£1.45m investment in robotics firm

Foresight Group, an independent infrastructure and private-equity investment manager, and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), have made a £1.45m follow-on investment from the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund into Inovo Robotics.

This investment will allow Inovo to grow sales internationally and brings the total invested by the fund to £2.95m, having originally invested £1.5m in October 2018 to support the company’s first product to market. Inovo is developing a competitively priced ‘cobot’, a collaborative robot designed to operate safely
within a human work environment.
For further information www.wae.com

Ready-to-integrate servo-press modules

IEF Werner says that its aiPRESS differs from other brands of servo press in that it features a torsion-resistant steel C-frame with precise ram guidance that absorbs transverse forces.

This capability ensures the drive chain remains rigid throughout the cycle to eliminate positioning errors. Now, this concept has been further developed to provide system designers and machine builders with a flexible servo-press module that can be integrated into manual workstations and automatic assembly lines.
These new aiPRESS JM modules are available in the UK from RARUK Automation in three sizes with press forces of 3, 15 and 36 kN, and strokes of 75, 125 and 175 mm respectively. Maximum speed is 150 mm per second, while repeat accuracy is <0.002 mm. Although the stroke of each model is fixed, where it starts and stops is fully controllable and it can therefore be adjusted to suit the application. The module can also be installed in any orientation (vertically, inverted or horizontally) and combined with turntables or sliding tables. A choice of mounting components is available to provide this flexibility. Integration into any machine control system is easily achieved via standard protocols, or the module can be specified with IEF Werner’s aiQ-CONTROL. This intelligent force path monitor measures position and force, and illustrates the pressing process graphically and monitors its course. Another option is aiLIGHT intelligent process area lighting, which supports set-up and operation by changing from white to blue and green, to signify the process step. A red light alerts the operator to a failure. The aiPRESS JM modules are especially suited to fully automated handling and assembly lines, for example, as a precision pressing or joining station in an IEF Werner posyART transport system (also available from RARUK Automation). For further information www.rarukautomation.com

Atkin Automation unveils Servo Rollfeed

Atkin Automation, part of Group Rhodes, has added the newly developed Servo Rollfeed machine to its range.

The Atkin RF70-300 Servo Rollfeed, which is used for the control of steel strip, features variable widths from 150 to 450 mm, plus hardened rolls with a grit blast finish for added durability. RF70-300 Servo Rollfeed machines have a height-adjustable press mounting bracket, pneumatic pilot/strip release system and an electronic cambox.
The machine also includes multi-pitching software with ‘gag’ control to prevent blockages, and utilises Febrofen rolls for delicate materials. Pilot release, adjustable feed height, entry rolls and material side guides come as standard, with the options of motorised height adjustment and bespoke press or floor-standing brackets.
Geoff Barker, sales manager for Atkin Automation, says: “This is an exciting new addition to our range, which has many innovative features and benefits. We are looking forward to demonstrating it to industry over the coming months.”
All rolls are induction-hardened to minimise marking and improve longevity, and are equipped with run-in roller bearings with seals to reduce maintenance and improve cleanliness when running polished or coated materials.
All units are fully manufactured at the company’s Wakefield facility in West Yorkshire, which has a history of manufacturing and supplying these products that stretches back over 30 years.
Atkin Automation, originally WT Atkin, specialises in high-quality coil processing line equipment and has a long history of serving both UK and international markets, including the automotive, white goods and construction industries.
For further information www.grouprhodes.co.uk

Emag takes over Scherer Feinbau

On 1 August 2020 Emag took over Scherer Feinbau, a specialist in vertical CNC lathes and vertical shaft-turning machines.

Both partners benefit from the acquisition: on one hand, Scherer’s CNC vertical lathes will now be marketed worldwide by Emag, while on the other hand Emag will be able to expand its technological know-how. Scherer Feinbau was founded in 1978 and has been part of the Chiron Group since 2012. With effect from 1 August Scherer has been taken over completely by Emag, which is continuing its long-term growth strategy.
For further information www.emag.com

Economic optimism

The Manufacturing Barometer, the largest survey of SME manufacturers in England, shows that the sector is bouncing back from the worst effects of COVID-19 with a degree of increased optimism around turnover, profits, jobs and investment.

Conducted by SWMAS (South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), the report reveals that 40% of those questioned are expecting future sales to increase, which is a massive improvement on the 9% who were predicting this outcome in the previous survey (in April).
For further information www.swmas.co.uk