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Rockwell buys Plex for $2.2bn to boost its cloud activities

25 June, 2021

Rockwell Automation is buying the cloud-based manufacturing specialist Plex Systems for $2.22bn in cash, to expand its industrial cloud software offering. Rockwell says that Plex’s software capabilities will be further differentiated by Rockwell’s global market access, complementary industry expertise, and ability to turn real-time data into actionable insights

Rockwell adds that Plex offers the only single-instance, multi-tenant SaaS (software-as-a-service) smart manufacturing platform that operates at scale. Its subscription-based platform accelerates digital transformation and improves visibility into end-to-end production systems with easy-to-deploy, cloud-native technologies.

Plex, headquartered in Troy, Michigan, offers applications in manufacturing execution, supply chain visibility, and quality management for users in the discrete, hybrid, and process industries. It has more than 500 employees, more than 700 customers, and manages more than 8bn transactions per day. It has been recording double-digit growth in revenues.

“This acquisition will accelerate our strategy to bring the Connected Enterprise to life, driving faster time-to-value for our customers as they increasingly adopt cloud solutions to improve resilience, agility, and sustainability in their operations,” says Rockwell’s chairman and CEO, Blake Moret. “Combining Plex’s cutting-edge cloud technology with Rockwell’s existing software portfolio and domain expertise will add customer value and create more ways to win. The acquisition will also accelerate our software revenue growth and strengthen our annual recurring revenue streams.”

According to Rockwell, the urgent need for manufacturers to increase production and improve resilience, while driving efficiency and compliance, is a growing dilemma. They want to upgrade their production systems with modern, cloud-based manufacturing execution systems that are easy to implement, use, and maintain. Plex’s platform will help them to connect, automate, track, and analyse their operations and supply chains.

“Rockwell believes in the power of data and technology to transform manufacturing and industrial operations,” says Brian Shepherd, senior vice-president of Rockwell’s Software and Control business. “Together with the advanced asset maintenance and management capabilities provided by our recent Fiix acquisition, Rockwell will have a strong portfolio of cloud-native solutions for our customers’ production systems upon completion of the Plex acquisition.”

Plex CEO, Bill Berutti, describes his company as “a leader in the movement to smart manufacturing and a trusted partner to more than 700 manufacturing companies around the globe. Joining forces with Rockwell is great for our customers, our partners, and our employees as we move to expand our reach and impact and accelerate our mission to bring manufacturing to the cloud.”

Plex’s Smart Manufacturing Platform automates business processes and tracks data from the plant floor to the top floor

Plex will join Rockwell’s Software and Control business, which provides hardware and software for the design, operation, and maintenance of production automation and management systems.

Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in Rockwell’s fiscal fourth quarter. Rockwell expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its operating margins, and predicts that it will accelerate its annual revenues within about two years.

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Plex Systems:   Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

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