GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a Charlottesville, Va.-based unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, and MTL Instruments Group plc, announced on March 31 that the two companies have signed an agreement for GE Fanuc to acquire the assets of the MTL Open Systems Technology (MOST) product lines, including the MTL8000 general purpose input/output (I/O), intrinsically safe I/O, SafetyNet system and process control technologies.
MTL is headquartered in Luton, Bedfordshire, U.K. The joint announcement by GE Fanuc and MTL follows the Feb. 11 announcement that Cooper Controls (U.K.) Limited, a subsidiary of Houston-based Cooper Industries Ltd., had acquired 98 percent of the outstanding shares of the MTL Instruments Group.
The GE Fanuc acquisition “illustrates GE Fanuc’s commitment to the process market segments and will further enhance our offerings by providing customers with a superior line of SIL2 controls, intrinsically safe rated I/O modules and process control technologies,” said Bill Estep, vice president of GE Fanuc’s Control Systems Business.
“Customers with the need for Intrinsically Safe Field Mounted I/O will benefit from this new offering.”
Ready for safety
With the addition of a line of redundant capable SIL2 Certified controllers and intrinsically safe I/O to its Process Solutions, GE Fanuc is now able to fully address the safety system needs of key process industries including Oil & Gas, Chemical & Petrochemical, Water/Wastewater, Natural Gas, and Pulp & Paper, the company said. Allowing the I/O to be mounted directly in Division 2/Zone 2 or Division 2/Zone 1 hazardous areas provides a cost-effective intrinsic safety solution.
The MTL8000 I/O are deployed by process system original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators, and end-users to solve demanding process control applications. It is built to withstand the extremes of temperature and vibration as well as the hazardous and corrosive gases that rule out the use of conventional I/O in unfriendly environments.
Included in this product line is a comprehensive solution for safety-related applications, including: process shut down (PSD), emergency shut down (ESD) systems and burner management systems. It is a SIL2 safety system in compliance with International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC 61508 standard, and is built on the same platform that is already widely used in process control applications.
“When GE Fanuc launched its Proficy Process Systems last year, we took an open approach toward supporting fieldbus technology and I/O,” said Steve Ryan, Director of Process Solutions for GE Fanuc. “The addition of the MTL8000 line of I/O re-emphasizes our commitment to providing our customers with the freedom to choose the I/O, Safety and process control strategy that best meets their needs.”
“GE Fanuc is serious about process as shown by this acquisition along with organic developments and our other technology partnerships,” continued Estep. “Like MTL, a key part of our strategy for process solutions is based on working closely with system integrators to provide value-added domain expertise and flexibility for a wide array of customer solutions. GE Fanuc looks forward to working with the many integrators who have worked with the MTL products in the past to provide superior process solutions to our extended, customer base.”
“MTL Open Systems Technology solutions have been proving themselves around the globe and across many industries for the past 10 years,” said Graeme Philp, chief executive officer for MTL. “Combining them with the global reach of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms and their new GE Fanuc Process Solutions will provide OEMs and end-users with highly competitive choices at a great value. MTL will continue to invest in key process related infrastructure such as wireless, fieldbus communications and intrinsic safety.”
The transaction is expected to close in the near future, subject to customary closing conditions.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
MTL Instruments Group plc