Instead of always competing for the same deals, sometimes private equity firms look to broader emerging trends in sectors that are still fragmented. That is what what Chicago-based Core Industrial Partners is looking to do in Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 refers to the next wave of manufacturing trends that relies on technologies, such as automation, data and machine learning. “Core is finding attractive tailwinds in the additive manufacturing sector, due to reshoring of supply chains, mass customization on demand and digitization of product development,” Core managing partner John May tells Mergers & Acquisitions.

In October, Core completed the acquisitions of 3DXTech LLC, Triton 3D LLC and Gearbox3D LLC to form a new manufacturing technology platform. 3DX and Triton offer 3D printing parts, while Gearbox makes 3D printers. In August, Core acquired CGI Automated Manufacturing, a sheet metal fabricator, whose process includes robotic welding.

“Today’s consumers are looking for a more dynamic, data-driven experience based on their specific preferences with higher value- add and an increased focus on ESG,” says May. “R&D spend continues to increase, and the next industrial revolution is accelerating the pace of manufacturing innovation. Core remains committed to be at the spear of Industry 4.0.”

Demitri Diakantonis