Continuing its drive to boost its presence in the process automation space, Rockwell Automation Inc. announced on Oct. 25 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Pavilion Technologies Inc., a privately held supplier of advanced process control, production optimization and environmental compliance solutions for process and hybrid industries. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, Pavilion Technologies serves major customers in consumer products, oil and gas, chemicals and other process industries. The Pavilion Technologies management team and employees will become part of Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation’s Architecture & Software segment. Pavilion Technologies software products will be integrated into the Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk integrated production and performance suite, as well as the Logix Control Platform.
“This acquisition continues our investment in the process automation business and expands our capabilities to serve this major global market more completely,” said Steven Eisenbrown, Rockwell Automation senior vice president, Architecture & Software segment. “Combining Pavilion Technologies’ predictive modeling capabilities with the already-robust ability of our Integrated Architecture to control process applications will help our customers create a more agile, efficient and consistent production environment. That translates into faster response to market demands at lower cost with better quality.”
Kevin Roach, vice president, software, at Rockwell Automation told Automation World Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell in an exclusive interview that there are three important areas to consider with the company’s acquisition of Pavilion Technologies.
First is the obvious one that is directly related to Pavilion’s current customer and product strengths. Roach said, “This acquisition will enhance our process capabilities portfolio and broaden the industry areas that we can penetrate—especially ethanol plants.” The second area is perhaps not so obvious, but Roach said that the Pavilion technologies, especially those around process optimization, will make a great fit within Rockwell’s FactoryTalk software platform, enhancing the solutions the company can offer in many different industries. Finally, Rockwell’s financial strength will be used to speed up the plans Pavilion already had in place to expand.
Roach said that the integration plan is to begin with business as normal, then begin to integrate the products with existing Rockwell products, much as the company has done with its partnership with OSIsoft Inc., a San Leandro, Calif.-based supplier of enterprise historian and related software.
The integration will start with “the excellent predictive model that Pavilion has that can look at complex data sets and figure out constraints,” Roach said. While this capability is currently targeted at cement and ethanol plants, “we plan to broaden the approach to all industries—targeting initially food and beverage, pharma and especially for use with Process Analytic Technology applications,” Roach noted. “This acquisition shows we are delivering on our strategy of developing the process and integrated information solutions.”
Ralph Carter, chief executive officer, Pavilion Technologies, said “We are delighted to combine our companies at a time when manufacturers are making unprecedented investments in improving their production operations. Pavilion Technologies’ leadership in model-based advanced process control software along with Rockwell Automation’s global resources and financial strength will accelerate our innovation efforts and help us solidify our market leadership position.”
“In terms of technology, no one comes close to Pavilion Technologies,” said Colin Masson, a research director at AMR Research Inc., in Boston. “They’ve got a stellar list of customers and they have succeeded where many others have struggled in building a partnership with SAP (the Waldorf, Germany-based enterprise software provider).”
“This acquisition represents another key milestone in the expansion of our FactoryTalk integrated production and performance software suite,” added Rockwell’s Roach. “Their commitment to delivering the highest ROI (return on investment) in the industry has helped Pavilion Technologies pioneer a customer engagement methodology built on providing predictable results.”