Rockwell Boosts Automation in New Clearpath Deal

Rockwell Automation, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Clearpath Robotics Inc., a leader in autonomous robotics for industrial applications. Accordingly, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are the next frontier in industrial automation and transformation. For that reason, this acquisition will supercharge Rockwell’s lead in bringing the Connected Enterprise to life.

Transporting parts and materials to assembly lines and between manufacturing cells is one of the industry’s most complex and inefficient tasks. Thus, resulting in production bottlenecks oftentimes. Autonomous production logistics will transform the workflow throughout a manufacturing plant. More importantly, it provides substantial reductions in cost and greater operational efficiency.

Clearpath’s OTTO Motors Division offers AMRs and fleet management and navigation software, which dramatically increase throughput and reduce costs. Particularly, they ensure components and subassemblies are in place when needed. At the same time, by transporting finished goods to a truck or warehouse upon completion.

Optimizes Manufacturing Operation

The addition of OTTO Motors’ AMR capabilities will create a complete portfolio of advanced material handling solutions unmatched in the industry. Moreover, this will spell a powerhouse team-up when combined with Rockwell’s strong continuing partnerships in fixed robotic arms and in programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Accordingly, AMRs in manufacturing will likely grow to 30% per year over the next five years to US$6.2 billion in 2027, said research firm Interact Analysis. Hence, Rockwell’s acquisition of Clearpath will contribute a percentage point to Rockwell’s fiscal 2024 revenue growth.

“Rockwell and Clearpath together will simplify the difficult and labor-intensive task of moving materials and products through an orchestrated and safe system. (This will) optimize operations throughout the entire manufacturing facility,” said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation.

Furthermore, Moret said, “The combination of autonomous robots and PLC-based line control has long been a dream of plant managers in industries as diverse as automotive and consumer packaged goods.”

Unified Solution for Manufacturing

Data from Rockwell’s offerings and OTTO Motors’ AMRs will be harnessed in artificial intelligence-powered Software as a Service information management applications. This includes Rockwell’s Plex and Fiix businesses. With this, Rockwell will deliver a unified solution for manufacturing, enabling autonomous execution and optimization. This will increase efficiency and allow for traceability and real-time adjustments. Moreover, the combined technology will also amplify Kalypso’s production logistics consulting practice.

“Industrial customers are under ever-increasing pressure to do more with less. Autonomous production logistics is becoming a necessity to meet targets and stay competitive,” said Matt Rendall, co-founder and CEO of Clearpath. “Together, we will create safer and more productive workplaces with autonomous technology.”

Founded in 2009, Clearpath got its start offering robotics technology to global research and development markets. In 2015, it launched its OTTO Motors Division.