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Demag acquires British software company

Demag Cranes, the overhead and port crane manufacturer has acquired DB Controls, of Doncaster, South Yorkshire in the UK.

DB Controls is an accredited software developer and consultant for bulk materials automation. The customers of the company, include port and terminal operators in the UK, Asia and Africa, among others. Following the acquisition it will trade exclusively under the brand DBIS.

The acquisition is part of Demag’s strategy of expanding its capabilities in the field of bulk materials handling in the port technology business. It says that the complementary service portfolio of DB Controls will help Demag Cranes expand its range of software and consultancy services, previously geared to container terminals in the port and hinterland, to include the area of bulk materials.

Demag’s chief operating officer Thomas H. Hagen, said: “DB Controls’ consulting and software capabilities combined with their automation skills are at the upper end of the services pyramid. This will enable us to strengthen our position in the bulk materials handling market considerably.”

Vertikal Comment

This is the second port crane company to make a systems and software acquisition in three weeks. Cargotec, which owns the Kalmar brand, acquired US based NES systems at the end of January.

It is becoming clear that the hardware producers believe that control of the increasingly widely used systems, software and consulting services – the softer side of the industry – are of strategic importance for their future.

Perhaps this will become an issue in the crane and lift market before very long?