Drives&Controls #1 ENGINEERING MAGAZINE FOR AUTOMATION, POWER TRANSMISSION AND MOTION CONTROL INSIDE FEATURING: DRIVES & CONTROLS 2023/2024 ANNUAL BUYER’S GUIDE ROBOTICS & AUTOMATED MANUFACTURING: Two-armed cobot automates planting in the Amazon TRANSPORTATION: Active controls could help eVTOL aircraft to fly faster CLEAN ENERGY: Automation promises a bright future for solar farms JULY/AUGUST 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com
50 CONTENTS n Drives & Controls is a controlled circulation publication. If you live in the UK and want to subscribe phone 0333 577 0801 or fax 0845 604 2327. Alternatively for both UK and overseas subscriptions please subscribe online at www.drivesncontrols.com. If you have any enquiries regarding your subscription, please use these numbers. The content of this magazine, website and newsletters do not necessarily express the views of the Editor or publishers. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. Paid subscriptions UK: £110 per annum Europe: £145 per annum Rest of World: £180 per annum Printing: Warners Midlands PLC., PE10 9PH ISSN 0950 5490 Copyright: DFA Media Group 2023 NEXT ISSUE The September issue of Drives & Controls will contain a special section on energy efficiency, as well as a feature covering developments in the food and beverage industry, and a look at what’s been happening in the world of service and repairs. UPDATE 14 Comment 17 ABB Back to Basics 56 Gambica column 58 New Products 62 Design Data and Multimedia 185 Products & Services IN DEPTH Follow us on Twitter @DrivesnControls Drives Magazine Web site www.drivesncontrols.com Follow us on LinkedIn @ Drives & Controls Join us on Facebook Drives & Controls Drives& Controls REGULARS DfA media group 38 36 28 18 5 62 DRIVES & CONTROLS July/August 2023 Vol 39 No 7 Editor Tony Sacks t: 01732 465367 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Consultant Editor Andy Pye t: 07808 137312 e: email@example.com Production Manager Sarah Blake t: 01233 770781 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Manager Emma Floyd t: 01732 370340 e: email@example.com Marketing Executive Hope Jepson t: 01732 370340 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Financial Finance Department t: 01732 370340 e: email@example.com ADVERTISING Sales Director Damien Oxlee t: 01732 370342 m: 07951 103754 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Andy Wylie t: 01732 370341 e: email@example.com DFA Direct Ian Atkinson t: 01732 370340 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Italy Oliver & Diego Casiraghi e: email@example.com t: +39 031 261407 f: +39 031 261380 Managing Director Ryan Fuller t: 01732 370344 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Executive Officer Ian Atkinson t: 01732 370346 e: email@example.com Reader/Circulation Enquiries Perception-MPS Ltd t: 01825 701520 e: firstname.lastname@example.org HEAD OFFICE DFA Media Group 192 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1BE t: 01732 370340 f: 01732 360034 e: email@example.com www.drivesncontrols.com 5 News A round-up of the latest business and industry developments from around the world. 18 Technology Cutting-edge innovations in motion, power transmission, controls and related technologies. 28 Automatica Show After a few years of Covid-induced disruption, the German Automatica robotics and automation exhibition returned in June with numbers of exhibitors and visitors that approached pre-pandemic levels. We look at some highlights from the show. 30 Robotics and Automated Manufacturing Four experts consider whether automation is heading for a tipping point. Plus we report on a UK project that is using robots to embed wiring in complex components, examine how ‘the world’s most remote robot’ is being used to plant seedlings in the Amazon jungle, and consider functional safety in a digital world. 38 Transportation Industrial automation and motion technologies are increasingly being applied to all forms of transportation, on roads, in the air and on the water. We report on some recent developments, including a pair of electric boats that are hitting high speeds riding on hydrofoils, and a UK project that is using motion controls to help make tilt-rotor aircraft more stable. 46 Clean Energy We examine some of the ways that industrial technologies are helping to capture and store energy, including a German scheme that is heating and cooling an industrial park using water drawn from an abandoned mine. Plus we look at some of the technologies being used to automate the labour-intensive business of building solar farms. 55 PPMA Preview The UK’s largest processing and packaging machinery, robotics and industrial vision event, PPMA Show 2023, will be returning to the Birmingham NEC next month. We look ahead to what visitors can expect to see. 60 46 20,042 Average net circulation January to December 2021 56 55 63 ANNUAL BUYER’S GUIDE This issue contains the 2022/2023 edition of the industry “bible” for power transmission, automation and motion engineers, telling you who sells what and how to get in touch with them.
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NEWS n 5 Siemens’ €2bn investment plans include €500m metaverse hub SIEMENS HAS ANNOUNCED plans to invest €2bn globally, including €500m to establish a new Technology Campus in Erlangen, Germany which will combine development work with high-tech manufacturing. The plans also include a €200m high-tech factory in Singapore which “will set a new standard for connectivity to showcase the possibilities of digitalisation”, as well as an R&D innovation centre in Shenzen, China, to accelerate the development of motion control systems using digitalisation and power electronics technologies. Siemens is also building a new headquarters in Spain at a cost of around €160m. Siemens wants to establish Erlangen as its global r&d hub for work on the industrial metaverse – a real-time virtual representation of the world. Using technologies such as industrial 3D printing, power electronics and AI, the hub will help to create the next generation of high-tech, sustainable manufacturing, which can respond flexibly to market changes. Siemens is planning to spend €500m more on r&d this year than last year, focusing on strengthening its position in core technologies such as simulation, digital twins, AI and power electronics, as well as developing its Xcelerator open digital business platform. Announcing the plans, Siemens’ president and CEO Roland Busch said the aim was “to boost future growth, drive innovation and increase resilience”. He added that the company is launching “the next stage of digitalisation. We’re laying the foundation for the industrial metaverse, and combining the real and the digital worlds. Together with partners, we’re developing new digital technologies in the metaverse and revolutionising how we’ll run our production in the future – much more efficiently, flexibly and sustainably.” Before building work starts on the hub, the new buildings for r&d, production and logistics will be planned and simulated digitally. Entire factory layouts will be optimised in exact digital replicas, and then readjusted in the real world using the industrial metaverse. The new plant in Singapore will incorporate highly-automated manufacturing processes using Siemens' own digital twin and intelligent hardware technologies. The factory will create more than 400 jobs and will mainly serve the booming Southeast Asia market. The company also plans to invest €140m to expand its digital factory in Chengdu, China, creating 400 new jobs. Siemens recently announced a partnership with Microsoft to speed up code generation for industry automation using ChatGPT. It is also working with Nvidia to build the industrial metaverse to improve the design, planning, production and operation of factories. www.drivesncontrols.com July/August 2023 INNOMOTICS IS THE new name for the motors and large-drive activities that were previously Siemens operations. Innomotics, which employs about 15,000 people globally and generates more than €3bn in revenues, is now a separately managed Siemens subsidiary with its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. Operations elsewhere in the world are on track to be largely converted to the new brand by 1 October, 2023. Innomotics brings together former Siemens activities in the areas of low- to high-voltage motors, geared motors, medium-voltage converters and motor spindles, as well as associated project and service offerings. It comprises previous Siemens Large Drives Applications (LDA) and Digital Industries businesses, as well as the separate Siemens-owned companies Sykatec and Weiss Spindeltechnologie. “Our new brand stands for our aspiration of being a leading innovator in the motor and large-drive business and expresses the way we view ourselves as a company that maintains close customer proximity and has more than 150 years of history,” says Innomotics’ CEO, Michael Reichle, who was previously CEO of LDA and, before that, of Siemens Logistics. “With highly efficient, electric large-drive systems, we can replace conventional systems that are less sustainable. In this way, we can then help our customers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions – especially in areas where very high levels of carbon emissions are still being generated today.” Innomotics plans to work closely with other Siemens businesses. This will, for instance, take the form of product partnerships in the areas of technology, development and sales, as well as within the framework of supply-and-service contracts. Siemens has not said whether it plans eventually to sell off or to float the new company, which will be competing with global players such as ABB, Japan’s Nidec, Brazil’s WEG and China’s Wolong. Motors and large drives are spun off as €3bn Innomotics biz Siemens is planning its new Erlangen Technology Campus digitally, before a single brick is laid
n NEWS July/August 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 6 THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced that 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 on their products. The Department says the Business Secretary “acted urgently on this issue, to prevent a cliff-edge moment in December 2024 when UKCA was set for entry. This intervention will ensure businesses no longer face uncertainty over the regulations and can cut back on unnecessary costs freeing them up to focus on innovation and growth.” According to business minister, Kevin Hollinrake: “The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver. By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.” Stephen Phipson, CEO of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, has welcomed the move, saying: “This is a pragmatic and common-sense decision that manufacturers will very much welcome and support. This announcement will help safeguard the competitiveness of manufacturers and aid the UK as a destination for investment. “It should bring more confidence about doing business in the UK and recognises the need to work with the reality of doing business. Make UK has worked extensively with UK Government pushing hard for this decision and we are pleased the ongoing engagement has delivered this positive outcome.” The UKCA mark has had a chequered history. Originally, UK businesses were told that they would have to start using the mark at the end of 2021, but this deadline was delayed twice, first to the end of 2022 and then to the end of 2024. The DBT has announced 18 areas where the implementation of the UKCA mark will be delayed indefinitely. These include machinery, low-voltage electrical equipment, Atex equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres, and lifts. Government backtracks on UKCA plan and allows ‘indefinite’ use of CE mark p Mitsubishi Electric has announced plans for a second new building to produce factory automation equipment at its Nagoya Works in Japan, following initial plans for a single building announced last year. The new 30,000m2 floor area building will cost 42.5bn yen (£233m), bringing the total investment to 55.5bn yen (£305m). The first building (covering 33,600m2) will start production in April 2025, followed two years later by the second. They will use advanced technologies such as 5G, AI, AMRs and production synchronised using digital twins. p The UK-based electrical connection and protection specialist nVent Electric is buying the Italian air-conditioning and chiller manufacturer Texa Industries for an undisclosed sum. Texa will join nVent’s enclosures business and its technologies will supplement nVent’s liquid cooling expertise in applications such as industrial automation and energy storage. p Routeco has formed a partnership with the Dutch industrial IoT specialist Ixon, whose Ixon Cloud platform simplifies remote access and IIoT. Ixon also offers an edge gateway that allows users control the entire chain from machine to the cloud. It claims that its cloud and no-code IoT strategy offers advantages over traditional remote machine access systems. It offers SIs and machine-builders a secure, reliable way to stay connected with their machines, and to provide remote support. https://www.routeco.com/en-gb https://www.ixon.cloud p The global market for electric motors for aircraft applications will expand from $6.4bn in 2022 to $14.4bn by 2032 – a CAGR of 8.5% – according to a new report from Allied Market Research. AC motors held 60% of the market in 2022 and will continue to be the dominant technology, but DC motors will grow faster with a CAGR of 10.1% from 2023-2032. www.alliedmarketresearch.com p The US force measurement specialist Interface is buying the UK load measurement systems supplier, LCM Systems, for an undisclosed sum. Interface says LCM will accelerate its growth in the test and measurement market by adding engineering and manufacturing expertise. LCM, based on the Isle of Wight, was founded in 1984 to supply the yachting industry with load cells. The business has since expanded to serve a variety of sectors. NEWS BRIEFS UK business minister Kevin Hollinrake: we have listened to industry THE BRAZILIAN MOTOR AND DRIVES manufacturer WEG has opened a plant in Turkey to assemble electric motors and provide technical support for customers in the region. The 7,000m2 facility in Dilovasi will offer shorter times-to-market not only for Turkish buyers, but also for those in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa and central Asia. WEG has also announced plans to invest R$48m ($10m) over the next three years to expand production at its motors plant in Manaus, Brazil, and to adapt the site to produce a new line of permanent magnet electric motors for split-type air conditioners. The 5,250m² factory already produces around 3.5 million motors a year. Following the investment, its workforce will increase by 25%. Turkey is a key market for WEG’s motors and drives business and the new expansion will tap into the expanding Turkish industrial sector, which accounts for more than 30% of the country’s GDP. The facility, which began operating last year, will also enable WEG to expand its low- and medium-voltage motors activities. The expanded Brazilian factory will produce high-efficiency, low-noise variable-speed motors. WEG opens motors plant in Turkey and expands in Brazil
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n NEWS July/August 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 8 THE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE industry, formerly the world’s biggest buyer of industrial robots, is catching up with the electrical and electronics sector which overtook it to take the lead in 2021. The latest figures released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reveal that the automotive sector installed 137,932 robots around the world last year, putting it just behind the electrical/electronics industry on 139,745 machines. Car-makers added 16,722 new robots in 2022 (a 14% increase), compared to just 1,813 (about 1% more) installed by electronics firms. “The big two are more-or-less head-tohead,” says IFR president Marina Bill, commenting on the preliminary 2022 statistics. Final figures will be released in September. The IFR numbers show that after a 27% surge in global robot installations during 2021, take-up slowed to just 2% last year, taking the number of new installations to around 531,000. But the Federation predicts that growth could return to 12% this year. The number of robots sold worldwide has tripled over the past decade, despite Covid. China remains by far the world’s largest market for industrial robots with 267,726 new machines being installed there last year (more than half of the global total), followed by Japan on 51,558, the US on 39,940, Korea on 30,336 and Germany on 26,344. The metal and machinery sector remains the world’s third-largest user of robots, with 64,446 machines installed last year (down from 66,086 in 2021), followed by plastics and chemical products on 25,437 (24,707 in 2021) and food on 13,237 (14,822 in 2021). Drilling down into the figures reveals considerable differences by region, country and sector. For example, Germany is still the biggest user of robots in Europe but with only about one tenth of the number of installations in China. Italy saw a 10% surge in robot installations during 2022 (compared to 3% in Germany). While the German market is dominated by the automotive sector with 7,127 new installations (down from 9,167 in 2021), in Italy it is the metals and machinery sector that leads the way with 3,670 installations, with the automotive sector in fourth place, behind plastics/chemicals and food. Bill says that there is considerable uncertainty over the future of the robot market in Europe but, with backlogs of orders in Germany and a tight labour market in many countries, the fundamentals for future growth are“very positive”. Automotive sector regains ground on electronics as the biggest robot buyer PLANS FOR A £98m “factory of future” innovation centre for Belfast have been approved by the local council. The 10,500m2 Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (Amic) will become Northern Ireland’s national centre for advanced manufacturing, accelerating innovation and collaboration between industry and researchers. It is due to open in 2026 at Global Point, Newtownabbey. As part of the project, Innovate UK is investing £1m to support Northern Irish businesses, starting this year. The funding will help them to build capabilities in automated food manufacturing, digital twins, and embedded digital verification technology. A series of digital manufacturing testbeds will be available to businesses to explore digital manufacturing technologies, use cases and how they can be applied to address business challenges. The aim of Amic – being delivered by Queen’s University in partnership with Ulster University and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council – is to reinvigorate local industry and to address the future technology and skills challenges faced by the region’s manufacturing sector. A report last year found that Northern Ireland manufacturing has a strong local competitive position, but a weak global one. Apart from a few large-scale and niche players, the economy is dominated by small companies with limited innovation capabilities that, without help, will struggle to take on new technologies and risk falling prey to more agile international competitors. The UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive are providing £170m of funding for Amic and two other centres – the Global Innovation Institute and the Institute of Research Excellence for Advanced Clinical Healthcare – while a further £30m will be invested by Queens University and its partners. “Northern Ireland has a vibrant and highly sophisticated advanced manufacturing sector,” says Steve Baker, Minister of State for Northern Ireland. “Amic will provide further support as a springboard for manufacturing, giving local companies access to the latest manufacturing technologies.” Amic will build on 50 years of innovation at the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, the Polymers Processing Research Centre and the more recent NI Advanced Composites and Engineering universityindustry partnership. Northern Ireland’s £98m ‘factory of future’ will accelerate innovation Northern Ireland’s planned Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre is intended to act as a springboard for manufacturing innovation in the region
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The Association for Electrical and Mechanical Trades (AEMT) has appointed James Stevens as its honorary president, succeeding Shaun Sutton, director of the Central Group. Stevens, a director of the coil-winding manufacturer Preformed Windings, has been AEMT vice-president for the past two years. Mark Brady, director of the electromechanical repair specialist Haley247, has taken over as AEMT vice-president, while Andy Patten from ADC Electrical has become junior vice-president and interim treasurer. Invertek Drives has promoted Adrian Ellam from finance and operations director to CEO. Ellam, who has been with Invertek since 2010, takes on the role from Shaun Dean, who has been CEO since Invertek was acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) in 2019. Dean will continue as chairman of Invertek Drives in addition to his roles as senior vice-president of SHI and CEO of PTC EMEIA Group. Ellam will retain his responsibilities for finance and operations. Invertek reported a 45% sales growth in 2022, with a turnover of £79.3m, and now employs 380 people. Siemens has appointed Christian Grosch to lead its drives manufacturing plant in Congleton, Cheshire, succeeding Andrew Peters, who has run the site for nine years. Grosch has held managerial positions with Siemens for more than 30 years, including roles in China, Brazil and Italy. The move comes as Congleton is expanding into the heating and ventilation market and increasing its capacity. Congleton manufactures more than 1 million drives and controls each year and employs more than 550 people. ABB IS COLLABORATING WITH Microsoft to integrate the IT giant’s Azure OpenAI generative AI technology into ABB’s Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI suite, leading to safer, smarter and more sustainable industrial operations. They say the integrated platform could provide realtime insights for better decision-making and improved productivity, extending asset lives by up to 20% and cutting downtime by up to 60%. The companies will implement generative AI to help industrial users to unlock insights hidden in their data. They believe that the improved data collection and handling will lead to gains in efficiency and productivity, asset reliability and safety, as well as cutting energy consumption and environmental impacts. ABB plans to integrate generative AI technologies – including large language models such as GPT-4 – into its Genix platform and applications, to provide functions such as code, image and text generation. The new application – called Genix Copilot – will streamline the flow of contextualised data across operations. In addition, the application will help users to enhance sustainability and energy transition by monitoring and optimising their energy use. Genix Copilot will also be able to capture operators’knowledge and to facilitate collaborative decision-making across various roles, safeguarding data and knowledge within an enterprise. “This is an important step in ABB and Microsoft’s strategic partnership which will accelerate the digital transformation of the industrial sector,” says Rajesh Ramachandran, global chief digital officer for ABB Process Automation. “We believe Genix Copilot will help industrial customers achieve their combined objectives of sustainability, operational excellence and enhanced asset performance. Extending the generative AI capabilities across ABB’s industrial digital solutions will usher customers into a new era of AI enabling billions of better decisions.” ABB’s Ability Genix is a modular industrial IoT, analytics and AI platform that embeds industryspecific knowledge. Businesses running Genix are said to have achieved cost savings of up to 40%, productivity improvements of up to 30%, and energy and emission improvements of up to 25%. ABB and Microsoft bring generative AI to industry ABB and Microsoft say their collaboration will lead to safer, smarter and more sustainable industrial operations July/August 2023 www.drivesncontrols.com 10 n NEWS EVENTS EMO 18-23 September, 2023 Hannover, Germany The “world’s leading trade fair for production technology” returns for its first full show since before the Covid pandemic. More than 1,500 exhibitors have already booked stands in the 17 halls (two fewer than at the 2019 event, which attracted more than 2,200 exhibitors and 116,700 visitors – more than half of them from outside Germany). Themes for the 2023 show include the future of business, connectivity and sustainability. www.emo-hannover.de PPMA Show 26–28 September, 2023 NEC, Birmingham The PPMA Show returns to the NEC Birmingham, targeting the production line market. The organisers at the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association say there will be something for everyone involved in processing and packaging machinery, robotics and industrial vision systems. They add that more than 2,650 brands will be represented at the event. www.ppmashow.co.uk MachineBuilding.Live 4 October, 2023 National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry A new event aimed at machine-builders, systems integrators and OEMs. The organisers are expecting more than 100 suppliers to be exhibiting more than 1,000 new products. A series of free seminars is planned. www.machinebuilding.live Engineering Design Show 11–12 October, 2023 Coventry Building Society Arena Described by its organisers as “the UK’s biggest event dedicated entirely to engineering, electronics and embedded design,” the show gives design engineers access to the latest products, services and innovations in the sector. www.engineeringdesignshow.co.uk Advanced Engineering UK 1-2 November, 2023 NEC, Birmingham The organisers of “the UK’s largest exhibition for engineering and manufacturing professionals”say that more than 90% of the exhibition space has already been sold, and the show has been expanded to make space for new exhibitors. The zones present at previous shows are being removed to emphasise cross-industry working and to avoid segregation. www.advancedengineeringuk.com SPS 2023 14-16 November, 2023 Nuremberg, Germany The organisers of the Smart Production Solutions show are adding two new halls to this year’s show, taking the total to 16. They are expecting around 1,300 exhibitors at the Nuremberg venue, compared to the 999 for the 2022 event, which attracted 43,813 visitors. https://sps.mesago.com/nuernberg/en
Following significant expansion in the UK, Radwell International is now one of Europe’s biggest providers of new and used surplus, industrial electrical and electronic control equipment. With over 2,000 employees across 80 sites worldwide, Radwell International is an authorised distributor for over 350 manufacturers and specialises in hard-to-source parts. Its comprehensive database of over 35 million spare parts and technology-enabled distribution model makes the company a leading global provider of maintenance, repair and operations products, focused on the repair solutions aftermarket for critical components. With significant operations in the UK, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Czech Republic, the USheadquartered company, established since 1979, now has over 250,000 new and obsolete spare parts in stock across 9.5 km2 of storage over its seven sites in Europe, meaning swifter breakdown solutions than ever before for customers across the continent. With warranties and extended warranty options on all products, shipped door-to-door 24/7, its unrivalled product inventory is backedup by its multi-national team of over 50 European-based engineers, speaking a total of 25 languages. The company also recently announced the launch of a field buying division in the UK, dedicated to sourcing the most hard-to-find parts for refurbishment and reselling worldwide. Taking away the headache and expense that would normally come with responsibly disposing of old used automation equipment and components, the division’s specialist team conducts outbound site visits to assess the value of kit marked for disposal, providing purchase and removal offers for end-of-life or end-ofuse parts that would otherwise be seen as waste. As well as turning potential costs into financial returns, selling to Radwell can help companies meet their commitment to sustainability, maximising the lifecycle of industrial equipment in use across the global economy. Radwell’s General Manager of Europe, David Lenehan, said: “Radwell International sells and repairs industrial electrical and electronic control devices. We sell and repair timers, counters, photoelectric sensors, circuit breakers, pushbuttons, PLC’s, motors, speed control and any other devices used to make machinery run. “Sectors we work in include vehicle manufacturers, chemical plants, food processing facilities, local authorities, government agencies, bakeries, power plants, amusement parks, exporters, plastic moulding and extruders, steel plants and a long list of other business sectors. “The size and scale of our inventory now puts us in an unrivalled position for the provision of spare parts and repairs solutions in stressful breakdown situations. “Dedicated to continuous improvement, Radwell’s operations team analyses all internal processes and implements changes, both automated and manual, to provide the very best service level possible for our customers. “Changes are identified and entered into a formal change management system. They are then evaluated, prioritised, implemented, measured and then improved again. “Measuring performance of all internal processes is the key factor in our continuous improvement, with measurement tools in place to ensure data is continually monitored. This data is then analysed and used to implement further improvements. “The end goal is that Radwell International is a one-stop-shop for industrial automation, MRO and service for organisations big and small. Our vast repair services range from HMI’s, PLC’s, AC/DC Drives, field service, CNC, system integration, servo motors, panel building, programming, calibration, and emergency repair. “Providing free repair pick up, where available, our goal is to supply parts, products, and services to keep you up and running. When a machine goes down, we are there with a multitude of services to help your plant floor get back on schedule. “Whatever industry you are in, Radwell is your partner to keep you up and running.” RADWELL EXPANDS IN EUROPE CORPORATE PROFILE firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01782 576 800 www.radwell.co.uk
@DrivesnControls n NEWS SIEMENS HAS JOINED forces with Google’s robotics software business, Intrinsic, to explore the possible integration of Siemens Digital Industries’ open, interoperable portfolio for automating and operating industrial production, with Intrinsic’s easy-touse, AI-based software. They believe that the collaboration could make industrial robotics more accessible and usable, especially for SME manufacturers. Currently, the development and runtime environments for AI-based robotics and automation components differ significantly in their development paradigms, making integration difficult. For example, deploying advanced robotic capabilities such as automated path planning and manipulation are complex processes that typically need teams of experts. The two companies plan to investigate methods to bridge the gaps between robotics, automation engineering and IT development. They say that bridging the two worlds will speed up the development of flexible, AIenabled robot workcells and make them easier to operate. This will make industrial robots more accessible and usable for more businesses, entrepreneurs and developers – particularly in new markets and for smaller companies. “Intrinsic’s mission is to democratise access to robotics,” says the company’s CEO, Wendy Tan White. “However, robotics is rarely decoupled from the production environment, where the most value is created today. That’s why working with Siemens Digital Industries is an exciting opportunity to bring joint solutions to the market, so many more businesses can benefit from the value that robotics and automation can offer.” “Siemens is dedicated to bringing IT and OT closer together – the key principle of our Industrial Operations X portfolio,” adds Rainer Brehm, CEO of Factory Automation at Siemens. “We are impressed by Intrinsic’s open approach to industrial robotics and we are excited to explore with Intrinsic how coupling of AI-based robots and automation technology can be further accelerated.” Intrinsic, launched by Google’s parent Alphabet in 2021, recently announced a robotics development platform, called Flowstate, that it believes will speed up access to industrial robotics for developers. Its first industrial partner is the Italian robot manufacturer and systems integrator Comau. More News reports on our Web site We post many more news reports on our Web site than we have space for in the magazine. Often the Web site also carries longer, more detailed versions of reports in the magazine. Here are some of the stories that we have posted since the last issue of Drives & Controls appeared. n UK manufacturers say digitalisation is driving productivity https://drivesncontrols.news/stvwr2 n Single-phase motors comply with new EU efficiency rules https://drivesncontrols.news/hnepfu n RS adds details of more than a billion parts to DesignSpark https://drivesncontrols.news/gvq83e n Ideal Electric buys Louis Allis large motors and machines https://drivesncontrols.news/uqafzu n Cobot is mounted on an autonomous mobile platform https://drivesncontrols.news/lu54aa n New link modules can create twinarmed modular robots https://drivesncontrols.news/ved1ch n Germany expects automation sales to break record in 2023 https://drivesncontrols.news/1boypb n Industrial Ethernet tester spots causes of network failures https://drivesncontrols.news/einsw0 n Nidec forms electric aircraft JV with Embraer https://drivesncontrols.news/whanpn n UK-developed 1MW motor will power hybrid aircraft https://drivesncontrols.news/wiocx Intrinsic Flowstate facilitates robotic designs from concept to deployment All Data In Hand? Get Connected! Siemens joins Google’s Intrinsic to integrate robot software with automation
NEWS n More than traditional ECAD software The foundation for digital transformation: consistent and continuous data EPLAN offers more than traditional ECAD software, our multifaceted solutions in various engineering disciplines enable networked processes that save valuable working hours and resources. With EPLAN, your co-workers and business partners can easily, and securely access your current project status for clear collaboration. Discover more: www.eplan.co.uk/ecosystem MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING Week 2023 has become the UK’s biggest industrial event after just two years, according to its organiser, The Nineteen Group. The two-day event held at the NEC in June attracted 10,355 visitors and 342 exhibitors. According to Manufacturing & Engineering Week’s portfolio director, Haf Cennydd: “To have built the biggest UK event for the industrial sector in just two years has surpassed our expectations and clearly demonstrates that bringing together Smart Factory Expo, Design & Engineering Expo and Maintec was a great idea. With industrial events also taking place at the same time and venue run by other event organisers, plus the addition of Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems, there will only be more to see and do in 2024.” “Manufacturing and Engineering Week has gone from strength to strength from last year to this year and we expect it to grow even further next year,” adds Stephen Phipson, CEO of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK and chair of the Manufacturing & Engineering Week steering committee. “Key challenges were high on the agenda for the second year, with skills, supply chain and sustainability discussed in detail. It was great to see the show also offset their carbon emissions once again by planting thousands more trees in the M&E Week forest.” Nineteen Group CEO Peter Jones is also delighted with the way the show went: “We gave our team the licence to disrupt the accepted norms of what an industrial sector trade show looked like, felt like and achieved and they have overperformed by every measure,” he says. “From the Nexa3D guitar players’ competition to the festival-like stilt walkers and branding to the sheer sense of excitement generated on the exhibition floor it's been superb, and it will only get better next year as we add Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems into the mix.” In 2024, M&E Week will take place in two halls at the NEC. In addition to the Smart Factory Expo, Design & Engineering Expo and Maintec taking place in Hall 4 on 5 and 6 June, Hall 5 will host the Drives & Controls, Air-Tech and Fluid Power & Systems events for three days from 4–6 June. These last three events were acquired by The Nineteen Group from DFA Media in 2022. At this year’s show, they formed a zone within the M&E Week show, but they will return as full exhibitions in 2024 and every two years after that. www.mandeweek.co.uk In just two years, M&E Week has become ‘UK’s biggest industrial event’ THE GLOBAL MARKET for motion controls will be worth $18.9bn this year, rising to $22.2bn by 2027 – a CAGR of 4.6% – according to new data from Interact Analysis. It expects the market to fall slightly next year as a result of the decline in global economic growth, before returning to steady expansion. This follows a period in 2021/2022 when high demand for consumer products boosted investment in automation. According to Interact research analyst Alexander Jones, Siemens continues to dominate the motion controls market with its share growing by almost 1% in 2022. The Chinese supplier Inovance is now the world’s fifth-largest motion controls vendor, boosting its market share by 0.6% during 2022. In 2018, the company was not even in the global top 10. Although some motion control vendors are predicting market growth rates as high as 20%, others are more cautious, suggesting that 2023 will be a flat year compared to 2022. The Asia-Pacific region was the largest market for motion controls in 2022, accounting for 37% of global revenues, followed by EMEA on 33%, Japan on 16% and the Americas on 14%. Motion controls sales will dip, before rebounding to $22bn by 2027 M&E Week attracted more than 10,000 visitors to the NEC
WIDE OF THE MARK So the Government has reached what many people regarded as an inevitable decision and delayed – or, hopefully, abandoned – plans to implement the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark. It has announced that companies can continue to use the CE mark “indefinitely”. The UKCA mark was intended to supersede the CE mark in post-Brexit Britain but the idea was beset with hurdles and delays from the outset. Originally, businesses were told that they would have to start using the UKCA mark on products placed on the UK market by the end of 2021. In September 2021, it was announced that the implementation had been delayed until 1 January 2023. And then in November 2022, a further delay was announced, pushing back implementation until the start of 2025. Now it appears to have been postponed indefinitely. Business and trade organisations had lobbied vociferously against the UKCA mark, saying that it would create an unnecessary and costly extra level of bureaucracy for manufacturers. The CE mark, they argued, was a wellestablished international symbol, whereas the UKCA mark would probably be recognised only in the UK. It would also deter some global suppliers from offering their products for sale in the UK if it meant that they would have to undergo an extra certification and labelling process to sell their wares here. An added complication was that Northern Ireland was allowed to continue using the CE mark. So the official announcement earlier this month of an indefinite delay to implementing the UKCA mark was greeted with widespread relief. The Government explained that the Business Secretary had “acted urgently on this issue, to prevent a cliff-edge moment in December 2024”, when the UKCA scheme was meant to come into force. “We have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver,” said business minister, Kevin Hollinrake. “By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.” Industry welcomed the climbdown. Stephen Phipson, CEO of the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, described it as “a pragmatic and common-sense decision,” adding that “it should bring more confidence about doing business in the UK”. But some suppliers have already incurred expenses gearing up for the expected implementation of the UKCA mark. Wayne Rose, director and CEO of the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association (BPMA), reports that: “Some of our larger members have already endured the unwelcomed expense and bureaucracy of dual safety mark adoption, simply to continue selling the same products to the same markets, so although they too will welcome this announcement, a good deal of wasted time, effort and cost has already been spent. For our smaller members, they will be relieved that the cliff-edge deadline of UKCA mark adoption has been removed, and that they can now redirect their efforts into product innovation and business growth.” Some questions still remain. Does the indefinite extension to the use of the CE mark mean that the UKCA mark is dead and buried? That is not clear from the official announcement. Also, the announcement lists 18 categories to which the extension applies, including machinery, low-voltage electrical equipment, Atex equipment and measuring instruments. But there are suggestions that other Government departments will have to make their decisions about the marking of products under their remits. All in all, the UKCA project seems to have been a waste of time and money. It has been an unnecessary distraction at a time when British businesses have many more important issues to deal with. Tony Sacks, Editor n COMMENT
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Drives&Controls & BACK TO BASICS n SPONSORED BY Liquid-cooled drives: How they work and where to use them Most drives are air-cooled, but liquid-cooled variants can provide greater power densities in smaller spaces for some applications, as Liam Blackshaw, ABB’s UK product manager for LV drives, explains. Over their lifetime, drives can produce significant amounts of heat, which needs to be dealt with using some form of cooling. There are two main ways of doing this. The traditional method is air cooling, which uses cabinet fans to provide ventilation. This is fine for many applications, but in particularly dirty environments, it can cause a problem because dust and debris in the ambient air can be drawn into the air intake, and damage components. Even with a cabinet filter in place, there is still a chance that small particles can enter the cabinet and cause problems. The second approach is to use a liquid coolant to transfer heat away from the drive. Because it is a closed system, there is no risk of contaminants entering a liquid-cooled drive and causing problems. It also allows higher protection classes. Liquid has a far greater heat-carrying capacity – some 3,500 times greater – than that of air. A typical 6MW drive can produce up to 150kW of waste heat while operating, so improved cooling can help significantly with drive system design. Specifically, it can allow more compact designs, or greater power densities in an existing footprint, making it ideal for installations where space is at a premium – particularly in dirty and dusty environments. The reduced need for a cabinet fan and filter system to cool a liquid-cooled drive also means that it can run much more quietly than a fan-cooled equivalent. Liquid-cooled systems generally cost more upfront, but this typically more than evens out over the lifetime of the drive through improved efficiency and lower maintenance requirements because of the improved heat dissipation. For marine and offshore environments, much of the liquid cooling infrastructure required – for example, heat exchangers and pipework – may already be in place. In mines and other dusty environments, liquid cooling can save vast amounts of time and cost during installation by avoiding the need for extensive clean air provision. For applications where spacesaving, durability, low maintenance or silent operation are high priorities, a liquid-cooled drive can often be the most cost-effective option. n To find out more about ABB’s liquid-cooled ACS880LC drive, visit: https://new.abb.com/drives/low-voltageac/industrial-drives/acs880liquid-cooled-drives MANUFACTURERS AGENT SPECIALISING IN SUPPLYING LOW VOLTAGE CONTROL PRODUCTS! Motor Load Monitors & Circuit Protection Ethernet Switches & Signal Conditioning Timers, Monitoring & Control Relays, Sockets & Accessories Thermal Management PLC’s, HMI’s & Smart Relays Power Supply & Distribution Door Gear & Instrumentation Automatic & Manual Transfer Switches C H A R T E R C O N T R O L S SIMPLIFYING IT FOR YOU Purchase Direct from Manufacturers Agent Comprehensive UK Stocks for Next Day Delivery Tailored Services & Discount Structures Simplifying Your Purchasing Experience Improving Your Bottom Line For more information call 01424 850660 email@example.com www.charter-controls.com Quality Products Improve Profits Quality Service Supplier Value Creation