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Editor: Jonathan Severn
3rd October 2018

With less than six months until the UK leaves the EU there are good grounds to be concerned about what happens next. Brexit might prove painful for many manufacturers but there are others - including some machine builders - who see exciting opportunities ahead.

Already manufacturing businesses, particularly in the food industry, are struggling to fill vacancies for unskilled labour because Eastern Europeans are leaving the UK. A number of these firms are now turning to automation for operations such as packing.

Traditionally automation has been costly, and capital budgets have not always been generous. However, machine builders are starting to adopt servitisation - in other words, offering machines-as-a-service or 'production capability'. This could well be attractive to companies that are desperate for automation but not in a position to make an outright purchase.

Another result of the Brexit referendum is that the pound has fallen in value against the Euro by around 20 per cent. UK-built machines have therefore become cheaper for European customers, though components sourced from the EU have become more expensive in the UK.

I am not arguing in favour of Brexit, and there will be other negative impacts not mentioned above, but machine builders in the UK do have some reasons to be optimistic.


isNew igus Delta robot is set to be a 'game changer'
This Delta robot costs far less than alternatives, is quick and easy to set up, and is maintenance-free thanks to standard igus componentry. More?

bnBelden publishes 'Time-sensitive Networking for Dummies'
Offered as a PDF or printed book, the new Belden publication explains how TSN overcomes the limitations of other real-time protocols.  More?

rsDesktop vacuum former for cost-effective rapid production
RS Components is introducing an easy-to-use desktop vacuum former that creates lightweight, thin-walled components from low-cost templates. More?

rkRARUK Automation introduces new-generation Universal Robots
Universal Robots e-Series cobots have a number of small but significant improvements that enhance ease of use and performance. More?

nnNexen launches IP65 precision rotary indexer
New from Nexen, the IP65 Motor Ready Sealed precision indexer benefits from zero backlash, high precision, high torque and high acceleration. More?


mcDesign, management and maintenance of alarms and alarm systems
M.A.C. Solutions is running an alarm management practitioner training course covering all phases of the alarm management system lifecycle. More?

pePilz safety products and services at Robotics and Automation
Pilz will be at Robotics and Automation, showcasing products and services to aid compliance with safety standards, including ISO/TS 15066 for cobots. More?


brEncoders offer ultimate combination of durability and precision
Baumer's MAGRES absolute encoders cope with harsh environments and industrial applications while achieving an accuracy of up to +/-0.15deg. More?

sfSKF online catalogue speeds bearing selection
Far more than a catalogue, this is an essential engineering resource for designers, specifiers and users of rolling bearings. More?

rlRittal publishes advice on complying with UL regulations
Advice and support is available from Rittal for engineers who are designing or specifying systems for export to the USA or Canada. More?

isNew USB 3.1 board-level cameras with liquid lens control
IDS Imaging Development Systems is now offering the uEye LE USB 3.1 Gen 1 single board cameras with the option to use and control liquid lenses. More?

rwNew macro for ultra-fast on-machine probing
Renishaw says the SupaScan QuickPoint macro makes on-machine probing feasible even for machining applications with very short cycle times. More?

lgNew Lee Spring catalogue includes 2000+ new items
Lee Spring's new enhanced catalogue contains over 25,000 standard parts, including 2000+ new metric, stainless steel and High Pressure springs. More?

baNew minimum requirements for fluid power training
BFPA has published new minimum requirements for training to improve safety when installing and maintaining hydraulic systems. More?

mnStep-by-step: configuring a maxon ESCON speed controller
This article shows how straightforward it is to configure maxon's ESCON four-quadrant PWM servo controller for permanent-magnet motors. More?

Designline IPCs prevent downtime in food and beverage production
Switching to Phoenix Contact Designline IPCs is saving Melitta around £3000 per quarter by eliminating failures and downtime. More?
Non-contact guard switches designed and manufactured in the UK
Mechan's safety switches and monitoring systems suit almost all non-contact magnetic, coded magnetic and electronic guard switch applications. More?
New stainless steel magnetic safety switches from Pilz
Pilz is launching stainless steel PSENmag magnetic non-contact safety switches for use in harsh operating environments. More?
New fanless motion control system for smart machine automation
IBASE's new motion control system features Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and a four-axis motion control PCIe card for servo/stepper motors. More?


Would you?
This week the Pointy-Haired Boss requires the engineers to use the company's own products – but the idea meets with resistance. More?


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Jonathan Severn

Andrew Turner
Telephone: +44 (0) 1483 560314

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