Interview with Alps Qi, Motion Control Division of Estun Automation Technology

Automation & RoboticsInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 3/2011

We help the machine builders and system integrators to increase their competitiveness in the market

Dear Mr. Qi, please present to our readers Estun Automation Technology as a company, history, corporate structure worldwide and scope of activity.
Estun was established in 1992, starting from metal forming business. In 1997, we have already become into the leader of metal forming market. In 1999, we started R&D of servo systems. In 2004, Estun automation launched our first servo EDA series. 2005, EDB and EDC products enter Chinese market. At very same year, the average price of servo systems in Chinese market dropped 2/3 because Estun presented a product with high performance/price ratio. In 2009, we launched Pronet series as our high end product. Now Estun has over 500 employees and sold over 15.0000 axis every year in global market.

Estun automation began its oversea sales 4 years ago. Now Estun automation has over 100 distributors in more than 70 countries from Europe, America and Asia. We supply motion control products with high performance/price ratio.

How is Estun Company presented in South-East Europe?
We cover Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Greece through working with our local partners. South-East Europe now is a very important market for Estun automation. We help the machine builders and system integrators to increase their competitiveness in the market.
Before we enter South-East Europe market, a lot of machine builders are lack of choices. They have to pay double price for a similar servo system from Japan or west Europe. Our existence changes the market structure and a lot of machine builders, especially in Turkey, began to work with Estun automation. Our strong strength of high performance/price ratio helps vastly reduce the cost of machine builders and they become more competitive in domestic or global market. Our global presentation also helps because no matter where they export their machines to, Europe, Asia or America, their clients could easily find technical support in local market. 

When was the start of your business with Bulgaria? How it is currently organized? Please, comment your business relationships with your partner Gemamex Motion Co.
Before 2011, our products are mostly exported to Bulgaria in machines. Estun automation covers 70% of Chinese metal forming market so most machine builders are working with Estun automation in China. We started our business with Gemamex Motion Co. at the beginning of this year. They are very experienced in motion control business so it takes very short time for them to study our products, evaluate and then present to local machine builders. We are also sharing our successful application experience in Germany, France, Italy and USA with Gemamex Motion Co. to help them understand the strength of our servo systems compared to normal Chinese motor producers.

Gemamex Motion Co. is service oriented company. Unlike normal trading companies, Gemamex Motion Co. is more focused on technical solution to complicated automation requirement through an economic approach. They supply perfect client supports to meet their demand.
As a high-end servo producer in China, Gemamex Motion Co. experience and profession matches our market positioning very well. We believe Gemamex Motion Co. is our long term partner in Bulgaria and Europe market. Now Gemamex Motion Co. is our top level sales distributor for Bulgaria market.

What will be specific with the automation solutions you will together offer to Bulgarian market?
The most popular interfaces between servos and controllers are +/- 10v and pulse/direction. We have been using this kind of interface in Chinese market for about 10 years as well. Some machine builders in Bulgaria have begun to seek for more field bus solution. However, most filed bus system needs special technical support and cost of most Europe filed bus servo is very high. We will offer cost effective but high performance field bus system to machines builders. We have been using field bus system in Czech and Italy market during last 2 years, like CanOpen, Profibus and EtherCat. Ethercat will be the future for motion control market and we have already cooperated with our partners in Europe successfully in some applications. We shall work with Gemamex Motion Co. to offer our experience, knowledge and value in filed bus solution to our clients in Bulgaria.

Please, describe Estun’s product program and the key technical achievements in your technology and product portfolio.
Estun has 3 series of servo drives, from 50w to 105kw, EDC, EDB and Pronet. EDC is our economy product. EDB is our mainstream product and Pronet is our high-end product. Pronet is capable of CanOpen, Profibus, Modus and Ethercat.

Estun has 5 series of servo motors, EMJ, EMG, EML, EMB and EMT series, from 50w to 105kw. Estun has special patent to restrain the cogging effect so the motor control is very smooth.
Estun’s two main key strength are high performance/price ratio and great flexibility to work with different controllers, PLC and HMI.

We see that some competitor is offering a complete solution including servo system, inverters, PLC, HMI and controllers. That reduces the choices for clients and also the value for system integrators who could originally choose different components according to different projects.  Our existence in the market will help system integrators regain the value to present to the end users when they design a new system. Generally speaking, our products are more flexible to suit different controlling systems in order to help our machine builders and system integrators also choose the best controllers according to their application.

What Estun’s products will be the most interesting and attractive to the Bulgarian market?
The most interesting and attractive product will be Pronet servo system with high precision, excellent responsiveness and multi communication interface. Now Pronet mainly focus on high-end market and the standard configuration is to match a Pronet servo drive with 17 bit incremental/absolute encoder. We are going to promote a new series of Pronet in Bulgaria market very soon where we could match Pronet servo drive with servo motors with 2500 incremental encoder. This inherits the high performance of Pronet servo but higher performance/price ratio for main stream market. 

What is your long-term development strategy for the Bulgarian market?
We will keep working with Gemamex Motion Co. and build a strong relationship with local system integrators, end users and machine builders. Our goal is to offer more cost effective but high performance products to our clients and help them improve their global competitiveness.

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