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The Switch to acquire Wärtsilä Drives’ business

The Switch, a technology specialist of advanced drive trains, has announced its acquisition of Wärtsilä’s marine drives business that encompasses specialised megawatt-class power drives targeting marine applications.

The Yaskawa-backed investment gives The Switch a stronger foothold in its growing marine business area.

Together, The Switch and the Norway-based marine drives business aim to benefit from a number of inherent added-value synergies, including a stronger machine and drive package offering, a broader product range and a wider market access.

As part of the deal, The Switch will gain part of Wärtsilä’s Electrical & Automation (E&A) business line’s test center and the manufacturing facilities in Stord, Norway, that are associated with its marine drives.

The Switch will then become a supply chain partner of Wärtsilä for marine drives while also being able to open up the product offering to other customers. This acquisition gives The Switch an opportunity to enhance its offering of world-class products since Wärtsilä’s drive offering is optimised for marine applications.

This allows The Switch to broaden its marine business, an area which is taking off with the growing acceptance of the company’s permanent magnet technology.

The power drive products are used as proven elements within Wärtsilä’s systems that have already passed various approval requirements and are used in applications ranging from propulsion to drilling.

There are currently hundreds of ships sailing with Wärtsilä marine drives. This makes them attractive to other marine customers who are seeking to reduce risk while upgrading to more advanced drive train solutions and hybrid systems.

“The Wärtsilä drive products are specially made without compromise for marine applications. These products are ready for integration with various other systems because of their superior communication features, including de facto industry standard interfaces and remote management possibilities.

It is also possible to separate the logistics for cabinets and power modules by shipping them later to avoid damages during the long installation times at shipyards,” says Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO of The Switch.

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