Pepperl+Fuchs has expanded considerable market share in the Indian market, and reliable brand in factory automation components, please briefs its voyage and share some of the company’s milestone.
Pepperl+Fuchs has always been close to its customers and the markets. It has been a firm belief in the company that a good ear to the customers and understanding their applications is the best way to meet the challenges for automation at site. Actions along this system of belief have been a very enriching experience for all segments within Pepperl+Fuchs.
Ravi Agarwal, Director - Factory Automation
In the same stride, Pepperl+Fuchs has been deeply committed to the development of the general market and the automation segment in India since now more than thirty years. I guess the reliability towards the brand “Pepperl+Fuchs” which you are mentioning gets attributed firstly due to our well-engineered products and secondly the trust earned with the customers all along these years that we are just a phone call away. I guess this helps us all to bring more into the arena of local integration or automation and increase the confidence of the customers towards the products and newer technology.
Your coining the word “Voyage” into the question itself is an indicator and the answer that the journey has been a good mix of challenge, learning and accomplishment. So much so that the Indian arm of the Pepperl+Fuchs is one of its most prized possessions and a case example within our group of companies. As to the milestones, I guess there are not many places in the world which present so much excitement, optimism along with its typical commercial and technical challenges like what India does. So definitely the road is dotted by many a date and experiences worth to remember.
What makes the Pepperl+Fuchs different than other automation component manufacturers for machine builders (OEMs)?
Pepperl+Fuchs has had a very focussed approach towards the segment of technology we deal in and applying it to the best advantage of our clientele. We have always strived to be one stop from where the customer should be able to get the best for their needs towards the sensors. This helps us not to stray and do everything under the sun but to offer the best value and technology to the customer. This in turn delivers a good value to the OEM and probably does give us a little bit distinction.
Could you please tell us which are the major industry segments that Pepperl+Fuchs has been catering in present scenario, and which industry has the maximum potential for the company in the near future?
Two aspects immediately come to my mind. First being that automation is becoming part of every shop floor and our everyday lives. So being the eyes and ears of any automation system, be it a preliminary or to the most advanced and sophisticated set up, we end up with all kinds of automation set ups, industry segments and factories or even commercial applications. However, we remain much focused to the manufacturing environment.
Secondly, India is now passing through a very exciting and challenging phase. The country would be enhancing or rather multiplying the quantum of its manufacturing footprint. Being a big country, I believe, we would be building many a pillar of strength. A good guess would be that our focus into infrastructure, material handling, food processing and energy would get sharper.
Any breakthrough product launches of factory automation division of the company that made a difference?
Innovation and consistent improvement in technology for sensing has been our mainstay. A few approaches have resulted in making substantial difference in the field of sensing. Applying the ultrasonic technology in the sensing domain has shown good value for the user. This remains to be a very promising approach and our breakthroughs into betterment and designing our own ultrasonic transducers has yielded some wonderful news for sensors and measurement technology.
Also, our patented “Pulse Range Technology” (PRT) has been a game changer as to how a thin beam laser may best be exploited for measurement under difficult conditions. We have been able to achieve better and consistent results in comparison to many a other approaches so we do foresee some differentiating products by P+F to come up in near future.
Pepperl+Fuchs is synonymous with factory automation product range. Can you please highlight the company’s factory automation outline?
This has a direct bearing to our focused approach as stated earlier. P+F is very consistent to seek and work on technologies that may be best put to use for sensing and communication on the modern shop floor.
Apart from the foundational components for sensing, we work intensively into products and markets for RFID, 360 Deg laser scanning, positioning or measurement systems, rotary encoders and open bus based architectures like AS interface and IO link.
Industry 4.0 the new industrial revolution, how company is implementing this technology? Can you please elaborate more about Intelligent Bridge to the Future?
May I call it also as evolution as we mark the same to be a revolution? It is very natural that having come to this stage of automation for manufacturing, the advent of digital communication should also come around and enhance or empower ourselves and our equipment in the factories.
Per the leap frog into Industry 4.0 - Demands of flexibility and interoperability on the shop floor are and would be very challenging. It brings forth the need for intelligent apparatus that morphs, communicates and adapts. For P+F it means our sensors have to become intelligent, precise and should be able to communicate on open systems.
Meeting up with these challenges upfront - we have launched the concept and landed the product “Smart Bridge” wherein not only the sensors in near future yet existing set ups can be upgraded into industry 4.0 expectations. The process values can freely communicate on wire and wireless platforms and products can be cloned, configured, diagnosed and put to action on fast and remote basis.
Which are the products that Pepperl+Fuchs markets in India?
Whatever we design and manufacture, we make it available to the entire world simultaneously. We do not make or restrict any products for applying into India.
The most interesting aspect however is that the Indian market not only demands, expects but most importantly also uses the entire gambit of products right from the most generic ones to the most sophisticated ones coming hot from the oven.
What about expansion and challenges in the Indian market? What have been the company’s recent expansions?
The air abounds with optimism on simplified taxation structure which we believe has been an enormous challenge for the commercial fraternity. A lot of time and energy gets wasted in meandering through and making our operations compliant to the current taxation regime. Pepperl+Fuchs continues to be strongly committed to the market and its set up in India. In tandem we have acquired land for our expansion plans for a better set up to cater to our clientele and look forward to be of consequence locally.
What will be the next step to grow in India?
I can proudly say that we have been part of the entourage of the Indian Industry since the eighties and have traversed the ups and downs along with.
Now that the air is full of optimism, as stated earlier, we would like to have better and expanded operations locally and be of consequence in the ecosystem of Industrial Automation in the country.
How do you align with the company’s business philosophy ‘Your Automation, our passion’ in terms of innovation and R&D?
Passion and enthusiasm are the fuel for doing anything worthwhile. As a technology driven company that ploughs 18% of its revenue into development of technology, innovation and R&D are in abound of it. Right from our sales frontlines to the development teams, we are all passionate about what we do and how best can we find a solution to an application challenge. That speaks volumes and becomes a potent thrust within all sections of the company as well.
What sort of after sales service your company is providing to the clients?
Permit me a lighter note on this that we believe in such a pre sales service that after sales service is more of sharing a satisfied cup of tea with our esteemed clientele.