Four companies which manufacture a wide range of industrial products are teaming up to create an on-line exchange to allow their distributors to purchase products from them.
Rockwell Automation, Timken, INA Holding Schaeffler of Germany, and the SKF Group of Sweden are launching CoLinx, a company that will run an Internet web site for their distributors. Other manufacturers are being asked to join the exchange. Don Louis, director of e-business at Rockwell Automation, will serve as president of CoLinx.
The companies will sell seals, bearings, monitoring equipment, electric motors, gear motors, speed reducers, couplings, v-belts, clutches, brakes, variable speed drive controls, and lubricants.
A spokesperson said that it will be crucial to the success of the venture to link the site to others in order to expand the opportunity. While limited in scope, with only four suppliers, the combination could prove powerful, particularly within the discrete industry and also for asset management, he added.
Like Rockwell’s earlier, spun-off venture, SourceAlliance (which was in trouble and is being restructured), CoLinx recognizes the critical role of the middleman/distributor, enabling them with the ability to use the Internet through CoLinx to better serve the end customer.
Also, Rockwell is aggressively moving into the Asset Management space, having acquired the condition monitoring company, Entek, and partnering with MRO Software (formerly PSDI). SKF also has a condition monitoring service-solution for companies that use its bearings. An asset management solution may be created between Rockwell and SKF, and offered through the CoLinx site.