AutoMod, a product that I've used professionally for over 10 years, is on its way to a new owner. Current owner, Brooks Automation, has announced
that it is selling its Brooks Software division, which includes the AutoMod product, to Applied Materials.
AutoMod was originally developed in the early 80's by AutoSimulations. After a brief period of ownership in the mid to late 90's by Daifuku, they were taken oven by Brooks Automation in 1999. Whilst the Daifuku ownership wasn't perfect, AutoMod was at least complementary to Daifuku's core business and AutoMod benefited accordingly, with a number of new features and capabilities added during this time. By contrast, Brooks are a semi-conductor facilities supplier and their primary interest in AutoSimulations was their AutoSched product and real-time dispatching software - both of which are popular in the semi-conductor industry.
AutoMod has not fared well during Brooks' stewardship. The downturn in the semi-conductor industry lead to cut-backs in the AutoMod development team. Problems with the ambitious 10.0 (virtual reality graphics) and 11.0 (sub-models) releases, which faced combined delays of nearly four years, also didn't help matters. AutoMod's release schedule has been changing for the better of late, but the transfer to another semi-conductor company doesn't bode well. It looks like the slow decline in AutoMod's capabilities, relative to its competition, is set to continue for a while longer...