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HMS acquires German comms specialist to create `world leader`

04 February, 2013

The Swedish industrial networking specialist HMS Industrial Networks has bought IXXAT Automation, a German supplier of communications technologies for automation, machine-building and automotive applications.

“Together, IXXAT and HMS will become an industrial communication group with 350 employees and sales of more than €50m – a world market-leader in our industry”, says HMS CEO, Staffan Dahlström.

While HMS has a leading position in the Profibus/Profinet and DeviceNet/EtherNet/IP markets, IXXAT is strong in communications technologies based on CAN, EtherCat, Powerlink and FlexRay. HMS says that the two companies combined will have “the most complete and competitive offer of communication technology for the automation markets”.

IXXAT’s strength in Germany will broaden HMS’ customer base and will allow cross-selling of the companies’ products. IXXAT also has a particular expertise in functional safety, with systems for OpenSafety, CIP-Safety and Functional Safety over EtherCat. In combination with HMS’s new Anybus Safety concept, which focuses on ProfiSafe, HMS says it will have “the most complete technology offer for functional safety solutions”.

HMS’s global sales channels will give IXXAT access to wider markets, while HMS’s experience of manufacturing and logistics will provide opportunities for improved efficiency and profitability. For HMS, the acquisition also opens up opportunities to market its products to new sectors, such as the medical equipment and automotive industries.

“IXXAT’s hi-tech products and services are great supplements to HMS’s business,” says Dahlström (above). “Their strong position especially on the German automation market will strengthen our presence in Central Europe. Together with our subsidiary in Karlsruhe, IXXAT will reinforce HMS in Germany – the world’s leading market for industrial communication solutions.”

Weingarten-based IXXAT, founded in 1987, has a turnover of €14m and employs 85 people, 50 of whom are product development engineers. It offers software and hardware products for CAN, industrial Ethernet, IEEE 1588, FlexRay, and LIN. It also offers customised hardware components for embedded sub-systems, as well as complete embedded systems. IXXAT has subsidiaries in the US and France and sells its products via distributors in 25 countries.

HMS Industrial Networks develops and manufactures technologies for connecting automation devices and systems to industrial networks under the Anybus and Netbiter brands. It employs more than 260 people and had sales worth €42.5m in 2011. Development and manufacturing take place at the company’s headquarters in Halmstad, Sweden.

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