Furthering consolidation of the MES space, Siemens (the PLM division) announced agreement to acquire manufacturing software developer Camstar Systems. Siemens, in its press release, says “the acquisition will build on Siemens’ industrial digitalization strategy by broadening its integrated product development and production automation solutions for the electronics, semiconductor and medical device industries.”

I am a little surprised by the announcement, because I had the impression that Siemens was downplaying the MES space. No comments, just observation. But the PLM group has been pretty aggressively pursuing the Siemens dream of digital manufacturing–something that fits within the German government’s initiative of “Industrie 4.0”. The group’s leadership is solid and its ability to integrate acquisitions is outstanding. This will be a real benefit for the company.

I asked noted industry analyst Julie Fraser, principal of Iyno Advisors, for an opinion. Here are her comments:

“There are always challenges with keeping product, sales and customer momentum after an acquisition, and small private company employees may not be comfortable in one of the largest companies in the world. I always worry about those “people-centric” factors having seen it go awry many times in the past. However, The logic for both parties and synergy is pretty clear: Camstar gains deep resources worldwide to expand its business both in MES and in Supply Chain-wide analytics of product data. Siemens gains the leadership position in MES for both semiconductor back end operations and medical devices, a US-based MES presence, as well as leading-edge product data analytics designed to cross the product lifecycle and supply chain. Clearly Camstar was on a performance path that made them a very attractive acquisition target, and Siemens has been pushing not only into MES, but also into MES for discrete industries more recently. Siemens PL has experience with acquisitions, and some have been more successful than others. The Siemens stated intention to leave Camstar and is brands intact is the path they actually pursue, I see quite a bit of upside both for the company and the people involved.  If this succeeds as they envision, it will significantly accelerate their progress toward a vision they set forth many years ago with the acquisition of ORSI in 2001.”

According to the press release: Camstar’s enterprise MES portfolio delivers scalable, flexible, enterprise-wide solutions for centralized or distributed multi-site manufacturing environments. The Camstar portfolio includes next-generation, high-performance analytics to gain insight into the operations of complex and global processes. This cloud-based capability leverages state-of-the-art, big data technology across the operations and global supply chain of the enterprise.

“The addition of the Camstar team and products represents the latest step in Siemens’ focus on delivering industry leading, comprehensive functionality and the deep expertise needed to support our customers’ digital enterprises,” said Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “The addition of Camstar’s solutions will further accelerate our integration of PLM with the Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) domain. In the integrated digital enterprise, we are enabling PLM, MOM and industrial automation to work together to help customers realize innovation in their products and processes throughout the value chain. Camstar’s unique value and industry-centric approach complements the Siemens strategy for the MOM domain and will be a welcomed addition to our premier MES brand, SIMATIC IT.”

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