B&R: redefining automation engineering

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“The innovative spirit that keeps B&R at the forefront of industrial automation is driven by a commitment to simplifying processes and exceeding customer expectations,”
- Shyam Padwal, Marketing Manager, B&R Industrial Automation

In industrial automation, what are the different kinds of products you offer?
As a global leader in industrial automation, B&R combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced engineering to provide customers in virtually every industry with complete solutions for machine and process automation, PLC, motion control, HMI and integrated safety technology. With industrial fieldbus communication standards like POWERLINK and openSAFETY as well as the powerful Automation Studio software development environment; B&R is constantly redefining the future of automation engineering. The innovative spirit that keeps B&R at the forefront of industrial automation is driven by a commitment to simplifying processes and exceeding customer expectations.

How important is the role of automation today?
Automation helps manufacturers to reduce operating costs, increase throughput without compromising quality.

Using intelligent automation devices, better diagnostics and preventive maintenance operators are getting relieved from day to day routine jobs. This allows them to use their time and experience for adding value to the processes.

Faster controllers and intelligent drives are helping machine operators to run machines at their maximum speed and technologies like integrated safety avoids complete shutdown of the plant while ensuring safety of humans.

Power failures are part and parcel of life in India. Getting the machine up and running again after each outage is a time-consuming process and also results in wastage of raw material as well as end products. Now with the drive technologies like ACOPOSmulti from B&R allows utilising the existing kinetic energy to ensure a controlled shutdown, which leaves the system ready to be restarted immediately.

What kind of innovations you are bringing in your product-line?
Automation Studio 4 is the all-in-one development and runtime environment for every aspect of an automation solution – from control and motion technology to HMI, operation and integrated safety technology. The 4th generation of this powerful software engineering platform for industrial automation has been completely redesigned to help users work more efficiently and effectively.

With its new Panel PC 900 series, B&R has once again raised the bar for compact operator panels with integrated PC technology and multi-touch option opening up new dimensions for innovative HMI design.

New Automation PC 910 from B&R is developed in close cooperation with the US semiconductor manufacturer Intel. As the Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs with up to four cores appeared in the market, they were immediately put to use in B&R’s Automation PC series.

B&R has recently launched mobile automation products for the construction vehicles and equipment. These products operate reliably under extreme conditions and stand up to rough handling

We have also announced the launch of APROL EnMon which is an out-of-the-box solution for ISO: 50001 or EN: 16001 energy management. Our solution includes pre-installed system software and controller and has only a few parameters to set before it can begin collecting data and providing a consumption analysis.

Brief us on your efforts in making the products more energy efficient without compromising with its productivity.
In addition to products like APROL EnMon, the entire B&R product line-up is designed to provide optimum energy efficiency. Machine manufacturers can plant the seeds of efficient energy consumption early in the design process by optimising motion profiles and correctly dimensioning machine components. B&R offers them a development environment that provides all the tools and features they need to design and manage every aspect of an entire automation solution. Drive components from B&R also reuse braking energy distributed throughout the drive network via a DC bus circuit and allows unused power to be fed back into the grid.

What is your investment in R&D?
Last year alone, B&R invested more than 400 man-years in product research and development. In addition, 400 engineers around the world are hard at work implementing innovative software solutions for customers. It is this dedication to innovation that helps secure B&R’s position as a technology leader and feeds its sustained organic growth

What is your market share and what measures are you taking to increase it.
B&R was able to look back at a successful 2012 and present an optimistic outlook for 2013. With € 430 million in sales, B&R posted an increase of five per cent over the previous year, continuing its steady growth since the brief downturn in 2009. In light of positive sales trends, B&R expects a further seven percent growth to € 465 million for the current year.

Over the years, B&R’s core strategy has focused on providing complete and uniform automation solutions that apply open technologies to facilitate integrated industrial applications and as a result, our company continues to be excellently positioned as a reliable automation partner for the manufacturers.

What kind of competition you face in this particular segment of the market and what measures have you taken to be ahead of other players?
Competition is certainly stiff with lot of automation players in the market. Our specialty lies in thinking ahead of time which enables us to quickly turn challenges into opportunities. The continuous growth of our company is characterised by a steady stream of innovations that significantly influence the latest trends in automation. With creativity in development, we set trends instead of copying solutions. This includes the seamless programming tool

Automation Studio is the integration of visualisation and control in power panel devices, compact and high-speed X20 and X67 I/O modules and the dynamic and flexible ACOPOS servo drive family. Powerful industrial PCs, real-time Ethernet POWERLINK protocol and the modular and scalable APROL process control system exceed our customers’ expectations for integrated automation solutions from a single source. These innovations continue to shape the industry.