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Euro-zone manufacturing recovery slows down

The recovery in the Euro-zone manufacturing sector appears to be losing momentum, despite a twelfth successive month of recovery in June. According to the latest seasonally-adjusted Markit Euro-zone Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index), growth of both output and new orders has slowed since May, with only Ireland and Spain recording improvements and PMI indices falling in all of the other Euro-zone nations, including Germany.

Growth returns to global geared products market

After sliding for two consecutive years, global revenues for industrial geared products are forecast to grow by 4.7% this year to reach $13.2bn, according to a new study from IHS. However, this growth will still leave the market about 0.7% below its previous peak level, achieved in 2011, following two years of growth above 15%.

$1.7bn deal creates ‘one of world’s biggest sensor companies’

Swiss-based TE Connectivity is buying the US sensor-maker Measurement Specialities for $1.7bn to create “one of the largest sensor companies in the world”. TE – formerly Tyco Electronics – says that the deal will add almost $40bn to its addressable market and produce double-digit growth in its sensors business.

Advanced HMIs drive the terminal market towards $3bn

The global market for industrial operator terminals was worth $2.32bn in 2013, and will rise to around $3.16bn by 2018, according to a new report from the analyst, IHS. The growth (equivalent to a CAGR of 6.4%) will be driven largely by the increasing use of advanced graphical and portable operator terminals, while revenues from older and more basic products – such as text-based terminals – are expected to fall.

Chinese automation firm buys Applied Motion Products

The Chinese automation manufacturer, Shanghai Moons’ Electric Co, has acquired the US stepper and servo drive producer, Applied Motion Products, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is an expansion of a joint venture that began in 2007 with AMP and Moons’ sharing technology and R&D.

Automation centre aims to raise WEG’s profile in Europe

The Brazilian drive technology supplier, WEG, has opened an automation centre in Germany to improve support for its European customers and to strengthen its automation components business. As well as basing automation specialists at the new centre, WEG is opening a workshop with test stands, a training centre and warehouse space for its automation components.

Industrial robot sales soared globally by 12% during 2013

Global sales of industrial robots hit a new record of 179,000 last year ­– a 12% increase on 2012 – according to figures released by the International Federation of Robotics. Announcing the figures at the recent Automatica show in Germany, IFR president Arturo Baroncelli reported, moreover, that orders in the first four months of 2014 had “increased remarkably” and the IFR expects 2014 sales to continue growing at a similar pace to 2013.

The Internet of Things ‘will be worth $400bn in ten years’

The Internet of Things (IoT) market will be worth more than $400bn within ten years, according to a new report from a French technology analyst, Yole Développement. It predicts that revenues from IoT devices alone will soar from $9.5bn this year to $46bn by 2024, when the income from associated cloud computing services will be worth $59bn and the processing of IoT data will be worth $296bn.

Europe’s €2.8bn robotics initiative is ‘world’s largest’

The European Commission has joined forces with the robot industry and researchers across Europe to launch what they claim is the world's largest-ever programme of civilian research and innovation in robotics. They predict that the €2.8bn ($3.8bn) Sparc programme, spread over seven years, will create more than 240,000 jobs in Europe and to raise EU’s share of the global robotics market from 35% at present to 42% by 2020.

Global sales of industrial robots head above $40bn

The global market for industrial robots will grow at an annual rate (CAGR) of 5.4% between 2013 and 2020, reaching a value of $41.17bn by the end of the decade, according to a new report from Allied Market Research. The market, which was worth $26.78bn in 2012, is being fuelled by a rapid growth in automation, coupled with a reduction of duties on refurbished goods in the Asia-Pacific region, says the report.

Swiss wireless firm buys Sweden’s connectBlue for $28m

The Swiss wireless specialist u-blox is buying connectBlue, the Swedish supplier of short-range industrial radio modules, for SEK185m ($28m). U-blox says that the acquisition will enhance its portfolio of positioning and cellular wireless communications systems with short-range communication products that cater for the fast-growing Internet of Things market.

Wireless standards dispute could lead to industrial failures

A leading European trade body is warning that at row over wireless communications standards in Europe could lead to “major industrial wireless failures”. Gambica, the trade organisation for the UK control and automation industry, predicts that a new European wireless standard could lead to “graceful degradation” of industrial wireless installations.

US manufacturers losing 11% through skills shortages

US manufacturers may be losing up to 11% of their earnings as a result of increased production costs arising from a shortage of skilled workers, according to a new survey from The Manufacturing Institute and Accenture.  

White is the new orange for ABB industrial robots

After 40 years of painting its robots a distinctive orange colour, ABB has announced that it is changing their standard colour to “graphite white”.

New US motor efficiency standard will save $16bn

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced a new efficiency standard for electric motors that, it predicts, will save consumers nearly $16bn and reduce carbon emissions by 96 million tonnes in the period 2030. The new standard, which updates a 2010 version, will come into effect two years after it is published in the US Federal Register.