Rockwell expands in conveying systems

Rockwell Automation is to purchase MagneMotion, a US-based manufacturer of intelligent conveying systems. MagneMotion systems are used across a broad range of industrial applications including automotive and general assembly, packaging and materials handling. This acquisition will complement the recently acquired iTrak technology from Jacobs Automation, to create the broadest portfolio of independent ‘cart’ solutions in this emerging technology area.

“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, vp and gm of the Rockwell Automation 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 optimise 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 Weber, president and CEO of MagneMotion. “The leading position of Rockwell Automation 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, the global Rockwell organisation will be a tremendous asset.”

MagneMotion is based in Devens, Massachusetts.

Aveva 3D adopted by Statoil: Schneider and Aveva stop merger/acquisition talks.

The news that Statoil has signed a multi-year agreement with Aveva to use Aveva 3D as its strategic 3D design software platform, as an upgrade to its existing Aveva PDMS design system, reminds us that there has been an on-going discussion about a deal between Schneider Software, through many of its acquired Invensys businesses, and Aveva. This possible deal was announced last June, and featured in the INSIDER Newsletter in July last year. It involves the bringing together of these software businesses into an enlarged Aveva Group, which would be effectively majority owned by Schneider.

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Seamless integration of Laser scan data in the AVEVA Everything3D BubbleView

Statoil is currently quoted to be using Aveva software on 52 Brownfield and 7 Greenfield models, plus the new Johan Sverdrup field development project that today consists of 7 models. Older plants such as the Snøhvit LNG Plant in the Barents Sea, the refineries at Mongstad in Norway and Kalundborg in Denmark, and the gas treatment facility at Kårstø have been converted to Aveva PDMS. So the opportunity for deeper involvement by a partner of Aveva, like Schneider, in all these major refurbishments and new projects, gives a wide opening for an expanded role in the design and automation of these projects.

This was reflected in the statement that Statoil’s new strategy (to standardise on Aveva E3D) offers the potential for significant project efficiencies in the design, operation and revamp of all Statoil facilities in the future. Executive Vice President for Sales in AVEVA, Helmut Schuller, said that “Statoil has selected Aveva E3D as its 3D solution of choice for both its greenfield and brownfield complex plant design projects”, and that Aveva 3D offers “[A] multitude of benefits without the normal risks associated with new projects and long-term operations”.

Aveva 3D offers simple migration from Aveva PDMS, and Statoil has been a strategic user of Aveva PDMS and Aveva Global for more than 15 years. They acknowledge the value this software has brought when executing field development, maintenance and modification projects as well as during the operation and revamp of its portfolio of facilities.

Those acquisition discussions – November

In November 2015, Aveva provided an update on the Schneider Software acquisition discussions, that were undergoing due diligence studies.

The combined company was seen by Aveva in their November update as potentially one of the world’s leading industrial software companies, with an unmatched breadth of product offering covering all aspects of the digital asset including process simulation and optimization, detailed engineering design, operations and asset lifecycle management and supervisory control. One key benefit for Aveva would be a better, bigger presence in North America, and a significant presence amongst owner operator customers. They then went on to report on the Schneider Software H1 figures for 2015, which was decent of them, if not a little surprising! This perhaps reflected an Aveva belief that they were the acquiring party, picking up some Invensys businesses that Schneider did not want any more?

The quoted Schneider results showed a 7% drop in sales, driven by a -7% FX translation effect. Maintenance revenue increased by a high single digit figure, YOY. EBITA was in line with the previous year on a constant currency basis.

The conclusion – in December

Then a statement came on December 15 that the Schneider – Aveva talks had been unable to reach any agreement on the terms of the transaction. The Aveva statement suggested that “During the due diligence process significant integration challenges were identified that could not be overcome without considerable additional risk and cost. This was exacerbated by the highly complex structure of the proposed transaction.”

Meanwhile the Aveva interim/half year results showed a drop of 5% in revenue compared to 2014, and a drop of 50% in the profit and earnings after adjustments to the basic figures, to account for some amortisation and exceptional items. Without the adjustments, Aveva showed a small loss.

The Aveva Board confirms that Aveva trading has continued in line with the Board’s expectations and the Board’s view on the outlook for the full year remains unchanged. The future strategy and expansion plans might need a little change however….

Last July, the rumours had been that Emerson, GE and Siemens were all measuring Aveva up for a bid, so the business is back in the melting pot: although Schneider obviously has significantly more information than the rest.

@Processingtalk

(c) Nick Denbow  – Processingtalk.info

Yokogawa expands intoTurkey

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, Yokogawa Europe BV has acquired 100% of the shares of its distributor in Turkey, Birleşik Endüstriyel Sistemler Ve Tesisler AS (BEST), which is based in Izmir. Yokogawa sees this as a major step forward into the emerging market in Turkey and the associated area. The acquisition of shares was carried out on November 25.

With this acquisition, Yokogawa is strengthening its focus on Turkey as a market with substantial growth potential. It will allow Yokogawa to extend its position in several promising segments, such as the power industry. Through the acquisition, Yokogawa will also enhance its relationships with customers in Turkey.

“BEST has been Yokogawa’s distributor since 1977 and has already built an excellent reputation in the oil and gas industries, where it will continue to provide great value to customers,” comments Yokogawa Europe’s president Herman van den Berg: “Yokogawa is committed to working with customers as partners to help them get maximum value from their plant operations, and this acquisition is a major step forward in our plans to grow our footprint in emerging markets, and specifically in target industries including the power and energy sectors.”

Honeywell To Acquire Elster

Honeywell announced in July 2015 that it has signed an agreement to acquire the Elster Division of Melrose Industries plc, a leading provider of thermal gas solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential heating systems and gas, water, and electricity meters, including smart meters and software and data analytics solutions, for approximately $5.1Bn.  The Honeywell corporate release continued as follows:

Elster also manufactures flow computers and regulators for the gas industry.  Elster consensus sales for 2015 are estimated to be $1.8Bn.  The price translates to approximately 12.6 times Elster’s estimated 2015 consensus earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) – [so this is around $400m – Ed] – and the acquisition is anticipated to occur in the first quarter of 2016. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review and Melrose shareowner vote.

“The acquisition of Elster will generate strong future returns for Honeywell’s shareowners because it increases our growth profile globally – creating both organic and inorganic growth opportunities – and because Honeywell can run this company effectively and accelerate its growth through our complementary technologies, software knowledge, and presence in High Growth Regions,” said Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote.  “Elster has outstanding technologies, brands, energy efficiency know-how, and global presence, all of which we are very well-positioned to build on.  Elster also creates a new platform for acquisition targets for Honeywell that will be additive to the business’ growth and global presence.  We will see immediate benefits to Honeywell’s portfolio, accelerating into 2016 and 2017. This is a great acquisition for Honeywell and our shareowners.”

“The Elster acquisition proves that we are staying true to our disciplined M&A approach and integration processes because it’s a model that has worked very well for us,” said Cote.  “During the past decade, we have completed more than 80 acquisitions adding approximately $12Bn in revenues.  We will continue to look for good acquisitions to enhance our growth profile.  We see Elster as a great opportunity to deploy our operating model and key process initiatives to grow the business, enhance our position globally, and drive significant returns to shareowners over the long-term. The Honeywell Operating System (HOS) will be a major factor in creating new synergies that will increase the growth and profitability of each of Elster’s businesses.”

Elster employs approximately 6,800 people with major locations in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Slovakia.  The company maintains an impressive installed base with more than 200 million metering modules deployed over the course of the last 10 years alone.

“This acquisition will allow us to improve customer value with technologies and lifecycle management solutions for industrial end users served by Honeywell’s Environmental Combustion and Controls and Process Solutions businesses,” continued Cote. “Elster’s gas business offers products in high demand among natural gas customers and brings a strong, global distribution network and numerous cross-selling opportunities for existing Honeywell technologies to new customers in both developed and High Growth Regions.”

“Elster’s gas, electric, and water meters are highly valued for their reliability, safety, and accuracy.  Elster has a world-class reputation for delivering on the operational efficiency and regulatory certification requirements of utility customers globally.  We expect that energy efficiency initiatives and mandates and the increased need for natural resource management will drive meaningful and sustained growth for Honeywell in the metering segment.  Utility metering in particular is rapidly evolving as new ‘smart’ technologies and software and data analytics capabilities are becoming adopted around the world and we expect strong growth from this segment globally.  Elster’s differentiated technologies, extensive industry expertise, and relationship with utility customers globally – combined with their strong positions in the highly regulated heating, controls, and metering segments – are a great fit for Honeywell’s portfolio,” concluded Cote.

There is no change to the 2015 full year guidance Honeywell provided in its second quarter earnings release.  Honeywell expects that the dilutive impact of the transaction on its 2016 Earnings Per Share to be minor.

Added on December 30, 2015:

Honeywell completed this acquisition on 29 December 2015, and advised how the businesses will be moulded into the Honeywell corporate structure……

Elster’s water and electricity metering business, along with part of its gas business, will become part of Honeywell’s Environmental & Energy Solutions (E&ES), a global business that produces residential and commercial building controls that help keep millions of homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities comfortable and energy efficient. E&ES is a business unit of the Honeywell Automation and Control Systems division.

Elster’s upstream and midstream gas applications businesses will be integrated with Honeywell Process Solutions, within Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. Elster’s products and technologies complement the strong HPS position in the natural gas sector. The new expanded line of HPS products will include ultrasonic and turbine meters, electronic volume correctors,  gas chromatographs, flow computers, regulators and pressure reducing stations for the gas transmission and distribution industry.

ICT acquires Raster in Holland

In The Netherlands, ICT Automatisering is an independent provider of industrial automation services employing over 700 automation professionals. Established 37 years ago, they were known as Humiq BV until 2012. Sales in 2014 were Euro 63m, with profits around Euro5m. ICT has now acquired Raster IA BV, a major Dutch systems integrator in the field of industrial process automation.

Raster describe their activities as production automation, software development and consultancy, delivering these services to multinationals and Dutch companies in the offshore oil and gas, heavy lifting, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and defence sectors. They are accustomed to working with ISA-88, ISA-95, Safety, Gamp, SIL, OEE / SPC and tracking and tracing, and staff are experienced in the safety issues needed by various industries, including TÜV Functional Safety, VCA, NEN 3140, Basic Offshore Safety and Emergency Response Training. Raster also act as an importer and distributor in Holland for products from suppliers such as eWon, Softing, Prosoft Technology, Zigbee (4-noks) and Korenix.

This acquisition marks a significant step forward in the growth strategy of ICT, expanding the ICT Industrial Automation activities, and making a strong platform for continued partnerships with their existing software vendors such as Schneider Electric, Siemens and Rockwell Automation.

Schlumberger buys Cameron

A Schlumberger announcement at the end of August advised:

Schlumberger and Cameron have jointly announced a definitive merger agreement in which the companies will combine in a stock and cash transaction, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Cameron shareholders will receive 0.716 shares of Schlumberger common stock and a cash payment of $14.44 in exchange for each Cameron share: based on the closing stock prices of both companies on August 25, 2015, the agreement places a value of $66.36 on each Cameron share, representing a 37% premium to Cameron’s 20-day volume weighted average price of $48.45 per share, and a 56.3% premium to Cameron’s most recent closing stock price of $42.47 per share. On closing, Cameron shareholders will own approximately 10% of Schlumberger’s outstanding shares of common stock.

Schlumberger expects to realize pretax synergies of approximately $300m and $600m in the first and second year, respectively. Initially, the synergies are primarily related to reducing operating costs, streamlining supply chains, and improving manufacturing processes, with a growing component of revenue synergies in the second year and beyond. Schlumberger also expects the combination to be accretive to earnings per share by the end of the first year after closing.

The transaction combines two complementary technology portfolios into a “pore-to-pipeline” products and services offering to the global oil and gas industry. On a pro forma basis, the combined company had 2014 revenues of $59Bn.

Paal Kibsgaard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schlumberger remarked, “This agreement with Cameron opens new and broader opportunities for Schlumberger. At our investor conference in June 2014, we highlighted how the E&P industry must transform to deliver increased performance at a time of range-bound commodity prices. With oil prices now at lower levels, oilfield services companies that deliver innovative technology and greater integration while improving efficiency, which our customers increasingly demand, will outperform the market.

“We believe that the next industry technical breakthrough will be achieved through integration of Schlumberger’s reservoir and well technologies with Cameron’s leadership in surface, drilling, processing and flow control technologies. Deep reservoir knowledge further enabled by instrumentation, software and automation, will launch a new era of complete drilling and production system performance.

“In addition, we will achieve significant efficiency gains through lowering operating costs, streamlining supply chains, and improving manufacturing processes while leveraging the Schlumberger transformation platform. We look forward to welcoming the talented employees of Cameron and are pleased that they will be joining the Schlumberger team as our fourth product group.”

Jack Moore, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cameron, added, “This exciting transaction builds on our successful partnership with Schlumberger on OneSubsea and will position Cameron for its next phase of growth. For our shareholders, this combination provides significant value, while also enabling them to own a meaningful share of Schlumberger. Together, we will create a premier oilfield equipment and service company with an integrated and expanded platform to drive accelerated growth.

“By bringing together Cameron and Schlumberger, we will be uniting two great companies with successful track records, performance and value creation.  We look forward to working closely with Schlumberger to achieve a seamless post-closing integration and long term value for all of our stakeholders.”

The transaction is subject to Cameron shareholders’ approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is anticipated that the closing of the transaction will occur in the first quarter of 2016.

Schlumberger, Cameron and OneSubsea, their joint venture company, all attended OE2015 in Aberdeen this week, independently.

Emerson acquires Spectrex

Emerson Process Management has announced the acquisition of Spectrex Inc, a leading US-based manufacturer of flame and open path gas detectors. With this addition, Emerson will have the most comprehensive line of flame, gas and ultrasonic leak detector solutions used for safety monitoring in the industry.

Spectrex will join the Rosemount portfolio of measurement and analytical technologies, joining the capabilities already available with the gas leak detection systems acquired in Groveley Detection (nickdenbow.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/1345/) in June 2013.

For nearly 34 years, Spectrex has been the leader in flame and open path gas detection. It developed the world’s first ultraviolet-infrared (UV/IR) and triple infrared (IR3) flame detectors and was first to introduce xenon flash lamps in open path detector design, increasing detectors’ resilience to atmospheric conditions while reducing power consumption. These innovative advancements in safety monitoring provide a powerful solution for customers in the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical and power industries.

“We are very excited about adding the Spectrex product line to our flame and gas detection portfolio,” said Tom Moser, group vice president of Emerson Process Management’s measurement and analytical technologies. “Emerson is committed to helping our customers protect their employees, facilities, and the environment, and we are now better positioned to serve that need.”

Spectrex and its staff are located in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, with sales and technical support offices in Houston, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.

Editor’s note: I tried to launch the UK sales of the first UV/IR detection system ever developed (so I was told at the time) which was made by Armtec in New Hampshire. That was in about 1983. Maybe Spectrex bought up Armtec? All inputs will be welcomed!