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Saraçoğlu: the region has huge potential

Saraçoğlu: the region has huge potential



Gulf market to top $10bn in 2023

The GCC’s industrial automation market growth is aided by a predominantly young and educated population that’s more aware of automation and its applications across various sectors including manufacturing and services

September 1, 2018

The GCC market for industrial and building automation will be worth $10.3 billion in 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7 per cent from an estimated $5.6 billion in 2017, said a  report by consulting firm TechSci Research.

Global events including the Dubai Expo 2020 and mega projects such as Saudi’s NEOM city are also the driving forces behind advanced control systems and processes in infrastructure development.

The whitepaper stated that the GCC’s industrial automation market growth is further aided by a predominantly young and educated population that’s more aware of automation and its applications across various sectors including manufacturing and services. 

Challenges hindering development include high initial investments in new technologies, while a lack of common standards among connected devices and communication protocols also needs to be addressed.

These challenges and potential solutions are among the many topics and issues that will be up for discussion at the inaugural SPS Automation Middle East conference and exhibition, which takes place on September 18 and 19 at Dubai’s Festival Arena.

German-headquartered Indu-Sol and Cannon Automata from Italy, will be among more than 20 global solutions providers taking part in the inaugural SPS Automation Middle East conference and exhibition, which takes place from September 18 to 19 at Dubai’s Festival Arena.

Schulze: open to new concepts

Schulze: open to new concepts

Indu-Sol, which ensures the proper function of industrial automation systems, serves direct requests from the Middle East, and works closely with PI (Profibus and Profinet International) to help regional companies set up manufacturing plants with the latest industrial and data communication technologies.

Stefanie Schulze, who manages international sales and marketing at Indu-Sol, said by investing in the right technology, Middle East plants could become the most modern in the world: “IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), AI and Industry 4.0 stand for long-term processes involving many different kinds of innovations and new solutions in automation,” said Schulze. “The most important thing is to be open to new concepts.”

Schulze said implementing new technology and processes takes time and costs resources but manufacturers will benefit in the long run: “In Germany, it took some years to optimise production plants and develop efficient concepts for industrial fieldbuses like Profibus (Process Field Bus), Profinet (Process Field Net) or ASi,” she added.

“The newer Middle East productions can benefit from this knowledge by directly setting up optimised and permanently monitored networks implementing the latest solutions.  By doing so, with the high financial power, Middle East plants could become the world’s best automated plants, and play a key role in world-wide production.”

Japanese headquartered Mitsubishi Electric is one of the six official event launch partners alongside German-based Beckhoff Automation, Bosch Rexroth, SICK, Pilz, and Lapp. Its main products and services in the Middle East comprise factory automation, air conditioning, elevators and escalators, power systems for heavy electrical machinery, and video wall display systems.

Şevket Saraçoğlu, president of Mitsubishi Electric Turkey, said automation technologies in the UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have only recently established a presence, however the region is open to technological developments and is deeply interested in the subject.

“There’s huge potential, mainly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and these two countries have set their focus towards the industrial automation industry,” said Saraçoğlu. 

“In recent years Dubai received attention with its robot cops and was widely talked about with its autonomous police vehicles. The first drone taxi test drive was performed there in 2017 as well. All these things are achieved by connecting them to each other via IoT which is an essential part of Industry 4.0.”

Saraçoğlu added; “Apart from Dubai, innovation is also supported by Saudi Arabia’s willingness to break its dependence on oil, and the Kingdom places emphasis on big data analysis for this purpose. These countries that aim to boost production will make considerable investments on automation technologies in the following years.”

Cannon Automata will be among more than 20 solutions providers taking part in the SPS Automation Middle East exhibition

Cannon Automata will be among more than 20 solutions providers taking part in the SPS Automation Middle East exhibition

With digitisation driving business trends in the Middle East, organisations are increasingly adopting automation solutions in their processes.  Martin Palmer, general manager of SICK Middle East, said the UAE in particular was an early adopter of automation technologies relative to the region.

“From large logistics projects for roads, ports and airports through to the establishment of regional distribution hubs for multinational consumer goods companies, the UAE has established itself firmly on the regional industrial automation map,” said Palmer. “Increasingly across the Middle East, we see automation becoming more relevant, especially as manufacturers seek to increase productivity and safety whilst the consumer demands higher quality and better value for money,” he added.

Palmer said SICK’s involvement at SPS Automation Middle East 2018 coincides with its wider objective to create further awareness around automation in a Middle East market that’s still evolving.

“There’s a genuine interest in the region for automation to reach the same levels as in Europe, USA and Asia,” he added.  “This goes in line with quality control, and the latter is a huge driver for automation to ensure customer satisfaction and ultimate performance.”

SICK is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sensors, safety systems and automatic identification products for factory and logistics automation applications, as well as gas flow and analyser solutions for process automation.

Meanwhile, Rami Al Ashqar, business development manager at Bosch Rexroth, said SPS Automation Middle East will be important to gauge the involvement of end users in regards to automation.  “We want to contribute but also to learn about the market since there has not been a focused automation event in the region yet,” said Al Ashqar.

“We’re also keen to scope the OEM market in the region and I see a lot of potential here, especially with manufacturing being such a key element of the UAE 2030 vision. Saudi Arabia also has ambitious manufacturing plans, and German organisations such as the VDMA (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association) are already impressed by the level of technology in manufacturing in the kingdom.The end users will drive the OEM business, and in some cases, it has already started with some companies integrating systems and putting manufacturing lines together. Just like the auto industry, which started slowly in the region, the OEM market will start as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Alessandro Mancini, Cannon Automata’s general manager, said the UAE could become the world-leader in Industry 4.0, which merges automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, combining cyber-physical systems, IoT and cloud computing.  “Industrialisation has generated great opportunities in the UAE,” said Mancini. 

“Being a relative newcomer in world production and engineering, the UAE has the advantage of being able to quickly embrace and more easily incorporate new technology inputs and build skills at a very high speed compared to other countries. Digitisation technologies are a differentiation and there are many possibilities that the UAE can become the world leader in the 4.0 industry,” he added.

Mancini, whose Cannon Automata will showcase its full solutions portfolio at the event, said the future of production in the UAE will involve advanced technologies, allowing the country to position itself as a high quality producer at low cost, and without the need for expensive machines, tools and time.

“The UAE is the major contributor in the GCC for adopting automation technologies,” added Mancini.  “This country is among the top global markets for 2016-2017 in industrial automation, focusing on sensors and instruments, electric motors and actuators, electrical relay and industrial control equipment, materials handling and industrial robots.”

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Middle East corporations are studying a range of automation and optimisation options that not only increase the use of energy efficient technologies and processes, but also minimise reliance on ever-increasing labour costs.

“The use of robots, AI and automation across industrial and building operations also enhances efficiency, production quality and workplace safety standards.  SPS Automation Middle East will provide key insights into the latest trends and developments in this key topic for  Middle East stakeholders.”




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