Drives and Controls Magazine
US manufacturing PMI hits a four-year high

The US manufacturing sector has rebounded sharply from its three-month low in July to hit its highest level since April 2010, according to the latest PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) survey, published by Markit.

Danielson succeeds Johnstone as SKF’s president and CEO

SKF’s long-serving president and CEO, Tom Johnstone, is stepping down and will be succeeded by Alrik Danielson, who has been president and CEO of the Swedish metal powders producer Höganäs since 2005. Danielson worked at SKF from 1987 to 2005, and before he left was president of SKF’s Industrial Division and a member of its executive committee.

ABB sells maintenance business to Nordic Capital

ABB is selling its Full Service contract maintenance business to Nordic Capital for an undisclosed amount. The business is claimed to be the European market-leader in industrial maintenance outsourcing services, with a particularly strong position in the Nordic region. ABB says that the operation has limited synergies with its core power and automation portfolio.

Global sales of IE3 motors will overtake IE1 by 2018

Global sales of IE3 high-efficiency electric motors and the equivalent Nema Premium machines will almost double to more than $8bn by 2018, according to a new forecast from the analyst, IHS. With many LV motor markets becoming increasingly regulated in favour of IE2 and IE3 motors, the decline of low-efficiency IE1 motors has begun “in earnest”, says the analyst.

Power transmission sale could raise $1bn for Emerson

Emerson Electric is planning to sell its mechanical power transmission business and could raise $1bn from the sale, according to a report from Reuters.

Global sales of PLCs slipped by 2.1% in 2013

Revenues from the global market for PLCs slipped by by 2.1% in 2013, according to a new report from the market analyst, IHS. It attributes the slide, in part, to China delaying many investments as its leaders have set financial stability as the country's most important objective, and are applying only moderate stimulus.

LED lighting could overtake sensor-maker’s main business

The sensor-maker Turck Banner is harnessing its experience of using LEDs in photoelectric sensors, to diversify into the general LED-based lighting market, with a portfolio of products ranging from lighting for industrial control cabinets to fittings for mobile homes.

SKF to build $30m innovation centre in the US

The bearings-maker SKF is investing $30m to establish a Global Technical Centre in the US. The centre will employ around 80 engineers within its first four years of operation, with plans to expand to 200 subsequently.

€10m investment will halve gear-motor lead times

Bauer Gear Motors is building a new manufacturing headquarters in Esslingen, Germany, which, it says, will halve lead times for configured gear-motors. Most of the €10m investment is being spent on a new building for producing gear-motors and on a new office building with conference rooms.

2014 US robot sales are 30% up on 2013 levels

A record number of 14,135 robots, worth $788m, were ordered from North American robotics suppliers in the first half of 2014 – an increase of 30% in units sold and 16% in revenue over the same period in 2013 – according to new figures issued by the industry’s trade group, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

Members to vote on merger of Fieldbus Foundation and Hart

The boards of directors of the Fieldbus Foundation and the Hart Communication Foundation have agreed, in principle, to merge their organisations to form a new industry body dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in process automation. The announcement comes about ten months after they revealed that they were talking about possibly unifying their operations.

Yaskawa adds The Switch to its growing renewables portfolio

The Japanese motion control and robotics supplier Yaskawa Electric is buying the Finnish permanent magnet (PM) generator and power conversion specialist, The Switch, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition follows a collaboration agreement between the two companies in September 2013, under which they have been distributing each other’s wind turbine generators and converters.

US acquisition expands Yaskawa’s PV inverter business

The Japanese inverter and robotics manufacturer Yaskawa Electric has expanded into the US solar energy market by buying the photovoltaic (PV) inverter manufacturer, Solectria Renewables. Massachusetts-based Solectria, which produces high-performance PV inverters for residential, commercial and utility-scale power systems, will operate as a Yaskawa subsidiary.

Compressor-maker develops and builds its own VSDs

The compressor manufacturer Atlas Copco has developed its first in-house-designed inverter drive, claiming that it is 70kg lighter and less than half the size of the largest comparable generic inverters.

LV drives market poised for growth after three flat years

Global sales of low-voltage variable-speed drives (VSDs) will start to pick this year, after staying almost flat since 2011, according to new research published by the analyst, IHS.