Drives and Controls Magazine
US industry scores biggest gains for almost four years

During February, the US manufacturing sector achieved its biggest improvement in business conditions for 45 months, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index. The February PMI was 57.1 – a significant improvement over the January figure of 53.7 – indicating that business has bounced back following a weather-related slowdown in January.

Eurozone manufacturing recovery slows slightly

Manufacturing in the Eurozone region experienced a slight slowdown in its rate of expansion during February, from January’s 32-month high, but continued to recover for the eighth successive month. The latest Markit PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) for manufacturing in the Eurozone, reports an expansion in six of the seven nations in which data is collected (the Greek PMI is released later).

Obama announces $460m for two manufacturing hubs

US President Barack Obama has announced two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes – one, in Chicago, that will focus on digital manufacturing and design technologies; the other, in Detroit, that will focus on advanced lightweight metals – as well as a competition for the first of four more institutes aimed at boosting advanced manufacturing in the US. The two new institutes will together be supported by $140m of federal funding, combined with more than $140m from the private sector, universities and other organisations.

MCB and RCD market heads towards $10bn

The global market for miniature circuit-breakers (MCBs) and residual current devices (RCDs) will be worth nearly $10bn by 2018, according to a new report from IHS.

Global sales of industrial robots hit a new record in 2013

The global demand for industrial robots reached an all-time-high in 2013, with around 168,000 being sold, according to the latest statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). The figure represents a 5% increase on 2012.

Telcos will help to drive M2M communications

Telecommunications companies (telcos) are going to play an increasingly important role in providing factory-floor communications and driving the growth of the Internet of Things in the manufacturing sector, predicts a new report from the analyst, Frost & Sullivan.

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.