The Switch, a Yaskawa company, to acquire Wärtsilä Drives’ products

PRESS RELEASE: For release on September 23, 2016
(For German and Norwegian versions see attached)

The Switch, a Yaskawa company, to acquire Wärtsilä Drives’ products, R&D and manufacturing to strengthen its core advanced electrical drive train offering. 

Finland, September 23, 2016 – The Switch, a technology specialist of advanced drive trains, announced its acquisition of Wärtsilä’s marine drives business that encompasses specialized megawatt-class power drives targeting marine applications. The Yaskawa-backed investment gives The Switch a stronger foothold in its growing marine business area. Together, The Switch and the Norway-based marine drives business aim to benefit from a number of inherent added-value synergies, including a stronger machine and drive package offering, a broader product range and a wider market access. 

As part of the deal, The Switch will gain part of Wärtsilä’s Electrical & Automation (E&A) business line’s test center and the manufacturing facilities in Stord, Norway, that are associated with its marine drives. The Switch will then become a supply chain partner of Wärtsilä for marine drives while also being able to open up the product offering to other customers. The business transition from Wärtsilä to The Switch is due for completion once the operations have been transferred to The Switch.

Stronger core offering

The Switch investment in the marine drives business enables both companies to fully focus on developing their core competences and creating drive train solutions with better synergy together. Wärtsilä aims to focus on systems, whereas The Switch strives to be the best in providing drive train components to future proof vessels.

The specialized marine R&D teams of the synergetic group will collaborate closely, enabling The Switch and Yaskawa to bring additional technical resources to ongoing and future solutions. Additionally, the two will be able to take advantage of building on each other’s solid technical knowledge.

Broader product range

This acquisition gives The Switch an opportunity to enhance its offering of world-class products since Wärtsilä’s drive offering is optimized for marine applications. This allows The Switch to broaden its marine business, an area which is taking off with the growing acceptance of the company’s permanent magnet technology.

The power drive products are used as proven elements within Wärtsilä’s systems that have already passed various approval requirements and are used in applications ranging from propulsion to drilling. There are currently hundreds of ships sailing with Wärtsilä marine drives. This makes them attractive to other marine customers who are seeking to reduce risk while upgrading to more advanced drive train solutions and hybrid systems.

“The Wärtsilä drive products are specially made without compromise for marine applications. These products are ready for integration with various other systems because of their superior communication features, including de facto industry standard interfaces and remote management possibilities. It is also possible to separate the logistics for cabinets and power modules by shipping them later to avoid damages during the long installation times at shipyards,” says Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO of The Switch.  

Wider market access

As part of The Switch, the power drives unit will be able to explore new audiences to expand its business. It will also be better positioned to serve customers thanks to The Switch’s extensive international sales and marketing network as well as to offer customers strong after-sales support.

Thanks to Yaskawa’s involvement in the investment, the mother company will demonstrate its continued support and interest to ensure that The Switch becomes a major player in its chosen area. For the marine segment, The Switch works closely with Yaskawa as an integrated team and thereby is able to offer this wider product range globally.

“At the moment, the oil and gas market is in a slump. Yet, we are taking a longer perspective in our views of this market. Now is good time to engineer future-proof solutions for marine. Once the market picks up, we’ll be ready to implement them,” says Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen.

About The Switch

The Switch, a Yaskawa company, is a pioneer in advanced drive train technology. The company has an installed base of over 11 GW of megawatt-class permanent magnet machine and converter packages. The main focus areas are wind, marine and special industrial solutions. The company’s innovative drive trains make an impact on profitable power generation and energy use, with the ultimate goal of lowering the cost of energy and operations. The Switch is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. For more information, visit: www.theswitch.com .

About Yaskawa

Yaskawa Electric Corporation is a world-leading provider of core technologies focused on motion control, robotics automation, and systems engineering. Since it was founded in 1915, Yaskawa Electric has provided motor applications, advancement of industrial automation, the creation of mechatronics and cutting-edge robotics. Yaskawa today employs over 14,000 persons globally in its core divisions. The company reported net sales of EUR 3.3 billion in 2015. For more information, visit    www.yaskawa.co.jp  

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen, Marketing Communication Specialist
The Switch: Tel. +358 50 554 5044,
lisa.kettman-kervinen@theswitch.com  

Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO
The Switch: Tel. +358 40 8080 580,
jukka-pekka.makinen@theswitch.com  

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