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Siemens buys Camstar to expand its MES portfolio

Siemens is buying the US MES (manufacturing execution systems) specialist Camstar Systems, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will enhance Siemens’ industrial digitalisation strategy and broaden its portfolio of product development and automation systems for the electronics, semiconductor and medical device industries.

GE opens up industrial Internet platform to any user

GE has announced that it is making its industrial Internet software platform, called Predix, available to any company from next year, allowing them to create and deploy their own customised apps to manage the performance of their assets better.

Global robot population heads towards two million

More than 200,000 industrial robots will be installed worldwide this year – 15% more than in 2013 – and the total number in use in factories around the world could reach two million by the end of 2017, according to new figures released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

Schneider buys real-time software specialist, InStep

Schneider Electric is buying InStep Software, a US provider of real-time performance management and predictive asset analytics software. It says that the acquisition will strengthen the presence of its software division in the power and energy market. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Mitsubishi and Intel collaborate on IoT automation

Mitsubishi Electric and the chip-maker Intel have revealed that they have been collaborating to develop next-generation factory automation (FA) systems using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. They have established a pilot plant in Malaysia to demonstrate the benefits of IoT in a factory setting, with a focus on improving productivity by using innovative functions such as predictive failure

Motovario takes over the Spanish gear-maker, Pujol Muntalà

The Italian gear-maker, the Motovario Group, has taken over the Spanish firm Pujol Muntalà, which designs, produces and distributes geared units and elements for power transmission.

Globalspec portal is reborn as IHS Engineering360

IHS, the market analysis giant which bought the Globalspec Web portal for $135m in 2012, has relaunched the site as IHS Engineering360, describing it as “the world’s largest online destination for engineers”.

Industrial cyber-security suppliers face a shakeout

There are currently more than 160 suppliers of industrial cyber-security products, offering a variety of hardware, software and services, according to new research from IHS. It describes the market as “extremely immature” and predicts that there will be a shakeout. Although the market is likely to attract some new entrants, this will be largely offset by companies choosing to quit the business, and by acquisition-driven consolidation.

Motion control sales grew by 6.2% in first half of 2014

Global shipments of motion control products grew by 6.2% in the first half of 2014 to reach around $1.5bn, according to new figures released by the Motion Control Association (MCA). 

Dragonfly malware targets pharma, not energy

New analysis of the recently revealed Dragonfly (Havex) malware suggests that it has been targeting packaged consumer goods industries – especially the pharmaceutical sector – rather than the energy sector as was previously believed.

Danfoss launches €1bn bid for Finnish drives-maker Vacon

UPDATED: Danfoss has launched a bid to buy the Finnish drives-maker Vacon in a cash deal offering €34 for each Vacon share and valuing the business at €1,038m. Danfoss says that the bid is in line with its strategic focus on creating profitable growth and that Vacon is a good match to achieve this ambition. Both Danfoss Power Electronics and Vacon are significant players in the AC drives business, it adds, and together they would gain an even stronger market position.

Rockwell and Fanuc announce global collaboration

Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation, and Fanuc, the world’s largest company in CNC and robots, have announced a global collaboration agreement aimed at achieving more seamless integrated manufacturing.

Fieldbus Foundation and Hart merge to form FieldComm

Members of the Fieldbus Foundation and the Hart Communication Foundation have voted to merge their organisations to form a new corporation, called FieldComm Group, dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in automation.

Rockwell and Beckhoff settle linear motor patent dispute

A legal dispute between Rockwell Automation and Beckhoff Automation over linear motor patents has been settled “amicably”, with Rockwell granting Beckhoff licences to more than a dozen of its US and European linear motor patents.

US manufacturing PMI hits a four-year high

The US manufacturing sector has rebounded sharply from its three-month low in July to hit its highest level since April 2010, according to the latest PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) survey, published by Markit.