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Emerson buys GE’s PLC business to broaden its portfolio

Emerson is buying General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms division, saying that GE’s PLC (programmable logic controller) technologies will enable it to offer its customers broader control and management of their operations. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. It comes at a time when GE has been selling businesses to focus on its jet engine, power plant and renewable energy activities.

Thomas & Betts is reborn as ABB Installation Products

ABB has announced that its North American electrical products manufacturing operation Thomas & Betts will in future be called ABB Installation Products. ABB acquired the business for $3.9bn in 2012 and Thomas & Betts is one of 20 ABB-owned brands being migrated to the ABB name this year as part of its Next Level strategy.

Barnes buys Italian robot tool specialist Gimatic for €370m

The US-based Barnes Group is expanding into the automation and robotics sector by buying the Italian automation and robotics supplier Gimatic for €370m ($435m) in cash. Barnes, whose existing activities include aerospace systems and services, moulding systems and gas springs, is buying Gimatic from its founder, Giuseppe Bellandi, and the European-Asian private equity firm Agic Capital and Xenon Capital Partners, who paid around €100m for the business in 2016.

$140m funding round is ‘biggest ever’ for industrial robotics

GreyOrange, a Singapore-headquartered business which specialises in AI-powered robotics systems for flexible automation in warehouses and fulfilment centres, claims to have attracted the largest round of funding ever raised by an industrial robotics company. The company will use the $140m of funds from Mithril Capital to develop the next generation of flexible supply-chain systems.

Digital factory market ‘will be worth $111bn by 2026’

The digital factory market is expanding at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 35% and will be worth $111bn by 2026, according to a new report from ABI Research. Technologies included in its definition of “the digital factory” include PLCs, robots, motors and pumps.

Megadyne and Ammeraal Beltech appoint a joint CEO

The belt-makers Megadyne and Ammeraal Beltech have appointed a Stijn Vriends as their combined CEO. His appointment follows the recent agreement by Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, to acquire and merge both companies to create a full-service provider of industrial transmission and lightweight conveyor belts.

Nidec kicks off German 'shopping spree' with Graessner

The acquisitive Japanese motor-maker Nidec has bought the privately-owned German precision gear-maker MS-Graessner for an undisclosed sum. According to the Japanese news agency Nikkei, this the first of five acquisitions of German automation and robotics companies that Nidec is planning to make before March 2019, with a combined value of around 50 billion yen ($450m).

Danfoss buys Axco, Finnish maker of PM motor and generators

Danfoss is buying Axco-Motors, a Finnish manufacturer of large electric motors and generators – in ratings from 250kW up to 6MW – for applications such as renewable energy, marine vessels and off-highway vehicles. The financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.

UK’s Megger buys Baker motor-testing business from SKF

The UK test equipment manufacturer Megger Group has entered into an agreement with SKF to purchase its Baker Instrument business which makes equipment for testing and diagnosing electric motors and other rotating machines. The terms of the deal of have not been disclosed.

Yaskawa buys Siemens’ share of their automation JV

Yaskawa is buying Siemens’ share of their 50:50 joint venture, Yaskawa Siemens Automation & Drives (YSAD), giving it full control of the business. YSAD will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Yaskawa on 1 November, and will be renamed Yaskawa Automation Drives (YAD).

Electronics distribution giant targets automation

Digi-Key Electronics, the US-based global distributor of electronic components, has set its sights on becoming the world’s leading supplier of industrial automation (IA) components as well. The company has added more than 14,000 automation parts to its portfolio, including products from Sick, Idec, Carlo Gavazzi and Belden.

SKF sells linear motion business to Triton for $310m

SKF is selling its linear and actuation technology business, SKF Motion Technologies, to the venture capital company Triton for a total of SEK 2.75bn ($310m) on a cash- and debt-free basis. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2018, provided that it receives regulatory approvals and is accepted by employee bodies.

Timken buys Italian linear motion specialist, Rollon

The US-based Timken Company is buying the Italian linear motion products specialist Rollon Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Cone Drive returns to US ownership as Timken buys it

The US bearings and power transmission company, Timken, is buying the precision mechanical drives manufacturer, Cone Drive, from Scotland’s Clyde Blowers Capital (CBC), for an undisclosed amount. The deal marks a return to American ownership for Cone Drive, which CBC acquired in 2008 as part of the Textron’s gear technology division (which also included AB Benzlers, the David Brown Group, Maag Pumps and Union Pumps).

ABB buys intrion to boost its logistics automation presence

ABB is buying the Belgian robotics automation provider intrion, with the aim of boosting its expertise in fast-growing logistics automation market. The two parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the transaction, which is expected to close later this year.