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Automation suppliers join forces to explain Industry 4.0

A group of leading UK-based automation companies – including B&R Automation, igus, Kiesling, Omron, Phoenix Contact, Schneider Electric and Weidmuller – are joining forces to explain Industry 4.0 and its implications at an event at Leicester’s National Space Centre on 28 January. The event has been organised by Eplan, which will also be launching a knowledge-based programme for optimising engineering efficiency, called Eplan Experience, which made its debut at the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany.

Rockwell appoints Dennison to run sales in UK and Ireland

Rockwell Automation has announced the appointment of Bill Dennison as its new sales director for UK and Ireland. He has previously held senior positions in Honeywell International (in both EMEA and global roles), as well working for several specialist software companies in the process, oil and gas markets.

Timken buys split bearing maker Revolvo from Eriks

The US bearing manufacturer Timken is buying the assets of the UK-based bearing manufacturer Revolvo from the Dutch group Eriks, which acquired the business when it bought Wyko in 2006. Revolvo, located in Dudley, West Midlands, specialises in manufacturing split roller bearings (SRBs) for applications in process and heavy industries. In 2013, it posted sales worth around $8.3m. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Linear motion specialist acquires UK automation firm

The UK-based linear motion specialist Hepcomotion has acquired the automation specialist, Severn Automation, located in Telford, Shropshire. The new business will trade as HepcoAutomation, and will keep Severn’s existing staff and premises. No details of the transaction have been revealed.

Fan technology specialist opens EC motor plant

The fan technology manufacturer Torin-Sifan has opened a centre of excellence dedicated to designing, developing and producing high-efficiency EC (electronically commutated) motors and fans. The company has created 25 new jobs at the 2,320m2 (25,000ft2) facility, mainly in advanced and applications engineering for its EC products.

Machine-builders 'need to be wary of wireless'

The product compliance specialist TÜV SÜD is warning machine-builders who use wireless modules in their products, that they may be selling non-compliant equipment.

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.