With “Machines Now!”—the actual title of the Bavarian event—Schneider Electric (www.schneider-electric.us) reacted to feedback from 2008, especially from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market. “The world changed a lot in these years,” said Clemens Blum, executive vice president of Schneider Electric. “After passing through the 2009 financial crisis, and the 2010-11 recovery, the advanced Western mature economies have now realized that they are over-indebted and that they need the help of the ‘under development’ countries to come out from the impasse,” Blum stated.
“We now see the increasing strong role that China and India are going to play, and the consequent shift in the power axis. Our market strategies cannot put aside those considerations. More than that, new topics have appeared: ‘sustainability,’ first of all, with the coming of the ‘green consumer,’ introducing the need to produce more with less and to install efficient energy management systems; secondly, ‘Internet of Things’ with its ‘connectivity everywhere, anytime,’ which brings the need to connect the higher level systems in a company all the machines in a production line,” added Blum.
In reaction to the new market realities that have emerged in the last three years, Schneider Electric unveiled a new slogan: Innovation for Simplicity. “Our goal is to reduce complexity to help customers do their jobs in the best way, faster and easier,” said Elie Belbel, senior vice president of machine solutions for the company. “Thanks to products like the SoMachine software suite and the fully Ethernet-based PACdrive 3 control technology, Schneider Electric wants to become a leading player in machine builders’ market in the next five years,” he said.
Separately, during a recent technical press gathering, Omron Industrial Automation Business (IAB) (www.omron.com) showed its new machine automation platform Sysmac (System for Machine Automation Control). The event took place in Hoofddorp at Omron’s European headquarters near Amsterdam.
With this release, the company aims at strengthening and globalizing its position in the machine automation business segment. Sysmac, which allows machine control through one connection and one software application, will be officially launched in Europe at the German SPS/IPC/Drives fair in Nuremberg in November 2011.
“An immediate benefit of the new architecture is that machine control and motion control are now one; field devices are controlled across one machine network and programmed by single software,” said Shinya Yamasaki, senior general manager of Omron Automation Systems Division HQ. “Customers can design their machines with one control platform and scale up their machines according to the application without affecting machine speed and performances”.
Omron Industrial Automation Business (IAB) (www.omron.com)
Schneider Electric (www.schneider-electric.us)
Ilaria De Poli, firstname.lastname@example.org, is an editor at “Fiera Milano Editore,” a magazine covering automation and manufacturing in Italy.