Automation: Behind the Muratec - Cimcorp Oy deal

The combined companies offer one-stop-shop for materials handling and factory automation.

By ·

Late last month, Kyoto, Japan-based Murata Machinery, Ltd. announced that it is acquiring Cimcorp Oy, a Finnish company specializing in material handling and intralogistics using robotics and advanced software technologies. In North America, Cimcorp Oy goes to market through its Canadian subsidiary RMT Robotics, which manufactures and integrates turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfillment solutions. Cimcorp Oy and RMT Robotics are leading suppliers worldwide to the tire industry, and have solutions for retail and wholesale distribution.

Together, the combined companies will have nearly $2.1 billion in revenue: Muratec reports an estimated $2.02 billion in annual sales, and is the 4th largest provider of global solution providers for materials handling systems while Cimcorp generates nearly $76 million in sales. 

How will the combined companies go to market, and what does the combination mean to end users? Those were questions Modern put to Doug Pickard, president of RMT Robotics.

First, Pickard expects Cimcorp to retain its brand in the market; over time, he adds, RMT will align itself more closely with the Cimcorp brand. Beyond that, Pickard believes the combination allows both companies to offer broader solutions to their customers. For instance, Muratec has a strong portfolio of automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and automatic guided vehicles (AGV), something RMT has to offer through a partner. Meanwhile, Cimcorp’s expertise in gantry robotics provides Muratec with more tools in its tool box. “There are very few competing products between the two companies,” Pickard says. “They’re very complimentary. So far, the reaction from our existing customers is extremely positive.”

Pickard points out that AS/RS and gantry robotics often work together in highly automated facilities, with the AS/RS handling long-term storage that then feeds the gantry system for order fulfillment. And, while RMT currently offers the ADAM mobile robot for horizontal transportation, “we now have access to a higher payload AGVs,” Pickard says. In the short term, the combined companies may have more traction in Europe, Asia and Japan, where high levels of automation are more common than in North America.

“In general, business continues as usual,” Pickard adds. “The real change will be the broadening of our offerings we can integrate for our customer.”

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.

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