Manufacturing in Poland: Creating a “mini-China” in Europe

Many investors and analysts have begun calling Poland “small China”. According to a November 2007 Forbes report, Poland, China and Vietnam are among the best places in the world for production and service investments. Recently, Ernst & Young ranked Poland as second among countries in which companies are planning to invest, stating that Poland offers “excellent productivity...
By Pietrusewicz Krzysztof, Editor, Control Engineering Poland, and assistant professor, Institute of Control Engineering, Szczecin University of Technology, Poland March 1, 2008

Many investors and analysts have begun calling Poland “small China”. According to a November 2007 Forbes report, Poland, China and Vietnam are among the best places in the world for production and service investments. Recently, Ernst & Young ranked Poland as second among countries in which companies are planning to invest, stating that Poland offers “excellent productivity and flexible employment regulations.”

Another factor contributing to the dramatic growth in technology and automation in Poland is active participation in the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The FP7 is the European Union’s main instrument for funding research in Europe. As manufacturing and investments in Poland– foreign or otherwise – continue to grow, so too will the need for talented and skilled technical professionals.

During 2007 and 2008, there were two notable trends which emerged in industrial automation in Poland: safety technology and motion control.

Safety has permeated virtually every aspect of automation technology in Poland. And, although solutions such as PROFIsafe and SafeLOGIC, for example, are still not as widespread as in other areas of the world, there are more and more companies that are beginning to adapt.

Motion control trends

Last year we asked readers of Control Engineering Poland about their knowledge of motion control technology with regards to PLC programming and the modules they are using. The results showed that, when compared to North American readers, there are almost twice as many users of PLC motion control modules in America than in Poland, but many solution providers have begun to introduce motion control technology within Poland and items such as digital servodrives are gaining in popularity. In fact, Control Engineering Poland recently presented an award to Mitsubishi Electric for their innovative MRJ-3 motion control solution.

Knowledge, appreciation and acceptance of digital motion control is on the rise within Poland’s engineering community and an increasing number of companies is becoming familiar with the concept of “PLCopen Motion Control.” There is also a great deal of technical university graduates who know how to program advanced motion applications. They are highly-educated and are becoming an attractive addition to the labor market in Poland and the rest of Europe.

Dynamic growth of the Polish industrial automation market is strongly connected with the level of investment in Poland itself. The more industrial investments– the more and more advanced technical solutions are needed. In the next few years, there will be a great deal of money in the European Union pushed into Polish industrial market.

To learn more about the economic and industrial trends driving automation investments in Poland today, as well as gain insight into the ways by which Polish universities are inspiring students to leverage automation technologies to improve use of energy resources, see expanded articles online at: www.controleng.com/global .