Emerson builds portfolio with GE business acquisition

Global firm Emerson will be offering its customers broader control and management of operations with its acquisition of General Electric's Intelligent Platforms division, including the company’s programmable logic controller technologies
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An overview of the combined companies' boosted footprint in automation

Staff Reporter

Terms and financial details surrounding the agreement were not disclosed.

Emerson's newest takeover will expand the US-headquartered company's machine control and discrete applications opportunities for process industries, as well as target hybrid markets including metals and mining.

"By interfacing Intelligent Platforms' PLC technology with Emerson's leading distributed control systems, customers will be able to connect ‘islands of automation' within the plant to further enhance operational performance, safety and reliability," the company said.

Both companies share a focus on leveraging automation technologies for the digital transformation of their respective end markets. The newly acquired Intelligent Platforms also recently revealed the development of a family of cloud-connected controllers and devices to enable smarter plants. The development, Emerson said, is a ‘strong complement' to its digital transformation focus, as well as its push with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through its Plantweb digital ecosystem.

Emerson chairman and CEO David Farr said adding the Intelligent Platforms business will not only expand its capabilities in its target markets, but also make it a stronger player in the automation space.

"This is another important investment in our global portfolio of automation technologies, offering discrete and machine control capabilities that complement our process control expertise to provide better solutions to our customers," he said.

Intelligent Platforms, which employs about 650 people worldwide, had sales of US$210 million last year.

GE Power president and CEO noted that the acquisition will aid its division in pursuing its growth strategy, especially across its key areas of machine control, industrial computing, input/output (I/O) and networking devices, project and integration services and other hardware/software solutions.

"Intelligent Platforms brings a solid product portfolio to serve our target markets, along with a significant installed base," Emerson Automation Solutions executive president Lal Karsanbhai added. "We are extremely pleased to have this unique opportunity to add a recognised discrete control capability to our growing portfolio of products and software applications that help our customers operate more safely and efficiently."

The deal is expected to close during the first half of GE's fiscal 2019 year. It is still pending regulatory approvals and some other closing conditions.