FLSmidth says it has completed its portfolio of automated laboratory solutions for the mining industry with the takeover of IMP Automation Group.
The market for automated laboratories is growing due to a combination of high exploration activity and an increased focus on productivity, automation and digitalisation, according to FLSmidth.
“IMP is the global leader in automated laboratory solutions for the mining industry and has a strong foothold in Australia and South Africa. Its solutions complement the products FLSmidth offers for quality control and optimisation for the mining process,” the company said.
The acquisition includes more than 130 IMP employees, including the Managing Director, Boyne Hohenstein.
Hohenstein said: “In FLSmidth, we have found a partner with the right global sales network to take us to the next level. For years, we have combined profound laboratory process knowledge with automation skills and developed novel and innovative solutions. I am very excited that we now can reach a global audience with our offerings and solutions.”
Manfred Schaffer, President Mining for FLSmidth, said: “Knowing your ore characteristics from the mine and all the way through the processing plant is of increasing importance in mining as declining ore grades make it necessary to increase productivity by process optimisation. We see a strong match between some of our digital initiatives in FLSmidth and IMP’s automation solutions that will help miners get better data on their ore and assist in optimising the processing.”
Included in the transaction is IMP’s 50% share in a joint venture, which provides complete operations and maintenance-based solutions for automated labs.
The acquired parts of IMP Automation Group, including the JV, generated revenues in excess of DKK250 million ($38 million) in 2018, with the acquisition expected to be accretive to FLSmidth Group margins.
The takeover is subject to customary closing conditions and closing is expected in the June quarter.
IMP says it works with like-minded customers to provide innovative robotics and automation solutions from sampling to analysis that improve ergonomics, health and safety for laboratory operators, improve integrity, quality and precision of analytical data and improve efficiencies.
It designs and supplies manual, semi- and fully-automated robotic sample preparation and process control laboratories, turnkey sampling systems and laboratories for mining, metallurgical, cement, non-ferrous industry and steel plants.
Its customers include Anglo American Platinum, Freeport McMoRan, BHP and Rio Tinto