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Siemens Energy & Automation CEO Sees Bright Future

March 12, 2008
At the recent ARC Advisory Conference I had a chance to sit down with Dennis Sadlowski, President and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. and talk about future trends.

Q: Are you optimistic about the energy marketplace in 2008 and beyond?

A: The energy market is still strong, with electric, coal, and oil and gas and all performing well globally. The current emphasis on both sustainability and efficiency are strong drivers in our market and we are continuing to look for ways to invest.

Q: Where are the hotspots in the automation market?

A: China is adding one thousand new drivers per day. That's a large automotive market with new facilities that need automation. It's a huge market for us.

We feel that India represents a huge opportunity. The workforce is stable and open to training opportunities.

While there is a slowdown in the U.S. automotive market it is still a very large market. Overall our indicators show that the U.S. is relatively healthy as well.

Q: What challenges do you face in serving the Chinese market?

Dennis Sadlowski, President and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc.A: We seek out local talent and leadership to build up our business in this region. You have to build up the skills sets of the areas that you invest in.

Looking at the next wave of productivity in any new market there must be a total integration of the automation platform bringing in product lifecycle management (PLM). The PLM space needs to team up with factory automation to enable companies to design in the virtual world.

The new technology however requires change within a company. Processes need to be created to load real-time data from a PLM system into the factory and up through machine control.

Q: How does your company protect its Intellectual Property?

A: As the R&D market is growing at 6% globally, companies must always have measure in place to protect their IP. As a global company, with R & D facilities located in a variety of countries this is not a new concern for us.

Q: How are you seeking talent globally?

A: We routinely anticipate what skills sets will be needed for the next wave of business on a global basis and try to invest to cultivate talent. We recruit locally in Germany, the U.S. as well as China and India.

In our company, we develop employees over time and make sure career paths are clear. In our company it is not uncommon to have people who have been with us for 25 years.

Q: How do you deal with various standards in different countries?

A: We engage in an open dialogue about which standard will be the leading one. Using RFID as an example, those standards began in the U.S. But other countries such as China are also developing standards and providing public funds for the research. We try and determine which standard is most relevant and co-ordinate with other emerging standards and determine how that fits in with the needs of the current market.

Q: Looking at an emerging market such as Russia what is your impression of the strength of that market?

A: We have been in St. Petersburg for many years and feel that this is very solid long term market. As we have been a global player for years we have learned a lot from our customers and we can apply and share those best practices to whatever market we enter.

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