Turck Inc., a Minneapolis supplier of sensor and connectivity products, says it has acquired 100 percent of the shares of InterlinkBT, a six-year-old joint venture between Turck and Banner Engineering Corp., also of Minneapolis. InterlinkBT’s line of industrial networking products will be sold in North America under the Turck name, once the transition is complete, says Bill Schneider, Turck president and chief executive officer.
“We believe that networks are a really important part of the future in factory automation, and are very synergistic with our sensor and connectivity businesses,” notes Schneider, in explaining the move. “In other parts of the world, we’ve been marketing networks under the Turck name, but in North America, we had this joint venture, so from a global positioning point of view, it was a little awkward.” Turck Inc. is the U.S. member of The Turck Group, which has headquarters in Germany.
Schneider declines to reveal the percentage of InterlinkBT ownership held previously by Turck and by Banner, a supplier of sensor and machine safety products. But while Turck has acquired Banner’s shares in the InterlinkBT venture—which drew the BT in its name from the two owners—Banner and Turck will continue to maintain a relationship, Schneider says. “Banner is an investor in Turck America,” he notes, while Turck markets Banner products in other parts of the world.
In the U.S., Turck and Banner products are sold largely through common sales and distribution channels. While Banner’s product line features photoelectric sensors, they generally don’t compete directly with Turck’s sensor line, which focuses on inductive and capacitive technology, Schneider observes.