Why are European firms buying up North American Smart Grid companies?

The market for distribution automation and smart grid networking hardware in the Americas is anticipated to grow to nearly $1.7 billion in 2012, with suppliers of both automation equipment and networking infrastructure experiencing sustained growth over 2011.

06/14/2012


IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., reports that the market for distribution automation and smart grid networking hardware in the Americas is anticipated to grow to nearly $1.7 billion in 2012, with suppliers of both automation equipment and networking infrastructure experiencing sustained growth over 2011. Recent acquisitions indicate increased interest from multinational suppliers looking to gain share in North America as well as expand their smart grid portfolios.

Siemens outbid Belden to purchase RuggedCom around the same time of ABB’s purchase of Thomas and Betts. Both of these acquisitions fundamentally change the supplier landscape for important equipment markets serving the smart grid in the Americas. Says senior market analyst Donald Henschel, “RuggedCom and Thomas and Betts both held important market share within their respective sectors. RuggedCom has been the clear market share leader in North American substation networking hardware, with around 40% of the market in revenue terms, while Thomas and Betts is an established name in North America market for medium voltage switching and power quality hardware.”

These acquisitions indicate targeted strategic efforts by established leaders in the utility equipment market in Europe. Differences in the utility grid layout, utility organization structure and the preference for regionally-established brand names has constrained share growth in this market for multinational grid automation suppliers from outside the region. While Siemens and ABB may have the product range to support most utility needs in the North American market, utilities here are smaller and often require slower, more constant piece-by-piece sales and support than the large nationalized utilities found in most of Europe.

Adds Henschel, “ABB and Siemens have demonstrated their focus on the North American market with these purchases, and it will be interesting to see how they make use of the foothold provided by these established North American names. Utilities in North America are used to personal service even on small business, and recognize certain brands as having long track records for such service.”

Further analysis of these issues is included in two current studies from IMS Research. The $700 million smart grid networking equipment market is covered in Smart Grid Networking – Americas – 2012, to be published in July, while switching, power quality, and other smart grid automation equipment are reviewed in the recently published Distribution Automation Equipment – World – 2012.



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.
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.

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

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me