♦ According to a US report, Emerson Electric has been approached by an unnamed potential buyer of its Commercial and Industrial Motors and Appliance Motors & Controls businesses. These operations, which employ around 6,000 people, form part of Emerson’s Appliance and Tools division. At an investor conference in early February, Emerson CEO David Farr said he wants to divest “non-core” businesses worth $1bn in the next two to three years, and $2bn within five years. He does not regard Appliance and Tools as being a “cornerstone” division and says it will get smaller. But Emerson has not decided yet whether to sell the motor businesses.
♦ Sales of manufacturing technology in the US during 2009 totalled $1.77bn – a drop of 60.4% from 2008. The figures are complied jointly by the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. Although December’s sales figures were 22.9% up on November, they were 5.7% lower than December 2008.
♦ Oracle is the latest IT systems supplier to join Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory initiative which unites control hardware and networks with IT systems from strategic partners (which already include IBM and Microsoft). Mitsubishi is the first hardware vendor with an approved and tested connection to Oracle’s Manufacturing Operations Center software, which gives users real-time information about plant production.
♦ Following last year’s closure of Anorad’s European offices, a Dutch-based motion engineering specialist called Q-Sys is offering service and support for owners and operators of Anorad systems. Q-Sys was formed in 2007 by four senior managers from Anorad to design and build high-specification motion systems.