Rockwell Automation Acquires Plex Systems to Expand Industrial Cloud Software Capabilities

July 13, 2021 by Nancy Chenyizhi Liu

Rockwell Automation announced the plan to acquire Plex Systems for $2.22 billion USD.

With Plex's smart manufacturing platform, Rockwell Automation hopes to expand the industrial cloud software offering.

Industrial automation and digital transformation company, Rockwell Automation, has agreed to acquire Plex Systems. According to the company, Plex provides cloud-native solutions for applications in supply chain visibility, manufacturing execution, and quality management across process, hybrid, and discrete industry segments.


A graphic showing how Plex's latest manufacturing platform works with an industrial facility. Screenshot used courtesy of Plex Systems


The acquisition is expected to expand Rockwell's operating margins and accelerate recurring revenue goal achievement by about two years.


Smart Manufacturing Platforms Operating at Scale

Plex Systems is an industrial cloud software company based in Michigan. It offers Plex Manufacturing Cloud, a subscription-based cloud-delivered smart manufacturing platform operating at scale. This platform enables manufacturers to monitor, connect, automate, and analyze every business aspect to drive transformation.

This single-instance, multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) manufacturing platform features supply chain management capabilities and advanced manufacturing execution systems. It is designed to provide solutions for enterprise resource planning (ERP), IIoTmanufacturing execution system (MES), quality, planning, and management of supply chain and people, machines, systems, and supply chain connection analytics.

Plex claims to have over 700 customers globally and handle more than eight billion transactions per day.


The Acquisition for Better Cloud-Native Solutions

The acquisition will help to combine Rockwell's software portfolio and domain expertise with Plex's "cutting-edge" cloud technology, accelerate the effort to bring Connect Enterprise to life, and strengthen the software revenue growth and annual recurring revenue, said Blake Moret, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation.


A graphic showing the announcement between Rockwell Automation and Plex Systems. Image used courtesy of Plex Systems 


For manufacturers, the need to upgrade their production systems with easy-to-implement, cloud-based manufacturing execution systems is increasing. 

Rockwell recently acquired an AI-enabled computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) company Fiix to advance asset maintenance and management capabilities. Now with the Plex acquisition, the company hopes to have a stronger portfolio of cloud-native solutions. Meanwhile, Plex may benefit from Rockwell's global market access, industry expertise, and ability to turn real-time data into actionable insights.

According to Bill Berutti, CEO of Plex, Plex has been a "leader" in the movement to smart manufacturing. Besides expanding their impact and reach, this acquisition hopes to create a joining force to bring manufacturing to the cloud.


The Rockwell-Plex Acquisition Deal

Plex system will be reported Software and Control operating segment of Rockwell Automation. This unit provides software and hardware solutions for the design, operation, and maintenance of production automation and management systems.


A graphic showing how Plex's latest manufacturing platform works with operators in an industrial facility. Screenshot used courtesy of Plex Systems


As part of the acquisition deal, over 500 Plex employees will join Rockwell. Subject to regulatory review and other customary closing conditions, this $2.22 billion cash deal is expected to close in Rockwell's fiscal fourth quarter.