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Taiwanese partnership brings automation range to the UK

Great Yarmouth based Softstart UK has formed a strategic partnership with the Taiwanese industrial automation manufacturer Delta Electronics to sell and support its AC drives, PLCs and HMIs in the UK. Although Delta is not well-known in the UK, its products have been available before carrying the names of some major automation suppliers.

UK industry ‘is overspending on energy by £2.2bn’

The UK industrial sector is overspending on energy by more than  £2.2bn a year, according to a new analysis by the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme, which finances the acquisition of energy-efficient equipment. The analysis, based on official sources and EEF data, examined several sectors to determine how much they were overpaying on their energy bills because of inefficient equipment and controls.

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Timken buys Plymouth-based lubrication specialist Interlube

The US mechanical components company Timken has bought Plymouth-based Interlube Systems for an undisclosed sum. Interlube, which makes and sells automated lubrication delivery systems and related components, is a world leader in its field with an operation in the US and a joint venture in China. The purchase includes Cheltenham-based MSP Distributors, which Interlube acquired in 2007.

Coil-winding machines mark first phase of £1.25m investment programme

The Quartzelec electrical engineering group has completed the first phase of a £1.25m investment programme in its Quartzcoil coil-manufacturing business to meet a growing demand for coil and bar products. It has installed electrical loop winding, bar assembly and coil-forming equipment at its purpose-built multi-million-pound workshop and test facility which it opened in Rugby, UK, in September 2012.

SKF appoints de Bakker to run UK business

SKF has appointed Olaf de Bakker as the new manager of its UK and Ireland business. He has been with SKF since 1996 and has held a variety of roles, including MD of SKF Pakistan and, most recently, vice-president for industrial distribution and marketing for the Asia-Pacific region. He was based in Singapore for nearly five years in this role.

Juergen Maier, managing director of Siemens Industry UK
Scheme will bring engineering info to 5,000 UK schools

Siemens has joined forces with the Government to launch a scheme that will provide teachers, students and parents with information to encourage young people to engage with engineering- and manufacturing-related subjects. Called the Siemens Education Portal, it will be rolled out to 5,000 schools across the UK by 2014, with the target of reaching more than 1.95m pupils within the first year, and 4.5m by 2016.

New business targets safety and explosion-proof markets

A new business targeting the safety, explosion-proof and medical markets in the UK and Ireland has been set up by Stephen Hill (below), formerly general manager of steute’s UK subsidiary. He has formed the business in partnership with steute and a Dutch company called forTop, with Hill holding a 30% stake and his partners holding 35% each

New service will offer nanometre-level positioning systems

The precision positioning specialist, Physik Instrumente (PI), has launched an application and product customisation service in the UK to meet a growing demand for bespoke mechanical positioning systems delivering nanometric levels of precision.

Safety consultancy will address CE marking problems

Derek Coulson, one of the founders of Laidler Associates, has set up a new machinery safety consultancy, called Safe Machine, to address the difficulties that UK manufacturers are experiencing in the field of machinery safety and, in particular, CE marking.

Offshore event will make its debut alongside the Drives show in 2014

DFA Media, the publisher of Drives & Controls and organiser of the Drives & Controls Show, is launching a new exhibition targeting the oil and gas, power generation and renewable energy markets. Called European Offshore & Energy, the new show will run alongside the next Drives exhibition and other events including Mach, Fluid Power & Systems, Plant & Asset Maintenance and Air-Tech at the NEC, Birmingham, from 8–10 April, 2014.

New-generation controls mark ‘a huge step in performance’

Siemens believes that its new generation of industrial controllers and automation software could boost its share of the UK industrial controls market by about 10%. The S7-1500 PLCs, and version 12 of Siemens’ TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal software, which made their debuts at the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show in Germany, are now available in the UK.

Machine matches chain lengths to within 10µm

The chain manufacturer Donghua has installed a chain-length measuring machine in its UK workshop which can measure to up to 5m of chain to within 10µm per metre (about one tenth the width of a human hair).

New HQ doubles distributor’s floor space

Acorn Industrial Services, the Rotherham-based distributor of power transmission products and linear systems, has relocated its three warehouses into a single 3,700m2 distribution centre at Hellaby.

Motor-maker launches product-sourcing service

Parvalux, the Bournemouth-based manufacturer of AC and DC geared motors, has launched a service to source and supply related products for its customers. It has set up a network of suppliers to provide all of the items on a bill of material.