Building automation firms combine efforts, new name next

Monday, November 1, 2004

CARROLLTON, Texas- Now that TAC and Andover Controls are owned by the same parent company, the one-time competitors in the building control market are working diligently to unite on several fronts.

Already parent company Schneider Electric has shifted the marketing, research and development for the combined companies to Andover Controls’ facility in Andover, Mass. Schneider Electric is also working on combining the two companies’ names, with the new name expected to be revealed before the end of the year.

On the management side, Dean Meyer was named president of TAC Americas and Andover Controls. Meyers replaces William LaPointe, the former president of Andover Controls.

The reason for the changes, according to Lonnie Laue, director of marketing and sales support for TAC, is for the business to take advantage of synergies of working together.

“Both names and brands have advantages in certain parts of the world,” said Laue. “The Andover name is very strong in the United States and the TAC name is very strong in parts of Europe.”

While there is some overlap between TAC and Andover Controls offices, Laue characterized most of the overlap as complementary. For example, TAC often focused on the education market and government, while Andover Controls is strong in pharmaceutical and the telecommunications industry.

Schneider Electric began building its presence in the security and building automation market when it bought Swedish company TAC AB last year. With Andover Controls now in the fold, Schneider Electric becomes a significant player in the highly competitive building automation market.

“The acquisition activity is really strong right now,” said Terry McMahon, an analyst from BCS Partners in Leonia, N.J. in an earlier interview with Security Systems News. “ We’re really getting to the point where there are a number of players competing for this business and position of substantial market size.”

Laue said that together TAC and Andover Controls are better positioned to provide a more robust offering.

“It now creates a company that is a global leader in open systems and integrated solutions,” said Laue. “We’re one of a few companies that now have both BACnet and LAN as our protocol in our building management solution.”