After a bit of a lull over the past year or so, M&A in the automation and control sectors is heating up again. Out of starting gate, most of the attention seems focused on core industrial sector assets. Just last month, ABB announced its acquisition of Baldor Electric. Most recently, ABB purchased Obvient Strategies, an Atlanta, GA-based provider of software and services for industries and utilities with geographically dispersed assets. Obvient’s business intelligence software collects, analyzes and reports real-time and periodic information to help manage complex operations, reduce operating costs, and improve asset reliability.
ABB’s acquisition of Obvient will add to the company’s energy management software portfolio, which got a big boost in May 2010 when ABB acquired Ventyx (a software provider to global asset-intensive industries). Ventyx is known for its asset management, mobile workforce management, energy trading and risk management, energy operations and energy analytics software.
Late last week came word that GE Intelligent Platforms has completed the acquisition of SmartSignal, an analytics software company based in Lisle, IL. SmartSignal has long been a well-recognized company in the automation and control space for its remote monitoring and diagnostics solutions.
SmartSignal detects and identifies abnormal equipment behavior and provides exception-based notifications of developing problems along with diagnoses and prioritizations. Its solutions are device-agnostic and are found on equipment from GE, Siemens, Rolls Royce, Alstom, Flowserve, Waukesha, Byron Jackson, Cooper-Bessemer and others.
GE purchased SmartSignal in order to expand its Operational Intelligence solution with the addition of SmartSignal’s capabilities. SmartSignal capabilities will be integrated into GE’s Proficy architecture to address asset availability and efficiency issues.