Omron’s Acquisition of Microscan to Shakeup the Industrial Scanning & Automation Market

by Richa Gupta | 08/31/2017

Japanese Nikkei published a news article today announcing that factory automation vendor, Omron, is very close to acquiring US-based Microscan Systems for $157 Million. The acquisition will enable Omron to better integrate data and image capture capabilities into its robotic arms as a means to track product movement through today’s increasingly automated and connected factories. Microscan announced on its website that the deal would close in early October 2017 subject to regulatory approval.

VDC’s research highlights significant data capture-related investments by end users in industrial environments—including automotive, clinical device, pharmaceuticals, and electronics/semiconductor—for efficient component traceability, lot tracking, and production automation. We see global manufacturing increasingly shifting away from an agile and reactive model to one that uses the millions of terabytes of data generated via sensors such as cameras to accurately predict future production requirements. Omron’s impending acquisition of Microscan therefore makes complete sense especially from the standpoint of enabling the factory automation powerhouse to better compete against the likes of Keyence and SICK in these markets with comprehensive solutions for enhancing operational efficiencies on the manufacturing shop floor.

The fact that it has been more than 2 years since Microscan has settled the litigation process initiated against it by Cognex also works in its favor as it looks to become part of a much larger automation solutions vendor that is better aligned with its existing product portfolio and vision for future growth. VDC believes that its current parent company, UK-based Spectris plc (a supplier of precision instrumentation and control systems) does not necessarily give the company any definitive edge in the AIDC market from a resource standpoint, including the critical channel partner network. Microscan seems to operate rather independently from its US headquarters and focuses on the development of its AIDC and industrial automation business, which fits right in with Omron’s business model. This acquisition will also give Microscan a big leg up in the high-growth Asian market for fixed-position industrial scanners, forecasted to register a CAGR of more than 6% through 2021 based on VDC’s latest data on the market.

For more information on the exhibits included as part of VDC’s 2017 Stationary Industrial Scanners report, download 2017 Stationary Industrial Scanners Exhibit Outline