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Moog buys integrated motor pioneer Animatics for $25m

25 May, 2011

The controls giant Moog has acquired Animatics, the Californian specialist in integrated servomotors and linear actuators, for about $25m, including $5m in cash. The acquisitiion follows a relationship lasting more than a decade, during which Moog has supplied the core motor components for Animatics’ SmartMotor integrated servo products.

“The acquisition of Animatics brings several very strong products to our motion technology portfolio, as well as a sophisticated distribution network that reaches hundreds of customers worldwide,” says Larry Ball, president of Moog Components Group.

“There is no denying at this point that the electronics to operate precision servomotors in many – and, ultimately, most – applications belong in the motors themselves and that the integrated motor will eventually be the standard form,” Ball adds. “We saw the opportunity to make the market-leader a part of Moog and took it.

“We had an advantage when it came to understanding the importance of this technology,” Ball points out. “We could see the success first-hand by the growth of our own sales to Animatics and how they were dramatically outpacing the growth of the industry itself.”

Moog says it has no plans to changes Animatics, except to expand on its existing technologies, facilities and channels to market. “Animatics is not a company that needs fixing,” says Ball. “They also happen to be an outstanding financial performer, turning a profit even during the downturn and expertly financing their outstanding growth with only internally-generated cash. It will be fascinating to see what they will accomplish now, with some real power and additional Moog technology behind them.”

Animatics, founded in 1987, has annual sales worth around $15m, and has offices in California, New York, Germany and Japan. Moog expects Animatics’ sales in the rest of its 2011 fiscal year to be worth around $5m.

“This is a historic and powerful next-step in the evolution of Animatics,” says Doug Parentice, who was recently appointed Animatics’ president, succeeding Jim Hawkins who retired after a decade at the helm.

Animatics anticipated a key future direction of the motion controls industry when it developed its integrated technology and drafted the patents detailing the inclusion of microprocessors, power supplies and power transistors into motors.

According to Robert Bigler, Animatics’ co-founder and inventor of the integrated motor concept, “SmartMotors simply make machine design fun. Machine designers no longer have to waste time and money laying out cabinets full of wires and controls – they can just focus on the fundamental machine elements, sprinkle some SmartMotors throughout, and network them together.

“An array of SmartMotors make one simple system capable of controlling not just the motion, but the whole machine,” Bigler continues, adding that machines developed with SmartMotors are get to market faster, perform more reliably and prove easier to service.

“What makes this deal so exciting,” Bigler says, “is that Moog has a history of building up the companies it takes in, adding resources to build long-term shareholder value, instead of stripping them down for the short-term appearance of financial gain.”

Moog, which has a market capitalisation of more than $1.8bn, designs, manufactures and integrates precision control components and systems. Its systems control military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, missiles, automated industrial machinery, wind energy, marine and medical equipment.

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