Drives and Controls Magazine
Belt-maker Gates changes hands for $5.4bn

The Gates Corporation, whose products include industrial belts and fluid power products, has been bought by the private equity group Blackstone for $5.4bn. Gates’ previous owners were the Canadian private equity firm Onex and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which acquired it as part of the Tomkins conglomerate, for which they paid $5bn in 2010.

Schneider Electric enters ‘exclusive’ talks to sell CST

Schneider Electric has formally announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with two private equity groups, The Carlyle Group and PAI Partners, to buy its Custom Sensors & Technologies (CST) business, based on a $900m valuation for the operation.

US manufacturing growth continues in March

The US manufacturing sector grew “solidly” during March, with output levels and new business volumes both rising sharply, according to the latest Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) survey. Although the increase in new work was slower than in the previous month, it was still the second-fastest since May 2010, and the rate of production growth was little-changed from the near three-year high recorded in February.

Scotland’s Weir Group 'offers €4bn for Finland’s Metso'

The Scottish engineering company, the Weir Group, is reported to have made an offer worth more than €4bn for Metso, the Finnish automation, and mining & construction, business.

Rexroth pneumatics business is reborn as Aventics

Following Bosch Rexroth’s sale last year of its pneumatics activities to the German-Scandinavian investor, Triton, the now standalone business has been renamed Aventics.

US giants form group to promote the industrial Internet

GE, Cisco, Intel, IBM and AT&T have formed a consortium that they hope will break down technology barriers to allow better access to big data, with improved integration of the physical and digital worlds. The open-membership Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) will help organisations to connect and optimise their assets, operations and data, to drive agility and to unlock business value across all sectors of industry.

Belt and chain drives face challenge from VSDs

Global sales of belt and chain drives were worth $8.8bn in 2013 and will climb to $10.57bn by 2018, according to a new analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

ABB to sell Thomas & Betts HVAC business for $260m

ABB is selling its Thomas & Betts’ HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) business to US-based Nortek for $260m in cash. ABB says it is divesting the business – which it acquired when it bought Thomas & Betts for $3.9bn in 2012 – because of limited synergies with its core portfolio. ABB will continue to supply motors, drives and LV products to the HVAC industry.

GE ventures into crowd-sourced manufacturing

GE (General Electric) has formed a partnership with a US-based open-source hardware innovator called Local Motors, to launch a new model for manufacturing.

WEG buys German motor-maker, and ends name confusion

The Brazilian motor manufacturer WEG has acquired a German electric motor and gearbox company called Württembergische Elektromotoren. Württembergische manufactures three-phase, single-phase and DC motors up to 1kW as well as gearboxes and fractional servomotors.

IEC publishes standard defining IE4 motor efficiency level

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a new standard which, for the first time, officially defines IE4 Super Premium efficiency motors, as well as eight-pole motors with outputs from 0.12kW to 1MW for operation on 50Hz and 60Hz supplies.

Asia set to overtake Americas in machine-safety market

Asia will overtake the Americas this year to become the world’s second-largest regional market for machine-safety components, according to a new analysis by IHS.

Schneider Electric is in talks to sell its CST sensors business

Schneider Electric has confirmed it is in talks to sell a majority stake in its Custom Sensors and Technologies (CST) business, which includes the brands BEI, Crouzet, Crydom, Kavlico, Newall and System Donner Inertial.

ABB invests in ‘disruptive’ 3D motor technology

ABB’s venture capital arm, ABB Technology Ventures, has invested in a US company, Persimmon Technologies, which is developing a 3D deposition technology for producing motor components.

Statement clarifies EU motor efficiency Regs change

Beama – the trade body that represents the electrotechnical industry in the UK – has secured clarification on a recently published European Commission amendment to its Ecodesign regulations that lay down minimum efficiency levels for low-voltage electric motors sold in Europe.