Safety

Omron Electronics: GIT-Interview with Klaus Okraffka, Peter Goebbels and Lucian Dold

11.09.2012 - Omron Electronics: GIT-Interview with Klaus Okraffka, Peter Goebbels and Lucian Dold. Since its founding 75 years ago, Omron has enjoyed global recognition as a provider of systems...

Omron Electronics: GIT-Interview with Klaus Okraffka, Peter Goebbels and Lucian Dold. Since its founding 75 years ago, Omron has enjoyed global recognition as a provider of systems and components for automation in machine and plant engineering. The company is now offering increasing numbers of safety products on the market. Regina Berg-Jauernig visited the company during a press conference at their site in Nufringen near Stuttgart and spoke to Klaus Okraffka, General Manager of Omron Electronics GmbH, Peter Goebbels, Product Marketing Manager Safety and Lucian Dold, European Marketing Manager, Omron Europe.

GIT SECURITY: Mr Okraffka, the founder and former Chairman of your company, Kazuma Tateisi, reports in his book “The Eternal Venture Spirit”, how his company developed a “cybernation” machine as early as the 1950s, based on linking automation and computerisation. He introduced the idea of working towards leaving pure mechanical work to machines, with the human being limited to thinking and creativity. To what extent is this connection between innovation and humanistic thinking still influential for your company?

K. Okraffka: The convictions of our founder still shape our actions today. They have considerable influence on our approaches to solutions and automation products. Our vision for industrial automation aims at the “humanisation of machines” and shapes our products and solutions.

Quality and safety without compromise, simple operating concepts and preventative maintenance are always focused on the developer, operator and maintenance manager. The Omron production concept (LCIA) uses this approach at the company’s production sites such as Nufringen and ‘s-Hertogenbosch to make the vision of Kazuma Tateisi a daily reality.

Mr Dold, your company has always been very strong and mainly present in the areas of industrial automation, drives and vision. You have extensive experience with safety technology in the production segments of all of these areas, which is a reason for you to focus more strongly on this market now. How exactly can you make your expertise useful in this sense?

L. Dold: Safety technology has been an established element at our production sites since the 1950s. We see machine safety as an essential requirement in industrial automation and have therefore embodied the safety technology principles, such as safe signal processing and safe sensors, firmly in our core competences.

For many years, Omron’s safety technology has been a market leader in Asia and North America. In order to meet European market requirements locally, we have a long-established presence of competence centres in Nufringen and Turin. This gives us a “global but local” presence, I suppose.

Mr Goebbels, what products are you bringing to the market in the area of safety? And what is the longer term plan?

P. Goebbels: A safety product, looked at on its own, is simply a switch, a sensor or a inverter with safety functionality. Our portfolio focuses on a sustained safety solution and offers the ideal solution in all respective disciplines.

You will therefore find a wide range of safety switches, relays and relay combinations, programmable safety controllers, light grids and curtains, muting systems, speed monitors, inverters and servo drives.

In the long term, the issues of integration and simplicity will increasingly influence products. The MS28/MS48 light curtain range recently launched on the market shows how we can use this approach to derive considerable benefits for everyone – from developers and users to maintenance managers.

Mr Dold, this new business division focuses mainly on the European market. Why is this?

L. Dold:
Germany and Italy are dominating markets for machine and plant engineering and Europe plays an extensive role in the development of international standards in safety technology. We use our global core competence in combination with local competence centres in Germany and Italy.

Mr Okraffka, can you tell us something about your sales methods and strategies?

K. Okraffka: For several years we have been operating in specialist sales teams for the divisions of sensors and safety technology, and automation and drive technology. This ensures that our clients are looked after by a relevant product specialist and can be given a holistic solution from one source.

Mr Goebbels, in the traditional product areas of your business, you offer a comprehensive service with elements such as training, workshops and testing labs for customer applications. To what extent is this also the case for safety products?

P. Goebbels: Naturally, we offer the usual service for safety technology. Regular training with our partners and competent advice on practical applications are an integral part of our service.

What other strategic plans can we expect to hear about from your company in the near future, Mr Okraffka?

K. Okraffka: We will be expanding our European activity in development and production. We already cover some product segments, completely in some cases, with products that are developed and produced in Europe. Our Nufringen site plays a key role in safety technology and sensors.

Naturally, our products are continually developed with the optimum weighting of performance, ergonomics and cost. The development of the all-in-one concept for safety sensors is one example, and our involvement in the safety control of drives with our new G9SX module is going in this direction.

As well as safety technology, we are working on a few innovations such as our new image processing range XPECTIA and our programme of Profinet controls and I/O solutions.

Mr Okraffka, Mr Goebbels, Mr Dold, many thanks for speaking to us.

75 years of Omron

Omron became 75 years old this year. The 35,000 employees are honouring this anniversary with an extensive programme of voluntary activities, such as the 5-month “Eco-Volun” programme. This involves environmental initiatives and donations to various projects of local aid organisations and charitable associations. Omron employees are taking part in activities such as recycling and energy saving measures, as well as nonprofit and charitable work.

Omron Industrial Automation

Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and provider of application expertise. The product portfolio covers factory automation, sensors and safety, mechatronics and drives, industrial components and vision systems.

Omron Electronic Components

Omron uses its patented technology to develop electronic components which can be implemented into almost all automated or digital products featuring in our daily lives.

Omron Healthcare

Omron Healthcare Europe is the medical technology division of Omron in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Its aim is to promote the health and welfare of its end customers through innovative medical technology and as well as monitoring and treatment products.

Contact:

Omron Electronics GmbH,
Langenfeld, Germany
Tel.: +49 2173 6800 0
Fax: +49 2173 6800 400
info.de@eu.omron.com
www.omron.de

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