Jabil leadership shakeup; 3M plant expansion; ABB buys Siemens division

Engineering.com’s roundup of recent advanced manufacturing news.

Jabil ousts CEO, shakes up leadership team

Jabil Inc., a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based provider of manufacturing and supply chain services, has named Michael Dastoor as CEO, replacing Kenneth Wilson, who will no longer serve as chief executive or on Jabil’s board of directors. Dastoor has been serving as CFO and interim CEO during an internal investigation related to corporate policies, which Jabil announced in April 2024. The company did not elaborate on details of the investigation, only saying it did not relate to and does not impact financial statements or financial reporting. Senior vice president and treasurer Gregory Hebard has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Jabil has made several other appointments to the company’s leadership team, which can be found here.

3M's Nebraska manufacturing plant got an upgrade. (Image:3M)

3M’s Nebraska manufacturing plant got an upgrade. (Image:3M)

3M expands Nebraska plant

Industrial and consumer products manufacturer 3M has opened a 90,000-square-foot expansion at the company’s Valley, Neb., facility that will increase the plant’s manufacturing capacity and add 40 new jobs. The $67-million investment includes new production lines, equipment and a warehouse for the company’s personal safety products. The expansion of the plant is expected to create additional manufacturing capacity for 3M’s reusable respirators and hearing protection products.

ABB acquires Siemens China wiring accessories division

Automation and electrification technology company ABB has agreed to acquire Siemens’ Wiring Accessories business in China, which generated more than $150 million in revenues in 2023 and employs more than 350 people. The acquisition includes wiring accessories, smart home systems, smart door locks and peripheral home automation products. These products will carry the Siemens brand under a licensing agreement. The move gives ABB access to a wide distribution network across 230 cities in China. ABB says the business will be margin accretive and the transaction is expected to close within the next twelve months. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AssetWatch secures $38M in Series B funding

AssetWatch, Inc., a Westerville, Ohio-based condition monitoring and predictive maintenance AI developer, has closed its Series B financing round after securing $38M, led by Wellington Management, a global independent asset management firm. Series A investors, including G2 Venture Partners, Triangle Peak Partners, Standard Investments, Osage University Partners, and JobsOhio Growth Capital Fund, are also investing in the Series B. The company says funding will accelerate its ongoing innovation and support the expansion and scale-up of the business.

Festo's new ELGD-TB electric actuator. (Image: Festo)

Festo’s new ELGD-TB electric actuator. (Image: Festo)

Festo introduces new electric linear actuators

Festo, a process and industrial automation components maker with U.S. headquarters in Hauppauge, N.Y., has introduced the latest generation of cartesian-handling-system mechanical axes. The company says its ELGD-TB tooth belt actuators and ELGD-BS ball screw actuators deliver exceptional load bearing capacity and torsional rigidity in multiple industrial handling situations. They are suited to most electromechanical handling tasks. Festo inlaid the bearings into the aluminum extrusion and extended bearings to the full width of the axis to handle high loads in a compact footprint. The integrated bearing design is also part of the lower profile ELGD-WD (wide actuator) for reduced force applications. This low-profile ELGD is 30% lighter than larger units while its rigidity and guide load capacity are similar.

Flex reports 2024 results

Texas-based manufacturing services company Flex earned $853 million in EBIT on $26.4 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2024, which ended March 31. “We delivered another quarter and fiscal year of solid performance, including strong margin expansion and EPS growth,” said Revathi Advaithi, CEO of Flex, in a press release. “Our results show that we can effectively navigate through the cycle and increase value to our stakeholders.” Advaithi says forecasts for fiscal 2025 are expected to be similar to its 2024 results.

Stäubli announces new robotics director for North America

Christopher Clark joins Stäubli with more than 20 years’ experience in Robotics and Automation from several industry leading systems integrators and OEMs, most recently from Chicago Electric Sales where he transformed the company into a leading systems integrator now called BHS Robotics. In his new role, Clark will provide sales, service and support for the full range of Stäubli customers in North America.

Rockwell Automation cuts full-year guidance in Q2 fiscal report

Milwaukee-based automation technology manufacturer Rockwell Automation says Q2 sales were $2.1 billion, down 6.6% from the second quarter of 2023. Organic sales decreased 8.1%, currency translation increased sales by 0.1% and acquisitions increased sales by 1.4%. The company reported that net income dipped to $266 million compared to $300 million in Q2 2023, citing lower pre-tax margin and lower segment operating margin. “Execution in the second quarter was solid, and we continue to see sequential order improvement. However, there is more excess inventory at our customers, particularly machine builders, than we originally expected. As a result, we are not yet seeing the accelerated order ramp this fiscal year and are reducing our full-year guidance,” said Chairman and CEO Blake Moret.