Growth: Expansions, acquisitions in U.S., abroad

Overseas and in North America companies are expanding. In China Opto 22 has a new office, and Danfoss is doubling its space in Illinois (see photo). The Swatch Group and Smartrac N.V. agreed on a deal with Sokymat Automotive GmbH. Also, Ametek, Hima, and Lantronix are...

By Control Engineering Staff October 6, 2008

Overseas and in North America companies are expanding. In China Opto 22 has a new office, and Danfoss is doubling its space in Illinois (see photo). Others are rearranging themselves: The Swatch Group and Smartrac N.V. have agreed on the sale and purchase of Sokymat Automotive GmbH.
Ametek Inc. completed a previously announced acquisition of the programmable power business of Xantrex Technology Inc. for $120 million in cash . Based in San Diego, CA, Xantrex’s Programmable Power Division is offers in alternating current (ac) and direct current (dc) programmable power supplies used to test electrical and electronic products. It has annual sales of approximately $80 million. In June, Ametek acquired Vision Research Inc., maker of high-speed digital imaging systems.

Danfoss is doubling its Loves Park, IL, facility, adding both production and office space.

Danfoss is doubling its Loves Park, IL, facility, adding both production and office space. Continued domestic and global growth necessitates the expansion to accommodate additional equipment and personnel. After expansion, the entire facility will be LEED-certified and registered with the US Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) green building rating system promotes sustainability in design and construction practices to increase operating efficiencies. LEED-certified buildings lower operating costs, increase asset value, reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Danfoss Drives, Loves Park, designs and manufactures variable frequency drives (VFDs) for control of ac motors used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water and wastewater, food and beverage, material handling, petrochemical, and many industrial applications.
“The expansion will allow Danfoss to accommodate the 250 additional employees we have identified will be required to support our growth while maintaining the level of service our customers have come to expect from us,” said David Holmgren, purchasing manager.
Danfoss moved into its current 18-acre facility in 2001. The building expansion will use the remainder of the 18 acres, and the purchase of an adjacent 17 acres to ensure the possibility of contiguous expansion beyond 2011. A groundbreaking was held last month, with the expectation of having facilities operational by third quarter 2009.
“In addition to a significant expansion, 2008 also marks the 40 year anniversary of the first mass-produced and commercially available variable frequency drive, the VLT 5, pioneered by Danfoss Drives. Some of those first drives are still controlling motor speed in their applications today,” said Arnaldo Ricca, president North America Danfoss Drives. 2008 also marks the 75-year anniversary of the company, Danfoss expanded its North American business in the past three years with acquisitions, involving facilities in 10 states, Canada, and Mexico. Also read:

Soft starter designs, functions

Hima opened a seconds regional headquarters in Houston. 
Lantronix announced plans for continued global expansion . The past fiscal year, ending June 30, 2008, the company reported 19% growth in the EMEA region and 22% in the Asia Pacific. Lantronix ManageLinx, said to

Opto 22, along with expansion in Asia, continues online expansion with

Opto 22 has opened a representative office in China as company expansion in Asia continues, with a chief representative in Shanghai, newly hired Surge Yu. The office will identify new business opportunities and increase sales through mainland China, working with Opto 22’s Chinese distributor APT, and servicing and supporting existing customers.
Surge Yu, formerly technical marketing engineer for National Instruments, China, holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering and M.E. in Electronics Science from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He has automation expertise in several industries, including water, power, semiconductor, and machine building, and extensive experience with programmable automation controllers (PACs) that will prove valuable as he works with Opto 22’s flagship Snap PAC System family of controllers, I/O processors, I/O modules, and accessories. The move is expected to help Opto 22 expand in the fast-growing Chinese market.
The Swatch Group Ltd. and Smartrac N.V. agreed on the sale and purchase of Sokymat Automotive GmbH . Swatch Group Ltd., in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, and Smartrac N.V., Amsterdam, have signed a contract for the acquisition by Smartrac of 75% of Sokymat Automotive GmbH, a company of The Swatch Group Ltd. Manfred Rietzler, chief technical officer of Smartrac, has purchased the remaining shares from Swatch Group for the same terms and conditions as Smartrac on a pro rata basis. The deal is subject to standard closing conditions.
Sokymat Automotive GmbH and approximately 75 employees will continueautomotive domain remaining intact, Swatch has agreed to the sale to Smartrac, a supplier of RFID components.
For Smartrac, the acquisition will open growth opportunities in RFID components for the automotive industry where Sokymat holds a strong position, producing RFID inlays and discs applied in manufacturing and other applications, the companies say. A new platform will be created to accelerate the existing industrial and logistics business of Smartrac by combining it with Sokymat lines. Because the two companies maintain similar positions in the global RFID value chain, the acquisition will not create channel conflicts. Synergies are expected to come from joint research and development activities. Swatch will, through its EM Microelectronic-Marin SA, a maker of ultra low-power integrated circuits, remain connected with Sokymat.
Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, and Control Engineering News Desk
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free.