Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc., a $5 billion global provider of industrial automation power, control and information systems and services, is making a substantial new investment in Singapore, halfway around the world from its corporate headquarters in the United States.
Rockwell Automation's Asia Pacific Business Center in Singapore began operations in May 2006, as plans announced at the end of March called for. The center is to be fully operational by 2008, and Rockwell Automation expects to hire about 400 employees for R&D, engineering, marketing and manufacturing by 2008.
"This center will be the world headquarters for several business segments that are in demand in Asia and highly strategic to the company's global growth," said Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president for Rockwell Automation's automation control and information group, as plans for the center were announced on March 30. "With its ideal location and outstanding logistics capability, this center expands our automation controls development footprint into one of the world's largest growth areas," he stated.
In 2005, markets in Asia and the Pacific produced $483 million in revenue for Rockwell Automation, according to company figures.
Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley brand of small logic controllers, MicroLogix controllers, distributed input/output modules, and component operator display product lines will be located at the Singapore center. Engineering and marketing for Rockwell Automation's component drives business will relocate to the Singapore center from Milwaukee. And a new R&D center for Rockwell Automation's Logix controller software will be established in Singapore. The company said it was putting manufacturing, engineering and marketing together in Singapore to improve time-to-market and customer support. It did not disclose the total amount of the investment.
"Singapore is a business-friendly location with a technically competent workforce and excellent education from Singaporean universities to help provide us with skilled professionals," Eisenbrown stated. "Singapore also has a strong legal and intellectual-property infrastructure that underpins this excellent business environment," he added.
The new center will complement Singapore's goal of doubling its manufacturing output by 2018, indicated Teo Ming Kian, chairman of Singapore's Economic Development Board. "Rockwell Automation is the largest independent industrial automation company in the world today, and its presence in Singapore is a definite boost to our standing as a major hub for automation and controls companies," Kian said. "The announcement [of the center] is a strong testimony towards Singapore's continued attractiveness as a manufacturing location and is in line with our Manufacturing 2018 vision."
Rockwell Automation has been in Singapore since 1991, with a regional sales and service support office, a training center and a regional marketing center.