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28 May, 2024

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Automated Coventry EV plant will be basis for global network

17 May, 2022

An international developer of electric vehicle drive technologies is commissioning a cloud-based robotic assembly plant in Coventry, UK, which it plans to replicate in a network of digitalised manufacturing plants around the world. Israeli-headquartered REE Automotive, expects to produce 40,000 of its REEcorner modules – which combine a powertrain with steering, braking and suspension – at its Coventry Integration Centre this year. One module is needed for each wheel, so this capacity will be enough to power 10,000 commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, buses and recreational vehicles.

Manchester centre will design AI-enhanced robots

04 May, 2022

The University of Manchester has launched a centre of excellence which will design next-generation robots, supported by AI (artificial intelligence) technologies. The Manchester Centre for Robotics and AI will pull together experts and projects from different disciplines to work on robotic technologies.

McComb succeeds Squirrell after 29 years as chairman of PIUK

19 April, 2022

Chris McComb, managing director of the Manchester-based systems integrator iTech, has succeeded Bob Squirrell as chairman of PIUK, the UK operation of the Profibus Group. Squirrel has retired after almost 30 years in the post.

Selfridges robot 3D-prints items using recycled plastics

12 April, 2022

Visitors to Selfridges department store in London this month will be able to see an industrial robot 3D printing a variety of objects using recycled plastic recovered from the sea. A Nagami plastic extruder attached to an ABB IRB 6700 robot is creating printed furniture, homeware and other objects chosen by customers via a screen.

UK motor developer brings production back from China

11 April, 2022

The British electric motor developer Saietta is bringing production of its axial-flux motors back from China to the UK. The company has originally planned to establish a UK pilot production line by 2024, but is now taking over a motor manufacturing facility in Sunderland previously operated by ZF Automotive UK, which closed the factory last year. Saietta plans to take on many of ZF’s 110 former employees.

£20m manufacturing r&d centre aims to keep UK ahead

15 March, 2022

A £20m applied research and development facility intended to help the UK’s advanced manufacturing sector to stay at the forefront of global developments, has been inaugurated in Preston, Lancashire. The AMRC North West facility will have r&d expertise in areas such as digital manufacturing, 5G, robotics, additive manufacturing, autonomous manufacturing, batteries and low-carbon technologies.

Siemens teams up with UK firms to offer bespoke AGVs

25 February, 2022

Siemens has joined forces with two UK engineering companies, Parmley Graham and AR Controls, to produce bespoke AGVs (automated guided vehicles) for a variety of industries. The alliance hopes to tap into the rapidly expanding global AGV market, which is expected to almost double in size to $3.72bn by 2028.

UK cobot-maker raises $50m to target lab automation

23 February, 2022

The UK robot and laboratory automation developer Automata has raised $50m in Series B funding which it will use to drive the development of its Automata Labs technology for diagnostics, drug discovery and biotech applications. It says that this technology will allow life scientists to save time by scaling capacities, and to spend more time on analytical work – which will, in turn, lead to cost savings.

Spot the robot dog joins MTC delegation to the Drives Show

21 February, 2022

Visitors to next month’s Drives & Controls Show will be able to see Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot “dog” in action. The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) will be bringing one of the handful of Spots in the UK to the show and will have experts on hand to discuss the four-legged robot which has starred in many YouTube videos. The MTC is already employing Spot in a project that is investigating the potential of using the robots to inspect fruit growing in orchards for diseases and pests, as well as determining when the fruit is ripe.

Manufacturers want unused £2bn levy to go to apprentices

21 February, 2022

UK manufacturers have called on the Government to adopt a special approach to how the manufacturing sector can spend left-over apprenticeship levy funds, which are currently expiring and going to waste. Make UK, the manufacturers’ body, wants to spend the funds – which amounted to almost £2bn last year – to pay the wages of new apprentices. It says this would result in a significant boost to the number of young recruits entering the sector.

New UK group aims to lead sustainable manufacturing

10 February, 2022

The University of Birmingham and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have launched a research group with the aim of decarbonising manufacturing. The venture will bring together r&d and product development lifecycle experts from both organisations, together with industrial partners, to establish a “world-leading” research group that will lead a sustainable manufacturing revolution.

UK imports from Asia have soared despite the Covid pandemic

07 February, 2022

The UK has become more reliant on imports from low-cost countries in Asia over the past four years, despite the supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according a new analysis It reveals that manufactured goods imports from low-cost countries in Asia represented 61% of the UK manufacturing sector’s gross output in the third quarter of 2021 – compared to 43% in the first quarter of 2018.

Online booking opens for 2022 Drives & Controls Show

19 January, 2022

Online registration has now opened for visitors wanting to attend the Drives & Controls Show which will take place at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre from 5-7 April. The show is the UK’s leading trade show for the drives, power transmission and motion control sector.

£4.5m competition aims to lift electronics and drives skills

18 January, 2022

Innovate UK has announced a £4.5m competition aimed at developing skills, talent and training in the UK’s power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) sector. The competition, run by the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge – part of UK Research and Innovation – will invest up to £4.5m in projects designed to build talent for the future in this sector.

UK JV will develop propulsion systems for electric aircraft

17 January, 2022

A joint venture is being set up in the UK to develop and commercialise kW-MW scale electric propulsion systems – both conventional and superconducting – for both aerospace and non-aerospace applications. The venture, called Hydrogen Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems (H2EPS), is being formed by the University of Nottingham (UoN) and the Electric Aviation Group (EAG), which is designing “the world’s first true-zero (zero carbon and NOx emissions) 90-seater hydrogen hybrid-electric regional aircraft” which, it hopes, will enter service by 2030.

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