GE Fanuc buys VMIC to aid convergence of PLCs, embedded open platforms

GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. agreed July 5 to acquire VMIC (Huntsville, Ala.). Pending regulatory approval, VMIC is expected to become a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Fanuc by September 2001. The two companies have worked closely for years via joint development agreements and private branding arrangements.

By Gary Mintchell August 1, 2001

GE Fanuc Automation North America Inc. agreed July 5 to acquire VMIC (Huntsville, Ala.). Pending regulatory approval, VMIC is expected to become a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Fanuc by September 2001. The two companies have worked closely for years via joint development agreements and private branding arrangements.

VMIC manufactures embedded single-board computers, communications and data acquisition and control products for open-architecture buses used in industrial automation, fiber channel storage area networks (SAN), defense, medical, and test and measurement segments.

“We’re very excited about the growth opportunities this deal offers. With VMIC’s world-class technology and complementary presence in new segments, we believe we can provide superior solutions to global customers,” says Lorrie Norrington, GE Fanuc’s president and ceo. “Clearly, we’re delighted to have VMIC as part of the GE family.”

Carroll Williams, VMIC’s president, ceo and chairman, adds, “By joining with a world leader in automation technology, VMIC will increase its presence and gain access to GE Fanuc’s and GE’s full range of global services and products. This will allow us to continue our strong growth in our core segments while expanding into new areas.”

In a recent interview with Control Engineering , Ms. Norrington added, “We’ve worked with VMIC for years. We have similar cultures and the same values. This acquisition will accelerate how we go forward. PLCs are starting to converge with embedded open platforms, which is one of VMIC’s strengths. In addition to that ability, we also pick up market opportunity because of its market segments. GE Cisco will have the opportunity of bringing VMIC communications products to market. The key strengths of this agreement are the opportunity to bring technologies into GE Fanuc, repositioning us for the next wave of industrial automation growth, plus giving VMIC access to resources they need to continue to grow.”

For more information, Circle 346 or visit www.gefanuc.com , Circle 347 or visit www.vmic.com , www.controleng.com/freeinfo .

Author Information

Gary Mintchell, senior editor gmintchell@cahners.com