Début for Azbil Corp at the ARC World Industry Forum

Last month most of the news flow seems to have emerged around the ARC World Industry Forum, which took place in Orlando, Florida from February 11-14.With around 24 companies acting as sponsors at the conference, and attending as exhibitors in the ‘Innovations Showcase’ area, there were even more magazines and websites present to report on the event – 29 listed as sponsors, and 40 media companies in total!

Just like last year the major name noticeably missing from the exhibition, out of the main process automation suppliers, was that of Honeywell. But this provided a major opportunity for Azbil, the former Yamatake – who had a license agreement with Honeywell until 2002 – to make an impressive entrance to the ARC Forum scene, perhaps building on their recent acquisitions and initiating further expansion plans.

Azbil business profile
Based on nine months of their current financial year Azbil is a $2.2Bn sales turnover company, of which 90% is in the home Japanese market. The major proportion of exports go to China, followed by the rest of Asia: North American sales are fairly insignificant in group terms, but are around $1.5m.

The name Azbil*
The word Azbil was introduced on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the company, to signify “human-centered automation” as the new direction for the business. The group philosophy is to “realize safety, comfort and fulfillment in people’s lives and contribute to global environmental preservation through human centered automation”. The management – Seiji Onoki, chairman, and Hirozumi Sone, president and ceo – are striving to extend it both inside and outside Japan, in a drive for global growth.

Three new acquisitions
The management method adopted to achieve the global growth is seen to be by strengthening ties with global partners, and so over the last three months Azbil has announced three acquisitions: Telstar of Spain in the Life Automation business; Taco of Japan, a specialist in pneumatic technology and oil mist lubrication systems; and VorTek Instruments of USA, a vortex flowmeter manufacturer.

The background to the company and these three acquisitions is the topic for a major article in the March issue of the Industrial Automation Insider Newsletter, http://www.iainsider.com

*Azbil, I now discover, represents, or is short for – ‘Automation Zone Builder’ !

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