I wrote quick releases from both ABB and Schneider Electric yesterday. Then I started thinking more about the situation.

My analysis was that one factor among many for Schneider’s acquisition of Invensys was along the lines of European competitive situation. Siemens is huge in many technology areas in Europe. ABB has become a strong player especially in process systems and components along with power systems. Schneider’s roots are power systems, and it has strengthened that portfolio over time. It lacked a strong automation and control systems presence.

I looked at the situation and surmised that Schneider was looking at competing alongside ABB throughout the entire portfolio. For all I know, there could be some national pride going along with it. Schneider is French, ABB Swiss/Swedish, and Siemens German. We know that there has been a resurgence of French national pride on technology issues. I’m sure that could have been in the mix.

Meanwhile, ABB, following an acquisition binge, has replaced the CEO for reasons that are not clear. It has lately been divesting. This week it announced a major restructure and emphasized organic growth rather than growth by acquisition.

At the same time, Schneider announced a major investment in the US.

Siemens, on the other hand, has been uncharacteristically quiet. Rockwell Automation, Emerson Process Management, Honeywell Process Solutions and Yokogawa have not been making much noise. The Emerson Exchange is coming up in a few weeks that will generate some news. Rockwell’s Automation Fair and PSUG are in November. One wonders how the deck chairs are being arranged now.

The competitive interplay of large companies is interesting. It also can have a major impact on customers. This will be an interesting time to watch corporate interplay and see how things shake out.

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