Autmation Engineering Interview: Willing to Invest for Productivity
Vice President, Process Automation–Industrial Automation, Siemens AG, Axel Lorenz, elaborates on the positive outlook of the Indian process automation sector amidst challenging economic times, in the backdrop of the recently held company’s annual User Group conference at Mumbai. Excerpts of the interview…
PROCESS: In the wake of the annual Siemens Process Automation Conference (SPACe), how has the response of the customers been in terms of participation and acceptance?
AXEL LORENZ: We started the first conference in India (Goa) in September 2011 with 140 customers and grew to 170 customers last year, in Hyderabad. This year in Mumbai we have witnessed a presence of more than 220 customers attending the user conference. This reflects how well accepted the conference is in the Indian process automation sector.
The SPACe conference is a podium for discussions among the users, OEMs and EPCs, making it very beneficial for all of them to network and address the challenges of the users. Our concept was to provide a platform to the right audience in the overall process sector, including chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and so on. Additionally, customers also share their experience on our products and systems, thus giving us valuable feedback.
PROCESS: How has your experience been with Indian customers?
LORENZ: With Indian customers demanding different process automation requirements from the market, we clearly see mindsets changing. On one hand some users ask for basic requirements in challenging infrastructure and environment, and on the other, some ask for state-of-the-art infrastructure. For example, the Indian pharmaceutical and food and beverage customers, who are hugely into exports, demand the latest technology and high-end systems to comply with global regulations such as FDA.