A few comments about PRI's "Manufacturing problems"
Many higher ups on the inside saw this (mfg.) as the the most convienient 'whipping boy'. The truth is that Postle and his band of fools in Sales, oversold the
I doubt that any manufacturing operation could have succeeded under those conditions. PRI mfg. was certainly not world class in that time frame, but they had the capability to build and test large numbers of units. The trouble they had was the Turbo's were so unstable they just stacked up on the floor. They could not be tested to completion. At times there were so many on the floor we could not start new units. Engineers were swarming on the floor to solve the issues. THAT is not a mfg. problem. That is a business dicipline problem.
Manufacturing took the bad rap for PRI's failure during the ramp of 2000, but those of us that lived the nightmare know what the real problem was. Manufacturing not hitting delivery schedules was an easy target because it was so visible. But, if you dig one layer below the surface of that PR smear, you get to the truth. My belief is combining Brook's more disciplined approach to product introduction with two pretty solid mfg. outfits, you'll have a winner.
What problematic hardware of Promis?
It runs on VMS, the most durable OS around, unless you are talking about the Unix version. That used to be the problematic one, but I've heard they've made progress.
Your right FactoryWorks beats Promis by a mile but I maintain that they largely overlap and both are past their sell by date. Throw in the problematic hardware bits of Promis and the management of the execution risk and BRKS saying no is a no brainer.
Unless you are paid on short term stock swings.
Reading over the last few posts, I see a great discussion going on here! Excellent opinions and points!
Regarding the software overlap, Brooks/FACTORYworks has always (or at least for a long time) been able to interface to the PRIA/PROMIS MES. I've talked to both Brooks and PRIA people and they both say "Ours will continue, and theirs will be phased out."
IMHO: I can't see them phasing out PROMIS because of the broad customer base they have. I can see them slowing development on it, not that there is much to do anymore, as it is a mature product. I can see them providing a mixed solution with FACTORYworks augmenting PROMIS on issues that they simply haven't been able to solve. I can also see FACTORYworks taking on some of the PROMIS features that they can.
Couple nice points raised here. Glad to see some reall oppinion here. I agree with you and feel that operations management team of BRKS has the skills and ability to turn around and propell this business unit of PRIA. They've done a great job to-date with each and every acquisition over the last number of years. I can see the Brooks-PRI combination leaping forward at the starting gate of the up-turn.
Point to note is that this is the biggest undertaking/acquisition by BRKS and therefore leaves them open to some mistakes. Again based on there track-record I think they will pull it off nicely. I'm long on BRKS.
I was not clear about the comment on great manufacturing. I was referring to West Coast operation regarding atmospheric robot production. From what I have gleaned over the years, these guys, Equipe, were technology/product limited, but never capacity limited, and were able to ramp well with the industry at low cost. They are on the West Coast, where the majority of US customers exist, and again speaking for the US, had significant market share.
As far as AMHS your right, your guesses are as good as mine. As I recall from those disappointing conference calls, the new product design and introduction issues were a real problem.
Lastly, as far as I can tell, Brooks was able to meet demand, which speaks highly of both the manufacturing and technical teams during the last upturn. Which by the way, is why they are on top in this merger.
So I would think Brooks' challenge is to instill similar technical and operations management philosophy to work for the next up turn at PRI.
Your point is well taken !
On top of the instability of the tech market, I think people are still concerned about the PRI aquisition, and it's effect on earnings for the short term. If you listened to the CC, Most segments are up 20-30% next quarter. The OEM sector, which was hit hard during the downturn is rising quickley, driven I am sure by NVLS, and LRCX.
In my opinion, PRI missed the last upturn due to a single minded focus on 300mm. The last up turn was divien by capacity on existing lines, and process technology, not production 300 mm buys. This should change in the next up turn. Most new equipment sales will be 300mm compatible, and, most new fabs will be 300mm, giving PRI the chance to recapture the marketshare they held at 200mm in AHMS.
I think Brook's timing is right on PRI, and if true, expect a $70-$80 stock in 12 months. But, there needs to be a better recovery in tech. To me, this is a great buying opertunity before the next rally. This industry has a history of turning on a dime, both up and down. Bob's timing is usually excelent.