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GE and Fanuc end automation partnership after 23 years

After 23 years, GE and Fanuc will dissolve their joint venture, GE Fanuc Automation Corporation, to “allow each company to refocus its investments to grow its existing businesses and pursue its respective core industry expertise,” a joint announcement said.

GE and Fanuc expect the transaction to be completed by the end of this year, subject to satisfactory customary closing conditions.

Established in 1986 by the joint investments of GE and Fanuc, GE Fanuc Automation Corporation serves an array of industries around the world including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government and defence, and telecommunications.

The soon-to-be-defunct partnership delivers hardware and software solutions, services, automation and embedded computing systems; as well as CNC (numerical control) products.

Fanuc honorary chairman, Dr Seiuemon Inaba said that while the joint venture was a great success, the two companies must now go their own way to cater for changing market demands.

“Our joint venture has achieved great success toward its original mission, which was to cooperate on the global growth and technical development of the PLC and CNC business,” he said.

“Over this time period, markets and opportunities also have changed dramatically, and both companies further expanded into adjacent segments.

“Today’s market conditions are such that it’s imperative we pursue these expanded opportunities, and while we have achieved great things together, it’s in both our best interests that we focus our efforts on industry opportunities unique to our respective companies and that will deliver greater benefits to both our companies.”

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms CEO, Maryrose Sylvester, said, “GE could not have asked for better partners than Dr Inaba and Fanuc. GE is proud of what our companies have achieved together — both the industry expertise and success across our product portfolios.

“For GE, this change will mean a continued, intense focus on serving our customers around the world while continuing to invest in significant growth platforms like process control systems, enterprise and automation software and embedded computing as we continue to build further expertise around the GE vertical infrastructure segments.”

GE will retain the software, services, embedded systems and control systems businesses globally. The company will be known as GE Intelligent Platforms, and will be led by Sylvester.

Fanuc will retain the global CNC business.

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