Make no mistake about it, Siemens in “all in” on industry 4.0, otherwise known as digital manufacturing. As the company experiences some restructuring, the PLM business continues to add companies and technologies to its digital manufacturing business.

A news item from Reuters, also reported in many outlets this morning, says that Siemens is set to acquire privately held CD-adapco. This computer-aided-engineering (CAE) developer focuses on simulating engines and other mechanical systems. It looks like a good fit.

Reuters says the deal would be for about $1 billion. The founder/CEO of CD-adapco passed away in September. Is widow has been running the company since then.

The race between Siemens and GE just keeps getting more interesting. Meanwhile, Rockwell Automation focuses on the factory and process automation space, preferring to steer clear of the engineering and PLM software space. Schneider Electric’s moves have been interesting, although its attempt to acquire Aveva collapsed. ABB has been busy divesting and refocusing following former-CEO Joe Hogan’s sudden departure.

Digital manufacturing, especially featuring digital simulation of manufacturing processes, is the core of Germany’s Industrie 4.0 initiative. GE is pursuing a somewhat similar path, but it prefers the strategy of “Industrial Internet of Things.” Targeting automotive and aircraft manufacturers, these strategies hold the promise of not only increased manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies, but also possibilities of new business and income models.

What will be interesting to watch is whether Siemens and GE get so large in the space that they can no longer efficiently manage the diverse portfolio.

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