ABB strengthens industrial automation portfolio with B&R purchase

By ECD (Electrical+Comms+Data) Staff
Thursday, 06 April, 2017

ABB has acquired B&R, an independent Austrian company focused on product- and software-based open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation worldwide.

Through the acquisition, ABB aims to expand presence in the industrial automation market and growth opportunities resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, ABB takes a major step in expanding its digital offering by combining its portfolio of digital solutions, ABB Ability, with B&R’s strong application and software platforms, its large installed base, customer access and tailored automation solutions.

B&R, founded in 1979 by Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, is headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria, and employs more than 3000 people, including about 1000 R&D and application engineers. It operates across 70 countries, generating sales of more than $600 million (2015/16) in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market segment.

“This acquisition perfectly delivers on our Next Level strategy. With our unique digital offering and our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices, 70,000 control systems and now more than 3 million automated machines and 27,000 factory installations around the world, we enable our combined global customer base to seize the huge opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

“This combination offers fantastic opportunities for B&R, its customers and employees. We are convinced that ABB offers the best platform for the next chapter of our growth story. ABB’s global presence, digital offering and complementary portfolio will be key for us to further accelerate our pace of innovation and growth,” said Josef Rainer, co-founder of B&R.

“This is a strong signal for our employees as our operations in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global centre for machine and factory automation,” said Erwin Bernecker, co-founder of B&R.

With the acquisition, ABB will expand its industrial automation offering by integrating B&R’s products in PLC, Industrial PCs and servo motion as well as its software and solution suite. ABB will offer its customers a uniquely comprehensive, open-architecture automation portfolio.

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