Interview with Mr. Julien Dallery, European Key Account Manager and Area Sales Manager at MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC EUROPE

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 5/2009

Mitsubishi Electric’s great efforts and investments are part of our customers success

Mr. Julien Dallery, European Key Account Manager and Area Sales Manager at MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC EUROPE for South-East European INDUSTRIAL Market magazine

Dear Mr. Dallery can you tell us about the development of Mitsubishi Electric Europe and also about the current status of the company?
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC Factory Automation in South-East Europe is having a very positive trend in customer acquisition which compensates the calming demand of existing customers. For this reason we are strengthening our teams with new employees in SEE.
Generally, Mitsubishi Electric is one of the most well performing electrical manufacturers in Japan. Mitsubishi Electric is both strengthening its solid existing business base like Factory automation business while expanding toward new markets like solar panels.

Who are your target customers?
As a worldwide market leader, we are serving a bright range of customers. In South-East Europe, our target customers are especially machine builders, but we also have large projects in manufactur- ing plants or infrastructure like the Marmaray project (train tunnel under the Bosphorus).

Would you list some important and innovative products for Mitsubishi Factory Automation?
I can, but this wouldn’t fit into this page. Each of our product is at the top of the technology and it comes with unique and advanced functions that reduces costs and improve performances of the systems. We can mention the FX-Series or the iQ platform. Our approach of Automation is to have one platform (Software & Hardware) for control, motion and human interfacing. Our products are therefore easy to program. The implemented functions like auto-tuning, anti-vibration modes, self diagnostics and preventive maintenance allows our system to be easily set-up and maintained. Furthermore, our platform is designed for industrial environment which reduces a lot the risks and failures. A lot of SEE machine builders, manufacturing plants and system integrator have took these advantages to design very cost effective, easy to use automation systems. These innovations have allowed our customers in SEE to achieve great success on their domestic market but also outside on the export market and we are very proud of this. The success of our customers is the fruit of MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC great efforts and investment in listening to customer needs and developing state of the art products.
Now as very innovative features, I don’t know where to start, but I can list a few:
• FR-A741 Frequency Inverter with integrated regenerative function. Using Regenerative function to brake, the drive generates electricity and recovers its costs in energy saving after around one year depending on the application. It is also a much better solution for the environment.
• GOTs 1020-1030, Graphic operator panels with 3 backlights allow machines to be operated more intuitively. The GOTs also have advanced statistic functions that are very useful for quality and maintenance engineers.
• Q170MCPU stand alone motion controller, is I think a very well suited device for the SEE machine builders that demand cost effective solutions. With the Q170MCPU you can control up to 16 axes with highly advanced functions in a very compact footprint. You can connect directly an HMI on it and you have a nice machine! You can also add an extension Rack and add up to 5 modules of I/Os, Networks etc.
• A still very innovative product in my opinion is the Alpha controller. Usually the Alpha is underestimated and assimilated to some mini controllers from competitors which seem similar, but in reality the alpha can do much more. It offers many inbuilt easy to set-up functionalities with integrated display.

How important is the South-East European market for Mitsubishi Europe?
South East European Market is very important to Mitsubishi as it is a fast developing market.
Mitsubishi Electric is presented in the South East European market since the 80s and is still building-up. Mitsubishi Electric believes in the South East European market at first because of the quality of its engineers. This resource in thinking and engineering is the ground of a long term growth for the region. Furthermore a lot of SEE manufacturers are now looking for improving the quality and productivity of their processes through Automation.
Considering this aspect, we believe that SEE manufacturers, system integrators and machine builders will more and more use the great possibilities and advantages of Robots.
Robots are very cost effective on long terms while allowing the manufacturers to allow highest quality standards.
This is how we see the South East European market, as a very innovative region where system integrators, machine builders and manufacturers are strengthening there automation capabilities.

In what way does Mitsubishi offer stand out above your competitors?
Apart from the points that I have mentioned above concerning safety, easy programming, set-up and maintenance, I would say that one of our key argument is the quality.
All customer survey made in Europe posted us a number one for quality.
This is no surprise because for us Quality is everywhere, from components selection, product design and product manufacturing. This point is important for Machine builders because this quality of our products helps them to gain their own customers’ confidence. In infrastructure or manufacturing applications where a failure can mean tremendous losses or tragedies, our quality is helping a lot of our customers to sleep peacefully.
Another feature that makes our products such as Inverter or compact PLC series (FX) so popular is the backward compatibility. Because each newly designed product is compatible with its predecessor, it allows our customer to have a very long life time and easy, step by step upgrades of their installations.
What is also very important I think is the trust we build up with our customer through local and global support.

To what extent has the crisis influenced Mitsubishi customers and the company itself?
Personally, I would say that the crisis has three faces. One financial crisis, one circumstantial face with the drop in Automotive demand and one structural face with the need to find a growth model that is compatible with the available resources of the earth.
From the Circumstantial crisis point of view, MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC FACTORY AUTOMATION has been affected in South East Europe mainly through its large base of customer in the Automotive Industry.
The financial crisis has affected customer payment and credit insurances that have lead to a big stop of investments.
At a certain point we were quite worried that the financial crisis and difficult access to credit would lead some of our customers to bankruptcy, but it finally didn’t really happen.
From this aspect we solved the problems case by case. The structural crisis has forced us to work more efficiently and also to design products and system that allows an even faster return on investments for our customers. The energy consumption reduction is also one of our key point in designing products.

Are there any important events planned for the year 2010 at your company?
Yes, a lot. We are planning attendance in fairs and also local seminars to train and support our customers in their thoughts of new cost effective solutions.
We are also improving a lot our Internet sites and videos of applications in the internet.
We also have a lot more applications based solutions and new products to be release soon that automation users shouldn’t miss. So let’s have a look at our solutions and keep an eye on our web sites.