GE Fanuc Buys Rest of AFE Holdings, Forms Integration Team
More than year after buying 70% of AFE Holdings in late 1996, GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. recently bought the remaining 30% of AFE.A manufacturer of operator interface (OI) and software products with subsidiaries in the U.K., U.S., and Canada, AFE's products are now sold under GE Fanuc's family of Cimplicity OI products.
More than year after buying 70% of AFE Holdings in late 1996, GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. recently bought the remaining 30% of AFE.
A manufacturer of operator interface (OI) and software products with subsidiaries in the U.K., U.S., and Canada, AFE's products are now sold under GE Fanuc's family of Cimplicity OI products. These include flat-panel displays, touchscreen products, industrial PC-compatible computers, and pushbutton replacement products, which complement GE Industrial Control Systems products including drives, CNC, PLC, and motion control hardware lines. Steve Leonard was recently named Cimplicity OI's worldwide business manager. Mr. Leonard was formerly the Six Sigma quality leader for GE Fanuc.
In addition, to give process customers solutions as well as products, GE Fanuc recently formed its Product Integration Team. Based in Charlottesville, the team is technically integrating GE Fanuc's broad range of industrial products to address individual vertical market needs. A product integration technical center will be established there to develop and validate various vertical market solutions and gather customer feedback for further enhancements. Bob Rucinski is the manager of the Product Integration Team. Mr. Rucinski was formerly responsible for leading GE's Automotive Vertical Market Team.
The team will begin by tightly coupling GE and GE Fanuc products to improve interoperability. They will coordinate with all GE product marketing and engineering groups to develop advanced control solutions for targeted vertical markets. These solutions will include custom screens, features, and functions designed for particular application needs. GE will continue to focus on fast growing markets such as automotive, semiconductor, metals, water/waste water, oil and gas, and others. The team will also work with the GE vertical market sales team and system integrators to develop sales plans, technology requirements, and strategies for these markets.
In addition, by the end of April, GE plans to have an advanced technical center for integration services in place at GE Fanuc. This integration lab will combine GE industrial hardware and software products and serve as a staging ground for customer interaction and feedback through demonstrations. Products in the lab will include: Series 16 CNCs, Series 90 PLCs, Genius intelligent I/O devices, Field Control I/O, and Cimplicity human-machine interface, PC control software, and DataPanel operator interfaces.
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