Company acquisitions & expansions
ABB to invest 100M euros in global innovation and training campus
One year after announcing its acquisition of B&R (Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH), ABB will invest 100 million euros in Austria to build an innovation and training campus at the home of B&R in Eggelsberg, Upper Austria. It is the largest organic investment in industrial automation in ABB’s more than 130-year history and lays the foundation for around 1,000 new high-tech jobs in Austria, the company announced.
The new innovation and training campus will develop technologies for the factory of the future, based on ABB Ability, in which production will be undertaken autonomously by smart and cloud-connected machines and robots, ABB said. The company invests $1.4 billion in research and development (R&D) annually, and has a team of around 30,000 R&D and application engineers. B&R has more than 1,000 employees working in R&D and application development.
The new research and development campus will include R&D laboratories, which will develop and test new automation technologies, from industrial control systems up to machine learning and artificial intelligence, and an Automation Academy to train and educate customers, partners and employees in these technologies. The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for this summer, and the new campus is expected to be up and running in the course of 2020. Once complete, the Eggelsberg site will be one of ABB’s largest research and development centers.
ABB expands global network of drives remote service centers to UAE
ABB launched its first remote service center for its energy-saving variable speed drives (VSD) solutions in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The ABB remote service center provides 24/7 access to information and support for predictive maintenance and condition monitoring of drives. The new facilities in the Middle East complement the network of service centers operating already in China, India and Finland.
Saint-Gobain acquires Micro Hydraulics pharma business
Saint-Gobain’s Performance Plastics Life Sciences business acquired the pharmaceutical business of Micro Hydraulics, Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based supplier and manufacturer of single-use components and systems for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. Micro Hydraulics was founded in 1982 to supply hydraulic, industrial and fluid handling components into the Irish market. In 2005 Micro created its pharma division to focus on the expanding Irish pharmaceutical industry. Today, Micro Hydraulics is one of the region’s leading providers of single-use fluid handling solutions for high purity applications in pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. The hydraulic and industrial divisions of the business are not affected by the transaction.
Metso to acquire valve automation division of Rotex Manufacturers and Engineers Pvt.
Metso signed an agreement to acquire the valve automation division of the India-based valve technology company Rotex Manufacturers and Engineers Pvt. Ltd (RMEPL). The company is a market leader in India in the actuator business and offers switches, process valves and valve automation products and solutions. It employs approximately 275 people and has two manufacturing facilities in the Mumbai area and sales offices in Mumbai, Vadodara, Kolkata and Pune. Closing of the acquisition is estimated to occur in July 2018.
Cortec expands advanced films facility
Cortec Advanced Films (CAF) has expanded its Cambridge, Minnesota VpCI film extrusion plant with a new office building and training center, along with a warehouse to keep up with expanding VpCI film production and recycling activities. CAF is the world’s largest plant for production of VpCI films and bags with a nameplate capacity of more than 40 million pounds (20,000 MT).
VPInstruments opens new office in the UK
VPInstruments, a manufacturer of flowmetering equipment, has opened a new office in the United Kingdom citing the U.K.’s large manufacturing plants that are substantial compressed air users and the many international corporations that have their headquarters there.
Martin Engineering opens manufacturing facility in Queensland, Australia
A global manufacturer of premium conveyor belt cleaning and sealing systems has announced the creation of its newest factory-owned manufacturing facility in Queensland, Australia. Martin Engineering has providef bulk handling solutions and flow control equipment in the region through a licensee since 1978. Opened for business in September 2017, the new facility provides direct sales, service, training and manufacturing to the continent, serving industries such as mining, cement, sugar, quarrying and bulk handling ports.
Viega expands McPherson campus
Viega LLC announced a major growth initiative by breaking ground for a new manufacturing facility and plans for a master distribution facility at its McPherson, Kansas campus. Situated on 127 acres, the new approximately 204,000-square-foot facility, will be dedicated primarily to manufacturing Viega’s ProPress Copper product line. Estimated completion for the building is mid-2019. The new facility brings the total manufacturing square footage in McPherson to more than 700,000 and is expected to bring around 100 new jobs to the area. In addition to the new manufacturing facility, Viega is in the initial planning stages of moving its Atlanta-based master distribution center that houses its metal products to a master distribution center that will break ground in McPherson in late 2018. Viega will maintain a smaller, satellite distribution center in Atlanta. Viega employs more than 600 people in North America with headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado.
EnerMech partners with valves specialist Farris Engineering
Integrated engineering services specialist EnerMech has signed a partnership deal with Farris Engineering to provide safety relief valves and parts to the Australian market. Aberdeen-headquartered EnerMech provides mechanical, electrical and instrumentation services to the oil, gas, mining, infrastructure, chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, water, utilities, mining and aluminum industries and employs 870 staff in Australia where it operates eight bases across Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Northern Territories. Farris Engineering is a business unit of Curtiss-Wright. EnerMech will act as an accredited sales agent, assembler, and stockist of new Farris safety relief valves and parts.
SignalFire Telemetry moves to new corporate headquarters
SignalFire Telemetry, designer and manufacturer of wireless telemetry solutions for asset monitoring in industrial applications, is relocating to new corporate headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The move will support the growth of its wireless-monitoring product lines and optimize customer support and training for the company’s growing U.S. and international client base. SignalFire is also adding a new high-tech system-integration training center to provide hands-on instruction for its customers and sales representatives.
BHS-Sonthofen acquires AVA
BHS-Sonthofen acquired all shares in AVA GmbH & Co. KG based in Herrsching in the Greater Munich area. According to the company, this move strengthens BHS-Sonthofen’s market position in the field of mixing technology. It also supplements the company’s competence in the field of solid-liquid separation with AVA’s drying technology. The Herrsching site will be retained, together with all AVA employees. Both companies will continue to operate in the marketplace under their own name.
LANXESS completes acquisition of Solvay’s phosphorus additive business
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has completed the purchase of the phosphorus chemicals business from Belgian chemicals group Solvay including its U.S. production site in Charleston, South Carolina. LANXESS and Solvay agreed to the purchase in mid-November 2017. The Charleston site includes six production plants, where roughly 90 employees manufacture phosphorus chloride plus derivative products such as flame-retardant additives and intermediate products for agrochemicals. The business represents annual sales of roughly EUR 65 million.
Terra Firma announces territory expansion for Arkema Orgasol and Rilsan D coatings additive product line
The Terra Firma Company’s geographic distribution territory of Arkema’s Orgasol and Rilsan product lines has expanded to cover the mid-Atlantic to the Southwestern U.S. This includes the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. The Orgasol and Rilsan D products are high-performance polyamide powders, designed mainly for liquid and UV coatings.