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Rotamec buys Nottingham Electrical Transmissions

The Somerset-based electromechanical services provider, Rotamec Engineering Solutions, has acquired the gearbox repairs specialist Nottingham Electrical Transmissions (NET), for an undisclosed sum. Rotamec describes this as “a pivotal moment” in its strategy to extend its reach and refine it service offerings.

UK’s three largest robots will be used in aerospace projects

Three of the largest industrial robots ever ordered in the UK are to be used in a £80m aerospace manufacturing R&D project which includes a facility at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) that will help solve composites manufacturing challenges to meet future demand for lighter commercial aircraft and to help the aviation industry reach net-zero.

Invertek builds three millionth VSD and raises sales by 27%

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives has produced its three millionth VSD (variable-speed drive) just three years after hitting the two-million mark. The company, part of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, recorded a record turnover of £96.5m in 2023 – a 27% increase on the £76.3m it achieved the previous year.

UK GaN motor drive pioneer doubles crowdfunding target

Quantum Power Transformation (QPT), the UK power semiconductor specialist developing a high-efficiency motor control technology based on gallium nitride (GaN), has raised more than £1.2m in a crowdfunding drive – more than twice its target of £600,000. The funds will be used to scale up production and staff and to file 12 global patents to protect the company’s technologies.

UK manufacturing expands for the first time since 2022

The UK manufacturing sector showed tentative signs of recovery in March, as output and new orders increased following year-long downturns. The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 20-month high of 50.3 in March, up from 47.5 in February – the first time the PMI has risen above the neutral 50.0 mark since July 2022. Business optimism about the year ahead hit an 11-month high.

UK cyber centre offers advice on moving Scada to the cloud

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance on cloud-hosted Scada systems, aimed at encouraging OT (operational technology) organisations to make risk-informed decisions when planning to migrate their Scada systems to the cloud, with cybersecurity being a key consideration.

79% of UK manufacturers put their faith in AI

Almost four in five (79%) of UK manufacturers are expecting to use generative AI in their operations this year and believe this will help to drive business outcomes, according to a major new survey of manufacturers in 17 countries from Rockwell Automation.

Service helps members to make digital journeys

Schneider Electric has launched a membership service for its customers to help with digital transformations by giving them access to expert advice, expedited emergency response SLAs, continuous monitoring, optimised maintenance, and recommendations for enhancing system performance and energy management. The EcoCare service will operate from Schneider’s Connected Services Hub in Warrington.

UK start-up uses robots to build homes in microfactories

A UK start-is using robotic microfactories to build affordable, low-energy timber homes. London-based AUAR (Automated Architecture) plans to use the robots to tackle skills shortages, boost sustainability, and improve health and safety in a global network of local microfactories which will build energy-efficient, affordable buildings from sheet timber.

Sprint wins Innovate UK funding to expand its AC regen range

Sprint Electric, the UK drives developer, has won funding worth around £300,000 from Innovate UK to support the development of larger versions of its “groundbreaking” Generis AC regenerative drive. The first 22kW models are now ready to go on sale and the new funding – from the fifth round of Innovate UK’s Investor Partnerships programme which backs SMEs – will support the development of the Generis range up to 250kW. Sprint Electric was one of 28 successful applicants for funding from 89 applications.

£4.7m project aims to give manufacturers more 5G choices

A consortium of UK organisations has embarked on a year-long £4.7m project to explore ways that manufacturers could benefit from a 5G mobile network architecture that will allow them to use non-proprietary sub-components. The FoFoRan (Factory of the Future Open Ran) project will allow different companies’ technologies to work together, instead of users having to rely on single suppliers.

Gambica issues manifesto for next UK government

Gambica, the trade organisation that represents the UK’s industrial automation sector, has issued a manifesto aimed at the next UK government, highlighting key objectives that it believes need to be addressed urgently.

Roadmap aims to secure the future of UK manufacturing

Enginuity, a charity whose mission is to find new ways of closing the UK’s engineering and manufacturing skills gap, has published a roadmap aimed at securing the future of the sector. It is calling on employers, training providers, and policymakers to work together on five key priorities for building and maintaining a skilled workforce for the future.

UK motor-maker Saietta enters administration

The British electric motor developer and manufacturer, Saietta, has entered administration after failing to find a buyer for a production line in Sunderland after a deal to manufacture electrical steering pumps there under contract fell through.

Motors and inverters benefit from £360m manufacturing plan

Collaborative UK projects to develop advanced motors, inverters and silicon carbide power modules are to receive Government funding as part of a £360m package of support for the UK manufacturing sector announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, in the run-up to his Spring Budget. The package includes £200m of joint industry and government in zero-carbon aircraft technologies, £92m for medicines and diagnostics products, and £73m for electric vehicle technologies, including motors and inverters.