Drives and Controls Magazine
Chinese SPS show is postponed following Coronavirus outbreak

The organisers of SPS – Industrial Automation Fair Guangzhou (SIAF), which was due to take place in Guangzhou, China, next month, have announced that the exhibition has been postponed following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic. The Guangdong Province Department of Commerce has suspended all large-scale events in the region in response to the outbreak,.

Eaton sells its hydraulics business to Danfoss for $3.3bn

Eaton is selling its hydraulics business to Danfoss for $3.3bn in cash, boosting the size of to the Danish group by about one third. The business, which accounted for 86% of Eaton’s hydraulics revenues in 2019, is a global leader in hydraulics components, systems, and services for industrial and mobile equipment.

Rockwell buys Avnet to boost its cyber-security capabilities

Rockwell Automation is buying the Israeli cyber-security provider Avnet Data Security for an undisclosed sum. Avnet, founded in 1995, offers IT/OT (information technology/operational technology) cyber-services including assessments, penetration testing, network and security systems, training, and converged IT/OT managed services. Its Israeli-based team includes "dozens" of cyber experts, trainers, consultants, researchers and systems integration engineers.

Benshaw buys Aucom to create ‘world’s biggest soft-start firm’

The US motor control specialist Benshaw is buying the New Zealand based soft-start pioneer Aucom Electronics to create what it claims will be the world’s largest privately owned soft-starter manufacturer. The details of the transaction have not been released.

Digital factory revenues could exceed $1 trillion by 2030

Technology investments in the industrial and manufacturing sector are set to soar from $59bn in 2019 to $375bn by 2030. If hardware revenues are included, that figure could climb to more than $1 trillion, according a study by the analyst, ABI Research.

Global sales of industrial robots go into reverse

After several years of seemingly unstoppable growth, the global market for industrial robots went into decline during 2019, with revenues falling by an estimated 4.3%.

New Finnish facility will be able test drive systems up to 15MW

Yaskawa Electric is making a “significant” investment to build a centre for testing large drives at its Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch business in Finland. The centre will be one of the largest of its kind and will be capable of testing entire drivetrains, including motors, generators, frequency converters, transformers and auxiliary equipment. Initially, it will be able to test systems rated up to 15MW, but there are plans for a second phase that will be able to handle even larger drives as well as medium-voltage systems.

Beckhoff signs global deal to supply BMW with IPCs

Beckhoff Automation has signed a deal with BMW to supply the car-maker with industrial PC (IPC) technology for use in its production facilities worldwide during the period to 2030. Beckhoff’s IPC technology, including control panels and PCs, will become a global standard for BMW, both in new manufacturing facilities and for retrofits, for applications such as machine connectivity, access control, data acquisition and visualisation.

Rexroth uses EtherCat for ‘the most open automation platform’

Bosch Rexroth used the recent SPS automation exhibition in Germany to unveil a major new automation platform which, it claims, will be “the most open on the market” and will cut engineering effort by 30–50%, reducing time-to-market “significantly” for new machines.

Pilz is recovering from a ‘major’ ransomware attack

The German machine safety and automation specialist Pilz is recovering from the effects of a “major” ransomware cyber-attack which affected much of its IT infrastructure around the world in the middle of October.

Danfoss overtakes Siemens to lead EMEA drives market

Danfoss overtook Siemens in 2018 to become the leading supplier of variable-speed drives in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, according to a new study of the global low-voltage AC drives market by Interact Analysis. ABB remains the global leader in a market where average drive prices fell by 2.7% compared with 2017 – a trend that the analyst predicts will continue.

Smart factories could boost global economy by $2.2 trillion

A new study from the Capgemini Research Institute has found that smart factories could add $1.5–2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2023 through productivity gains, improvements in quality and market share, and customer services. However, two-thirds of this value has yet to be realised.

B&R integrates ABB robots into its controls portfolio

At this month’s SPS automation show in Germany, B&R Automation is starting to move closer to ABB, which acquired the Austrian business in 2017. At SPS, it is demonstrating ABB robots as an integral aspect of its offering, eliminating the need for dedicated robot controllers, separate control cabinets and programming specialists.

Sensor-maker expects to become a €1bn business

The German sensor-maker, ifm electronic, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, believes that it had a good chance of becoming a €1bn-turnover business by the end of this year. The family-owned company achieved €943m of sales in 2018 and joint CEO Martin Buck is confident that it can hit the target, despite the downturn in the German economy.

Aluminium LV motor sales will hit $5.8bn by 2027

The global market for high-efficiency low-voltage aluminium motors is expanding by around 5% per year and will reach $5.8bn by 2027, when 14 million of these machines will be sold, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research. It says that Europe was the largest market for these motors in 2018, and predicts that it will hold this position over the forecast period from 2019-2027.