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€100m machine automation campus will train 4,000 a year

ABB has opened a €100m global innovation and training campus at the headquarters of its Austrian machine and factory automation subsidiary, B&R. The campus, located in Eggelsberg, will create up to 1,000 high-tech jobs. It includes r&d labs, as well as facilities for training up to 4,000 people from around the world every year in collaboration with universities.

SKF and ABB boost collaboration on industrial automation

SKF and ABB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore possibilities for collaborating on the automation of manufacturing processes. They plan to identify and evaluate ideas for improving manufacturing capabilities and improving production efficiencies, potentially leading to future strategic collaborations.

‘Industrial metaverse’ heralds a new era in automation

Siemens has launched an open industrial platform that, it says, will make digital transformation easier, faster and scalable. The Xcelerator platform includes IoT (Internet of Things) enabled hardware, software and digital services from Siemens, and from more than 50 certified third parties. Siemens plans to transform its entire portfolio of hardware and software to become modular, cloud-connected and built on standard application programming interfaces (APIs).

Allied Motion buys US linear motor manufacturer Airex

Allied Motion Technologies has acquired the US linear and rotary motor manufacturer Airex for an undisclosed sum. Airex, based in New Hampshire, has more than 70 years of history supplying precision wound components and systems for industrial, semiconductor, life science and aerospace/defence applications.

Global robot sales bounce back to hit record highs

Global sales of industrial robots bounced back during 2021 to hit an all-time high of 486,800 shipped machines – a 27% increase on the figure for 2020 – according to preliminary data released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

Siemens buys UK maintenance specialist Senseye

Siemens has bought the UK-based predictive maintenance and industrial analytics specialist Senseye for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will expand Siemens’ predictive maintenance and asset intelligence portfolio.

Schneider sells Eurotherm controls business to Watlow

Schneider Electric is selling its UK-headquartered Eurotherm business to Watlow, the US designer and manufacturer of industrial thermal systems, for an undisclosed sum.

Modular drive wins Hermes innovation award at Hannover

Sumitomo Cyclo Drive Germany has won the 2022 Hermes technology award for its Tuaka integrated drive system which combines a 48V motor, gearbox and a drive with safety functions and is aimed, in particular, at robotic applications. The award is made annually by the organisers of the Hannover Fair for a technology at the show that displays a particularly high degree of innovation.

$56m plant will target expanding Indian automation market

Mitsubishi Electric is investing aound 2.2 billion Indian rupees ($56.6m) to build a new plant in India that will manufacture inverters and other factory automation (FA) products. The factory, due to start operating in December 2023, will meet growing demand in India where the FA market is expanding at an annual rate of about 8% – mainly in industries such as automobiles, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals and textiles. Further growth is expected in the future.

Remote service will cut VSD failure rates by ‘up to 65%’

Schneider Electric has announced a service plan for variable-speed drives that, it claims, will cut the risk of VSD failures by up to 65%, as well as reducing maintenance and planned downtime by up to 20%. The EcoStruxure Service Plan combines round-the-clock remote monitoring with preventive condition-based maintenance.

IMI buys Bahr to add electric linear systems to its pneumatic axes

The British engineering group IMI is buying the German electric linear motion specialist Bahr Modultechnik Holding for €98m (£83m). Bahr will become part of the IMI Precision Engineering’s industrial automation business.

Cyberattack victim Pilz creates industrial security service

In October 2019, the Germany machinery safety specialist Pilz was hit by devastating ransomware cyberattack which knocked out its production, IT and Web systems for months in some cases. The company, which refused to pay the ransom, had to revert to using phones and whiteboards. “It almost killed us,” admits joint managing partner, Thomas Pilz. But “we fought back,” he adds. “It was wake-up call.”

Schneider ‘in talks to sell’ Telemecanique arm for around $1bn

Schneider Electric is talking to several potential buyers of its Telemecanique automation and control activities, according to the Bloomberg news service. It says that the business, which could be sold for around $1bn, has attracted interested from several private equity firms as well as the connectors and sensors manufacturer, Amphenol.

Service identifies motors that could save most energy

ABB has launched a digital service that will help industrial operators to maximise their energy efficiency and boost their sustainability by identifying motor-driven equipment in their facilities with the biggest energy-saving potential. The ABB Ability Digital Powertrain Energy Appraisal service will draw data from fleets of digitally-connected electric motors and VSDs (variable-speed drives) to show where – and how much – energy can be saved by upgrading to the latest high-efficiency technologies. The users can then make data-driven decisions to prioritise their investments.

Slotless motor maker ThinGap merges with Allied Motion

ThinGap, the Californian manufacturer of zero-cogging slotless motors, is merging with Allied Motion Technologies, the US group that designs and produces precision motion products for the global market. The terms of the merger have not been revealed.