Moog acquires Animatics

Moog, a motion-control company, acquired Animatics, advances smart motor capabilities.


Animatics was acquired by Moog Incorporated, a motion-control provider with a market capitalization of over $1.8 billion. "This is a historic and powerful next-step in the evolution of Animatics," said Doug Parentice, president of Animatics.

"There is no denying at this point that the electronics to operate precision servo motors in many, and ultimately most applications belong in the motors themselves and that the Integrated Motor will eventually be the standard form," said Larry Ball, Moog's Components Group president. "We saw the opportunity to make the market leader a part of Moog and took it."This isn't the first interaction between Moog and Animatics. For more than a decade, Moog has supplied the core motor components to Animatics for their most popular SmartMotor product lines. "We had an advantage when it came to understanding the importance of this technology," said Larry Ball. "We could see the success first-hand by the growth of our own sales to Animatics and how they were dramatically outpacing the growth of the industry itself."

Indeed, Animatics did correctly anticipate the direction of the industry when it developed the technology and drafted the patents detailing the inclusion of microprocessors, power supplies and power transistors directly into the motors themselves. "SmartMotors simply make machine-design fun," said inventor and co-founder Robert Bigler. "Machine designers no longer have to waste time and money laying out cabinets full of wires and controls – they can just focus on the fundamental machine elements, sprinkle some SmartMotors throughout, and network them together. An array of SmartMotors make one simple system capable of controlling not just the motion, but the whole machine." Bigler claims that machines developed with SmartMotors are reported to get to market faster, perform more reliably, and are easier to service.

"What makes this deal so exciting," said Bigler, "is that Moog has a history of building up the companies it takes in, adding resources to build long-term shareholder value instead of stripping them down for the short-term appearance of financial gain." In fact, Moog is planning no changes to Animatics except to expand upon its existing technologies, facilities and channels to market. "Animatics is not a company that needs fixing," said Ball. "They also happen to be an outstanding financial performer, turning a profit even during the downturn and expertly financing their outstanding growth with only internally-generated cash. It will be fascinating to see what they will accomplish now, with some real power and additional Moog technology behind them."

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering,

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