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Online booking opens for 2022 Drives & Controls Show

Online registration has now opened for visitors wanting to attend the Drives & Controls Show which will take place at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre from 5-7 April. The show is the UK’s leading trade show for the drives, power transmission and motion control sector.

£4.5m competition aims to lift electronics and drives skills

Innovate UK has announced a £4.5m competition aimed at developing skills, talent and training in the UK’s power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) sector. The competition, run by the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge – part of UK Research and Innovation – will invest up to £4.5m in projects designed to build talent for the future in this sector.

UK JV will develop propulsion systems for electric aircraft

A joint venture is being set up in the UK to develop and commercialise kW-MW scale electric propulsion systems – both conventional and superconducting – for both aerospace and non-aerospace applications. The venture, called Hydrogen Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems (H2EPS), is being formed by the University of Nottingham (UoN) and the Electric Aviation Group (EAG), which is designing “the world’s first true-zero (zero carbon and NOx emissions) 90-seater hydrogen hybrid-electric regional aircraft” which, it hopes, will enter service by 2030.

DFA is chosen as media partner for National Manufacturing Summit

DFA Manufacturing Media, the publisher of Drives & Controls, Smart Futures, Plant and Works Engineering and Talking Industry, has been appointed an official media partner of the National Manufacturing Summit which takes place on 8 and 9 February at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.

Skills and costs are now the biggest fears for UK manufacturers

More than half of UK manufacturers say that their biggest challenges have changed over the past 12 months. According to a new survey by Make UK and PwC, almost six in ten (58%) now see access to labour seen as being the biggest risk they face, with almost 90% being worried about losing skills not only from their own businesses, but from the entire UK manufacturing sector. Their second-biggest concern is now over inflationary pressures.

Invertek invests £10m to boost capacity and create 85 jobs

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives is investing £10m to expand the manufacturing and distribution facilities at its global headquarters in Welshpool, and to develop a new application centre. The investment will create 85 new jobs over the coming year, adding to the 280 who already work at the site, and follows a recruitment drive over the past year to expand the company’s production and r&d departments.

High-efficiency motors pioneer David Walters has died

The death has been announced of Professor David Walters OBE, former technical director the motor manufacturer Brook Crompton, who was a pioneer of high-efficiency motors and led the development of Brook’s World Series (W) motors which won a Queens Award for Industry.

UK manufacturers want more support to help SMEs to grow

Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the Government to improve access to funding for small and medium-sized firms to help them to boost their productivity and to expand. New research published by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, shows that UK economy could be boosted by £270bn if the 75% of the SMEs with lower productivity had a similar output to the top 25%.

Research centre aims to advance smart manufacturing in UK

A new national robotics research centre is being set up to advance smart manufacturing in the UK by eliminating barriers and accelerating the widespread use of smart collaborative robotics technologies. The aim of the Made Smarter Innovation Research Centre for Smart, Collaborative Industrial Robotics is to unlock the potential of the UK industry in terms of productivity, quality and adaptability.

Portal will act as one-stop shop for smart technologies

DFA Manufacturing Media, the publisher of Drives & Controls, has launched an online portal and social media information resource called Smart Futures that will cover developments in smart technologies across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, medical, building, agriculture, energy, security, transport and materials.

Tim Marks wins lifetime award for AEMT contributions

Tim Marks, former secretary and president of the AEMT (the Association of Electrical and Mechanical Trades), has been presented with a lifetime contribution award at the Association’s annual award ceremony, held recently in Coventry, UK. He was described as “the person who has probably put more work into the AEMT than anyone else in the history of the organisation, except maybe the founders”.

Rolls-Royce plane smashes records for electric aircraft

Rolls-Royce claims to have smashed the world speed record for electrically-powered aircraft with its Spirit of Innovation plane which recently hit a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over a distance of 3km – 213.04 km/h (132mph) faster than the previous record set by a Siemens-powered plane in 2017. The Rolls aircraft also recorded 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15km – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3,000m by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds. Rolls-Royce has submitted the data for verification to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) which controls and certifies aeronautical records.

UK manufacturers announce their first net-zero roadmap

Make UK, the organisation that represents British manufacturers, has released the first roadmap to achieving net-zero in the UK manufacturing sector. UK manufacturers are committing to cut direct emissions generated by manufacturing processes and by indirect emissions from purchased energy by 67% by the end of this decade, putting them in line with the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal. They also believe they can achieve net-zero by 2050, as long as they have the support and help to create the right business environment.

Automation could boost UK productivity ‘dramatically’

Speeding up the adoption of industrial automation and robotics could lead to dramatic improvements in the UK’s manufacturing productivity, according to a major new report produced by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Loughborough University’s Industrial Policy Research Centre (IPRC).

Saietta speeds plans by buying e-Traction from Evergrande

The UK motor manufacturer Saietta has bought the Netherlands-based drivetrain developer e-Traction from Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group (NEVG), which is owned by the troubled Chinese property giant Evergrande. This is the second UK acquisition of part of NEVG, following Bedeo’s purchase of the in-wheel motor pioneer Protean Electric earlier this month.