This acquisition is a very interesting acquisition from several points-of-view. This shows Siemens commitment to factory automation. It hints at entry into the mobile automated robotic space (see the analysis by Vanessa Lopez, Research Analyst, Interact Analysis at the bottom of the story). Even though I don’t see as much in the US as I once did, Siemens is still one of the most active automation suppliers.

Key points from the news.

  • Planned acquisition to strengthen Siemens’ position as a leading technology company in the field of factory automation and digitalization
  • Strategic addition to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio
  • A business of ebm-papst, a leading supplier of fans and compact and intelligent mechatronic systems, which employs around 650 people
  • Major growth opportunities in the field of intelligent, battery-powered drive solutions

Siemens AG has signed an agreement to acquire the industrial drive technology (IDT) business of ebm-papst. The business, which employs around 650 people, includes intelligent, integrated mechatronic systems in the protective extra-low voltage range and innovative motion control systems. These systems are used in free-range driverless transport systems. The planned acquisition will complement the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio and strengthen Siemens’ position as a leading solutions provider for flexible production automation.

Cedrik Neike, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO of Digital Industries, said: “Ebm-papst’s innovative portfolio of mechatronic drive systems and its highly qualified people are an excellent fit for Siemens. The acquisition will enable us to tap new business and customer potential in the rapidly growing market for intelligent, battery-powered drive solutions in intralogistics as well as mobile robot solutions.”

IDT products are intelligent, integrated mechatronic systems, which support the automation and digitalization of production processes. This acquisition will be a strong addition to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio. Through their use in mobile robots and driverless transport vehicles as well as in the automation of auxiliary processes, such as the retooling of modern production machines, they are an important lever for greater flexibility and productivity. For this reason, high market growth is expected in this market segment.

The transaction is to be completed by mid-2025, subject to the necessary foreign trade and merger control approvals. The IDT business of ebm-papst is located in St. Georgen and Lauf an der Pegnitz, Germany, and in Oradea, Romania. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

“The acquisition by Siemens is a strategically significant step for us. What our industrial drive technology (IDT) business had lacked until now was a global sales organization for maximum growth. Siemens is a long-standing customer and a company with strong international market penetration and an extensive customer base. The integration that has now been agreed upon will give our IDT business global market access. It will open up new horizons for innovation and further growth,” added Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer, CEO of the ebm-papst Group. “We’ll use the proceeds from the sale of the IDT business to further expand our Air Technology and Heating Technology divisions, to further strengthen our three regions – Europe, Asia and the Americas – and to invest in future fields of our product portfolio, such as digitalization and sustainability.”

Interact Analysis take

Siemens’ recent acquisition takes advantage of surging market

VANESSA LOPEZ, Research Analyst, Interact Analysis

If you’ve been following manufacturing news, Siemens has been making big waves in its divestitures and acquisitions over the last few years. Most recently, it divested several business units worth nearly €3 billion into the newly formed Innomotics, which is currently up for sale.

On March 21st, Siemens announced yet another acquisition. In a press release, the company unveiled its plans to acquire ebm-papst’s industrial drive technology (IDT) business. What makes this move most interesting is the acquisition of ebm-papst’s ultra-low voltage motor offering. In a report published by Interact Analysis in late 2023, we found the market for these products is growing strongly, particularly in applications relating to conveying and mobile robotics.

From a product perspective, ebm-papst’s portfolio is a valuable addition to Siemens’ portfolio. While Siemens has been active in the ultra-low voltage drive market, it previously lacked a complimentary motor offering. ebm-papst, with over $50 million in sales, ranks 13th in the global market. The majority of its revenue comes from the EMEA region, where it holds 10th position in the regional market. Siemens’ acquisition of ebm-papst’s IDT division opens up wider global market access for these products, leveraging Siemens’ extensive global sales channels.

While this could include many pieces of equipment, we believe the primary target is mobile robot applications.

Mobile robots are experiencing early-stage growth. As predominantly battery-powered solutions, these robots typically utilize either 24v or 48v DC motors (what we term ultra-low voltage motors). The demand for ultra-low voltage drives and motors is therefore reflecting this upward trajectory. According to Interact Analysis’ ultra-low voltage drives report, revenues are projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.9%, reaching $3.1 billion by 2027. Similarly, ultra-low voltage motors, extensively utilized in mobile robots, are expected to witness substantial revenue growth, reaching $6.5 billion by 2027, as indicated in Interact Analysis’ ultra-low voltage motors report. This surge in demand can be attributed primarily to the burgeoning adoption of mobile robots, particularly in warehouse automation applications.

Also notable is the rapid growth seen by roller conveyors in both segments of the ultra-low voltage markets under discussion. These products are highly compact and often operate at either 12V or 24V, making them an ideal application for ultra-low voltage motors. Moreover, most conveyor manufacturers purchase motors rather than manufacturing them in-house. Our conversations with ultra-low voltage motor vendors consistently highlighted roller conveyors as a significant area of interest for future growth. Interact Analysis estimates this market will nearly double by 2030.

The accelerated surge in warehouse automation, including the adoption of mobile robots and roller conveyors, presents substantial avenues for Siemens to expand its footprint and secure market share. By strategically aligning itself to meet the escalating demand for ultra-low voltage drives and integrated motor solutions, Siemens is poised to benefit from this surging market. Therefore, we consider Siemens’ acquisition of ebm-papst’s industrial drive technology business as a pivotal and forward-looking investment.

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