Fuor buys Stork

The consolidation in the large plant services / O&M market continues with Fluor agreeing to buy Stork in a transaction valued at US$ 755 mill. or roughly 7x EBITDA. Stork has been a major player, mainly in Europe, and adds $ 1.7 bill. to Fluor’s $ 400 mill. in plant services/O&M revenues making the combined company one of the largest. The industry is starting to globalize and continues to drive for scale to improve economics.

Stork has been through multiple changes in the past few years. It was acquired by Candover, a private equity company, for € 1.6 billion in 2008 and sold to Arle in 2010. Arle restructured Stork by selling off its Fokker aircraft component unit and merging the technical services business with RBG, a large UK inspection and maintenance services company for the global energy industry with £ 300 mill. revenue and 4500 employees.

Valuations probably reflective of problems in the oil (and fossil power) industry, the need to reduce service capacity or the difficulty of creating value in the industrial services market?

Vestas expands its service business by acquiring Upwind Solutions in US

ZipCar founder Robin Chase says sharing economy combats climate change, transforms the world and does away with industrial capitalism

Uber competes against car ownership

If you can press a button and get an affordable ride across town within minutes at any time of day or night, why bother to own a car at all? By getting more bums on previously empty seats this new service will help cut congestion and pollution in London.

Although Uber is now massively popular across the world, it is hated by London’s black taxi drivers , who fear it will drive them out of business.

3D Printing wind microturbines – to be made anywhere needed

They have been working on developing a durable, high quality, pay-as-you-go platform that offers bundles of renewable energy and internet systems, and this 3D printing solution (that can reach people through Orange’s global network) might just be the ticket. Omni3D, of course, is a well-known Polish 3D printer manufacturer, who have been quite successful with their Factory 2.0 Production System flagship 3D printer. Their Factory 2.0 was used to develop these wind turbines, which has been specifically designed for industrial applications.

That is quite necessary, as reports reveal that the 3D printed wind turbine features blades half a meter tall, made from ABS with an internal honeycomb structure to save materials. The final blade structures consists of 93% air – much more efficient and affordable than, say, milling, parts

Digitization in Germany: Data and algorithms in the service of machine engineering or vice versa

Many employees, too, are not ready for the digital world. At German universities computer scientists are trained much like engineers, meaning they are focused on precision, explains Clemens Westerkamp of the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück. This mindset, he says, is a big advantage when building highly reliable systems, which are required in many industries. But it is a drawback in the world of software and data, where quick thinking and risk-taking are more important. “The battle for industrial platforms will be a fight between German precision and American speed,” says Mr Westerkamp.

That’s a cliche! Risk taking is exactly what you need in mission critical systems isn’t it? Business risk taking and engineering risk taking should really be kept apart


Japan’s rocket launch industry needs to do more to improve customer experience


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