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Hitachi acquisition to aid expansion in medical sector

23 May 2024

HITACHI HAS signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire all shares of St. Leon-Rot, Germany-based MA micro automation from MAX Management (a subsidiary of MAX Automation SE).

MA micro automation is a leading provider of robotic and automation technology (robotic SI) including high-speed linear handling systems, high-precision assembly lines, and high-speed vision inspection technology for Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia, for EUR 71.5 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024, pending completion of the customary regulatory filings. After the acquisition is completed, MA micro automation will join JR Automation Technologies, a market leader in providing advanced automation solutions and digital technologies in the robotic system integration business for North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia as a continued effort to expand the company's global presence.

MA micro automation is a technology leader for automation solutions within micro-assembly. Through its state-of-the-art proprietary high-speed and high-precision automation know-how, combined with unique optical image inspection capabilities, MA micro automation serves high-growth med-tech automation end-markets, covering the production, assembly, and testing medical and optical components including contact lenses, IVD and diabetes diagnostics consumables, and injection molding for medical use. The company was established in 2003 through a carve-out from Siemens and since 2013 has been part of the MAX Automation group.

JR Automation is a leading provider of intelligent automated manufacturing technology solutions, serving customers across the globe in a variety of industries including automotive, life sciences, e-mobility, consumer and industrial products. With over 20 locations between North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, the leading integrator offers nearly 2 million square feet of available build and engineering floorspace. This acquisition allows JR Automation to further grow and strengthen both the company's geographical footprint and their continued commitment on expanding support capabilities within the European region and medical market vertical.

"MA micro automation provides engineering, build and support expertise with established capabilities in complex vision applications, high-speed and high-precision automation technologies. When integrated with JR Automation's uniform global process and digital technologies, this partnership will further enhance our ability to deliver added value and support to all of our customers worldwide and continue to grow our capabilities in the medical market," says Dave DeGraaf, CEO of JR Automation. "As we integrate this new dimension, impressive talents and abilities of the MA micro automation team we further enhance our ability to serve our customers, creating a more robust and globally balanced offering."

With this acquisition, Hitachi aims to further enhance its ability to provide a "Total Seamless Solution" to connect manufacturer's factory floors seamlessly and digitally with their front office data, allowing them to achieve total optimization and bringing Industry 4.0 to life. This strategy links organisations' operational activities such as engineering, supply chain, and purchasing to the plant floor and allows for real time, data-driven decision-making that improves the overall business value for customers.

Kazunobu Morita, vice president and executive officer, CEO of industrial digital business unit, Hitachi, says: "We are very pleased to welcome MA micro automation to the Hitachi Group. The team is based in Europe, providing robotic SI to global medical device manufacturing customers with its high technological capabilities and will join forces with JR Automation and Hitachi Automation to strengthen our global competitiveness. Hitachi aims to enhance its ability to provide value to customers and grow alongside them by leveraging its strengths in both OT, IT, including robotic SI, and "Total Seamless Solution" through Lumada's customer co-creation framework."

Joachim Hardt, CEO MA micro automation says: "Following the successful establishment and growth of MA micro automation within the attractive automation market for medical technology products, we are now opening a new chapter. Our partnership with Hitachi will not only strengthen our global competitive position, but we will also benefit from joint technological synergies and a global market presence. We look forward to a synergistic partnership with Hitachi and JR Automation."