KEBA strengthens industrial automation offering with drag&bot acquisition
Global automation solutions provider KEBA has announced the acquisition of Germany start-up drag&bot to further strengthen its position in the industrial automation market by expanding its product portfolio with flexible automation software.
The acquisition, which was finalised in December 2021, will see drag&bot become a subsidiary of KEBA’s Industrial Automation business area – one of the three new business areas of the KEBA Group, which were formed in mid-2021. According to the two companies, “existing business relationships will remain unchanged.”
Drag&bot was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production and Automation. The company has developed the drag&bot OS, which is a leading, manufacturer-independent operating system for industrial robots. The solution is currently used for loading and unloading machines, mechanical assembly, electronics assembly, and a variety of pick & place applications.
“KEBA’s mission is to use technologies to make the often-complex world of automation easier for the user. With drag&bot, we have acquired a company that precisely follows this philosophy and is therefore an ideal match for KEBA’s strengths,” said Gerhard Luftensteiner, CEO of KEBA Group.
According to drag&bot, the acquisition “makes sense” as it will enable it to achieve faster, global sales and further develop its products and services.
The acquisition follows a strong few years for the KEBA Group as a whole. In the past fiscal year (April 2020 to March 2021), for example, the group increased its revenues from €373.5 million to €415.4 million. This represents a sales growth of 11.2% leading to the highest revenues in its history. The company has quadrupled sales over the past 10 years.
To ensure it “maintains close contact with its customers” KEBA Group announced in mid-2021 that it had grouped its business activities into three business areas: Industrial Automation, Handover Automation and Energy Automation.
The three business divisions now operate as independent companies and conduct operating business within the KEBA Group. They will, however, continue to appear under the common KEBA brand.