnover of £20m for 2014. To help achieve this, the company is planning to add 15 people to the nearly 200 it already employs at its 40,000ft2 (3,700m2) site.

ABB appoints Hawley to run UK motors business

ABB has appointed Dave Hawley to be manager of its motors and generators business in the UK from 1 September. He joins from Sulzer Dowding and Mills where he was general manager of the formed coil division. He has more than 15 years’ experience of the rotating equipment industry, including a period as a divisional director at Deritend.

UK manufacturers spend an average of £1m on plant

A survey of 163 UK manufacturers has revealed that at least 95% of them have invested in plant and machinery over the past two years, spending an average of £1m. And a third of them are planning to invest similar amounts over the coming two years.

Manufacturing pay rises outstrip the wider UK economy

The average pay settlement in the UK manufacturing sector during the six months to July was 2.6%, according to figures released by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. This contrasts with a 0.2% drop in average weekly earnings for the UK economy as a whole in the three months to June ­– the first fall since 2009.