German plant builder SMS group has acquired two Brazil-based companies, joined them together and renamed the business Vetta Tecnologia SA.

The two companies – Viridis and Vetta – were both based in Bela Horizonte, Brazil, and specialised in industrial digitalisation, with emphasis on efficiency and sustainability.

As Vetta Tecnologia SA, the new business will work closely with SMS Digital, which already occupies the industrial digital space and has worked closely with high profile, pioneering digital operator Big River Steel, based in Osceola, Arkansas, USA, in the development of the world’s first ‘learning steel mill’.

Viridis Energy Solutions was the creator of what SMS group describe as an innovative energy and sustainability platform for process industries and large energy consumers. According to SMS group, Viridis clients benefitted from increased energy efficiency, reduced environmental impact and substantial improvements to their operational management and planning capabilities.

Vetta, claims SMS group, has been providing digital solutions for various industries since 2001 and had a strong presence in the metals and mining sectors. The company focused on digital transformation projects based on advanced technologies developed by Vetta or integrated from other vendors. The company also specialised in industrial solutions, including data-driven models for process and planning optimisation.

As part of the acquisition, SMS group acquired all the shares from David Flam, who initially funded Viridis as an ‘angel investor’ and also the shares of FIMA, a fund dedicated to the creation of new environmental technologies. The German plant builder has acquired shares from Vetta, allowing the two businesses to merge under a unified capital structure; it has also injected its own capital into Vetta to fuel growth.

SMS Digital has concerned itself with developing the concept of the learning plant based on the use of smart algorithms designed to predict highly complex scenarios, and decision-making capability through monitoring using artificial intelligence. According to SMS Digital, the core elements of the concept include predictive maintenance, product quality assurance and condition monitoring and prediction.

Bringing together the expertise of Viridis and Vetta adds energy and sustainability to the mix, which are both important for the steels and metals industries, says SMS Digital. It means that the company is now in a position to supply digitalisation solutions that integrate all production areas of the steels and metals industries and enables the business to expand into other sectors, such as chemicals and pulp and paper.

Dr. Thiago Turchetti Maia and Ricardo Giacomin, the two original founders of the acquired businesses, will head up the management team of the new company and there will be a team of roughly 200 engineers and IT professionals.

SMS group will keep the majority of capital and control of the new business, while retaining the founding partners on the capital table.

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