Drives and Controls Magazine
UK industrial software giant Aveva buys OSIsoft for $5bn

The UK industrial software supplier Aveva is buying OSIsoft, the US-based real-time industrial data software and services developer, for $5bn. The two companies will combine their products, bringing together industrial software and data management to help customers accelerate their digital transformation. The merged business will have revenues of around £1.2bn.

'Robotic integrated controller’ eliminates the need for humans

The Japanese automation manufacturer Omron has announced what it describes as “the world’s first robotics integrated controller”, which synchronises various technologies to provide highly automated manufacturing operations that do not rely on humans. It says that the controller will: improve the speed and accuracy of production; simulate production lines without needing to deploy physical equipment; simplify maintenance; and save time in design, planning, commissioning and changeover processes.

AC drives sales will fall by 10% in 2020 and rebound in 2021

The global market for low-voltage AC drives market will fall by more than 10% this year, according to a new report from Interact Analysis. It points out that the drop is not as severe as it was in 2009, adding that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” with strong prospects for a return to growth in 2021.

Cybersecurity firm warns of new automation dangers

The cybersecurity research firm Trend Micro has issued a pair of reports highlighting potential dangers to industrial automation systems posed by vulnerabilities in protocol gateways and programming languages. It says that these flaws could expose automation system to critical attacks that could enable attackers to hijack industrial robots and automation systems to disrupt production or steal intellectual property.

SPE sparks initiative to link OT networking expertise

The Ethernet Alliance, a global consortium dedicated to advancing Ethernet technologies, has launched an initiative to bring together people involved in OT (operational technology) networks used in industrial and building automation. The initiative is a response to the development of the Single-Pair Ethernet (SPE) cabling technology.

EU manufacturing expands for the first time in 17 months

The Eurozone manufacturing economy recorded its first growth in 17 months during July with output and demand recovering as Covid-19 restrictions eased further. After accounting for seasonality, the IHS Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 51.8, up from 47.4 in the previous month – a figure higher than 50 indicates a move into positive territory.

Rockwell restructures to simplify operations and boost growth

Rockwell Automation is restructuring its business to simplify its operations and accelerate profitable growth. Announcing this as part of the company’s third-quarter results – which revealed a 16.3% drop in sales compared to 2019 – chairman and CEO Blake Moret said that the new structure “better aligns us with the evolving needs of our customers”.

Covid-19 accelerates launch of ‘robotic employees’

A Japanese-Israeli robotics joint venture that was created late last year before the Coronavirus pandemic had taken hold globally, has announced its first commercial products, claiming that the Covid-19 has made its concept of “robotic workforces” even more relevant in the age of social distancing.

App will help 100,000 Siemens employees to return safely to work

100,000 Siemens employees working at 600 locations in 30 countries are getting access to an app that combines location, usage and smart building data with their own personal requirements to ensure that they can return safely to their workplaces following the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Most efficient’ motor maker aims to end energy waste

A Californian company which claims to have developed “the world's most efficient and intelligent electric motor system”, has renamed itself as part of its aim to eliminate the 25% of global electricity consumption that is wasted by legacy motors, thus accelerating the world’s transition from fossil fuels.

AGVs move Porsche’s Taycan EVs through multi-level plant

The German car-maker Porsche has commissioned a new line to produce its first fully-electric car, the Taycan, at its space-constrained site in Stuttgart, in just 4½ months, without disrupting the production of sportscars at the same site. Instead of traditional conveyor systems, the multilevel production line uses AGVs (automated guided vehicles) to move the vehicles from one assembly station to the next.

Siemens and Realtime team up to slash robot deployment times

Siemens has joined forces with Realtime Robotics, the US specialist in autonomous motion planning for industrial robots, to slash the time it takes to deploy robots. Under the strategic partnership with Siemens’ Digital Industries Software division (formerly known as Siemens PLM Software), Realtime’s technology will be integrated into Siemens simulation software. This will simplify robot programming and workcell coordination by automating the motion programming and interlock processes.

WEG takes control of Brazilian AI machine vision start-up

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG is acquiring a controlling stake (51%) in Mvisia, a Brazilian start-up that specialises in applying AI (artificial intelligence) to computer vision systems for industry. Under the agreement, WEG could increase its stake in Mvisia in the future.

Microsoft buys IoT/OT industrial cybersecurity firm

Microsoft is buying the Israeli IoT/OT cybersecurity specialist, CyberX, for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around $165m. The acquisition will complement Microsoft’s existing Azure IoT security capabilities and extend them to devices such as those used in industrial IoT, OT (operational technology) and infrastructure applications.

Code-free robot teaching device wins $30m of backing

A German start-up has developed a hand-held device for code-free programming of industrial robots, which has attracted $30m of second-round funding from backers including Microsoft’s M12 funding arm. Dresden-based Wandelbots claims that its TracePen device costs a fraction of traditional programming techniques and is up to 70 times faster. “Even a layman can teach a robot a task within minutes,” it adds.