Staying in Control
Pankaj Shrivastava, Business Leader - Architecture & Software, Rockwell Automation, talks to UME about the Middle East market.
What is Rockwell’s main offering to the utilities sector?
Rockwell Automation is the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information. We help customers become more productive and the world more sustainable. Through the power of industrial automation technology, we develop innovative solutions that help our customers achieve Smart, Safe, Sustainable operations in a wide range of industries throughout the world.
The company provides different products, services and solutions for different needs in industries such as gas, power and water firms with goals that could help clients maximize productivity and assets while reducing operational costs. We offer integrated control, power, safety and information solutions in one open scalable architecture.
In addition to this, Rockwell Automation has long recognized the importance of connecting independent automation systems in manufacturing environments. In fact, our vision of The Connected Enterprise has guided the development of our Integrated Control and Information Technology for decades. Now, with the convergence of plant-floor Operations Technology (OT) and business-level Information Technology (IT), the vision of The Connected Enterprise is becoming a reality.
The Connected Enterprise links production lines, in-the-field assets, utilities and enterprise IT to deliver contextualized information where it is needed. As a result, companies can make better decisions faster – and achieve a new level of operational intelligence to improve productivity and global competitiveness.
What sort of presence do you have in the Middle East and how long have you operated here?
Rockwell Automation is a leading supplier of automation controls and drive systems in the Middle East. We have an infrastructure to meet the needs of customers doing business in the region. The company has been operating in the Middle East for around 25 years.
Our regional head office in Abu Dhabi serves the world’s leading manufacturers and local customers whereas our offices in Dubai, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia offer sales, service, repair and technical support expertise. Moreover, these are complemented by a network of local system solution providers and distributors in the region.
What kind of growth has the company been seeing in the region?
Over the years, Rockwell Automation has acquired companies and created new partners that will drive the growth of the company and help widen its product range, services and solutions. We focus not only on oil and gas, but we now look at the diversification of the economy in the region. We have expanded our activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many reasons, one of which is the fact that the country has the largest domestic market in the region. The governments in the GCC have plans to diversify their economies and are investing in different industries such as food, automotive and pharmaceutical. For that, we are trying to expand our presence. Furthermore, here in the region, we are bridging the gap between systems and connecting industrial enterprise to improve operations. We remain keenly focused on enhancing our unique technology differentiation – and delivering integrated, value-added solutions as well.
In which countries are you most active at the moment?
The Middle East for us is an emerging market and we are growing our business in the region. Last year we have positive sales in the UAE and Saudi Arabia particularly in oil and gas and aluminium industries. We see many opportunities in vertical industries other than oil and gas. Some food industries, machine builders and OEMs are growing in Turkey, another important growth as well. Moreover, sub-Saharan Africa particularly South Africa, the three important areas in Asia – China, India and South-East Asia are countries we see as emerging markets. We have operations in Europe and the largest economies in Latin America, Mexico and Brazil too.
What is your most recent major contract win in the region?
There are a few interesting collaborations we’ve done in the past. For example, last year, Rockwell Automation teamed up with MetalTech Gulf in developing an energy saving technology for cleaning stubs on anode rods. The team from Rockwell Automation utilized the multi-disciplined, scalable, ControlLogix platform for the control system which provides the end user with a fully integrated control system together with Rockwell´s reliable servo motors, PowerFlex AC Drives and Kinetix servo drives. We also have some new deals in the pipeline.