The Mini Flextrack automated manufacturing tool made by MTM Robotics of Mukilteo. (MTM Robotics)

The Mini Flextrack automated manufacturing tool made by MTM Robotics of Mukilteo. (MTM Robotics)

Boeing rival Airbus buys Mukilteo robotics company

MTM Robotics will become a subsidiary of Airbus but will continue to serve other aerospace companies.

MUKILTEO — Airbus, the European planemaker and Boeing rival, has acquired a Snohomish County-based robotics company, MTM Robotics.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. MTM Robotics of Mukilteo will retain current leadership and a 40-person staff.

“We are pleased and excited to become a part of the Airbus family and look forward to further integrating our products and approaches into the Airbus industrialization chain,” Mike Woogerd, MTM’s founder, said in a news release.

MTM specializes in portable robotic tools such as the vacuum-mounted Mini Flextrack system, which can be attached to a surface to perform sequential repetitive tasks such as drilling.

In 2015, MTM received a Boeing Performance Excellence Award. Its systems are used in the production of the Boeing 777, 787 and 747 models.

In 2018, the company won an Airbus Innovation Award. Multiple MTM automated robotics systems are in use at Airbus manufacturing facilities.

MTM will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Americas, headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, but will continue to serve other customers in the aerospace industry.

“The competitiveness of tomorrow will be determined by both designing the best aircraft and by building the most efficient manufacturing system, in parallel,” Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus chief operating officer, said in a written statement.

“Automation and robotics are central to our industrial strategy. We are very happy to welcome MTM Robotics as a family member and take a step forward on this exciting endeavor together,” Schoellhorn said.

Since 2003, MTM has deployed more than 40 aerospace manufacturing systems comprised of machines, tools, software and support services.

The acquisition marks the latest step for Airbus in expanding the use of automation to save time and money in the manufacture and assembly of commercial aircraft.

“MTM perfectly fits Airbus’ ambition for engineering and innovative manufacturing solutions while maintaining agility,” said Patrick Vigié, head of industrial technologies at Airbus. “Airbus and MTM Robotics each believe that tomorrow’s automation in aircraft manufacturing can and must be lighter, more portable and less capital-intensive.”

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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