Advantech conference highlights future growth, global strengths
More than 400 attendees from 35 countries – including Control Engineering editors from North America, Asia and China editions – attended Advantech’s World Partner Conference in Shanghai. According to Chaney Ho, Advantech’s VP of channel marketing and development, the event was designed to both highlight the “rapid development and tremendous advances” of the country and highlight a strategy for transforming Advantech into a globally integrated enterprise.
Since 1995, Adantech has evolved from a Taiwan export company to a multinational organization with more than 15 regional business units. In China alone, the company has 24 offices, 5 research and development (R&D) centers, 3 manufacturing centers and more than 100 partners covering 33 cities. Ho urged the distributors, system integrators, and others in attendance to “enjoy the strong economic opportunity in China with Advantech….This is also our wish, that we’ll become the greatest ePlatform provider in the world.”
Numbers revealed during the event indicate that the company is well on its way to achieving that goal. Twenty-nine percent of the company’s almost one-half billion dollars in revenue is from North America. Advantech CFO Dora Chang reported 21% year over year growth for the company overall, with 21% from Industrial Automation (“eAutomation”), 34% from Industrial and Network Computing (“ePlatform”), and 17% from the new “eServices” initiative.
In North America, Cincinnati, OH, is at the center of activity for Advantech eAutomation, while the company’s Milpitas, CA, location is headquarters for the Advantech ePlatform embedded computing products and configure to order services (CTOS), as well as design to order services (DTOS) programs. Advantech already does a great deal of private labeling for U.S. manufacturers needing high quality industrial computers, and they’re “big enough to scale operations,” said Mike Berryman, market development manager for the Industrial Automation group. That “enables us to handle the smaller runs typical of industrial automation products, which may produce tens or hundreds of products, rather than hundreds of thousands,” said Berryman.
Collaboration with North American customers has already occurred, according to Lynette Anderson, global marketing manager for eAutomation. “We’ve already done three user forums this year in North America—the first on Industrial Ethernet, the second on Programmable Logic Controller (PAC) technology, and then on embedded hardware and software… We want to hear from our North American customers about what their needs are and have them participate in our product roadmap planning, so they can get their voices heard and their needs met.”