Rockwell Automation to Acquire Datasweep, a Leader in Production Management Software
Acquisition Expands FactoryTalk Plant-wide Information Software Offerings
So, Rockwell Automation is buying Datasweep Inc., a privately held MES software company.
ArvinMeritor, Johnson & Johnson, Lucent and Qualcomm are a few of the world-class companies that use Datasweep’s production management software. The Datasweep management team and their employees will join the Rockwell Software organization. Sounds like Kevin Roach is making some progress at his new shop, where he was stymied at GE previously.
In addition, Rockwell Automation will integrate and then rebrand Datasweep Advantage software products into its newly introduced FactoryTalk integrated production management and performance suite.
“This strategic acquisition emphasizes our commitment to deliver a world-class, plant-wide information software suite that drives manufacturing excellence,” said Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president of the company’s Automation Control and Information Group. “Incorporating Datasweep technology with the FactoryTalk production disciplines enables us to help manufacturers convert day-to-day operations data into business knowledge for timely decision-making — and that means lower costs, better quality, higher productivity and improved flexibility.”
“This acquisition is a key milestone in developing the FactoryTalk suite into a multi-industry, multiplant capable enterprise manufacturing software platform,” said Kevin Roach, vice president, Rockwell Software. “Datasweep has a demonstrated track record for helping manufacturers dramatically improve production information tracking, visibility and control across an entire enterprise.”
Vladimir Preysman, founder and CEO, Datasweep, said: “I am very excited about this business combination which will bring to market a broad range of solutions based on our joint vision. The combination of Datasweep enterprise systems with the Rockwell Automation information software and plant-wide solutions will bring unprecedented value and scale to our existing and future customers.”
“The synergies are obvious here, and customers will reap the benefits,” said Greg Gorbach, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “Datasweep’s products strategically extend Rockwell Automation’s current offering, while Datasweep customers will benefit from Rockwell Automation’s market strength.”
“The dust is settling on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) deployments and consolidations, allowing manufacturers to focus on the basics of production. In addition, the impact of broadening regulatory oversight in the United States and abroad is fueling increased spending on manufacturing IT,” said Colin Masson, industry analyst from AMR Research in a June 2005 report. “Large automation vendors that have invested heavily in unifying platforms for their manufacturing software offerings are poised to affect a sea change in this market.”
What all this means is that Roach and Rockwell are putting some horsepower behind the threats he made at ISA last month. Rockwell’s strategy is to drive smaller MES companies like Apriso, Citect (now part of Schneider), Iconics, and others, out of the market.
Can they do it?
Not bloody likely. The reason is that there is no recognizable selling proposition that is easy to bring to management in large companies.
As Andy Woehl, of Clos du Bois winery, remarked to Roach on Tuesday afternoon, there are no metrics because supplying data more effectively isn’t worth anything unless and until the data is used.
Comments? I know my non-belief in MES is heresy, but I’ve been driven to it by a decade of non-results.