The Internet of Things (IoT) may still be a conceptual goal for many industrial companies, but its impact is already measurable across the automation industry. From GE’s recent corporate realignments and focus on enabling remote maintenance as a business model change for OEMs to the ever-increasing interoperability partnerships impacting everything from industrial Ethernet protocols to automation system software, the automation industry has been visibly transformed by the Internet of Things in a very short amount of time. And the transformation is far from over.
The most recent step in this transformation took place via the acquisition of B+B SmartWorx by Advantech. The $99.85 million acquisition has led to the creation of a $1.3 billion company with approximately 7,600 employees worldwide.
According to the announcement released by Advantech: “With B+B SmartWorx now a part of its portfolio, Advantech aims to accelerate its growth in industrial network connectivity-related products.The company will leverage B+B’s established branding, product lines, engineering teams and sales channels in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, and it will also begin selling B+B’s device connectivity products, cellular routers, gateways and the Wzzard wireless sensing platform into Asia. Products will retain B+B branding, bolstered by Advantech’s name recognition, and will be sold as ‘B+B SmartWorx powered by Advantech.’”
Clarifying the role IoT played in this acquisition, KC Liu, chairman of Advantech, said “Industrial connectivity is key to the development of industrial IoT. With the acquisition of B+B SmartWorx, Advantech expects to develop its Industrial Wired Networking & Fiber Infrastructure and Industrial Wireless Connectivity Solutions product divisions to accelerate the expansion of its industrial IoT channel business.”
Jerry O’Gorman, CEO of B+B SmartWorx, added, “We (B+B SmartWorx and Advantech) share a common strategic view on the future of the industrial IoT market. Our focus on ‘edge intelligence’ with our new routers and gateways, together with our Wzzard wireless sensing systems, complement Advantech’s WISE wireless sensing platform.