The merging of ABB’s automated systems and B & R’s open-architecture and software solutions for the industrial market is expected to yield impressive results in research and development and connectivity.
ABB’s Chief Digital Officer, Guido Jouret, says “Real customer value is delivered by closing the loop with connected devices and delivering end-to-end digital solutions. B&R provides a strong base for exactly that.” B&R’s proficiency in measurement, control, and actuation balances ABB’s goals for process automation. ABB will merge B&R under its Industrial Automation segment in a new global business unit, Mahcine & Factory Automation, to utilize B&R’s PLCs, industrial PCs, servo motion products, and software solutions.
The collaboration will expand ABB’s existing customer base of 27,000 with 70 million connected devices and 3 million automated machines all over the globe. ABB employs 30,000 people on its research and development team and will add the 1,000 from the B&R team.
The merger is expected to enhance ABB’s competitive edge against German industry giant Siemens, anticipating that it will become the second largest industrial automation provider in the world. ABB estimates that it can grow B&R’s sales to over $1 billion in the $20 billion global machine and factory automation market.
ABB’s forward-looking presentation on their leadership potential in industrial automation was recently published. In it, ABB says they are closing a gap in machine and factory automation with the acquisition. ABB characterized the merger as “friendly” and “combining two trusting partners with complementary strengths.” Their objectives include accelerated growth, innovation, and becoming a global leader in industrial automation. They intend to build on the B&R brand by retaining employees and advisors to create a “best of both worlds” collaboration using a proven integration process to ultimately create an end-to-end digital offering with a broader range of solutions and increased market coverage.
B&R Tech Highlights since 1979 Founding
1983 – Multicontrol PLC
1989 – Component Industrial PC
1992 – System 2000 PLC with multitasking
1999 – ACOPOS drives & servo motors
2002 – POWERLINK Open Ethernet protocol
2005 – X20 PLC & I/O systems
2007 – OpenSAFETY Fieldbus safety protocol
2011 – APROL process and factory automation software
2014 – mapp; I/O-Link Industry 4.0 digital OPC modules
2016 – mappView software
Have a question or comment about this article? Head to our Facebook page for discussion.