A new £9.7m manufacturing support initiative has been announced to help fill the void left by the axing of the Manufacturing Advisory Service in 2015. The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) will provide access to specialists to help firms grow and improve. It is targeting SME manufacturers in the West Midlands, parts of the East Midlands, East of England and Yorkshire and Humber.
Thousands of counterfeit bearings, weighing a total of around 1.5 tonnes, have been seized by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards authority after a raid on a distributor in the county. Industrial and automotive bearings in 170 types and sizes were confiscated.
The Chinese automation and robotics manufacturer Estun Automation has bought the long-established British motion control specialist Trio Motion Technology for £15.5m in cash.
A survey of 83 member companies of the UK automation trade body Gambica and the electrical trade body Beama, has revealed that they have an almost entirely negative view of the prospects of adopting WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules for future trading between the UK and the European Union.
ABB has appointed Stuart Melling to lead its variable-speed drives and controls business in the UK following the promotion of Neil Ritchie to a role in global service management.
The Cambridgeshire motion control specialist SmartDrive has gone into liquidation after more than 30 years of business. The rights to its stepper drive designs have been acquired by Surrey-based Mclennan.
The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives has achieved the milestone of selling more than one million variable-frequency drives worldwide since its was founded in 1998 by a group of former Control Techniques employees. The company is currently producing more than 160,000 drives per year at its headquarters in Welshpool, with output growing by more than 20% each year.
ABB has announced a new service which will analyse the operating conditions of its installed drives to predict their future maintenance needs and to optimise their operation. Engineers will analyse the performance and condition of drives on-site and provide detailed diagnostics and maintenance recommendations for the user.
Plymouth-based Applied Automation is expanding its machine-building division, creating ten new posts, including two managers and eight mechanical and controls fitters, taking its total number of employees to 160.
Six UK universities are to receive £60m of government funding to help establish research hubs aimed at improving manufacturing processes. A further £87.5m will be contributed by partners, academia and industry.
More than four in ten UK manufacturers (42%) say they have a good handle on what the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) will entail. But according to a new report from the manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, and Oracle, just one in ten (11%) believe that the UK is geared up for this crucial next industrial age. This suggests that in terms of being ‘4IR ready’, there is still some way to go.
The industrial distributor Brammer has been bought by the private equity firm Advent International for £221.5m. The deal follows a turbulent period for the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) distributor, whose share value halved after it issued a profit warning in October. Brammer’s shares have plummeted in value by 80% since hitting a 16-year high in June 2014.
An alliance of engineering organisations representing more than 450,000 UK engineers, has published a report warning that Brexit must not restrict access to the engineering skills from across Europe.
Sir James Dyson is investing £15m to set up a Dyson Institute of Technology in Wiltshire, which will train engineers to help double his engineering workforce to 6,000 by 2020. He has joined forces with the Warwick Manufacturing Group, at the University of Warwick, to develop a bespoke four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree. Students will spend part of their time working alongside Dyson engineers and will be paid. They will not pany any tuition fees.
Engineering graduates don’t have the right skills for today’s workplace, according to 62% of the 400 engineering employers across the UK quizzed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for its 2016 Skills and Demand in Industry report.