Around the Industry - August 10, 2012

Aug. 10, 2012
Rockwell buys drives manufacturer, Helukabel expands robotics cabling line with acquisition, 3M jumps in LED bulb market, and more

Rockwell buys drives manufacturer

Rockwell Automation Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., has agreed to purchase the assets of the medium-voltage drives business of Harbin Jiuzhou Electric Co., Ltd. The purchase price is approximately $83 million and closing is expected in October.

Bob Ruff, president, Rockwell Automation Asia-Pacific, said in a company press release, “As China expands the consumer side of its economy, investment will continue to grow, requiring energy-saving measures in factories and integrated power applications across many industries. Subsequently, the market opportunities for power control in OEM, process, and heavy industry markets in Asia are expected to provide significant growth potential for this acquisition. Medium-voltage drives are integral to many large automation projects. These drives help to maximize asset availability and manage energy consumption.”

Helukabel expands robotics cabling line with acquisition

Helukabel, a German wire and cable company with U.S. operations in Elgin, Ill., acquired Robotic Systems GmbH of Kamp-Lintfort, Germany, making it a fully-owned subsidiary. Helukabel’s former robotics business unit, Helurobotics, will merge with the new subsidiary and operate under the Robotic Systems name, offering a range of robotic cabling services from system analysis, consultation and planning to design, installation and warranty maintenance.

3M jumps in LED bulb market

The LED business now has another player that wants to market a replacement for 60W incandescent bulbs. A report in Minnesota’s Pioneer Press says 3M will be marketing a LED light bulb through Walmart that will cost $25 and last 25 years. The article says select Walmart stores will begin selling the 3M LED bulb by the end of this month.

A-D highlights affiliates’ above-market growth

Distribution buying and marketing group Affiliated Distributors (A-D), Wayne, Pa., posted a look at member companies’ growth over the first half of 2012 showing a revenue increase of 12% over the same period in 2011, representing a combined total of $12.8 billion for the six-month period. Sales of A-D affiliates in the U.S. electrical market grew 11% in the first half of 2012 on a same-store basis from $5.6 billion to $6.2 billion. Canadian electrical sales grew 3.3% from $372 million to $385 million.

“A-D independents continue to take market share in each of our industries,” says Bill Weisberg, A-D chairman and CEO. “We outpaced general industry growth by an average of three points and by as much as 5 points. We are proud of the value our members bring to their customers, suppliers and communities. It’s clear that the market continues to reward them for it.”

Penton Electrical Group to launch job board for electrical market

Look for information in the coming weeks about, an online resource for career opportunities in the electrical construction and utility markets that the Penton Electrical Group is launching for readers of Electrical Marketing, Electrical Wholesaling, EC&M and Transmission & Distribution magazines. Job seekers will be able to access jobs specifically in the electrical and utility markets — unlike general online job boards — and companies will be able to post jobs to a broad audience of electrical professionals for a nominal fee.