MTL buys German maker of interfaces for hazardous areas - Embedded.com

MTL buys German maker of interfaces for hazardous areas

LONDON — MTL Instruments Group has acquired the GECMA group of companies, a manufacturer of operator display units for use in hazardous industrial areas.

The acquisition of GECMA, which was formed in 1991 and is based in Kerpen, Germany, is part of an expansion strategy by Luton-based MTL which is designed to leverage existing sales channels while providing a more complete solution in open control components for hazardous environments.

GECMA's specialist operator displays are often used in hazardous areas, such as chemical-, petrochemical plants and pharmaceutical factories, that MTL already targets with its range of remote I/O and surge protection products.

Graeme Philp, MTL's chief executive, said, “This is an excellent acquisition which is a first-rate fit with MTL's existing operations. GECMA sells to the same customers that we are selling to with our interfaces and Fieldbus and MOST products.”

The acquisition expands MTL's product range for companies looking to move to an open systems environment, which requires more control equipment to be located on the plant floor close to the process or in the field, and streamlines the role of the central control room.

Frank Kellershohn, who founded the GECMA business, will join the MTL management team as business unit director of the newly formed Visualisation Business Unit. Kellershohn said, “I am proud to be part of the MTL Group, and I believe we share a common vision for the future of our industry. I look forward to playing a part in the MTL senior management team.”

GECMA's display units encompass a flat screen VDU, a rugged keyboard and other peripheral equipment, such as track balls and fingerprint scanners. Hermetically sealed, they are safe for use in all hazardous environments, for instance those exposed to harsh chemicals or explosive gases and dusts.

GECMA also has a strong customer base in the pharmaceutical sector, as its display units can be safely hosed down for cleaning purposes.

MTL Instruments Group is a developer of intrinsic safety, open process control components and surge protection products aimed at the process control and telecommunications industries. It has recently developed a range of open process control components which can be snapped together by third party companies to create sophisticated control solutions, tailored to their customer needs.

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