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MV motor sales will dip in 2015 before resuming growth

The global market for medium-voltage (MV) motors was worth an estimated $5.7bn in 2014, and is expected to dip to $5.6bn this year, before rebounding to reach $6.8bn by 2019. This represents a CAGR of 3.6% for the period 2014–2019, according to a new research note issued by the analyst IHS.

Collaborative robotics market 'will exceed $1bn by 2020'

The collaborative robotics market will expand roughly tenfold between 2015 and 2020, soaring from $95m in 2015 to more than $1bn by 2020, according to a new study published by ABI Research.

Megadyne buys fellow Italian belt-maker, Sampla

The Megadyne group is buying another Italian belt-maker, Sampla Belting, for an undisclosed sum. Megadyne says that the move will enhance its position as the world's leading industrial power transmission conveyor belt company.

Emerson explores 'alternatives' for its motors and drives activities

Emerson has announced that it is exploring “strategic alternatives” for its motors and drives operation – which includes the drives-maker Control Techniques and the motor manufacturer Leroy-Somer – as part of a plan to streamline its portfolio, drive growth and accelerate value creation. The US-headquartered company has also announced that it is spinning off its Network Power business and is planning a “complete review and assessment” of its corporate structure and services to reduce its size and sharpen its focus.

Motion trade groups MCA and SMMA merge to form MCMA

The Motion Control Association (MCA) has merged with SMMA, the Motor & Motion Association, to form the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA), which will serve the global motion controls and motors industry.

Emerson announces new president for Control Techniques

Emerson has appointed Scott Anderson as the next president of its Control Techniques drives business, succeeding Enrique Minarro Viseras who has occupied the post since 2012.

Cognex sells surface inspection business to Ametek for $160m

Cognex is selling its Surface Inspection Systems Division (SISD) to Ametek for around $160m in cash. California-based SISD produces software-enabled vision systems used to inspect the surfaces of continuously processed materials for flaws and defects. Its sales last year were worth $60m, or 12% of Cognex’s total revenue.

German pair ‘re-invents’ servodrive cable assemblies

The German cable manufacturer Lapp and the connector-maker Intercontec have joined forces to “re-invent” servodrive cable assemblies with a new range that, they say, will support all common drives. Lapp has set up an automated facility at its Stuttgart plant to produce the Ölflex Connect Servo assemblies, and this will be followed by similar facilities in Asia and North America to serve the global market.

Rockwell chooses Donato to lead its European operation

Rockwell Automation has appointed Thomas Donato to be president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, succeeding Hedwig Maes who has occupied the position since 2008.

ABB is ‘first global robot-maker to manufacture in US’

ABB has opened a robotics manufacturing plant in the US which, it says, makes it the first global industrial robotics company to manufacture in North America. The plant – at an existing facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan which already employs around 500 people ­– is ABB’s third robotics production facility, and joins existing plants in China and Sweden. It will manufacture ABB robots and related equipment for the North American market. Production will start immediately.

Teradyne buys Denmark’s Universal Robots for $285m

The US automated test equipment specialist Teradyne is buying the Danish collaborative robotics pioneer Universal Robots for $285m in cash, plus $65m if certain performance targets are met in the period to 2018. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Merged Danfoss-Vacon business sets its sights on ABB

The newly-combined Danfoss and Vacon drives business has set its sights on overtaking ABB to become the leader of the global drives market. Speaking at the recent Hannover Fair, Vesa Laisi, president of Danfoss Drives – the merged business formed following Danfoss’ €1bn acquisition of Vacon last year – said that the new business is “not too far” behind ABB.

Automation sales will grow in 2015, despite headwinds

The global market for industrial automation equipment (IAE) will continue to grow during 2015, but at a slower rate than before, as a result of the low oil and commodity prices and weakened demand from some developing economies. A research note issued by the analyst IHS suggests that these factors will dampen revenue growth by about 1–2% this year, resulting in a growth rate of 4.5% above 2014 levels.

OPC and EtherCat agree to link their systems

The OPC Foundation and the EtherCat Technology Group (ETG) have agreed to develop open interfaces between their technologies. At the recent Hannover Fair, OPC Foundation president Tom Burke and ETG executive director Martin Rostan signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to co-operate on developing these interfaces, rather than each developing technology extensions into the other’s core areas.

ABB buys Gomtec to boost its collaborative robotics drive

ABB has acquired the German robotics specialist Gomtec to expand its offering in the field of collaborative robots. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.