Hitachi To Acquire Robotic Firm JR Automation For $1.4 Bn

Hitachi has said it is planning to acquire JR Automation, an America-based robotics system integrator, that builds production lines and logistics systems using industrial robots, for $1.4 billion or 158.2 billion Yen. With this acquisition Hitachi will enter the robotic SI business in North America, which is a region that is expected to see a high rate of growth.

The purchase will be done from funds managed by Crestview Partners.

“I am extremely pleased that we have reached an agreement on the acquisition of JR Automation. Securing JR Automation?s robotic SI business in North America is an important milestone for us. By providing customers with new value that combines Hitachi’s products, OT, IT, and advanced digital technologies, we will accelerate the global rollout of our Social Innovation Business,” said Masakazu Aoki, executive vice president, Hitachi.

The acquisition of JR Automation will allow Hitachi to acquire additional advanced technologies, know-how, and resources in the robotic SI business that JR Automation has cultivated over many years, in addition to a customer base across a broad range of industries. Meanwhile, JR Automation will use Hitachi?s advanced R&D technology and resources, aiming to add value to its robotic SI business by utilizing data.

In the Industry Sector, one of Hitachi’s prime business segments, the. company said it will continue to accelerate the global rollout of the robotic SI business, together with the acquisition of KEC Corporation, a Japanese robotic system integrator, for which an acquisition contract was completed by Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems in March 2019.

In 2017, Hitachi acquired Sullair, an American manufacturer and seller of air compressors, marking a full-scale entry into the North American industrial product business. With the acquisition of JR Automation, Hitachi will acquire JR Automation?s customer base in the OT domain, along with advanced robotic SI technologies, know-how, and resources. Additionally, the acquisition of JR Automation will allow Hitachi to further expand its Lumada Solution business, globally. Lumada is Hitachi’s advanced digital solutions, services, and technologies business, which helps customers and management turn their workplace data into insights to drive digital innovation.

In recent years, in the manufacturing and logistics fields, there has been a growing demand for automation because of decreased working age populations, intensifying global competition, and further quality improvement requirements to prevent significant product recalls. As a result, the global robot-based automation market continues to expand, with a high average growth rate exceeding 10% per year.

In the Industry Sector, Hitachi will roll out a robotic SI business by leveraging the resources of JR Automation, with its customer base in the U.S. and other regions globally, in addition to HIEC and KEC, with their customer mainly bases in Japan and other parts of Asia. As a result of these initiatives, Hitachi will expand Lumada Solutions globally. Specifically, 4M data from the workplace, obtained by the robotic SI business, will allow for Lumada Solutions to expand across multiple fields, including visualization, manufacturing optimization, logistics, and maintenance. In this way, Hitachi seeks to contribute to improving the value of our customers’ businesses by seamlessly visualizing and analyzing businesses as a whole, from the workplace all the way through to management.

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