Interview with Mr. Thanasis Athanassopoulos general manager of UTECO company

Automation & RoboticsInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2013

Our strategy is to establish strong relationships in each SEE country

"... no matter how sophisticated system you are using (PLC, SCADA, DCS, etc.), it will never deliver the expected results unless the probe is the right one for your application..."

Dear Mr. Athanassopoulos, please present to our readers UTECO company.
UTECO S.A. is a 40 years old firm, specialized in Industrial & Marine Automation. The headquarters as well as the production unit are located in Piraeus Greece. We have a branch office in Thessaloniki to cater for Northern Greece and the neighboring countries. Our main field of activity is production of temperature probes for any possible application. Moreover, UTECO trades instrumentation, special cables and related accessories through selected partnerships.

UTECO exports in many countries worldwide. Which are your strategic areas and which markets you are targeted at in near future?
We have exported our products in more than 25 countries. Due to geographical reasons the Balkan countries were among the first that imported our products. UTECO’s probes are installed in facilities in Russia, Philippines, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey, Germany, Norway, etc. Through the marine sector our probes have travelled all around the world! The fact remains, that when you provide the right product at the right price, distance is not an issue. Nevertheless, our strategy at the moment is to establish strong relationships in each country in SEE through distributors.

Which are the most significant innovations in your temperature sensors, thermocouples and resistance thermometers?
UTECO has been dealing for 40 years with the most demanding applications. As a result we have developed solutions for high temperature, high vibration and harsh environment resistant probes! The innovation thought is not restricted only to the life span of the product or to the digital communication the probe provides. I also consider as highly innovative, the special design of our new "solar panel surface thermometer", which allows our customers to mount them easily & quickly on the panel and provides them with a serious reduction of the installation time and therefore of the cost for their project.

What are the strengths of your products as oppose to your competitors?
Specific experience or I would rather say, expertise, high quality of raw material, flexibility in production and efficient communication with the customer.

One of our big advantages is our wide range of temperature probes. UTECO provides probes for almost all sectors including Cement, Steel, Marine, Power, Food, Dairy, Pharmacy, Plastic, Oil & Gas, HVAC, etc.. We manage to see each application as a goal. We listen carefully to our customers and work together with them. This way we make sure to meet our partner’s needs and constantly enrich our application knowhow.

Why should our readers choose your special probes over those offered by well known western or international brands?
• Because we have application experience in the field and flexibility that simply overcomes their illustrated catalogues.
• Because the ability to design and manufacture a PT100 at 600 degrees celsius, suitable for a high vibration application in a ship’s main engine, is not based neither on the origin nor on the size of a brand.
• Because we offer Value for Money. Our products are not charged with the absurd operational and marketing costs of multinational companies.

What kind of technical services do you offer?
UTECO helps the customer in the engineering phase. Temperature probe, as you might know, can easily be underestimated in a project. The truth is, that no matter how sophisticated system you are using (PLC, SCADA, DCS, etc.), it will never deliver the expected results unless the probe is the right one for your application. Small details in our probe designing succeeded in meeting our customer’s specific needs and made all the difference in their businesses.

What is your message for our readers?
My message concern the perspectives and the potential of our region. We, the manufacturers in SEE, are definitely aware of how good, trustworthy and innovative we are. I believe that we are all mature enough in now days to trust and support each other. We have the potential to escape from the stereotypes of being "just consumers" or "low cost manufacturers" and to start building business relations on the upper level and to claim our share in the industrial world market.

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