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ABB offers refunds if large motors don’t hit efficiency targets

ABB has launched an initiative to encourage the specification of higher-efficiency large motors by guaranteeing to refund operating costs if the machines do not meet promised efficiency criteria. The Top Industrial Efficiency (Tie) scheme is an attempt by the motor-maker to overcome the tendency to specify the lowest-cost machine that meets an application’s specifications. This is a particular problem with motors that are specified by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) who will not have to pay the motor’s running costs and therefore specify the lowest-cost option rather than the most efficient.

Technology and skills shortages are holding back manufacturers

A survey of 1,350 manufacturers in 13 countries has revealed that more than 40% of them are struggling to outpace their competitors due to a lack of technology and suitably skilled workforces.

Car-makers doubt EV targets: is automation the answer?

A survey of nearly 600 automotive industry leaders around the world has revealed that more than half (59%) do not think that EV (electric vehicle) adoption targets are achievable within government-set deadlines. The Automotive Manufacturing Outlook survey, commissioned by ABB Robotics and the publication Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, reveals worries over the high levels of investment needed, shortages of raw materials, poor charging infrastructures, insufficient grid capacity, and challenges in adapting to new battery supply chains.

Schaeffler buys French condition-monitoring specialist

Schaeffler is buying the French condition-monitoring specialist Eco-Adapt SAS to strengthen its position in the field of digital predictive maintenance and to expand its industrial portfolio. The terms of the deal have not been released.

Rockwell buys India’s Knowledge Lens to boost its AI services

Rockwell Automation has bought Knowledge Lens, an Indian company that combines digital technologies with deep data science, AI (artificial intelligence) and engineering expertise to provide insights from enterprise data. The Bengaluru-based business will join Kalypso, Rockwell’s digital services business, to help manufacturers around the world to accelerate their digital transformations. Details of the transaction have not been revealed.

WEG’s Algerian JV plant will make up to 1m motors a year

WEG, the Brazilian-headquartered motors and drives manufacturer, has established a new company and production facility in Algeria, North Africa, with the capacity to produce one million motors per year. WEG Algeria Motors is a 51:49 joint venture between WEG and the Cevital Group, one of Algeria’s largest private industrial conglomerates, which operates in a variety of sectors including agriculture, retail, services and industry.

Siemens large motors and drives will be reborn as Innomotics

Siemens has revealed that its new large motors and drives company will be called Innomotics and will operate as a legally separate company, with headquarters in Nuremberg, from 1 July, 2023.

After falling for years, robot prices rose by 7% during 2022

Prices charged for industrial robots around the world rose during 2022 for the first time in many years. According to a new report from Interact Analysis, average selling prices for robots climbed by around 7%, largely as a result of continuing imbalances between supply and demand.

ABB sells Power Conversion business to AcBel for $505m

ABB is selling its Power Conversion division to the Taiwanese switching power supply manufacturer AcBel Polytech, for $505m in cash. ABB acquired the business, formerly known as Lineage Power, as part of its purchase of GE Industrial Solutions in 2018, but did not regard it as being core to its activities.

Industrial metaverse start-up raises $21m for its AI platform

A US start-up that is developing a new 4D infrastructure for creating the industrial metaverse, has raised $21.2m in funding to develop its AI platform, expand its partnerships, and boost the adoption of its technology.

Global sales of smart conveyors are set to quadruple

The global market for smart multi-carrier conveyor technologies is set to quadruple in size between 2020 and 2026, with a CAGR of 26.5%, according a new study from Interact Analysis. The market is still relatively immature with most entrants having joined in the past five years. But the report describes it as “highly dynamic” and “poised for growth” with new entrants likely to shake it up.

As supply chains ease, B&R expands output by up to 60%

The Austrian automation supplier B&R has announced that is expanding production and taking on several hundred extra staff to cope with increasing demand for its products. In the past year, its order volumes have hit a record high, with a percentage growth in double digits.

LV drive price rises look set to continue as sales hit $14.2bn

Global semiconductor shortages continued to place strains on the low-voltage variable-speed drives market during 2022, affecting sales and pushing up prices of power modules to “staggering” levels – if they were available at all – according to a new report from Interact Analysis.

Unpatchable cyber-flaws found on over 120 Siemens PLCs

US cyber-security researchers have discovered flaws affecting dedicated crypto-authentication chips at the heart of Siemens’ S7-1500 family of industrial controllers, and related products, which could allow attackers to execute malicious code on these devices.

Surging prices drive LV motor sales up by 21% to $17bn

The global market for low-voltage AC motors soared by 21.2% during 2022 to hit a total of $17bn. According to the market analyst Interact, the main factor behind this rise was a 35–40% surge in motor prices during the first half of the year. However, it thinks that a slight price decline during the second half of the year will have had a knock-on effect on revenues and growth rates.