Behind the ABB – Baldor Electric acquisition

The combination creates a global leader in motors and drives

By ·

This morning, Baldor Electric announced that it was being acquired by ABB in a $4.2 billion deal. You can read the entire release here.

To find out more about what it might mean to the materials handling industry, I spoke to Randy Colip, Baldor Electric’s executive vice president of motor sales.

First, both ABB and Baldor gain access to new products and new markets.

Baldor gains access to ABB’s line of IEC motors, what Colip described as “true European IEC motors.” IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission, and it is the European equivalent of NEMA in the United States. An IEC motor, according to Colip, is a metric motor, and typically is a smaller-framed motor than those produced in the U.S. What’s more they are readily available in the replacement market in Europe and Southeast Asia. “North American material handling manufacturers are interested in IEC motors if they are selling their products in Europe or Southeast Asia,” Colip explained. Although Baldor has a line of IEC motors, he added, “they’re not the true European IECs that material handling equipment manufacturers are looking for.” At the same time, ABB has not effectively penetrated the US market, something Baldor believes it can do with its sales force.

Baldor gains access to a broader portfolio of rotary servo motors and controls from ABB than they currently offer.

And, Baldor gains access to ABB’s line of AC Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s), the technology that allows users to vary the speed of conveyors and sortation systems to match demand rather than run flat out all the time. “ABB is the world’s largest producer of AC VFD’s,” Colip said. “That gives us the opportunity to sell a complete motor and drive package, something we really couldn’t do in the past.”

Last, Baldor gains access to new markets outside of North America for its NEMA-rated motors through ABB’s sales force. In addition to gaining more access to the North American market for its IEC motors, ABB also gains access to Baldor’s line of linear motors.

“ABB does not have its own line of NEMA-rated motors and it doesn’t have a line of linear motors,” Colip said. “We see this as a very complimentary acquisition, and we’re excited about it.”

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

ABB Robotics · Automation · Baldor Electric · Motors · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Hydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling
Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order fulfillment process and increased throughput with near 100% accuracy.
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive
Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Pallets: Supporting Product, Processes and the Enterprise
The smallest leak in performance or cost can bring a lean, nimble and speedy supply chain to a halt. During this 30-minute webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers use pallets to keep the wheels turning as they maneuver a road filled with sharp edges and potholes.
Register Today!
Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...

American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...