NSK Acquires Condition Monitoring System Business

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President & CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) has signed an agreement to acquire condition monitoring system (“CMS”) business Brüel & Kjær from Spectris Plc.

Background and Objectives of the Acquisition

In recent years, predictive maintenance, a next-generation maintenance method, has been attracting attention in manufacturing circles. Predictive maintenance type condition monitoring of equipment and production lines not only helps with maintenance management, but also will be utilized to detect early signs of abnormality or failure and contribute to preventing problems from occurring in the future. Through the analysis of obtained condition information, predictive maintenance systems are expected to contribute to productivity and quality improvements, and to serve as a means of production innovation in line with the accelerating digital transformation of manufacturing infrastructure. NSK’s main products, including bearings, are key components that support the function and performance of equipment, and the wealth of data, technology, and knowledge NSK has accumulated over the years is key to developing predictive maintenance systems.

In NSK’s mid-term management plan (FY2019-2021), “building up a CMS business” was set as a new mechanism for growth. Specifically, NSK plans to evolve from providing breakdown and remaining life expectancy diagnosis to providing comprehensive technical service solutions to customers for problems and issues faced by equipment and machinery across a wide range of industries.

Now, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the mid-term management plan and to enhance NSK’s platform in the CMS business, a growing market, NSK has decided to acquire B&K Vibro, which is a leading specialist in the CMS market and is expected to continue to grow faster than the market. B&K Vibro will function independently as an autonomous organization under the direct supervision of the President and CEO of NSK, and will be able to more rapidly develop its business by utilizing NSK’s resources.

NSK has positioned B&K Vibro as a growth driver in CMS. Gaining access to B&K Vibro’s high-profile customer base, technology, brand reputation, CMS talent, and big data enables NSK to accelerate CMS business development. The acquisition will further strengthen NSK’s ability to respond to the needs of society for automation, labor savings, smart technology, and environmental measures.

Comment from Toshihiro Uchiyama, NSK Ltd. President and CEO
With B&K Vibro becoming part of our company, we will be able to enhance our CMS business platform and aim for further growth in the rapidly growing CMS market.

Comment from Marcel Van Helten, Brüel & Kjær CEO
We are truly honored to become a part of NSK, a company which set out to become a leader in condition monitoring. The synergies between our companies are evident, and with the combination of the talent and the knowledge residing within our companies, we will be able to deliver innovation solutions to our customers.

Comment from Andrew Heath, Spectris Plc. Chief Executive
The sale of B&K Vibro is another step in our portfolio optimization strategy and delivers compelling value for our shareholders. B&K Vibro will be an ideal addition to the NSK product portfolio. Being part of a global organization with complementary products and greater commercial alignment, with a parent company which is looking to invest and develop their technology, will be a positive move for the B&K Vibro business.

Overview of B&K Vibro

B&K Vibro, as it is known today, was formed in 2000 by the merger of the German company Schenck, founded in 1881, and the Danish company Brüel & Kjær, founded in 1942. As an early provider of continuous monitoring solutions for deep sea oil rigs, B&K Vibro was a pioneer in the CMS market for rotating machinery and is now a worldwide leader in facility maintenance and condition monitoring solutions for rotating machinery such as pumps, turbines, compressors and generators.

B&K Vibro is a leading supplier in the CMS market. Its products and services include a comprehensive range of products such as vibration sensors (acceleration, velocity, displacement), vibration monitors, software, and online-integrated plant-wide monitoring solutions, enabling safe and secure operation in petrochemical complexes, plants, power plants, and wind farms worldwide, and are widely used for production innovation.

About B&K Vibro

About Spectris Plc.

Purchase Price and Payment Method

The purchase price of B&K Vibro is approximately €169 million (¥21 billion), and the acquisition will be funded by cash on hand.