R&D&i operations set to receive funding of more than 35 million euros in 2020-2024 for consolidating the digital implementation of new products and extending diversification
Fagor Automation “will not under any circumstances put a stop to its investment in R&D&i”, the cooperative’s CEO, José Pérez, has stressed to Empresa XXI. The complicated state of the market due to uncertainty and the slight downturn in sales in 2019 will not have an impact on innovation activities because “we consider it a mistake; the main thing is always to come out of a cycle in a state of readiness”.
Fagor Automation is therefore earmarking more than 35 million euros for R&D&i over the five-year period 2020-2024, at an average yearly rate equal to 10 percent of its annual turnover. The priority will be “to reinforce the group’s two main assets: R&D and the sales network, as well as maintain its benchmark positioning in global control and capture solutions”. The latest results in the industrialisation of its R&D&i include such highlights as the launches of the following systems: CNC Quercus automation (a more powerful, open and robust platform for adjustment and control), 3Statech positioning (optoelectronic technology for dealing with the most adverse operating conditions), and web based HMI, which caters for the hyperconnectivity of devices and the customisation of software by end users, a scheme in which four manufacturers are already involved.
Opening of an office in Tokyo as the first step in its deployment in the japanese market
In addition, the firm is standardising its products according to the protocols of connectivity and the common languages of ‘MTConnect’ (USA) and UMATI (Europe), and the launch of Series 3 absolute linear encoders. This field has recently witnessed the securing of several agreements for the supply of capture systems, such as the one subscribed with the German firm Heller.
These products will be marketed through its corporate sales network, which covers 50 countries with 30 representative offices of its own. The most recent one to open, in 2019, was the dealer and services delegation in Tokyo, which will spearhead growth in Japan. The business will also be boosted by an original design of marketing management, which has involved the creation of ‘Leadership Groups’, whose purpose is to provide greater proximity to the market and more powerful bespoke solutions. These groups will support the sales department through the integration of “a sales rep, an application technician and a technologist who, reporting to the first of these, will help to provide a more innovative and effective offer”.
Finally, Fagor is to extend its diversification. In the case of scientific equipment, through the delivery of linear displacement sensors, which have been installed at centres such as SLAC, Argonne, Australia Synchrotron and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory; as well as angular positioning encoders for telescopes, a field in which it is working with Tekniker.
This article was published on Empresa XXI's Special Report "Machine Tool 2020". You can read the full report by clicking on the cover.