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UR’s owner adds AutoGuide to its robotics portfolio

22 October, 2019

The US robotics and test systems manufacturer Teradyne is buying the AMR (autonomous mobile robot) producer AutoGuide Mobile Robots for $165m – consisting of $58m net of cash acquired, plus $107m if certain performance targets are met.

The acquisition will expand Teradyne’s Industrial Automation group which already includes the Danish collaborative robot specialist Universal Robots (which it bought in 2015) and another AMR manufacturer, MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots), which it bought in 2018. The group also includes Energid, a developer of real-time motion control software, that has its roots in Nasa and was acquired by Teradyne in 2018.

AutoGuide builds modular AMRs for transporting payloads of up to 4,500kg in manufacturing, warehouse and logistics applications. Its customers include Ford and Husqvarna, and it is expected to more than double its revenue this year from around $4m in 2018. AutoGuide has a mobile robot R&D centre in Massachusetts and a manufacturing facility in Kentucky.

AutoGuide’s Max N10 modular mobile robot platform is available in various application-specific configurations including tuggers, conveyor decks, car movers and pallet stackers. The company also offers fleet management software that specifies routes, coordinates the autonomous lifting and transport of pallets, and manages AMR traffic to optimise material transport. 

“The high-payload AMR market is an emerging, fast-growing segment of the global forklift market,” says Teradyne’s president and CEO, Mark Jagiela. “AutoGuide’s modular architecture and innovative technologies provide safe, easy-to-deploy products that naturally complement our MiR low-to-mid-payload AMRs, extending Teradyne’s reach in this attractive market.

“AutoGuide, like Universal Robots and MiR, is using emerging smart, cost-effective technologies in industrial robotics to improve workflows and reduce operating costs in a broad spectrum of industries,” he adds. “We look forward to helping AutoGuide grow by developing their global sales and support capabilities, while continuing to strengthen and expand their innovative product line-up.”

AutoGuide’s autonomous mobile robots can carry weights of up to 4.5 tonnes and come in various formats including pallet stackers

AutoGuide’s president and CEO Rob Sullivan says that “the combined strength of Teradyne's industrial automation businesses and AutoGuide's product lines offer new opportunities to create end-to-end automation solutions for customers seeking the safest and most productive material-handling operations from a single source. Teradyne’s financial strength and global reach will help support AutoGuide’s growth, enabling us to maintain our agile approach to the development and deployment of high-value automation systems that bring industry leading value to our customers.”

As well as robotics, Teradyne also supplies test systems for technologies such as semiconductors and wireless devices. In 2018, it had revenues of $2.1bn and it employs 5,300 people worldwide.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

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