Focus on B&R
A transformational acquisition
On July 6, 2017, ABB marked an important milestone in its Next Level strategy when it completed the acquisition of B&R (Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH), the world’s largest independent provider of machine and factory automation solutions.
With this deal, ABB closed a historic gap in its portfolio and strengthened its leadership in industrial automation. The company is now perfectly positioned to seize the emerging opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Founded in 1979, B&R is a true leader in programmable logic controllers (PLCs), industrial PCs, and servo-motion-based machine and factory automation. Its industry-leading products, software and services provide automation solutions and software for machines and discrete manufacturing that are critical for industries like plastics, food & beverage, textiles and packaging, among others.
B&R has an installed base of more than 3 million automated machines in roughly 27,000 plants and a rapidly growing customer base of over 4,000 machine manufacturers in 70 countries. With annual sales of more than $600 million and compound annual revenue growth of 11 percent for the past two decades, B&R is a growth leader that is already contributing to ABB’s own continuing growth.
B&R’s strong corporate culture, broad reach and deep expertise are a perfect fit with ABB, while its groundbreaking open-architecture solutions and software fill a critical gap, providing an ideal complement to ABB’s portfolio of offerings for utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure.
The acquisition places ABB in a class of its own. Today ABB is the only industrial automation provider offering customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification. With B&R, ABB has taken another major step in expanding its ABB Ability™ digital offering with the addition of B&R’s strong application and software platforms, large installed base, customer access and tailored automation solutions.
B&R, including more than 3,000 talented employees, is being integrated into the Industrial Automation division, along with ABB’s PLC and Automation Builder businesses. Together, they form a new global business unit, Machine & Factory Automation, headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria. ABB is committed to investing in the expansion of this unit, particularly in areas of R&D, as it serves as the company’s new global center for machine and factory automation.
This transformational acquisition unlocks significant opportunities in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market, which is growing 4 to 5 percent per year. It represents a quantum leap forward in ABB’s offering, positioning the company as one of the two global leaders in industrial automation, with a uniquely comprehensive automation portfolio for customers globally.