Rockwell Automation, a global leader in industrial automation, has revealed its plans to acquire Clearpath Robotics, an Ontario-based firm renowned for industrial autonomous robotics.
Industry experts have identified autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) as the next significant step in industrial automation. The acquisition aims to strengthen Rockwell's commitment to evolving the Connected Enterprise.
One of the most intricate aspects of the manufacturing industry is transporting materials to assembly lines, a process that can often lead to inefficiencies and production hold-ups. Clearpath Robotics addresses this challenge through its OTTO Motors Division, which provides AMRs and related software. This software plays a pivotal role in streamlining logistics within manufacturing, ensuring timely availability of components and facilitating transportation of finished goods.
When paired with Rockwell's robust partnerships in fixed robotic arms, Independent Cart Technology, and a history of leading in programmable logic controllers (PLCs), OTTO Motors’ AMRs stand to make Rockwell's material handling solutions portfolio unrivaled in the industry.
Market research firm Interact Analysis projects a significant growth trajectory for the manufacturing AMR sector. Their data suggests an approximate 30% annual growth over the forthcoming five years, forecasting a market value of $6.2 billion by 2027. Rockwell anticipates this new partnership will enhance its revenue growth for fiscal 2024.
Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, commented on the acquisition:
"The union of Rockwell and Clearpath is geared towards enhancing the overall manufacturing process by streamlining materials and product movement. Integrating autonomous robots and PLC-based control is what many industry leaders have envisioned. Our collaboration with Clearpath places us at the forefront of making this vision tangible across various manufacturing sectors."
Rockwell's suite, combined with OTTO Motors’ AMRs, will be integrated with AI-powered Software as a Service applications, streamlining manufacturing processes and enabling real-time adjustments. This joint venture is also set to benefit Kalypso’s production logistics consulting practices.
Matt Rendall, Clearpath’s co-founder and CEO, shared his perspective on the merger, stating, "The demand for autonomous production logistics is escalating, with industries under increasing strain to optimize operations. Our partnership with Rockwell sets the stage for creating enhanced workplaces powered by autonomous technology."
Clearpath Robotics, established in 2009, originally catered to global research and development markets. It was only in 2015 that they introduced their OTTO Motors Division to the world.
The completion of this acquisition awaits regulatory approval and is slated to be finalized in the initial quarter of Rockwell's fiscal year 2024. Following the acquisition, Clearpath will function under Rockwell’s Intelligent Devices operating segment.