Mauricio Blanc
Executive Director for Latin America
OMRON Automation Americas
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The Long Road to Industry 4.0

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:58

Q: How important is the automotive industry for OMRON’s Mexico operations?

A: OMRON’s automation division targets several verticals with automotive being the most important. Our goal is to keep a well-balanced client portfolio in this sector, including carmakers and their direct and indirect suppliers. OMRON aims to influence the automation equipment specifications of OEMs because those companies require their suppliers to meet such specifications. This helps us market OMRON’s automation solutions among Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.


Q: How do OMRON’s robots complement the other industrial automation equipment in its product offering?

A: Our product portfolio includes industrial standalone, mobile, industrial and collaborative robots (cobots) as well as sensors, automation systems, and safety equipment and services, which helps us differentiate in the industrial robots’ market. Additionally, our engineers are certified in safety TÜV, which enables OMRON to validate the safety of operating robots within factories. We offer clients a variety of alternatives depending on the needs of clients and offer them counselling depending on the robot’s process and application.


Q: How has the Mexican market reacted to OMRON Automation’s product offering?

A: In Mexico, our cobots have been well-received by the automotive industry thanks to their solid load and reach capacities and the use of OMRON vision systems. OMRON’s cobots are designed to operate both on their own and with humans, but the latter may not always be the best option. Processes that require high speeds, precision and load capacities are more suitable for industrial standalone robots. However, we have developed a safety solution that reduces the speed of standalone robots when a user approaches, which makes them safer.


Q: What is the role that OMRON wants to play in the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and practices in Mexico?

A: OMRON is looking for strategic partnerships with systems integrators specialized in the Industry 4.0 trend. In many cases, Industry 4.0 requires uploading data to the cloud, so it is important to implement cybersecurity, data routing and analytics solutions. OMRON can handle all the information that is generated within a factory but when that data goes to the cloud, we need the support of network integrators. Our Innovative Automation solution will help OMRON’s clients enter the Industry 4.0 revolution by making their factories smarter. While most solutions require the adoption of hardware and software and homologating all equipment, Innovative Automation solution only requires the mounting of one piece of equipment to bring the whole system online and start doing data analytics. Our customers implemented this solution in two to three weeks very easily with a minimum investment.


Q: What does OMRON prioritize in terms of growth and expansion for the automotive industry?

A: There is a lot of uncertainty in the market, so it is hard to know how much the industry will expand. However, OMRON believes in Mexico and thus is developing a support center in Guadalajara to support its customers in the Americas. We are also creating proof of concept centers in the country with the goal of showcasing the advantages that our automation solutions can offer to clients. We already have a showroom in Leon and plan to open another in Mexico City in 2020. These centers include a full robotic cell, with a cobot, an industrial robot, motion controllers, laser marking machines, safety systems and automation solutions, which enables potential clients to test how their processes could be improved through the adoption of OMRON technologies. These proofs of concept centers offer our clients peace of mind before purchasing our equipment because they can see their automation solution working before being implemented in their factories.


Q: What are the most important advantages that OMRON’s automation solutions can offer to small, local automotive SMEs?

A: Technology can help automotive companies improve their quality and productivity and reduce costs, which can help companies increase their market share. Automation also helps companies increase the efficiency of their supply chains through traceability. Additionally, technology helps mitigate the risks of workplace accidents and machinery failure. Data analytics enable companies to learn when their machines are overheating and where the production line bottlenecks are so that decisions can be made to boost productivity.


Q: How is OMRON planning to capitalize on the arrival of new OEMs and their suppliers to Mexico?

A: As a Japanese supplier of automation solutions. OMRON has made an effort to raise awareness about its advantages: high quality, high performance and being a supplier of complete automation solutions. Companies are attracted to OMRON’s because we represent a disruptive and fresh alternative in the automation market. The arrival of new players in Mexico will provide many opportunities for OMRON’s industrial automation solutions.