GEPA mbH part of the company's long-term strategy for expanding plant-wide information software suite and third-party support and connectivity
MILWAUKEE, May 10, 2006 - Rockwell Automation today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GEPA mbH, a leading European provider of change management software for industrial automation, process control and industrial information technology. The acquisition of GEPA complements the company's strategy for expanding the asset management offerings within its FactoryTalk integrated production and performance suite. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Landau, Germany, GEPA has been providing its VersionWorks for Automation software application to a primarily European customer base for nearly a decade. A modular change management software program, VersionWorks helps manufacturers schedule automatic program backups from controllers and other industrial devices, document change processes required for regulatory compliance, and recover data quickly and more cost-effectively following a disaster.
In late 2005, Rockwell Automation announced plans to create an integrated suite of plant-wide information software - Rockwell Software FactoryTalk - through both development and acquisition. GEPA VersionWorks complements Rockwell Software RSMACC change management software, and includes change management and version control functionality for Siemens, Beckhoff, Schneider, Wonderware, Citect, ABB, Fanuc and Kuka robotics, among others. In future releases, VersionWorks and RSMACC will merge into a single product called FactoryTalk AssetCentre as part of the FactoryTalk suite. By leveraging GEPA's intimate third-party knowledge base, Rockwell Automation will begin to extend its connectivity to third-party devices throughout the FactoryTalk suite resulting in better plant asset utilization.
"Asset and change management are critical, especially in highly regulated industries where secure, well-documented processes are required," said Kevin Roach, vice president, Rockwell Software. "Incorporating GEPA technology into our FactoryTalk asset management production discipline enables us to provide customers with comprehensive diagnostics, calibration and real-time monitoring of their production environment, easing regulatory compliance and improving plant asset utilization."
This announcement coincides with the recent expansion of RSMACC change management software functionality to include Allen-Bradley drives products - providing customers with asset and change management support for even more devices.
"There is a growing customer need for an automation software program that can provide version control and change management across many vendors' automation controls," said Glenn Schulz, director of asset management, security and maintenance, Rockwell Automation. "This acquisition, combined with the premier integration we provide for Allen-Bradley controllers and drives, creates superior capabilities in the asset management discipline. With improved visibility into production changes, manufacturers can improve first-pass quality, reduce costly equipment errors, and speed system commissioning time."
"We are excited about the opportunity to expand the functionality of change management solutions available to manufacturers," said Guenter Schunck, managing director, GEPA. "Customers will be able to see real benefits moving forward as the capabilities of our VersionWorks product are integrated into the FactoryTalk suite, and we will be able to provide even better support to our existing customers with the development resources of Rockwell Automation. The expanded capabilities across multiple automation manufacturers will be unparalleled in the industry."
Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), is a leading global provider of automation, power, control, and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., U.S.A., the company employs about 21,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.
For more information on Rockwell Software asset and change management capabilities visit http://www.rockwellsoftware.com/.
Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc.