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Industrial robots have ‘contributed 10% to GDP growth’

The economic benefits of industrial robots installed since the early 1990s have been similar to those of the railways in the 19th century, US highways in the 20th century, and information and communications technologies more recently, according to a new analysis by two economics professors.

MV drive sales slump as commodity prices plummet

Global revenues from sales of medium-voltage variable-speed drives (MV VSDs) slumped by more than 10% during 2014 to reach a total of $2.5bn, as prices were eroded by a combination of increasing competition and lower demand.

Omron buys Delta Tau to boost its motion capabilities

The Japanese automation manufacturer Omron is buying the Californian motion control specialist Delta Tau Data Systems, as part of a strategy to enhance its factory automation technology and strengthen its position in the control devices market. Details of the transaction have not been released.

Columbus McKinnon buys Magnetek in ‘brain and brawn’ deal

The US materials-handling specialist Columbus McKinnon Corporation is buying the digital power and motion control manufacturer Magnetek for $188.9m. Columbus McKinnon describes the deal as “an excellent strategic and cultural fit between two market-leaders”, and says it will accelerate its plan to achieve $1bn in revenues.

Price pressures drive motor suppliers into new markets

Electric motor suppliers, uncertain about the effectiveness of energy efficiency legislation and facing increasing price pressures, are venturing into other product categories to remain competitive, according to a new report from IHS.

Schneider-Aveva deal creates ‘a global leader in software’

Schneider Electric has announced plans to perform a reverse takeover of the UK-based industrial software developer Aveva that will combine their software operations to create “a global leader in industrial software”. Schneider is paying £550m ($855m) towards the issue of new shares in Aveva, giving it a majority stake in the business.

European machine vision sales grew by 16% in 2014

The European machine vision market grew by 14% in 2014 to reach almost €5bn, according to new figures issued by VDMA Machine Vision, a trade body that represents more than 3,100 companies in this sector across Europe. A further expansion of 11% is forecast for 2015.

Panduit buys developer of Ethernet troubleshooting tool

Panduit has bought Network Vision, the developer of the IntraVue tool for visualising and diagnosing industrial Ethernet networks. The tool allows users who are not network experts to identify and analyse network interruptions that conventional tools cannot spot, thus improving the uptime of their networks. It also provides real-time monitoring of their networks.

MV motor sales will dip in 2015 before resuming growth

The global market for medium-voltage (MV) motors was worth an estimated $5.7bn in 2014, and is expected to dip to $5.6bn this year, before rebounding to reach $6.8bn by 2019. This represents a CAGR of 3.6% for the period 2014–2019, according to a new research note issued by the analyst IHS.

Collaborative robotics market 'will exceed $1bn by 2020'

The collaborative robotics market will expand roughly tenfold between 2015 and 2020, soaring from $95m in 2015 to more than $1bn by 2020, according to a new study published by ABI Research.

Megadyne buys fellow Italian belt-maker, Sampla

The Megadyne group is buying another Italian belt-maker, Sampla Belting, for an undisclosed sum. Megadyne says that the move will enhance its position as the world's leading industrial power transmission conveyor belt company.

Emerson explores 'alternatives' for its motors and drives activities

Emerson has announced that it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its motors and drives operation – which includes the drives-maker Control Techniques and the motor manufacturer Leroy-Somer – as part of a plan to streamline its portfolio, drive growth and accelerate value creation. The US-headquartered company has also announced that it is spinning off its Network Power business and is planning a “complete review and assessment” of its corporate structure and services to reduce its size and sharpen its focus.

Motion trade groups MCA and SMMA merge to form MCMA

The Motion Control Association (MCA) has merged with SMMA, the Motor & Motion Association, to form the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), which will serve the global motion controls and motors industry.

Emerson announces new president for Control Techniques

Emerson has appointed Scott Anderson as the next president of its Control Techniques drives business, succeeding Enrique Minarro Viseras who has occupied the post since 2012.

Cognex sells surface inspection business to Ametek for $160m

Cognex is selling its Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD) to Ametek for around $160m in cash. California-based SISD produces software-enabled vision systems used to inspect the surfaces of continuously processed materials for flaws and defects. Its sales last year were worth $60m, or 12% of Cognex’s total revenue.