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Littlefuse buys US pumps and motors protection specialist

The circuit protection manufacturer Littlefuse has bought another US company, SymCom, which provides overload relays and pump controllers, mainly for the industrial market. SymCom, based in South Dakota, has sales worth around $23m and employs about 170 people. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

WEG enters the European servodrive market

The Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG, is entering the European servo market for the first time. The company has been selling servo motors and drives in other parts of the world for about 25 years, and has decided that the time is now right to offer these products in Europe as well. WEG's latest servo products ­– its sixth generation – have been designed with the European market in mind.

Motor and drive prices fall in European oil and gas market

Sales of electric motors and drives to the European oil and gas sector were worth $908.7m in 2012, and will rise to $1,152m by 2017, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

Rexnord acquires Precision Gear Holdings

The American mechanical power transmission components manufacturer Rexnord has bought Precision Gear Holdings and its two operating subsidiaries, Merit Gear and Precision Gear, for an undisclosed sum. PGH employs around 190 people and has annual sales of worth about $45m.

Fracking energises MV drives sales in the Americas

The unconventional energy revolution for shale gas and oil in North America has led to strong sales of medium-voltage (MV) drives in the Americas, with the market expected to expand by more than 14.5% during 2013 and a further 9.5% in 2014. According to the market analyst IHS, these strong sales offset weaker sales in China during 2012, resulting in the global market for MV drives expanding by 6% to reach $2.6bn. It expects the 2013 global growth rate to average around 8%, with big regional differences.

Vacon expands into medium-voltage drives market

The Finnish drives-maker Vacon is entering the medium-voltage and systems drives markets for the first time, as part of a plan to achieve an average growth rate of at least 10% over the period 2014–2020. Until now, the company, which was formed in 1993, has focused on LV drives as well as converters for renewable energy applications.

New US motor efficiency standards could save $23.1bn

The US government has announced plans to introduce new efficiency standards for electric motors that it estimates could save roughly 1 trillion kWh of electricity over 30 years – enough to power almost every US home for a year. Over a 30-year period, the savings for US electricity users would amount to around $23.1bn.

Social media grow in importance for B2B purchasers

Business-to-business (B2B) decision-makers are increasingly using social media – in particular, LinkedIn – when making purchases, according a new US study. The survey of 443 people working in American industry reveals that 25% of them use LinkedIn to gather information when making purchasing decisions, compared to 12% in a similar survey in 2011.

Buy a compressor and plant a forest

The Swedish compressor manufacturer Atlas Copco has launched a campaign under which it will donate trees to the landlocked African nation of Burkina Faso for every VSD (variable speed drive) controlled compressor that it sells. It hopes to donate 225,000 trees by the end of the campaign in March 2014, to create 550 acres of forest – an area similar to New York’s Central Park.

12 billion non-industrial motors set to ship by 2018

Global sales of electric motors for non-industrial applications – from domestic appliances to cars – will grow from 9.8 billion in 2012 to 12 billion by 2018, according to a new study by IHS. It attributes the predicted 23% growth partly to consumers demanding higher efficiencies and more automated features in their products.

Rockwell buys ‘disruptive’ machine motion technology

Rockwell Automation is buying Jacobs Automation, a US high-tech manufacturer that has developed an “intelligent” track-based motion control technology for use in machines. Details of the deal have not been released.

GE consolidates its control platforms on open technologies

GE Intelligent Platforms has announced plans to consolidate its control platforms, standardising them on open systems such as OPC-UA, to support the Industrial Internet. It says that using open systems across its platforms will provide customers with interoperability, secure communications and an optimal user experience (UX).

Managed switches ‘will take market share from routers’

The share of the industrial communications market held by traditional standalone industrial routers is set to decline over the coming five years as sales of managed Ethernet switches rise, according to a new report by the analyst IHS.

WEG plans to invest $345m in Mexico and China

The Brazilian motor-maker WEG has announced plans to invest $345m over the coming five years to expand its facilities and boost production in Mexico and China.

Regal Beloit adds Italy’s Cemp to its portfolio

US-based Regal Beloit Corporation is buying the Italian motor manufacturer, Cemp, which produces flameproof motors, mainly for oil, gas and marine applications.