In Business – 1999-04-01 – 1999-04-01

Recent major mergers, acquisitions, agreements, contracts, and other events in the control and automation fields include the following:

By Staff April 1, 1999

Recent major mergers, acquisitions, agreements, contracts, and other events in the control and automation fields include the following:

  • Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, Calif.) announced plans March 2 to split into distinct measurement and computer companies, which are expected to be more competitive and able to act more quickly. While the computer firm will keep the Hewlett-Packard name, a new name for the measurement company hasn’t been picked yet.

  • To provide enhanced enterprise-wide communications from the plant floor, EDS (Troy, Mich.) and Steeplechase Software Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.) plan to jointly develop and promote new automation infrastructure based on both companies’ best practices and Steeplechase’s products. Using EDS’ global delivery capabilities and Steeplechase’s PC-based control platform, the collaboration will produce offerings that increase clients’ productivity.

  • Wonderware Corp. (Irvine, Calif.) and Canary Labs (Martinsburg, Pa.) announced jointly March 10 that Canary’s Trend Link 4.0 software will be marketed by Wonderware as part of its FactorySuite Partners Program.

  • In the wake of last year’s merger, Xycom Inc. and ASAP (Automation Systems and Products) announced a new name: Xycom Automation Inc. (Northampton, U.K.). The new firm has been assembling bundled solutions joining ASAP’s PC-based control software with Xycom’s optimized hardware configurations.

  • Endress+Hauser (Reinach, Switzerland) announced March 10 that it bought Innovative Sensors Inc. (ISI, Anaheim, Calif.) ISI and Endress+Hauser Conducta have worked together for 19 years. This acquisition is expected to strengthen Conducta’s position in water analysis and analytical sensors. ISI will continue to operate independently, though the two have formed a joint R&D team to explore and quantify new sensor technologies.

  • ObjectAutomation Inc. (OA, Santa Ana, Calif.) announced a system integration relationship March 11 with Kenonic Controls (Calgary, Alberta) to bring automation solutions to the energy, oil and gas, pipeline, and utility industries worldwide using OA’s OAenterprise 99 software platform.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) March 1 launched the Real-Time Expert Group, a new technology development group formed under Sun’s Java Community Process for developing extension APIs. The group consists of a core team from Aonix, Cyberonix, Microware, Nortel Networks, QNX, Rockwell Collins, and Sun, as well as an extended team including representatives from Apogee, Carnegie Mellon University, Lockheed Martin, Lucent, MITRE, Mitsubishi, Motorola, NSICom, NIST, Schneider Automation, Thomson-CSF, and Wind River Systems. Its mission is to develop the real-time specification for extending the Java platform to give developers the technology to write real-time applications in the Java programming language.

  • Honeywell Industrial Automation and Control (IAC, Phoenix, Ariz.) opened its $10 million Solution Support Center on Feb. 19. Located in Phoenix and Ft. Washington, Pa., the center’s customer-care specialists answer more than 80% of all calls within 30 sec and resolve most issues with no callback required.

  • Foxboro Co. (Foxboro, Mass.) recently introduced its Model PC20 Configurator, a Microsoft Windows 95/NT-based software package that provides remote, bi-directional communications for Foxboro’s HART and FoxCom protocol intelligent field devices. The software supports generic HART commands; can run on PCs and Foxboro’s I/A Series automation systems; and can serve as a universal configuration toolkit.

  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC, Geneva, Switzerland) opened its new web-based store in February 1999. Located at , the store offers IEC’s entire library of 4,500 international standards, including 1,000 Portable Document Format (PDF) publications, such as IEC standards issued since September 1996.

  • Pavilion Technologies Inc. (Austin, Tex.) recently allied with Sterling Pulp Chemicals Ltd. , which supplies chlorine dioxide generators and produces sodium chlorate. The alliance will give customers of Sterling’s ERCO R8 and R10 chlorine dioxide process technology access to Pavilion’s control software application for generator control and optimization.

  • Variable Electronic Components Institute (Vista, Calif.) recently formed a new division, Encoder Industry Group (EIG). EIG’s initial membership includes 14 U.S. encoder manufacturers.