C-Labs Corporation, a Seattle-based company that creates software for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has been acquired by German manufacturing company Trumpf.
Trumpf, which is best known for building machine tools used in factories and workshops, acquired all of C-Labs’ outstanding shares, although it will maintain its current location and add more software engineers.
It’s been a big year already for C-Labs. In April, the company launched the fourth generation of its IIoT software. Supposedly, the product offers embedded IoT capabilities for machine makers – including Trumpf – and connectivity for application providers.
A paper, recently published by ARC Advisory Group, claims that companies such as C-Labs “represent a key and vital connection and security technology that will help enable the digital enterprise and the factory of the future.”
As part of the deal, Chris Muench will stay on to lead the company. Muench said that Trumpf will provide his firm with the resources it needs to keep on growing and improving its products.
“When I founded C-Labs in 2009, the term ‘Internet of Things’ was not yet in popular use. Now our software simplifies and secures vital communications in places as diverse as automotive plants, power generation facilities, and research labs,” he said.
“With the resources and global reach of Trumpf International, we are excited about continuing our growth and helping create and secure the industrial IoT for customers worldwide.”
Stephan Fischer, managing director of digital business solutions at Trumpf, added: “C-Labs has shown tremendous flexibility in enabling industrial Internet of Things connectivity in a variety of industrial environments, and doing so in full compliance with the varied IT and data usage policies of different customers.”
A new industrial revolution
The IIoT is expected to be a high-growth industry in its own right. General Electric predicts that investment in the sector will reach a staggering $60 trillion over the next fifteen years.
Dave Sutton, product manager at Schneider Electric, said connected technology is transforming the manufacturing world in a plethora of ways but there are some challenges ahead.
“IIoT is changing the industrial manufacturing competitive landscape in a similar way to how the internet has impacted the wider business world since the mid-1990s,” Sutton said. “Many questions and concerns still remain unanswered, including standards, interoperability, cybersecurity, workforce skills, and return on investment.
He added: “It is clear, however, that in order to stay competitive, industry the world over needs to understand the potential that IIoT holds, as well as the risks of moving too slowly. The IIoT provides significant transformation potential for industrial organizations, offering a means to increase the value they derive from modern IIoT open standards based automation technologies.”