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PI acquires 80% of Israeli motion control specialist, ACS

26 January, 2017

The motion control and nanopositioning systems specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) has acquired 80% of ACS Motion Control, the Israeli developer and manufacturer of controllers and drives for multi-axis systems. The financial terms have not been disclosed.

PI wants to develop its precision positioning portfolio further and sees the ACS acquisition as being an important step in helping to achieve this. It says that the deal will put it in a strong position to offer industrial users complete customised systems that can be integrated into a variety of automation environments. One example of this could be based on PI’s range of multi-axis air bearing linear stages with magnetic direct-drives that are suitable for use in precision material processing, inspection systems, mounting applications or digital printing.

Following the takeover, ACS will continue to operate independently within the PI Group, with the same management team. It will continue to supply its existing customers.

ACS, founded in 1985, develops, manufactures, and sells high-performance EtherCat-based controls and drives for applications with up to 64 axes. In addition to its headquarters in Israel, it has sales and support centres in the US, Germany, China, and South Korea. Its customers include GE, Philips, Samsung and LG.

PI, founded in 1970, has its headquarters and three other sites in Germany. It employs more than 1,000 people worldwide in 15 subsidiaries and r&d/engineering centres on three continents, and has more than 5,000 customers. The PI Group achieved a turnover of more than €130m in 2016.

ACS’ portfolio includes this compact EtherCat drive module for applications with limited space

PI claims to offer the world’s widest spectrum of high-precision motion systems. It produces motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages, and hexapod parallel-kinematics for high-tech applications such as semiconductor manufacturing, photonics and medical engineering.

PI manufactures in seven autonomous organisational units that it calls “fractals”. Each fractal is responsible for its own product line and has available all the necessary skills and production means. Each operates independently and controls all of the processes from the receipt of orders and materials procurement, through to assembly, testing and delivery.

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