British Steel is investing in new plant at Scunthorpe to increase the production of its Zinoco zinc-coated corrosion-free rails, which is due to be commissioned later this year. The premium rails are intended for use in corrosive areas such as coastal lines, wet tunnels or level crossings and can be supplied in lengths of up to 108 m. Network Rail has recently approved the use of welded lengths up to 216 m following trials in tunnels near Bristol and Fife.

München-based robotics specialist Franka Emika has signed a partnership agreement with Voith to establish Voith Robotics. This joint venture will assess the potential for self-teaching lightweight robot assistants to be used in a range of manufacturing processes across the Voith group. Voith is also to take a financial stake in Franka Emika.

Bentley Systems has announced the acquisition of Dutch geotechnical software supplier Plaxis and an agreement to acquire soil engineering software provider SoilVision, based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Bentley says the acquisitions will support the extension of BIM techniques to ‘the essential subsurface engineering of every infrastructure project’.