Drives and Controls Magazine
Cyber-security research centre aims to thwart ICS attacks

A new Government-backed research institute is being set up with the aim of counteracting cyber-attacks and other threats to the vital systems that control the UK’s industry and infrastructure.

2014 Drives Show looks set to break records

With three months to go to the 2014 Drives & Controls exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK, the number of exhibitors who have signed up is already more than 20% higher than at the same stage before the previous event in 2012.

UK manufacturers create up to 15,000 jobs in Q4 2013

Output from UK manufacturers grew by more than 1% during the final quarter of 2013, with the sector creating around 10–15 thousand jobs, according to indications from the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Rates of expansion in production and new orders during December were among the highest in the survey’s 22-year history, although the PMI of 57.3 was slightly down on November’s 33-month high of 58.1.

UK manufacturing output and orders hit 19-year highs

The recovery in the UK manufacturing sector gained further momentum in November, with the monthly Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reaching its highest level since February 2011, and marking eight months of continuous expansion.

UK manufacturing growth ‘strongest for 18 years’

Growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector during the past three months was the strongest for 18 years, according to the latest Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry. The survey of nearly 350 manufacturers found that both the size of order books and the pace of output growth were at their highest levels since 1995, indicating that the recovery in UK manufacturing is accelerating. 

British engineering graduates earn almost as much as doctors

Among British graduates, only doctors earn more than engineers, new figures have revealed. Engineering graduates earn an annual average of £42,016 – slightly behind doctors on £45,604 but almost twice as much as arts graduates, who earn an average of £21,944 – according to the figures released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Many UK firms are unaware of Government support schemes

A survey to assess levels of awareness of Government schemes that support manufacturing in the UK has revealed that half of the 446 organisations surveyed were unaware of 13 of the 18 available schemes, and 78%n were unaware of nine or more of the schemes.

MAC Solutions buys ProcessVue developer, Asgard Technologies

Redditch-based MAC Solutions has acquired Asgard Technologies, the developer of the ProcessVue suite of alarm management and printer replacement software. As part of the agreement, MAC Solutions is investing in a new software development centre in Chesterfield that will develop ProcessVue and other KPI reporting products for the automation and process management markets.

£36m training centre aims to help plug the skills gap

Plans have been announced to build a £36m elite training centre at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, with the aim of tackling some of the skills shortages facing the UK manufacturing sector. The cost will be split between industry and the government.

UK SME domestic orders grow at their fastest since 1995

Optimism about the business environment among Britain’s small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers has risen at the fastest pace since records began in 1988, on the back of improving demand and output, according to the latest SME Trends Survey released by the UK business organisation, the CBI.

Apprentices will run ‘junior factory’ within a drives plant

Siemens has opened a small “factory within a factory” at its drives production plant at Congleton in the UK, that will be run by commercial and technical apprentices aged 16 to 21.

£20m Cosworth plant will use ‘unique’ manufacturing system

The automotive engineering and manufacturing group, Cosworth, has announced plans to open a factory based on a state-of-the-art flexible manufacturing system (FMS) that, it says, will be unique in the UK and will manufacture components for some of the world’s most advanced engines. Its customers will include global brands in the automotive industry.

Autodesk buys Delcam in a deal valuing it at £172m

Autodesk, the US-based developer of AutoCad, is buying Delcam, the British supplier of manufacturing software, in a deal that values the UK business at £172.5m. The transaction will be structured as a cash offer for all of Delcam's shares and is expected to close in Autodesk’s first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Government pledges £49m to help tackle the skills shortage

The British government has pledged nearly £49m of funding to develop engineering skills in the UK in response to a major report that highlights the skills shortages faced by the UK and recommends ways to tackle them.

‘Manufacturing must continue to play a key role in UK economy’

If manufacturing does not continue to play a powerful role in the UK economy, the country risks being left behind its international competitors, a new Government report has warned.