With the opening of Rockwell Automation Inc.’s new Asia Pacific Business Center in Singapore scheduled for May, the official signing ceremony with Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) took place on March 30. Flying in from the United States to reveal further plans for the activities of the Center was Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president of Rockwell’s Automation Control and Information Group, in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
“This Center will be the world headquarters for several business segments that are in demand in Asia, and highly strategic to the company’s growth. In addition, a software development center will be established for our industry-leading Logix programmable automation controllers,” Eisenbrown said.
Specifically, the product lines being relocated to Singapore are the Allen-Bradley SLC and MicroLogix controllers, distributed input/output modules, and component operator display product lines.
Unlike most offshore investments, which involve straightforward transfer of manufacturing operations, the establishment of the Center, with full business responsibility being transferred from the company’s current U.S. locations for these products, is part of Rockwell’s drive to become a more global company—the targeted metric being to achieve 50 percent of revenue from outside of North America by 2009. Dave Johnson, who takes charge of the Asia Pacific Business Center as vice president and general manager, cited several reasons for selecting Singapore as the location: access to talented people through a technically competent workforce and high level education system; strong intellectual property (IP) infrastructure; and outstanding logistics capability. Some 400 people are expected to be employed at the Center by 2008, said Johnson.
No doubt delighted to capture such a significant investment (Rockwell declines to divulge the dollar amount) for Singapore’s EDB, Chairman Teo Ming Kian said, “The announcement today is a strong testimony toward’s Singapore’s continued attractiveness as a manufacturing location. Rockwell Automation’s presence in Singapore is a definite boost to our standing as a major hub for automation and controls companies.”
About the author
Bob Gill, firstname.lastname@example.org, is editor in chief of Industrial Automation magazine in Singapore.