Combined forces: Schneider business unit joins sensor/control brands
Moorpark, CA — Schneider Electric has assembled, over the past few months, a number of separate, well-established brands in the motion-control market to form a global enterprise under the name Custom Sensors & Controls, or CST for short. Control engineers will continue to see the affected brands, including Kavlico, BEI, Crydom, Newall, Crouzet, and Systron Donner, and benefit from the combined companies' marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and field service capabilities, Schneider Electric suggests.
Three CST divisions address the transportation, industrial, and aerospace and government/military markets served by the component brands. Charles L. Treadway, CST president and CEO, believes that organizing the business unit along market-segment lines will help CST create consistent plans of action to better meet customer needs in each market.
The combined product lines include sensors for position, inertial movement, force, pressure, and other specialty sensors; solid-state relays; motors, and actuators; microcontrols; circuit breakers; operator interfaces; servo systems; optical scanners; and seat-belt tensioners. Clearly, these product categories cross industry lines, so marketing them jointly through CST makes sense, suggests Schneider Electric. CST plans to have an experienced sales force devoted to each specific market, so customers deal with a knowledgeable sales team that can best solve their particular application needs.
Treadway expects the new enterprise to succeed through quality culture and a philosophy of continuous improvement. 'This commitment starts at the top with Schneider Electric and runs through all of CST,' said Treadway. 'We constantly measure important quality parameters such as on-time delivery, first-time quality, and warranty return rates. We then analyze and make improvements regularly. Our goal goes beyond just zero defect rates—it is to truly control the processes in order to eliminate variance.'
The reorganization has been a work in progress over several months. Schneider Electric formally organized CST as a business unit in May 2006 and announced plans to acquire BEI Technologies in July. In October, Schneider Electric organized CST into the three divisions based on product brands acquired as part of BEI. More recently, the company has ramped up efforts to present its marketing strategy to existing and potential customers in the three market segments.
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— Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor