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Motors using ‘green’ copper will cut CO2 emissions by 200kg

ABB has formed a strategic co-operation with Boliden, a Swedish mining and smelting company, to use low-carbon footprint copper in high-efficiency electric motors. The aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions while driving the transition to a more circular economy.

Online tool compares products from different suppliers

RS has launched an online platform that allows visitors to compare components and products from a choice of suppliers, to find the best products for their applications. The service, called RS Think Hub, also has an information area where visitors can watch tutorial videos and find answers to product-related questions. If they have a specific question, they can send it to an RS engineer and receive a reply within 48 week-day hours.

ABB opens $150m robotics ‘mega-factory’ in China

ABB has opened a fully automated and flexible robotics factory in Shanghai, China, representing an investment of $150m. The 67,000m2 production and research facility will use the company’s digital and automation technologies to manufacture next-generation robots.

Chinese automation giant pushes into Europe

The Chinese automation and drives manufacturer Inovance is making a big push into the European market, spearheaded by its first public outing at the recent SPS show in Germany. Although its name may not be well-known outside China, the company already claims to be the world’s fifth-largest servodrive manufacturer and its eighth-largest LV AC drives supplier.

Siemens plans €3bn spin-off of large motors and drives

Siemens is planning to combine several businesses in its motors and drives portfolio to create an integrated motors and large drives supplier with joint revenues of around €3bn and around 14,000 employees. The business will target a global electrification and power conversion market that Siemens estimates is worth more than €20bn.

Amazon robot can identify ‘tens of millions’ of products

Amazon has announced a robotic system that can identify, select and handle around 65% of the more than 100 million items in its inventory. The robot, called Sparrow, uses a combination of computer vision and AI (artificial intelligence) to identify tens of millions of products of differing shapes and sizes, although it still has problems with items that have loose or complex packaging.

Emerson exits climate tech in $14bn deal to focus on automation

Emerson is selling a majority stake in its Climate Technologies business to the private equity firm Blackstone in a transaction that values the business at $14bn. Emerson plans to become a “pure play” global automation company serving a variety of markets. It claims that, together with AspenTech – the industrial software developer in which it took a 55% stake for $6bn earlier this year – it has the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of advanced automation technologies and software.

Taiwan’s Yageo buys Telemecanique Sensors for €723m

The Taiwanese electronic component and service provider Yageo Corporation is buying Schneider Electric’s Telemecanique Sensors business in an all-cash deal that values the business at €723m ($729m). Schneider will grant Yageo a license to use the Telemecanique Sensors name, and Yageo will acquire the relevant patents.

Siemens’ Malaysian acquisition spawns electrical design SaaS

Following its recent acquisition of a Malaysian software developer, Siemens has launched a cloud-based electrical design package that, it says, will allow designers and engineers to create electrical schematics easier and faster, using any device, for a low monthly cost. The Capital Electra X product is being offered on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) basis and is aimed at SMEs (small to medium sized businesses).

Automation platform will generate new business for OEMs

Lenze has announced an open automation platform that, it says, will help machine-builders to develop new business models and offer new digital services, without needing to be IT experts. The German automation supplier says that the platform, called Nupano, will let machine-builders take advantage of the opportunities arising from the convergence of operational technology (OT) at the machine control level with IT, to tap into new sources of revenue.

Industrial robot sales hit new high in 2021 – but UK sales fall

The number of industrial robots installed around the world hit last year an all-time high of 517,385, representing a 31% year-on-year expansion. The number was 22% higher than the pre-pandemic record of 422,000 reached in 2018, and took the total number of operational robots around the globe to a new record of around 3.5 million.

Mars makes plans for cloud-based ‘factories of the future’

Mars, the global manufacturer of confectionery, food, and pet care products, which employs more than 140,000 people in more than 80 countries, has announced plans for a new cloud-based platform for its manufacturing, data-handling and artificial intelligence (AI) operations that will lay the foundation for its vision of the “factory of the future”.

Rockwell buys Danish modular switchboard specialist, Cubic

Rockwell Automation is buying Cubic, a Danish company that produces modular systems for constructing electrical panels. Rockwell says that combining Cubic’s flexible systems with its own intelligent devices and expertise will achieve faster times to market for intelligent motor controls, and help to generate smart data for users. The terms of the transaction have not been revealed.

ABB takes stake in Dutch machine monitoring specialist

ABB is taking a 10% stake in Samotics, a Dutch specialist in analysing the health of rotating machines, and has entered a long-term strategic partnership with the company to provide enhanced condition-monitoring services. They aim to reach the next level of condition-monitoring by co-developing advanced digital services focused on energy efficiency and operational resilience. As a first step, ABB will integrate Samotics’ plug-and-play monitoring technologies into its portfolio by the end of 2022 as part of its services for rotating equipment.

ABB rebrands AMR line-up following its purchase of Asti

Following its acquisition last year of the Spanish autonomous mobile robot (AMR) manufacturer Asti Mobile Robotics, ABB Robotics is rebranding its AMR portfolio under the Flexley name. The first models to be released, Flexley Tug and Flexley Mover, cover applications such as towing, trolley transportation for loads of up to 2,000kg, as well as lifting and transporting racks, containers, and pallets up to 1,500kg.