Fabio Negrao
Director General
Atlas Copco Industrial Technique Division
View from the Top

Industrial Leader Consolidates Through Inorganic Growth

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:26

Q: How has Atlas Copco’s global development evolved and influenced expected growth going forward?

A: Atlas Copco is present in 183 countries with approximately 43,000 employees. By the end of 2015, the company generated US$12 billion in total revenue with an operating margin of 19.3 percent. Internationally, Atlas Copco earmarks 9 percent of its revenue for R&D activities, in line with its commitment to sustainable productivity. Our goal is to keep investing in our people, our service and our installations to exceed our global forecast for 8 percent growth in 2016.

Q: What new products is Atlas Copco positioning in the market and how do they compare to competition?

A: Atlas Copco is launching the Power Focus 6000 in 2016. This is a unique assembly system and one of our most important product launches. It is an innovative product, integrating our established hardware focus with a modern software platform, contributing to the increased productivity of our clients. The Power Focus 6000 provides customers with a lean environment containing fewer physical controllers by replacing them with virtual stations. Overall, this new generation of products is lighter and smarter, offering more flexible line rebalances, shorter cycle times and improved ergonomics. This, we are sure will have a great impact on assembly lines throughout Mexico and the world.

Q: What is the company’s approach to working with all new OEMs and suppliers in Mexico?

A: Atlas Copco has a strong global presence with global key account managers assigned to different customers and segments. Our local sales and service engineers are in close contact with our customers as well as our global team. Our motor vehicle division is divided into five main segments, The Asian and Western final assembly divisions focus on the main automotive OEMs. Our Tiers and Powertrain segments target the main suppliers in the industry, while the Heavy Trucks & Buses area supports all heavy vehicle companies. When an OEM decides to start a project in a new country, we work directly with their headquarters to make sure we meet their needs on timelines for start of production etc. This allows us to reduce the consolidation time of the new plant, resulting in increased efficiency from the start. We implement this process in all our customers’ facilities, regardless of their global location.

Q: What was behind Atlas Copco’s recent acquisitions, including Synatec and Saltus, and how have these operations impacted the company´s strategy?

A: Atlas Copco’s strategy is focused on enhancing the value we bring to our customers. The main goal of Saltus and Synatec is to offer new technologies and extend our product portfolio to better cover the complete needs of our customers. When we acquire a company we align our operations, so human capital and infrastructure grows. Specifically, our Industrial Technique business area added employees in marketing, sales, R&D and customer service. There was also significant investment in innovation centers to meet growing demand for assembly solutions. Synatec focuses on bringing a solid software integration platform to modern production plants whereas with Saltus we now offer additional quality assurance equipment and accessories.

Q: How have these acquisitions pushed your Industrial Technique business area to evolve and offer better services?

A: We see greater need for quality, productivity, flexibility and ergonomics on automotive production lines for both OEMs or suppliers. These demands push us to create advanced tools and systems, resulting in increased focus on bringing better service to our customers’ plants. Automotive clients, and the industry in general, demand more software-integrated solutions. Synatec has been an excellent addition to our portfolio in this regard. Saltus is a line dedicated to ensuring quality through its vast line of torque wrenches.

Q: How have these acquisitions helped Atlas Copco attract investors to the company and develop business?

A: By offering complete solutions and not just tools, our customers are involving us earlier in their processes, even during development phases. The result is significant savings for our clients and more business for Atlas Copco. Our investors are big supporters of our recent acquisitions as they align perfectly with our strategy, resulting in added value for our customers.