Year in Review: Top materials handling news in 2012

Big acquisitions, a precarious economy and some new players change the landscape heading into 2013.

Mergers and Acquisitions:
Amazon.com to acquire Kiva Systems
This $775 million acquisition shook the robotics industry as well as the materials handling industry, and may some day be seen as a launchpad for a closer relationship between the two. Executive Editor Bob Trebilcock offers some insight.

JDA and RedPrairie merge
Valued at $1.9 billion, the merger created a new entity among the largest global software companies, with $1 billion in revenue.

Toyota Industries Corporation acquires Cascade
In a strategic move valued at $759 million, Toyota Industries Corporation acquired Cascade, a leading international manufacturer and distributor of materials handling attachments and replacement parts for the lift truck and construction industries worldwide.
SAP acquires Ariba
Taking steps to expand its presence in the cloud, ERP giant SAP announced an agreement to acquire Ariba, a 15-year old cloud-based supply chain management technology provider, for roughly $4.3 billion.
Permira acquires Intelligrated
Intelligrated, a leading North American-based provider of automated material handling solutions, services and products, announced its acquisition by a holding company owned by the Permira funds for $500 million.

PTC acquires Servigistics
PTC, a provider of service lifecycle management (SLM) solutions, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Servigistics, developer of an innovative suite of SLM software, for approximately $220 million in cash.

Motorola acquires Psion
Motorola Solutions expanded its mobile portfolio with Psion, which has approximately 830 employees, customers in more than 50 countries and 2011 revenues of approximately $273 million.

Honeywell acquires Intermec
Intermec, a leading provider of data capture and information management solutions, announced a definitive agreement under which Honeywell International will acquire Intermec for approximately $600 million. Executive Editor Bob Trebilcock offers some insight.

Big News:

MHIA holds successful inaugural Modex expo
Nearly 20,000 key decision-makers in virtually all manufacturing, logistics, distribution and supply chain industries participated in MODEX 2012. The expo featured the solutions of 586 exhibitors covering 180,000 net square feet.

CEMA: Conveyor industry North American shipments break record in 2011
At its 79th annual meeting in March, the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association estimated that shipments totaled $8.502 billion for 2011, a 28% increase of $1.86 billion from 2010 shipments of $6.642 billion.

Pack Expo sells out space, biggest since 2002
PMMI, owner and producer of the Pack Expo trade shows, reports that with more than 45,300 attendees (up from 26,000 in 2011), 1,965 exhibitors (up from 1,559), and 1.12 million square feet (up from 630,000) Pack Expo 2012 (McCormick Place, Chicago, Oct. 28-31) was a big success.

Pallets: 9BLOC to offer new pallet pooling options
Comprised of independent, entrepreneurial pallet producers and recyclers, 9BLOC hopes to unite and network the 4,000 pallet companies in North America. Executive Editor Bob Trebilcock offers some insight.

Manufacturing Leadership Council defines need for national manufacturing strategy
The Council reached out to governors, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House to advance a strategic agenda.
Federal mediators intervene in port strikes
In early December, the news of a tentative agreement stemmed the estimated $1 billion daily losses resulting from work stoppages at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. Now, the “Container Cliff” threatens more disruption.NACCO spins off material handling business
Effective Monday, October 1, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling began its first full day as an independent company, after 23 years with NACCO Material Handling Group. In Modern’s annual lift truck ranking, NACCO Industries reported $2.5 billion in revenue and was ranked No. 4 on last year’s list.
PMI shows contraction after 34 consecutive months of growth
A Purchasing Managers’ Index reading of 50 or higher indicates growth. June’s 49.7 reading was the lowest since July 2009, when it dropped to 49.2.  Economic activity in the manufacturing sector had expanded for 34 straight months prior to June’s contraction, although overall economic activity has still expanded for 42 straight months.

For more 2012 highlights, check out Year in Review: Materials handling system reports from 2012 .

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