Industrial giant General Electric Co. expanded its presence as a supply chain technology provider on Thursday when it announced it had acquired Iders Inc., a Canadian provider of electronic products that support communication in the rail industry.
Oakbank, Manitoba-based Iders defines its GoLINC platform as an onboard processing, storage, networking, and communications hub that turns a locomotive into a mobile data center.
The two companies have been partners for more than five years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Boston-based GE has been investing heavily in logistics tech in recent months, buying the cloud-based collaboration firm ShipXpress Inc. in September, paying $599 million to purchase German 3-D printing company Concept Laser GmbH in October, and launching an Internet of Things partnership with SAP SE in November.
General Electric's Chicago-based GE Transportation division also launched a two-month pilot project with the Port of Los Angeles in November to test a maritime information pOréal that could help the port service ultra-large container vessels by providing early descriptions of cargo before it arrives.
Buying Iders gives GE Transportation access to an installed base of GoLINC devices on more than 8,500 locomotives globally. GE could use those devices to write applications that help each train, and the entire system, perform more effectively, the company said.
GE Transportation will also inherit ongoing product development projects at Iders that could further improve the productivity of rail lines. Iders defines itself as an electronic product design and manufacturing resource that focuses on rail products, contract product development services (PDS), and contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS).
"This strategic acquisition marks another milestone for GE Transportation in creating an efficient, self-aware rail ecosystem that helps customers achieve smarter outcomes made possible by sensor data and analytics," GE Transportation President and CEO Jamie Miller said in a statement. "This acquisition puts GE in the driver's seat, allowing for faster innovation and scale, digital breakthroughs, and future enhancements by in-house talent."