Schneider Electric poised to "change the industrial landscape" after Invensys acquisition

Now that the Invensys acquisition deal is complete, Schneider Electric will combine the two firms’ unique discrete and process industrial portfolios, positioning it as a global market leader.

01/29/2014


Wonderware InTouch Access Anywhere from Invensys enables users to access plant-floor data at anytime, using any mobile device, including Microsoft Surface tablets, iPads, iPhones, Androids and others. Courtesy: InvensysAfter finalizing the Invensys acquisition deal last week, Schneider Electric is now beginning to move the business plan from the board room to the marketplace. Clemens Blum, executive vice president of industry business, sees the transition as transformative. “This deal is really unique when you look at the history of the automation market,” he said in an interview. “Our combined capabilities really have the chance to change the industrial landscape.”

Even before the deal was finalized, the two companies worked together to ensure a smooth transition, said Michael Caliel, president of Invensys, in an interview. “We’ve been working collaboratively to ensure that everything we do is transparent going forward,” he said. “Our focus has been creating the value that exists in these two companies and realizing that value as quickly as possible.”

Already a discrete-manufacturing leader, Schneider’s acquisition of Invensys allows the company to bring a process-heavy portfolio into its fold. Schneider Electric can now offer products across the entire manufacturing spectrum.

Entering the process industry is not the challenge, Blum said. When businesses enter a new marketplace, they must find their footing – build a foundation. “With Invensys, we can leapfrog that,” he said. “We get a significantly strong organization with strong execution capabilities all over the world.” The acquisition also allows Schneider to enter the emerging oil and gas markets in North America.

Both Caliel and Blum view the two companies as complementary, they said. “This deal is extremely complementary with very little overlap,” Blum said. “When you look at the combined portfolio of both companies, from the automation layer to the control layer, with the low-voltage and medium-voltage offerings, very few suppliers will be able to provide this breadth and width of offerings.”

While Schneider Electric does not plan to employ the Invensys brand name, it will preserve its product line nomenclature, such as Wonderware, Triconix, and Foxboro. “We acquired really strong brands, and we understand pretty well the value behind those brands,” Blum said.

But what’s the real challenge then? Instead of product lines, the onus is on transition and its management. It’s “how we put in place an architectural platform that allows that integration to take place so that it allows people to explore the large amount of data in a secure, reliable manner,” Caliel said. “It’s allowing people to have the insight to act with broader objectives in mind.”

But the two don’t view this as insurmountable, they said. The company cultures, like their product portfolios, are complementary. “We wanted to understand what the cultures were, what the cultural differences could be,” Blum said. But analysts told the firms that they had never seen a better corporate culture match after a round of testing.

And the most telling part is employee feedback, Blum said. “The employees are extremely excited about the potential that this offers.”

Click here to read our first day coverage of the official acquisition announcement.

- Jordan M. Schultz and Bob Vavra, content managers, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, and Plant Engineering jschultz(at)cfemedia.com and bvavra(at)cfemedia.com.



Anonymous , 02/06/14 10:12 AM:

Changing the horribly expensive licensing for Wonderware would be a good thing to change.

I never thought I'd say that an Allen-Bradley / Rockwell Automation product was less expensive than something, but I'm much rather use Factory Talk View Studio instead of dealing with the restrictive licensing of the Wonderware products....
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.