ICS Triplex acquires new technology

April 11, 2003 — ICS Triplex has acquired the assets and technology of AlterSys as part of their strategy to become a key technology supplier to the automation industry.

The newly formed subsidiary, ICS Triplex ISaGRAF, will be based in Montreal. ICS Triplex of the UK has taken a key step towards broadening its technology offering by acquiring ISaGRAF technology and its enhanced features from AlterSys.

This transaction continues the ICS Triplex re-positioning initiated with the acquisition of the ABB TMR (Triple Modular Redundant) technology and demonstrates the intention of ICS Triplex to remain a key independent technology supplier to the automation industry. ISaGRAF is a control software environment that enables the creation of local or distributed control systems.

It offers a combination of the Virtual Machine, a highly portable, platform independent, and robust control engine, and the Workbench, an intuitive application development environment. The Virtual Machine is a powerful, optimised and very fast control engine.

The Workbench provides all of the international standard IEC61131 control languages and the output of the development environment, selectable as either portable “C” source code or TIC (Target Independent Code). ISaGRAF runtime is a control engine that meets the definition of “Open” control.

The runtime code can operate on a wide range of platforms, including Win2000, Embedded Win2000, Linux, WinCE, VxWorks, QNX, etc. ISaGRAF is offered in a comprehensive range of process control and automation software packages, for use with high performance TMRs, DCSs (Distributed Control Systems) and embedded controllers for PLCs and industrial PCs.

ICS Triplex has integrated ISaGRAF software for a number of years, including the development of its IEC-61131 Tool Set and Validators.

ICS Triplex ISaGRAF Managing Director, Julien Chouinard, stated, “There was a natural compatibility between the strong ICS Triplex technology focus and the philosophy behind the development of ISaGRAF. Over 220,000 systems around the world benefit from this technology that required over US$15M to be developed. The fast penetration of the ISaGRAF technology, especially with OEMs, called for the worldwide support organization and financial stability that ICS Triplex was able to provide. AlterSys end user and OEM customers are enthusiastic about the significant increase in product support and the developments that will result from this transaction.”

The strategy being implemented by ICS Triplex’s management includes plans for further acquisitions. ICS Triplex CEO, Peter Mottershead, explains: “We have restructured to strengthen our customer service and application expertise as well as our products and technologies. AlterSys has the people and technology that result in a perfect strategic fit with our global manufacturing position, allowing production of key technologies in-house as well as providing strong research and development capabilities that complement our technical teams around the world. ICS Triplex ISaGRAF will be based in Canada because it is a good strategic location for our worldwide markets. Key personnel involved in the success of ISaGRAF are staying with the company. ICS Triplex is now supplying key automation technologies to most automation vendors in the world.”

While manufacturing operates on a global scale, end users and OEMs want service and support on a local scale. ICS Triplex is strengthening their service and support capabilities both organically and through acquisition, which will greatly benefit ISaGRAF users worldwide.

“Customer service is vital in our markets, because one size does not fit all,” explains Mottershead. “Our growing range of products is designed to be highly configurable and conform to all appropriate global standards. For automation industry end users and OEMs to use advanced technology effectively from their key technology suppliers, those suppliers must provide high level local support in the field.”

Based in Maldon, UK, ICS Triplex is a £30m (US$45m) global company that provides fault-tolerant control systems for industries which demand critical control, fire and gas monitoring, and safety shutdown ranging from oil drilling, production and refining to nuclear power generation and rocket launch control.

Its product, Trusted, is based on a proprietary technology in which 64-bit processors provide 1msec sequence-of-event resolution while ensuring exceptional availability by multiple-level fault detection and fault tolerance.

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