Opinion: Partnering and acquisition for greater instrumentation range


How many more pressure sensor designs does the world need? I’ve asked myself this question recently in the context of news coming out from well known control system suppliers that are either partnering with specialized instrumentation vendors or buying them outright. You might think that companies like Rockwell, Honeywell, and Siemens might want to create their own product lines from scratch, but do they really need to? Partnering and acquisition prevents re-inventing the wheel, or in this case, re-inventing the flowmeter.

The latest news of a new partnership is between Honeywell Process Solutions and Krohne for the former to offer the latter’s products under a private label agreement. Honeywell will now offer its VersaFlow line, which will be Krohne magnetic, Coriolis, ultrasonic and vortex flowmeters distributed, supported, and serviced though Honeywell’s existing sales channels. This is a major addition to the HPS field device portfolio, which is becoming more critical as wireless instrumentation competition heats up. Krohne retains all its existing distribution but gains a major new selling arm around the world.

“By combining Krohne’s expertise and Honeywell’s global sales and support network, we’re giving our customers exactly what they want—a single source for Level 1 field devices and system solutions,” says Revathi Advaithi, VP, Honeywell Field Solutions.

For other examples of such partnering, consider that earlier this year Rockwell Automation announced a partnership with Endress+Hauser to provide instrumentation as Rockwell promotes its process industry presence.

On the acquisition front, a prime example is Siemens purchase of Controlotron (among others) to fill in a very specific ultrasonic flowmeter shaped gap in its instrumentation offering. This kind of thing is happening all over the instrumentation industry. There is some hand wringing as users fear the loss of innovation given the conventional wisdom that big companies smother creativity. After all, they think, don’t all new and interesting ideas come from small and more agile companies? While there are examples and anecdotes that can be cited from any direction, there will always be avenues for innovation, and even large companies listen to market pressures. Many large companies strongly encourage significant organic growth, invest many R&D dollars, and offer related internal expertise.

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com , Control Engineering Weekly News

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me