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Legislation boosts the uptake of micro-drives in Europe

Evolving energy legislation, paralleled by the need to control energy costs and improve efficiency, is boosting the uptake of micro-drives in Europe, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. The study, which covers AC, DC and servo drives rated up to 10kW, says that the European micro-drive market was worth $516.8m in 2012 and will reach $637.1m by 2016.

Motion control is the fastest-growing use of industrial Ethernet

Motion controls and drives are the fastest-growing application area for Ethernet in the industrial sector, according to a new study from IMS Research, now part of IHS, which forecasts that the use of Ethernet in motion applications will more than triple between 2011 and 2016.

Windows 8 won't hit IPCs for four years; XP still leads

Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, will have little impact on the industrial PC (IPC) market for at least three years, according to a new report on the global IPC market by IMS Research, now part of IHS.

Mature market for belts and chains faces 'a serious threat'

The European market for chain and belt drives is well established, and its technology mature. The limited innovation and product differentiation in the sector, coupled with rapid advances in alternative technologies such as variable-speed drives, pose “a serious threat” to its future, says a new report from the market analyst Frost & Sullivan.

Ethernet still lags a long way behind fieldbuses

Fieldbus–based communications systems accounted for 75% of new industrial automation network connections in 2011 – three times more than those using industrial Ethernet – according to a new study by IMS Research, now part of IHS. Even by 2016, fieldbuses will still account for 69% of new connections, but Ethernet is growing faster and will become the dominant networking technology within 10–15 years, IHS predicts.

Robots ‘will create 2m jobs in eight years’

Industrial robots will create more than two million jobs over the next eight years, according to a study conducted for the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). The study, by the London consultancy Metra Martech, also concludes that robots already in use by 2011 directly created a total of 4–6m jobs – equivalent to an average of three to five jobs for every robot in service. If jobs created indirectly are added, the total number is 8–10m.

Siemens drives further into EV market by buying VePoint

Siemens has stepped up its involvement in electric vehicle technologies by buying Semikron International’s VePoint subsidiary, which develops power electronic components and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. It has also signed a cooperation agreement with Semikron to intensify their collaboration on power electronics for electric vehicles.

DIN-rail industrial PCs lead the growth league

Sales of DIN-rail-mounting industrial PCs (IPCs) are growing faster than those of any other type of IPC, according to a new report from IMS Research, now part of IHS. It predicts that sales of these IPCs will expand at a CAGR of 12% between 2011 and 2016 – significantly faster than the IPC market average of 9%.

Online network aims to solve maintenance problems

SKF has launched a Web site where maintenance professionals from around the world can make contact with each other to obtain advice and potential solutions to problems. Called the SKF Maintenance Network, the site is offering incentives to people who suggest answers to problems by rewarding them with points which they can use to obtain prizes from the network’s Web store. The site will also show a “leaderboard” of top problem-solvers.

Vision systems now ‘an integral part of quality control’

In the second analysis of the machine vision market to be published this month, Frost & Sullivan reports that the market was worth $4.5bn in 2012 and predicts that it will reach $6.75bn in 2016. In the earlier study, MarketsandMarkets estimated that revenues would be worth $5bn by 2018.

White House calls in the automation industry for cyber-security talks

The US automation industry has held talks with the Obama administration to help draw up national security standards, guidelines and compliance testing to safeguard America’s critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks.

Machine vision market has sales worth $5bn in its sights

The global market for machine vision systems and components was worth more than $3.1bn in 2012, and is likely to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% from 2013 to 2018, to hit $5bn by 2018. A new report from the analyst MarketsandMarkets says that industrial applications accounted for 75% of sales last year (worth some $2.4bn) and will expand with a CAGR of 7.2% from 2013 to 2018.

OPC Foundation joins forces with TIA on M2M standards

Following last year’s collaboration agreement between the OPC Foundation and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the two organisations have consolidated their development efforts in automation, and cloud and network communications standards, to bridge the gap between their two previously distinct sectors and to develop M2M (machine-to-machine) standards.

Regal buys Schneider’s RAM motors business

The US motor manufacturer Regal Beloit has bought Schneider Electric’s RAM motor business, which produces hermetic motors with ratings from 250–2,500hp (186kW–1.86MW) for commercial HVAC applications. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Europe’s MV drives sales decline as the rest of world recovers

The global growth in sales of medium-voltage (MV) drives slipped from 20% in 2011 to just 8.8% during 2012.