Monday, September 25, 2006

Creating an industrial powerhouse

GE Fanuc (not a name that has high profile in the industry in Europe I would argue) really is trying to create a major global player in industrial automation. It's business is building in the industrial market, up from low end embedded and mechanical applications, and last week it announced plans to acquire Radstone Technology here, a UK-based but US-focussed maker of aerospace and military equipment in a £130m ($250m) deal.
What makes it more interesting is that Radstone has been moving into the industrial space anyway, using its expertise with the high reliability systems.
Today it signed a deal with RST Industrie Automation in Germany to supply hardware that will run the LynuxWorks real time Linux and RST's Gamma COTS (commercial off the shelf) open architecture middleware to develop complete customer solutions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
GE Fanuc last year acquired SBS Technologies, which was another mil/aero equipment maker that was aiming at industrial as well, and it seems the company is significantly building up its capabilties (although the Radstone deal brings more US mil/aero business than industrial). The key was that the management were expanding the industrial side!
If GE fanuc are smart, Radstone will make a strong base of engineering for both mil/aero and industrial in Europe. If not, they will just milk the mil/aero contacts and let it die.

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