The Winding History of Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation is one of the biggest industrial automation companies in the world. But a little over a century ago it began as a small company devoted to one product started on a $1,000 investment.

The infographic below will give you many of the highlights, but the company has continually grown through other beneficial acquisitions,mergers, and divestitures as well. This includes

  • Allen-Bradley’s acquisition of Robotronics S.A. from Matra S.A. in 1985. Robotronics S.A. was active in robot vision. (1)
  • Allen-Bradley’s acquisition of the Electronics Corporation of America in 1986 for $99 million. The Electronics Corporation of America was based in Waltham, Mass. and manufactured electronic combustion sensors and photoelectric controls. (2)
  • Allen-Bradley’s acquisition of Creonics in 1990. Creonics created motion control products (3)
  • Allen-Bradley’s acquisition and partnership with Metal Leve Controles Eletronicos in 1992 The company specialized in electromechanical industrial control products. (4)
  • Rockwell’s acquisition of Reliance Electric for 1.6 billion dollars in 1994. The company focused on motors, drives, and mechanical drive components. Rockwell also buys ICOM and Controlware around this time. (5,6,7)
  • Rockwell International acquisition of California’s Intecolor Corp in 1997. The privately held company, which built high-performance computer monitors and industrial workstations, was purchased for an undisclosed amount. (8)
  • Rockwell’s acquisitions of Dynapro and EJA Engineering in 1999. Dynapro designed HMI interface software, while EJA specialized in industrial Automation safety components. (9,10)
  • Rockwell’s acquisition of several software companies, including Datasweep in 2005, GEPA in 2006, Incuity in 2008, and ACP in 2016. (11,12,13,14)
  • Rockwell merges Allen-Bradley with Electro-Craft, moving all motion control products under the Allen-Bradley name. (15)
  • Rockwell divested itself of Reliance Electric, selling the power systems business to Baldor Electric in 2006 for $1.75 billion in cash and $50 million in stock. (5)
  • Rockwell’s expansion of its MES (manufacturing execution systems) offerings with the acquisition of Interwave in 2003 and MESTECH Services in 2019. (16,17)
  • Rockwell’s move into advanced technologies with the acquisition of vMonitor in 2013, Jacobs Automation in 2014, Odos Imaging Limited in 2017, Emulate3D in 2019, and AvNet in 2020. (18)

Download a high-quality PDF version of this Infographic below.

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(11), figure 21



(14) ACP