Embedded computing and GUI firms in $1.6bn AMETEK acquisition spree




As part of a US$1.62 billion acquisition spree, electronic instruments manufacturer AMETEK, Inc, is buying four companies, including mission critical embedded computing firm Abaco Systems, and embedded GUI software firm Crank Software.

In its first announcement, AMETEK said it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Abaco Systems, a provider of mission critical embedded computing systems, from Veritas Capital in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.35 billion. In a further announcement, AMETEK said it had completed three acquisitions, Magnetrol International, Crank Software and EGS Automation (EGS), for a total of $270 million.

Abaco Systems, which was the former GE intelligent systems business before being bought out and re-launched in 2015, specializes in open-architecture computing and electronic systems for aerospace, defense, and specialized industrial markets. Its ruggedized products are designed to withstand harsh operating environments such as extreme temperature and high vibration. Abaco Systems has annual sales of approximately $325 million and is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close mid-2021.

Upon closing, Abaco Systems will join AMETEK as part of its electronic instruments group (EIG), which provides advanced analytical, monitoring, testing, calibrating and display instruments with annualized sales of $3.0 billion.

Abaco Systems GVC 1001
Abaco Systems’ GVC1001 rugged graphics, vision and AI computer designed for SWaP constrained platforms. (Source: Abaco Systems)

In January 2021, Abaco Systems launched a new rugged graphics, vision and artificial intelligence (AI) computer deigned for SWaP (size, weight and power) constrained platforms based on Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xaivier system on module. The Abaco GVC1001’s target applications include 360° situational awareness, autonomous vehicles, EO/IR (electro-optical and infrared) processing, and degraded visual environments (DVE), as well as display processing and moving maps.

Recent contracts announced by Abaco Systems include a multi-million dollar design win for sixty units of its VP430 radio frequency system-on-chip RFSoC, direct RF processing system, which will be used on a counter fire target acquisition radar upgrade in an electronic warfare system. This new generation of counter fire sensor increases the ability to respond to newly identified threats and changing missions which enables more efficient counter measures. It also announced a deign win with a $4.5 million lifetime potential value for its newest high performance embedded computing system, the MAGIC1A. The rugged system supports a major defense prime upgrade to an existing side head up display platform in AC-130J gunships. This side HUD application is to enable operational visibility of the battlespace for the platform.

Crank Software, EGS and Magnetrol

Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Crank Software and Magnetrol join AMETEK as part of its electronic instruments group (EIG). EGS Automation will join its electromechanical group (EMG), a supplier of thermal management systems, and automation and engineered solutions.

Crank Software photoshop image
Storyboard allows the import of GUI graphics content from design tools like Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator, to test and validate the functionality with a simulator directly on a target hardware device. (Source: Crank Software)

Crank Software’s flagship product is Storyboard, an embedded graphical user-interface (GUI) development platform. Storyboard allows the import of GUI graphics content from design tools like Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator, to test and validate the functionality with a simulator directly on a target hardware device (microcontroller, crossover device or MPU). The latest version, Storyboard 7.0, now adds rapid design import and iteration technology, with which developers can visualize changed assets and rapidly assess, accept, or reject elements in a timesaving manner.

EGS, headquartered in Donaueschingen, Germany, is an automation solutions provider that designs and manufactures highly engineered, customized robotic solutions used in critical applications for the medical, food and beverage, and general industrial markets.

Meanwhile, Magnetrol, headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, is a provider of level and flow control solutions for challenging process applications across a diverse set of end markets including medical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and beverage, and general industrial. Magnetrol’s portfolio of mission-critical products are designed to optimize processes, maximize yields, and ensure safety.

AMETEK is a global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales in 2020 of more than $4.5 billion.


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Original article: Embedded computing and GUI firms in $1.6bn AMETEK acquisition spree
Author: Nitin Dahad