PTC cozies up to the industrial internet of things, picks up ThingWorx for $112 million

The companies that build out the internet of things won’t just be making connected door knobs: they’ll also be cranking out all kinds of hardware and software for industrial applications like factories and assembly plants. With that market in mind, PTC agreed Monday to buy ThingWorx, a maker for software development tools, for $112 million.

PTC, a Massachusetts-based company that sells products to manufacturers that help them manage their supply chains, has now picked up another tool in hopes of capitalizing on the evolution of the factory. Just like connected lights and thermometers promise to change the way we manage our homes, placing connected devices throughout huge manufacturing plants could save resources, improve manufacturing efficiency, and maybe even influence product design by producing streams of data for analysis. GE, among other companies, is eyeing this opportunity and ThingWorx could allow PTC to compete.

ThingWorx’s products allow software developers to build apps that manage these connected devices and tie in other parts of a factory’s business operations, such as customer-relationship management software. CEO Russ Fadell was a guest on Gigaom’s Internet of Things podcast back in May, where he described his company and its plans for industrial internet-of-things applications.