New technologies research and development, initially in the fieldbus area (Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and others), are the main objectives of the Center of Excellence that Westlock Controls, Saddle Brook, N.J., a Tyco Flow Control group company, plans to launch in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. The inauguration is expected in early 2008.
The Westlock subsidiary, operational in Brazil since 1993, it is responsible for Central and South America business. A considerable portion of its products are manufactured in Brazil and exported, mainly to South America, England and the United States.
“The creation of the Center of Excellence brings a favorable atmosphere for ideas development, with the team focused on research and the application of new technologies for innovative solutions for our customers needs”, said Eduardo Cohen, South America vice president. Cohen explains that the new Center will also pursue continuing development of existing products.
Focus areas will include new diagnosis functionalities for valve positioners and controllers; implementing Foundation Fieldbus and Profibus communication protocols in the products that still don't have it; improving action and robustness in all lines; developing the next line of Westlock products; implementing a knowledge reference point for Westlock; and establishing an interoperability and integration laboratory.
“Westlock has been in business in Brazil for many years. We started with a sales effort, which led to an office. From that foothold, we opened a small modification operation. From that success, we felt the need to manufacture and source our products because the growth and future opportunities in Brazil were outstanding. Today, we have opened an engineering center because the technical resources and competence are world class”, said Russel Chomiak, Tyco Flow Control Actuation & Controls vice president.
The Center of Excellence will apply all knowledge not only for Westlock products, but also for all companies that compose the Tyco Flow Control group.
“We expect that our engineering focus in Brazil will deliver design scope through final product iteration. As Westlock has created solutions for industrial control and communication, it is clear that the technical insight from Brazil is strong and will expand its influence globally,” said Chomiak. “The engineering staff in Brazil will provide solutions for Westlock globally even though they are centered in South America”.
About the author
Sílvia Pereira, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a freelance journalist based in Brazil.