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Last updateSun, 16 Apr 2017 11am

Yokogawa acquires SVM and Integration of SVM - Industrial Knowledge into KBC

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has completed the acquisition of Soteica Visual Mesa (SVM), a leading energy management technology provider, further delivering on a number of key objectives of Yokogawa's Transformation 2017 mid-term business plan, namely, expansion of Yokogawa's advanced solution business, focusing on customers and creating new value.

This announcement marks completion of the SVM acquisition as a wholly-owned subsidiary and initiation of the integration of SVM and the cloud-based Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) provider Industrial Knowledge (IK) into KBC Advanced Technologies (KBC), which was acquired by Yokogawa in April 2016. The IK business unit was established to enhance the cloud-based advanced solution business based on the technology of Industrial Evolution (IE), which was acquired by Yokogawa in December 2015. A pioneer in the use of cloud-based solutions in the process industries, IE developed a market-leading real-time DaaS solution that is deployed at many of the world's major energy and chemical companies.

Yokogawa's acquisition of SVM follows an earlier minority equity investment in SVM made in December 2012. SVM has a solid track record in the energy management solutions (EMS) field, and provides production accounting and scheduling solutions to the refining industry.

After acquiring KBC, Yokogawa formed a post-merger integration team that has been charged with the task of identifying various measures and setups that will create synergy and derive maximum benefit from the integration of the companies' operations, and thereby enhance our ability to offer new value to our customers. As a result of their deliberations, Yokogawa has decided to integrate the operations of Soteica, a leading company in the EMS field, and Industrial Knowledge, a business unit with expertise in advanced cloud solutions, with those of KBC.

By leveraging KBC's premier energy consulting and Visual Mesa, SVM's best-in-class real-time energy optimization technology, it is anticipated that the combined entity will be able to expand its position in the rapidly growing EMS market in the process industries.

In the immediate term, SVM's advanced Visual Mesa utility optimization software combined with KBC's premium energy consultancy will provide comprehensive and best-in-class energy management solutions, underpinned by leading technologies and human performance improvement. Over the longer term, this acquisition supports KBC's vision of seamlessly integrating utility system and supply chain optimization into KBC's industry-leading process simulation platform for hydrocarbon processing facilities, Petro-SIM™.

KBC, SVM, and IK will be led by KBC Chief Executive Officer, Andy Howell, and will be integrated under the KBC brand. This will significantly enhance KBC's solutions portfolio and the energy management solutions business, enhance KBC's ability to develop new cloud-based services, and accelerate KBC's efforts to create and sustain new value for customers.


Yokogawa establish Architecture Development Division California

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has established the Architecture Development Division California, an organization that is dedicated to the development of architecture for the industrial IoT (IIoT). This division commenced operations on November 1.

To improve operational efficiency and productivity by using the IIoT, a robust and flexible architecture is required. For this purpose, Yokogawa has set up the Architecture Development Division California to pursue the development of core technologies, and it will function as a unit of the Marketing Headquarters' Business Development Center. To keep up with new technologies developed every day in the field of the IIoT and to facilitate close coordination with partner companies, the new division is based on the West Coast of the United States, which is a center of research and development activity by numerous technology firms. The new division is staffed by engineers from Yokogawa who have an extensive knowledge of Yokogawa systems and services, and locally recruited engineers who are conversant in a range of IT fields. To start, the division is located at the engineering office of a partner company, and it is scheduled to open its own office in April 2017.

The division will later add functions for planning services that use the IIoT and cloud computing, and it is expected that the number of staff will be increased to around 50 over the next five years. With this new division, Yokogawa will accelerate its development of cutting-edge IIoT architecture with the aim of offering its customers safer and more user-friendly solutions.

Rockwell acquires Automation Control Products to Deliver Centralized Visualization Solutions

Rockwell Automation has acquired Automation Control Products (ACP), a leading provider in centralized thin client, remote desktop and server management software. ACP’s two core products, ThinManager® and Relevance®, provide manufacturing and industrial leaders with visual display and software solutions to manage information and streamline workflows for a more connected manufacturing environment.

This acquisition supports the Rockwell Automation growth strategy to help customers increase global competitiveness through The Connected Enterprise – a vision that connects information across the plant floor to the rest of the enterprise. It is accelerated by the Industrial Internet of Things and advances in technologies, such as data analytics, remote monitoring, and mobility.

“Today’s plant engineers turn to our technology innovation and domain expertise to help improve their manufacturing quality and reliability while increasing productivity,” said Frank Kulaszewicz, senior vice president of Architecture and Software, Rockwell Automation. “With ACP’s industry-leading products now in our portfolio, we can provide new capabilities for workers as the manufacturing environment becomes more digital and connected.”

ThinManager centralizes the management and visualization of content to every facet of a modern manufacturing operation, from the control room to the end user. It streamlines workflows and allows users to reduce hardware operation and maintenance costs. Relevance extends the ThinManager functionality through proprietary location-based technology, enabling users’ secure mobile access to content and applications from anywhere.

“We are a perfect addition to Rockwell Automation’s industrial automation offerings that aim to increase reliability, productivity and security as well as lower energy and maintenance costs while implementing sustainable technology for leading global manufacturers,” said Matt Crandell, CEO of ACP. “We are confident that our customers will quickly see the value from our two organizations working to address their needs together.”

Rockwell Automation acquires MAVERICK Technologies

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) has acquired leading systems integrator MAVERICK Technologies to expand domain knowledge and help deliver innovative control and information solutions to customers in industries such as chemical, food and beverage, and oil and gas. The acquisition significantly strengthens Rockwell Automation’s expertise in key process and batch applications to help its customers realize greater productivity and improved global competitiveness through process control and information management solutions.

“Industrial control and information solutions are most effective when they result from close collaboration between a knowledgeable supplier and the user,” said Ken Champa, Rockwell Automation senior vice president of Control Products and Solutions. “The combination of our global industrial automation leadership with MAVERICK’s platform-independent domain expertise will help our customers reduce complexity and realize unprecedented productivity.”

The acquisition supports the Rockwell Automation growth strategy to help customers increase global competitiveness by adopting The Connected Enterprise – a vision that connects information across the plant floor with the entire enterprise to drive new business value. This is particularly important to process customers whose uptime and continuous performance are critical.

“We will continue to deliver our domain expertise, now with the power of a Fortune 500 industrial automation leader at our side,” said Paul Galeski, MAVERICK founder and CEO. “This creates the best combination available to help uncover the benefits of information that drives performance in process industries.”

MAVERICK is located in Columbia, IL with 21 locations in the U.S. and over 300 engineers and technical salespeople. In July 2016, it was recognized by The Silicon Review magazine as one of the “2016 50 Best Companies to Watch.”

Yokogawa Invests in Silicon Valley-based Fog Computing Startup - Strengthening use of IIoT

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has invested in FogHorn Systems, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup that is a leading developer of fog computing technology. Through its investment in this company, Yokogawa aims to foster their development of fog computing technology. In so doing, Yokogawa hopes to expand the range of solutions that it provides.

Due to the widening use of cloud computing services and the huge number of devices that have access to cloud resources, there is a growing concern over issues such as network congestion and data processing delays. Fog computing* is gaining traction as a technology solution to this problem.

FogHorn Systems, a pioneer in the development of software for fog computing applications with outstanding expertise in this field, has attracted the interest of various companies that are promoting IoT. Led by March Capital and GE Ventures, the company has succeeded in raising $12 million in funding from multiple investors, including Yokogawa, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, and Darling Ventures. There is also a group of investors who invested in the company prior to this round of fundraising. Yokogawa's stake in the company is worth $900,000.

Yokogawa offers a wide range of control solutions that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their operations and make the most effective use of their assets. These solutions include field instruments, control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and management information systems. Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology is making rapid inroads in the control field, and it is expected that fog computing's enabling of real-time and distributed processing in edge computing applications will significantly accelerate its adoption.

Through this investment in FogHorn Systems, Yokogawa will gain access to the latest fog computing technologies and will also make available its knowledge and expertise in process control and plant operations that will help this company further refine its fog computing technology. Yokogawa aims to make use of fog computing to strengthen the solutions that it provides.

Yokogawa has drawn up a long-term business framework and formulated a vision statement that reads, Through "Process Co-Innovation," Yokogawa creates new value with our clients for a brighter future. "Process Co-Innovation" is a concept for an automation business that will utilize all of Yokogawa's measurement, control and information technologies. According to this statement, Yokogawa will seek not only to optimize production processes but also the flow of material and information within and between companies, including their value and supply chains. This concept covers all solutions of Yokogawa, which is committed to working with customers to create value. The effective use of IIoT is key to "Process Co-Innovation."

Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa vice president and head of the company's Marketing Headquarters, had the following to say about this investment: "Highly reliable and stable communications are an essential requirement in manufacturing and many other fields. Fog computing is a breakthrough that helps to enhance the use of cloud resources. It is also expected to provide Yokogawa many more opportunities to utilize IIoT in its control business. Based on its corporate brand slogan of 'Co-innovating tomorrow,' Yokogawa will utilize FogHorn's technology to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with its customers and partners.