A trailblazer in industrial transformation worldwide – WEISS

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With its automation solutions, WEISS GmbH is one of the world’s leading system suppliers in the automotive industry, machine and plant manufacturing, life sciences, and electronics. The reliable and durable rotary indexing tables, handling units, delta robots, and linear transfer systems are making the industrial production of tomorrow a reality. With its expertise in mechanical, mechatronic, and digital solutions, WEISS paves the way for industrial transformation. Industrial Automation Review speaks to the top brass of this conglomerate to understand this automation major from close quarters and to find out its growth strategies for India and The Asia Pacific. Excerpts:

Q. WEISS is a formidable name in automation. Tell us something about your operations in India and your future thrusts.

In 2020 we founded the WIN Campus in Pune and started to establish WEISS in India. Furthermore, we have decided to announce, Pune, India to be one of the four lead factories for WEISS worldwide.

We have started working on qualifying the local supply base, and accessing the portfolio assortments that Indian & APAC markets need. We are still working on organization and WEISS global manufacturing capacity harmonization to align with regional volume demand in the coming years to work on a possible automation components and module export base in India with high customer centricity.

In order to do so, we have now opened the solution factory; started localisation of our flagship TC-Series of Rotary Indexer product line. Here we are able to adapt components and subsystems to the needs of the local market. Furthermore, by setting up the global sourcing centre, we will make sure to maintain a high level of availability and quality in the value chain.

The current ‘Service Centre’ within the Pune Solution Factory, will be expanded in the coming years to offer ‘Sustainable Solutions’ to our local customers – Solutions such as Refurbishment / Remanufacturing service, and Retrofits / Upgrades. We will also gear up to extend our after-sales service portfolio to full Product / Asset Life Cycle service ; both for OEM – system integrators as well as end-users e.g. Virtual Commissioning, Asset Management, Condition Monitoring, and Remote Diagnostic Services when the automation industry value chain demand in India comes up.

We want to leverage the large Indian engineering, IT ecosystem as well as the talent pool. Our plan for WIDEN (WEISS Innovation & Digital Engineering Network) in India, including WEISS Academy are in this direction including the recent strategic decision to acquire Ecotech.

Q. Could you update us on your standing, niche, and competitive edge?

WEISS is a supplier of automation components and solutions. We offer solutions for rotary and linear motion. Furthermore, our portfolio offers Delta Robots as well. We are increasing our product portfolio. Thus, customers are able to purchase subsystems from WEISS. To many companies we are their preferred supplier because of our high quality, precision and competence. We are a strong and reliable partner who our customers can rely on today as well as in the future. For virtual engineering and commissioning, we offer 3D and 4D models of our components. In this way, we support our customers to reduce costs and time to market.

Q. What are your holistic offerings in India?

WEISS India offers the full global portfolio to its Indian customers. In addition, with the localisation of Rotary Indexer TC – Series, at our Lead Factory in Pune, we are able to tailor solutions to meet customer & application specific requirements with shorter delivery lead time. We also offer customised accessories like dial plates and base frames.

Q. What are the activities of your Solution Factory and Global Sourcing Centre?

The WEISS Solution Factory is in line with the global concept of ‘One WEISS’ – Globally Connected & Locally Present. It houses under one roof trained and competent Application Engineering, Product Line specialists, Design & System Engineering resources linked & working with our Global Product Lines, Subject Matter Experts & Industry CoEs. With this we are able to offer locally adopted solutions – Design in Value & Customization opportunities to Indian & APAC customers by leveraging more than 50 years of WEISS Worldwide Global Markets, Industry & Application Knowledge, Experience & customer references. Within the Solution Factory our local experts trained extensively in Germany will create customized added value components, Modules ( CTO – Configure to Order), Sub-systems – Application specific solutions ( ETC – Engineer to Order) that meet the local customer requirements with “ WEISS Quality Assured” at competitive cost & delivery lead time.

Global Sourcing Centre – For WEISS it became crucial to have a broader base of suppliers for our purchased parts as the past two years have proven that supply chains are crucial. We plan to analyze which parts are better purchase from which country – centralized or decentralized. All these activities focus on supplying our customers better, faster and remaining a reliable partner for them. With an ever-growing qualified and competent supplier base in India, especially in the SME sector; with positive government policies like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Self-Reliant India’ with sectoral PLI ( Production Linked Incentives) schemes, we want to leverage these Indian attractive supply chain ecosystem.

Q, May we know your growth strategies, and target markets?

For a global company like WEISS GmbH having subsidiaries in 17 countries, exploring and entering new markets, finding new customers and introducing them the world-class automation technology, component portfolio & solutions is a legacy nurtured for over 50 years.

In order to retain our global leading position, besides India, we target fascinating, fast growing and emerging markets in South East Asia like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. We see the rapid growth and trending automation technology adoption not only in our traditional and stronghold industry sectors like Mobility , and Auto component Machines but also in Semiconductor, Electronics, EV-Battery, Solar , and Medical sectors; wherein Asia has already the largest share in terms of global manufacturing and supply chain footprint

The APAC Business Area, headed by Sanjeebit Choudhury, VP – APAC is headquartered in Pune, India, besides the fully owned WEISS GmbH subsidiary in Singapore. Since 2018; we have established SEA operational HQ office in Penang, Malaysia with a strong and competent team of five automation industry professionals. We added early this year Country Sales & application engineering resources in Bangkok to develop & grow the Thailand & Vietnam Markets.

In order to ensure better reach and service to our customers in SEA countries, we developed a strong and connected ‘Distributor Partners’ network in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2021.

We will further invest in time and effort to meet the regional trending industry application needs economically with desired delivery lead time.

Q. How do you maintain your leadership position?

Our strategy and positioning in India centers around Customer Centricity, 360 deg. Value Chain Engagement, Market & Application-driven solutions as well as Connected Excellence – ‘Globally Connected – Locally Present’. The organization, infrastructure and talents we planned are gearing us up to be not only a ‘Knowledge Engineering Partner’ offering ‘One Stop Solution & Future Ready’ but also the ‘Reliable Automation Partner’ through the asset life cycle in a sustainable way for our customers. Right from the beginning, we laid emphasis and allocated resources for product management, application engineering & service functions in a matrix structure linked to global functions. The focus on unique customer experience, engaging the full value chain OEM – System Integrators together with superior technical consultation linked to WEISS Worldwide support both at pre-sales and post-sales service has helped us to be recognized as a reliable automation partner.

Q. What is the roadmap for WEISS India and how do you look at the future?

India offers a lot of potential to WEISS. India has a geographically good position to reach the APAC region and beyond. Besides this geographical aspect, India offers a lot of opportunities. In India we started with focusing on WEISS long tradition of ‘Customer Centricity’ as well as 360 degree Customer & Value Chain Engagement philosophy. In order to be accessible & close to customers, we have deployed technically qualified, well experienced and trained field sales resources in regions such as South –(Bangalore, Chennai ) and North (Delhi-NCR), besides Pune in West for sales support and technical consultation.

Our sales growth of over 50% year on Year (YoY) since setting up the WEISS Campus in early 2020 is the best testimonial of our customers’ trust in the WEISS brand and positioning in the Indian market.

Now WEISS is taking steps to establish our WEISS Worldwide 4th Lead Factory in India, which has started with rotary indexing assembly here in Pune. Step by step we will increase the portfolio of components and solutions created here. In doing so, we see the chance to supply our customers with adequate solutions while shortening the time to market. Furthermore, improving customer service and enlarging our engineering network are essential parts of our growth strategy.

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