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Variohm adds US magnetic encoder specialist to its group

26 October, 2020

UK-based Variohm Holdings has acquired the US magnetic sensor and encoder manufacturer, Phoenix America, for an undisclosed sum. The deal will give Phoenix a marketing platform in Europe, while Variohm’s five existing European-based group members – Variohm EuroSensor, Herga Technology, Ixthus Instrumentation, Heason Technology and Positek – will gain an American sales and support channel for their sensor, measurement and motion control products.

Phoenix America, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, develops and manufactures high-resolution, high-accuracy magnetic encoder and sensor technologies, including absolute and incremental encoders, speed and proximity sensors, and custom-moulded magnets.

Phoenix America was founded in 2000 after purchasing assets of Xolox, a leader in bonded magnet technologies for the disk drive industry. The company’s product range now spans several rotary encoder and sensor technologies, including Hall effect, GMR, AMR, magnetoresisitive and reed switch. It also has an expertise in magnetic compounds and targets, as well as in product design.

Phoenix America’s non-contact encoders rely on the proximity of magnets and sensor electronics and do not need the bearings or drive shafts of traditional encoders and other feedback devices. The sealed, encapsulated sensors are said to be more durable than  optical encoders, thus offering long operating lives, compact installations and “cost-competitive” pricing.

Phoenix also supplies other magnetic technologies including proximity sensors, speed sensors, angle sensors, gear tooth sensors, servo motor Hall commutation sensors, magnet assemblies and custom design services for magnetic sensor applications.

Variohm's acquisition of Phoenix America expands its portfolio of magnetic sensors and encoders

“Phoenix America is a well-established technology leader in the US market, providing a real foothold for marketing and supporting the group’s products ‘across the pond’,” says the Variohm Group’s managing director, Graham Pattison, “whilst our UK and German sales teams, with their in-depth knowledge of sensors, measurement systems and motion controls are thrilled to have a new and very market-driven product range on board”.

“The acquisition, and the synergy of group’s product range, substantially boosts our offer to existing and new customers in the USA,” adds Phoenix America’s chief operating officer, Scott Mentzer, “and with the support of the Variohm Group’s European sales and applications engineering capability, will provide the potential for our future global growth.”

Variohm Holdings is part of the LSE-listed discoverIE Group plc. The five existing members of the Variohm group are: the sensor and transducer supplier and manufacturer, Variohm EuroSensor; the switching and sensing specialist, Herga Technology; the measurement systems supplier, Ixthus Instrumentation; the motion control components and systems supplier, Heason Technology; and the linear and rotary voltage displacement sensor technology specialist, Positek.

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