Drives and Controls Magazine
Siemens launches $100m fund to back start-ups

Siemens has set up a $100m venture capital fund will that will invest in young and dynamic companies that “have the potential to change the landscape of manufacturing and industrial automation”. The Industry of the Future Fund will complement the company’s existing venture capital funds which typically invest in more mature start-ups.

Motion control shipments 'fell by 5% in 2013'

Global shipments of motion control products fell by 5% during 2013, according to new statistics released by the industry trade group, the Motion Control Association (MCA).

€1.4bn deal adds Goodyear Engineered brand to ContiTech

The German automotive and power transmission giant Continental is buying Veyance Technologies – which sells products under the  Goodyear Engineered Products brand – for around €1.4bn. The acquisition, from the US-based Carlyle Group, will join Continental’s ContiTech division, boosting its industrial presence. The combined business will have sales worth around €5.4bn, and will employ about 39,000 people worldwide.

EU machine-makers want end to deadlock on policing of imports

The EU machinery industry is warning that its competitiveness could suffer seriously as a result of the EU’s continued failure to introduce a better market surveillance system to prevent the entry and circulation of non-compliant products in the Union.

Electric boats and submarines will be worth $7.3bn by 2024

The global market for electrically powered watercraft – including those that operate on and under the water – will grow from $2.6bn in 2014 to $7.3bn in 2024, according to a new report from the market analyst, IDTechEx.

Energy harvesting revenues will hit $375m by 2020

Global sales of energy harvesting systems, which convert ambient energy into useable electrical energy, will grow from $283m in 2014 to nearly $375m by 2020, according to a new study from Navigant Research.

Growing use of wireless poses risks to manufacturers

The growing use of wireless connections in factories is exposing production sites to security breaches and cyber-attacks, forcing companies to seek ways to protect their networks, according to a new white paper from IHS Technology.

Germany leads Eurozone industry back to growth

In January, the Eurozone manufacturing sector recorded its strongest rate of expansion since May 2011, according to latest Markit Eurozone manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index). The improved performance was underpinned by expansions in production, and new domestic and export orders, all of which grew at their fastest rates since April 2011.

European Commission calls for a focus on industry

The European Commission is urging EU member states to recognise the importance of industry for creating jobs and growth in Europe. In a communication called For a European Industrial Renaissance, the EC calls for industrial modernisation by investing in innovation, resource efficiency, new technologies, skills and access to finance, accelerated by the use of EU funds.

IE regs drive EU motors market towards $6bn

Sales of electric motors in Western Europe were worth $5.16bn in 2013 and will reach $5.94bn in 2017, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. It says that sales are being driven by users replacing old motors by newer, more efficient machines with lower operating costs, and by the impeding enforcement of the second phase of the EU’s motor energy efficiency regulations (640/2009/EC).

Obama announces $140m power semiconductor hub

President Barack Obama has announced the creation of a $140m institute that will work on next-generation power electronics with the aim of strengthening the US manufacturing sector, boosting advanced manufacturing and creating good-paying jobs. On the same day that he announced the Next Generation Power Electronics Institute in North Carolina, he also visited a research and development centre operated by the Finnish drives-maker, Vacon.

Schneider unveils a new generation of controls

At the recent SPS IPC Drives show in Germany, Schneider Electric previewed a new a generation of controls that includes three new general-purpose controllers, a motion controller, a PAC (programmable automation controller), a servodrive, a new version of the company’s SoMachine automation software platform, and a “process expert system” (PES) package that combines PLC/Scada functions with energy management. The produdcts (some of which are shown below) will be marketed under the banner MachineStruxure, the Next Generation.

Siemens drops Robicon name from its MV drives

Siemens Drive Technologies is renaming its Robicon range of medium-voltage (MV) drives, which, it claims, are the global market-leader, with more than 10,000 sold since their launch in 2004. In future, the MV drives will be marketed under the Sinamics brand that Siemens already uses for its other drives ranges, and will be known as Sinamics Perfect Harmony.

Motion control sales will rebound in 2014 after a poor 2013

Global sales of motion control equipment recovered slightly last year to hit a total of $12.2bn, but the growth was too weak to overcome the significant decline during 2012, leaving revenues well below their peak level of $13.2bn, achieved in 2011.

Chinese industrial robot sales will hit $1.3bn by 2017

The Chinese market for industrial robots will rise from $810m in 2012 to reach $1.3bn by 2017, according to a new report from the analyst IHS. Revenues will expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10%, while unit sales will increase by about 13% per year, from more than 29,000 in 2012, to at least 52,000 by 2017.