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Schneider expands two UK plants to meet renewables demand

Schneider Electric has announced plans for a multi-million pound upgrade and expansion of its Leeds and Scarborough manufacturing facilities in the UK in response to the growing demand in renewable and green technologies. It is also planning to create an innovation hub in Leeds, showcasing its sustainable energy management technologies.

Parvalux reveals plans to expand into a new factory in Poole

The Bournemouth-based motor manufacturer, Parvalux Electric Motors, has announced plans to build a new 13,000m2 (140,000ft2) factory and headquarters in nearby Poole, where it will amalgamate its operations from three existing sites. It has bought a 3.54ha (8.75-acre) site in Cabot Lane which was previously occupied by Barclays and Siemens. Construction is due to start later this year with occupation scheduled for 2021. 

Igus invests £4m in pioneering UK recycling plant

The German engineering plastics specialist igus has invested £4m in a company that is building a first-of-its-kind plant in Cheshire, UK, that will recycle plastic waste into synthetic oil that can be re-used to make new plastic products. Construction is due to start this year on the first commercial catalytic hydrothermal reactor (Cat-HTR) plant which will consist of four reactors and will be able to process more than 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

AES buys Dutch condition monitoring firm to add to AVT

AES Engineering, based in Rotherham, UK, has acquired the Dutch reliability and vibration monitoring specialist Van Geffen, for an undisclosed sum. Van Geffen, which specialises in preventing and solving of problems with machinery, foundations and structures, will join AES’ condition-monitoring subsidiary, AVT Reliability Group, located in Cheshire, UK.

Just 16% of UK’s SME manufacturers are using robots

Just 16% of the UK’s SME (small and medium enterprise) manufacturers are using robots, with another 13% saying they are planning to start using them, according to the latest national Manufacturing Barometer report. But more than 70% have no plans to introduce robots or are unsure about whether to do so.

£9m grant will help to convert planes for hybrid-electric flight

A consortium of British business has received a £9m grant from the government to help design, manufacture and integrate a hybrid-electric propulsion system into a nine-seater Britten-Norman (B-N) Islander aircraft, which is typically used on short flights such as island-hopping.

High-efficiency motor pioneer honoured in AEMT awards

Professor David Walters, who pioneered technologies for high-efficiency electric motors when he was technical director at Brook Crompton, has received a lifetime contribution award from the AEMT – the Association of Electric and Mechanical trades – at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony, held recently in Coventry, UK. Walters, now retired, was the driving force behind Brook Crompton’s ground-breaking W series of high-efficiency motors.

UK’s strongest robot flexes its muscles at the MTC

What is thought to be the UK’s most powerful industrial robot has been installed at Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. The six-axis Fanuc M-2000iA/2300 machine can handle heavy loads, such as automotive chassis and foundry workpieces, weighing up to 2.3 tonnes. It has a reach of 3.7m and vertical lifting stroke of 6.2m.

Automation slashes drive cable lead times from weeks to 24h

igus has commissioned an automated assembly line for its readycable drives cables at its UK headquarters in Northampton. The line uses automated machines and lean manufacturing methods to streamline its manufacturing processes, and can produce fully-harnessed drive cables ready for shipping within 24 hours of an order being placed.

Sewtec will double in size as it moves to Wakefield

The British industrial automation specialist Sewtec is relocating to a 75,000ft2 (7,000m2) facility in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, as part of a transformation strategy. The new building is more than twice the size of its current site in Dewsbury, also in West Yorkshire.

Japanese drive-maker sets its sights on the UK market

The Japanese drives-maker Fuji Electric has announced a pair of multi-purpose variable-speed drives as part of a concerted effort to boost its presence in the UK market. After being represented in the UK by distributors for many years, Fuji set up its own UK office three years ago, headed by industry veteran, Stuart Cardall, who was previously UK sales manager for B&R and earlier in his career worked for IMO.

Mistry succeeds Montag as Gambica’s automation head

Nikesh Mistry has been appointed to succeed Victoria Montag as head of industrial automation activities at Gambica, the trade organisation that represents the sector in the UK.

Motion control firm rescues Jena Tec from administration

A new Mansfield-based business, Motion Control Engineering, has acquired the business and assets of Jena Tec Precision, the Nottingham-based manufacturer of linear and rotary motion products that was placed in administration last month, following financial difficulties.

Stainless-steel servo gearboxes come with 5-year warranties

At the PPMA show earlier this month, Uttoxeter-based Apex Dynamics UK made its public debut with a range of servo gearboxes that it claims are the first in the world to come with a five-year warranty. The portfolio includes a series of stainless-steel, planetary servo gearboxes that it describes as “a game-changer for the food, pharmaceutical, packaging and automation sectors,” partly because they do not cost much more than standard steel boxes.

Nord aims to double the size of its UK business

The geared motors and drives specialist Nord Gear is aiming to almost double the size of its UK business to around £30m in the five years to 2023. The company, which is celebrating its 25th year in the UK this year, currently employs almost 50 people and assembles up to 30 geared motors every day. Together with ready-built assemblies delivered from its parent company in Germany, these account for about 80% of Nord’s UK business.