Posted January 10, 2017

Walter forms joint venture with software firm

Walter has joined with long-standing software partner Comara to create a new company under joint leadership focused on smart manufacturing.

"This is a key step in our drive to provide our customers in North America and around the world with Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 solutions," said Mirko Merlo, president of Walter AG.

Walter, with the majority stake in the new company, is continuing to pursue its evolution from a tool manufacturer to a provider of comprehensive production solutions. Comara has worked with Walter since 2012 on connectivity and Smart Manufacturing issues, building on its strengths in collecting, evaluating and using real-time data to connect machines. Together with Walter, the company also develops software solutions for connecting all devices in the production environmen, from machines and tools, to logistics and databases.

The synergies made possible by the new Walter-Comara collaboration will enable Walter to digitize and to connect tools with greater precision and sophistication and optimize them using real-time data, the company said in a press release. Combined with the existing Walter Tool·ID system, it allows the user to transfer tool data from the pre-setting device to the machine tool and to evaluate parameters that are run on the machine. This will give rise to the production of "Smart Tools" in the future, Walter said.

Comara's "appCom" offers machine manufacturers and industrial companies their own platform for individual "apps," special software modules geared to the production environment. In collaboration with Walter, the aim is to develop further solutions and make them available to additional machine and device manufacturers and end users.

With regional headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Walter markets its brands Walter Valenite, Walter Titex, Walter Prototyp and Walter Multiply through a network of distributors and field engineers across subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Comara GmbH specializes in software solutions for industry. It supplies machine manufacturers, the automotive industry, and technology leaders with its production assistance systems, process and machine data logging for real-time optimization and solutions for the "Internet of Things." Comara GmbH was founded in 2004 and has been majority-owned by Walter AG since October 2016.