Insight, Integration and Innovation: Our History of Building Solutions for Tomorrow’s Customer Needs

Customers depend on Emerson to anticipate their future needs and assemble the right capabilities to address them.  For decades, the company has followed a successful strategy to accomplish this mission, focusing on insight, integration and innovation to deliver value.

Insight is cultivated through customer partnerships.  Whether it’s automation of manufacturing processes or improving the efficiency of the cold chain, Emerson experts dig in to understand customer technologies, business processes and culture to develop the right solutions to meet their needs.  This deep understanding of customer industries also allows Emerson to identify challenges early on, and to seek new opportunities to address them.

Solutions to these challenges are most often developed through a combination of integration and innovation.  Emerson has a long, proven history of identifying promising capabilities being developed in the marketplace, making strategic, sensible acquisitions to integrate these capabilities into our broader portfolio, then innovating to combine the tools at our disposal in ways that provide additional value to our customers. 

Today’s Emerson is a direct result of this three-pronged approach.  For Automation Solutions, it started in the mid-1970s, when the company saw the opportunity for manufacturers in process industries to automate operations via sensors and other devices that could deliver information to streamline plant functions and prevent downtime.  Emerson worked to build its capabilities via acquisitions of companies like Rosemount and, in 1985, ASCO, which developed the sensors and instruments that could monitor various plant functions. 

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, we added control features into automation solutions, enabling manufacturers to not only monitor plant performance, but to act as needed to maximize reliability and efficiency.  Again, acquisitions helped to build on this vision, including businesses like Fisher, Westinghouse Process Controls and RS3 Control Systems. 

Starting in the new millennium, we added data management to the mix, adding the expertise of companies like Syncade, ESI and Mynah, which enabled the delivery of actionable insights, allowing customers to predict the future of their own systems and work to more proactively maintain Top Quartile performance.

The combination of these capabilities allowed us to create DeltaV and Plantweb, providing integrated automation infrastructure that today includes a broad portfolio of Pervasive Sensing technologies, an extensive suite of analytical software tools, secure and robust data infrastructure devices and expert services. 

Emerson’s Commercial & Residential Solutions business grew in a similar manner, using a combination of acquisitions and internal innovation to build on a vision for smarter and more capable heating and cooling solutions.  This process started in the mid-‘80s with Copeland, maker of high-efficiency scroll compressors for air conditioners.  The portfolio expanded into control capabilities in the ‘90s, and by the 2000s included data management capabilities through internal advances like the ProAct Services, software that allows businesses like supermarkets, convenience stores and transportation companies to monitor heating and cooling to optimize operations.

Ultimately, Emerson built a comprehensive solution for management of the cold chain, the infrastructure through which food is kept cold and fresh from farm to ship to truck to supermarket.  Through Emerson innovation, customers can now determine instantly when the temperature of a single cargo container on a single ship falls outside of optimal range, helping to reduce losses and maintain the safety and quality of food, even as they boost efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

In both cases, we followed our strategy to build solutions that anticipated customer needs, depending on insights to identify future opportunities, then using a combination of acquisition and internal advances to turn those visions into realities.  Ultimately, we were able to effectively integrate the individual capabilities of each of the companies it acquired to create whole solutions that are much greater than the sum of their parts.   

When done correctly, acquisitions deliver increased value that neither company could achieve on its own. Solutions that offer depth and breadth that were not previously possible. Our acquisition formula includes fresh investment in both the new companies and new employees. We have a long history of people who joined us via acquisition who have stayed, enjoyed many opportunities to move across the enterprise and built long successful careers at Emerson.

We will continue to focus on this proven strategy moving forward.  Helping manufacturers to boost efficiency and reduce downtime.  Helping businesses and homes to maximize efficiency, comfort and safety.  And always looking forward to identify and solve tomorrow’s challenges.

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Acquisitions & Divestitures

Our portfolio repositioning initiative is focused on accelerating growth and creating value for our shareholders through strategic acquisitions and divestitures.

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