Drives & Controls Magazine May 2023

May 2023 8 THE WELSH DRIVES-MAKER Invertek is investing £6.3m in a new innovation centre at its global headquarters in Welshpool. The centre will provide r&d facilities for designing next-generation VSDs. Invertek has also started work on a 2,771m2 extension to its manufacturing and distribution facility as part of a £10m investment announced in 2021, that includes a new Application and Training Centre. This will allow the company to boost production of its Optidrive VSDs from 460,000 a year to more than 1.2 million. It will also will lead to the creation of 85 jobs. Invertek currently employs more than 350 people. Invertek Drives CEO, Shaun Dean, says the innovation centre will be one of the most modern r&d facilities for VSDs in the world. It “will be a hub for the design of our nextgeneration technology”. The separate application centre will showcase Invertek’s products to potential and existing customers, and will also be used for training, sales, marketing, technical and servicing personnel. Invertek Drives, established in 1998, was acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) for £100m in November 2019 – the same year that it opened its existing 5,500m2 global manufacturing and distribution facility. Invertek announces £6.3m r&d centre as work starts to double output n NEWS EVENTS Robotics and Automation – A New Perspective 2023 10-11 May, 2023 MTC, Coventry A free two-day conference which will explore the future of automation in the UK and demonstrate the opportunities available to UK industry. Topics will include barriers to adoption, opportunities for robotics in skills development, and how to tackle the challenges presented by automation. Technologies being covered include AI, machine vision, sensing, cobots and mobile robots. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2023) 29 May – 2 June, 2023 ExCeL, London The 40th IRCA conference and exhibition will be coming to the UK for the first time in what is expected to be the biggest-ever gathering of the academics, researchers, and industrial companies active in the fields of robotics and automation. The theme of the five-day event will be “Embracing the future: Making robots for humans”. Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2023 7–8 June, 2023 NEC, Birmingham The event will bring together live and digital events including the Design & Engineering Expo 2023, the Smart Factory Expo (which replaces the earlier Manufacturing Expo) and Maintec, as well as a zone dedicated to the Drives & Controls, AirTech and Fluid Power & Systems shows that the organiser, Nineteen Group, acquired from DFA Media. Another acquisition, The Hennick Group, will bring the SME Growth Summit, the Sustainable Manufacturing Digitalisation Summit and the Manufacturing Top 100 Awards. Automation UK / MVC 20-21 June, 2023 CBS Arena, Coventry Automation UK is a new annual exhibition championing the use and development of automation and industrial robots in UK industry. Organised by Bara (the British Automation and Robot Association), it will run alongside the existing Machine Vision Conference (MVC) and exhibition, organised by Ukiva (the UK Industrial Vision Association). Bara and Ukiva are both part of the PPMA (Processing and Packaging Machinery Association). Automatica 2023 27-30 June, 2023 Munich, Germany The automation and robotics show is taking place just one year after the previous Automatica, which has traditionally been held every two years. This will get the show back on a two-year cycle in odd years, following the disruption caused by Covid. Most of the major robot manufacturers are due to attend, as well as exhibitors from the worlds of machine vision and assembly/handling technology. The event’s three key topics will be: digital integration and AI; sustainable production; and the future of work. Invertek says that its new innovation centre will be one of the most modern R&D facilities for drives in the world THERE WERE ALMOST 800 acquisitions or mergers involving UK manufacturing businesses in 2022, according to data released by the accountancy and business advisory firm BDO. The 793 deals recorded represent a small increase on the 779 completed in 2021. Industrial automation accounted for about 8% of all UK M&A (mergers and acquisitions) deals in 2022, putting the sector behind others such as engineering services (which accounted for 29% of M&A deals), manufactured materials (13%), building products (12%), food and drink (10%) and life sciences (10%). But BDO M&A director Matthew Goodliffe, says that the industrial automation sector is “an attractive one for investors, given the size of the market and its significant growth potential, coupled with typical business traits of secured order books, recurring software or service revenues, IP ownership, high barriers to entry and impressive margins. M&A activity has therefore been high in the sector for several years, and we think it is likely that dealmaking activity will remain buoyant in 2023 and beyond.” BDO’s Manufacturing Deals Review reveals that private equity mantains a strong interest in UK manufacturing, with buy-outs accounting for 19% of M&A deals. Overseas investors bought 184 UK manufacturers last year, while UK firms bought 115 foreign businesses. Future for M&A deals in UK automation sector is ‘buoyant’