Milwaukee-based industrial automation company Rockwell Automation Inc. announced today it plans to acquire Devens, Mass.-based MagneMotion, a leading manufacturer of intelligent conveying systems.
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Rockwell Automation's Milwaukee headquarters.[/caption]
The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close in the first quarter.
MagneMotion has 70 employees in Devens and at a UK location. Its technology will be folded into Rockwell’s motion business, to fit with its iTrak brand of independent cart solutions. The systems are used in a variety of industrial applications, such as automotive and general assembly. Rockwell will maintain MagneMotion's existing employees, facilities and organizational structure.
Rockwell made a similar acquisition
, of Erlanger, Ky.-based Jacobs Automation, to add to its iTrak capabilities in 2013.
"The companies we buy, for the most part, they have technologies that we don’t have directly,” said Keith Lester, a spokesman for Rockwell. "They’re specialists, so to speak.”
Rockwell's iTrak products increase the technology, reduce the downtime and space a machine takes up, and allow shorter runs on manufacturers' conveyor and belt lines, Lester said. It's a tool for manufacturers as they use the Internet of Things to integrate what's happening on the plant floor with what's happening in the office, in the supply chain and with customers.
“This acquisition continues our strategy to build a portfolio of smart manufacturing technologies that brings next generation performance to our customers today,” said Marco Wishart, vice president and general manager of Rockwell’s motion control business. “MagneMotion expands our existing capabilities in independent cart technology. Our recent acquisition of Jacobs Automation and its iTrak technology is complementary to MagneMotion’s portfolio. We see a future where the transportation of products within the factory, whether inside of a particular machine or between machines, will be fully controlled to optimize the productivity and flexibility of the entire process.”
“This deal is the logical next step in the evolution of our business, and a welcome development for MagneMotion,” said Todd Webber, president and chief executive officer of MagneMotion. “Rockwell Automation’s leading position in plant-wide controls and industrial automation gives us the best opportunity to introduce this technology to customers. As the market continues to realize the benefits of applying independent cart technology, Rockwell Automation’s global organization will be a tremendous asset.”
Rockwell has 22,000 employees who provide automation solutions for customers in more than 80 countries.