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28 May, 2024

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Campaign reveals the high costs of compressed air leaks

07 March, 2023

The UK compressed air and fluid power specialist Thorite has launched a campaign to raise awareness about unseen energy inefficiencies in compressed air systems that can lead to high costs. The Behind Closed Doors campaign urges users to monitor what is happening in their compressor houses, where leaks that go unnoticed or are ignored can inflate energy bills.

Ex Ford boss Hoare succeeds Hickman as CEO of the MTC

07 March, 2023

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) has appointed the former chair of Ford of Britain, Dr Graham Hoare, to succeed Dr Clive Hickman as its CEO, when he retires as chairman on 31 March. From April, Hickman will become chair of the MTC board.

How to grow from £7m to £70m using digital technologies

02 March, 2023

The keynote address at the inaugural Talking Industry Live event taking place in April will be presented jointly by Dr Megan Ronayne, head of industrial technologies and manufacturing at Innovate UK KTN, and Mike Hague-Morgan, executive director of Autocraft Solutions Group. Together they will explore how Autocraft – a leading OEM for the manufacture, remanufacture and assembly of internal combustion engines and electric vehicle batteries – transitioned from being a traditional manufacturer using hand tools and paper-based systems, to a high-technology company with world-class quality, repeatability and digital traceability.

Smart workbench shows technologies for future factories

01 March, 2023

A next-generation smart workbench designed to showcase and experiment with the latest production technologies has been installed at the AMRC Cymru centre, near Chester, UK. The workbench, which has been developed by the machine vision and industrial automation specialist Industrial Vision Systems (IVS) in collaboration with the centre, combines technologies including 3D and 2D machine vision, a seven-axis cobot, a mixed reality headset, smart tools, intelligent projection, pick-to-light and automation – all in a single cell.

Fluid power specialist expands into automation sector

01 March, 2023

The UK compressed air and fluid power specialist Thorite has expanded into the industrial automation sector with launch of a dedicated electronic automation team at the recent Southern Manufacturing & Electronics show, where it demonstrated new automation products and technologies, including electric pick-and-place grippers.

£950,000 project aims to slash new product costs

08 February, 2023

The UK’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult is launching a £950,000 project to cut development costs and times to market for new products, by using techniques such as computer modelling  and simulated testing rather than relying solely on the destructive physical stress-testing that has long been the standard practice in manufacturing.

UK AI-based waste-sorting robot start-up wins $17m of funding

08 February, 2023

A UK start-up that has developed an AI-based robotic system for sorting rubbish more accurately and twice as fast as rival systems, has won $17m of financing from a Californian venture capital company, DCVC. The latest funding for London-based Recycleye is in addition to $5m it raised in 2021 and $2.6m it has secured from European and UK government innovation funding. The new funds will be used to scale the technology and further improve its accuracy.

Applied Automation is appointed sales partner for Danfoss Drives

06 February, 2023

Danfoss Drives has appointed Applied Automation (UK) as a sales partner for South Wales and the South West of England. The arrangement covers Danfoss’ VLT and Vacon drive ranges.

Hima buys UK’s Sella Controls and plans to expand the business

03 February, 2023

The German safety-related automation specialist, the Hima Group, has acquired the UK systems integrator Sella Controls with effect from 1 February 2023. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Government launches £6m automation funding competition

27 January, 2023

Innovate UK has launched a competition offering a total of up to £6m in funding for late-stage robotics and automation innovation projects in the UK aimed at boosting productivity, sustainability and resilience in manufacturing processes. The funding will cover up to half of the costs of successful projects costing between £200,000 and £4m, lasting 9–15 months, and starting between October 2023 and December 2024.

Infinite Electronics buys UK connector-maker Bulgin

26 January, 2023

US-based Infinite Electronics has bought Bulgin, the UK developer and manufacturer of connectors and related components for harsh environments, from the private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe, which itself acquired the business from Elektron Technology in 2019. Details of the deal have not been revealed.

Made Smarter has supported more than 250 manufacturers

26 January, 2023

The Made Smarter initiative, launched in 2019 to help SME manufacturers to digitalise, decarbonise and drive growth, has now backed more than 250 manufacturers with investments. It has funded a total of 275 projects with £18m of backing, including £5m from government-funded and industry-led initiatives, and £13m from the businesses themselves.

RS introduces subscription charges for DesignSpark

24 January, 2023

RS Group has introduced two levels of paid subscriptions for its DesignSpark suite of design tools which have previously been free and have helped build a global online community of 1.3 million members. A “DesignSpark Explorer” level will continue to be free, but it will be joined by “Creator” and “Engineer” levels adding extra functions and costing £9.99 and £14.99 respectively per month.

ABB sells UK technical consultancy to TÜV Rheinland

05 January, 2023

ABB is selling its UK technical engineering consultancy business, part of its Energy Industries division, to TÜV Rheinland. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Schneider’s Leeds plant gets a smart factory upgrade

22 December, 2022

Schneider Electric has upgraded its site in Leeds where it makes low- and medium-voltage products to transform it into a smart factory. As part of the multi-million-pound upgrade, a new assembly line, test cell and wiring loom machine have been commissioned. The site now has extensive digital capabilities. Together, these have resulted in a 10% increase in output, a 15% reduction in energy consumption, and improved operating efficiencies and customer service levels.

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