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Scottish researchers’ slice of £117m funds will make robots safer

01 November, 2023

Robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) experts at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh have secured funding for a training centre to help make robots safer, more dependable and trustworthy.

Skills initiative aims to attract people to £12bn PEMD sector

25 October, 2023

A landmark initiative that provides information on skills, competencies and training needed to work in the PEMD (power electronics, machines and drives) sector, has been launched at an event in London. Called the PEMD Body of Knowledge – or PEMDBoK – it will allow individuals, employers, course providers, recruiters, and companies to sign up and access a wealth of information on skills and capabilities required by the sector.

Cairns follows Payne to lead Mitsubishi UK automation division

24 October, 2023

Mitsubishi Electric has appointed Mike Cairns as director of its UK Automation Systems Division (ASD), following the retirement of the previous director, Roger Payne, after a 37-year career with Mitsubishi.

UK lab automation firm raises $40m to accelerate growth

04 October, 2023

The UK robot-maker and laboratory automation specialist Automata Technologies has raised $40m to accelerate its growth and presence in the US, UK and EMEA. The is follows $50m raised in January 2022 which enabled it to achieve its initial commercialisation and expansion plans. Since then, Automata has seen 150% revenue growth, and a 12-fold increase in live system hours in customer systems.

RS adds functions and products to its comparator

03 October, 2023

RS has enhanced its Think Hub online product comparison service, adding new functions and new product types to the service which it launched at the end of 2022.

Sprint Electric expands into AC with regenerative drive

02 October, 2023

The UK DC drives manufacturer Sprint Electric is expanding into the AC drives market with the launch of a range of regenerative AC drives at the SPS 2023 exhibition in Germany in November. The company describes its new Generis drive as the next generation of AC drive technology, delivering cost-effective and reliable AC motor control combined with energy regeneration and low input current harmonics.

Robot dog starts maintenance patrols at Drax power station

28 September, 2023

One of Boston Dynamics’ Spot “robot dogs” has started to patrol Drax power station near Selby in Yorkshire to carry out inspections and capture critical data on machinery at the site.

UK manufacturers now expect output to fall this year

18 September, 2023

The positive picture of the UK manufacturing sector during the first half of 2023 has gone sharply into reverse, with recruitment being put on hold and orders slowing at home and abroad, according to the latest quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey by Make UK and the business advisory firm BDO. The survey of 336 companies carried out in August found that manufacturers are battening down the hatches amid a sharp slowdown in activity – and potential recession.

UK overtakes France to become 8th largest manufacturer

11 September, 2023

The UK has overtaken France to become the world’s eighth-largest manufacturer, according to the manufacturers’ organisation, Make UK. Its analysis of the latest official data also reveals that manufacturing jobs in the UK pay better than both the services sector and the economy as a whole.

Invertek to create more than 250 jobs in Wales over five years

21 August, 2023

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek has announced plans to create at least 250 new jobs over the coming five years at its global headquarters and manufacturing facility at Welshpool, Powys.

Online hub helps UK SMEs to save energy and cut emissions

15 August, 2023

The UK Government has launched a Web site aimed at helping Britain’s 5.5 million SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to cut their energy bills and reduce their emissions. The UK Business Climate Hub site offers advice on technologies such as heat pumps and green electricity generation. It arrives as industry leaders and ministers on the new Net Zero Council are calling on businesses to develop net-zero sector roadmaps

Manufacturing is second-highest for UK administrations

07 August, 2023

The UK manufacturing industry experienced the second-highest number of administrations of any business sector in the country during the first six months of 2023, according to an analysis by the law firm Shakespeare Martineau. There were 91 administrations in the sector – 22% more than in 2022 – with only the retail sector having more, with 118 administrations.

Use of CE mark will continue as UK backtracks on UKCA

02 August, 2023

The UK Government has announced that UK businesses will be allowed to continue using the CE conformity mark “indefinitely” for most goods they place on the UK market, and will not have to use the new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark from January 2025 as previously announced. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) says the move, which follows “extensive engagement with industry”, will “cut business costs and time required to place products on the market and benefit consumers”. If they want to, businesses will be allowed to use both marks.

£140m of fraud and error in R&D claims by UK manufacturers

19 July, 2023

A new report from HMRC has revealed that small and medium-sized manufacturing firms were responsible for £140m of fraud and error in R&D tax relief claims during 2020-21. HMRC has revised its estimates of error and fraud by sector and this shows that almost a third (31%) of R&D claims by manufacturing SMEs were either wholly or partially “non-compliant”.

UK manufacturers say digitalisation is driving productivity

18 July, 2023

Nearly half (47%) of UK manufacturers have active plans to invest in digital technologies to decarbonise their business, according to new research published by the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK and the cloud business management specialist, Sage. Almost a quarter of those surveyed have already invested in digital systems with a further 23% planning to do so in the coming 12 months,

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