Executive Interview - Raj Batra of Siemens Industry

  • August 22, 2011
  • Feature
August 2011
By Bill Lydon
I had the opportunity to talk with Raj Batra, President - Industry Automation of Siemens Industry in the U.S. and Adreas Aufenanger, General Manger of the Process Automation Business, during the 2011 Siemens Summit. The Summit was June 27-30 in Orlando, FL.  Since 2007, Siemens has been globally aligning its businesses into three sectors: Healthcare, Energy and Industry. Siemens Industry provides U.S. customers with solutions for industry and infrastructure, with integrated automation technologies as well as industry-specific solutions.
Process Industry
While discussing the process industry with Aufenanger and Batra, they expressed their belief that Siemens can add value in all process applications and is best positioned in chemical, food & beverage, and to some extent pharmaceutical.
Aufenanger pointed out that APACS customers have many avenues to upgrade systems including “exchanging” the HMI, controller conversions to PCS7, and existing rack conversions using PCS7 Servers.
I asked if Siemens is pursuing work as a Main Automation Contractor (MAC).  The response was Siemens is getting into some work as a MAC based on customer and industry requirements, particularly in oil & gas and chemical green field projects or major project modernization.  They believe these customers feel more comfortable with the vendor taking the role of MAC.
While discussing industry-specific process applications, Batra commented that Siemens Industry is “assigned” chemical, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, solar, glass, pulp & paper, mining, minerals, aggregate, and some others. Oil & gas and power are assigned to the Siemens Energy division. 
The flagship automation product used by Siemens Energy for pursuing large refineries and power applications is the Siemens T3000 system.  For more information on this system, read New DCS for the Power Industry, the Siemens SPPA-T3000.  The smaller systems and safety systems in particular are served by Siemens Industry products. 
Both Batra and Aufenanger emphasized that Siemens continues to build process industry domain expertise which they believe is the most important factor in serving process users. 
Vertical Application Focus
We discussed Siemens focus on vertical applications.  Batra said “Worldwide, we are intensifying our efforts to leverage the entire Siemens portfolio for vertical markets - pharmaceutical, food & beverage, chemical, glass, solar, mining, minerals, automotive, water, water distribution and other areas.”   He emphasized that Siemens has always focused on vertical industries but now they are “holding one person accountable,” for each vertical market. This person is responsible for all product and services for each vertical market. The intent is for the Siemens people working with customers to have knowhow in the industry they serve. In addition, the Vertical Manager is charged with bringing any Siemens products and services from any divisions to deliver value to the vertical customer. The Vertical Marketing Managers are Director level positions in Siemens Industry, with profit and loss responsibility.
Process vs. Discrete
With the present emphasis on the process industries, I asked Batra now that discrete markets are investing again in automation, particularly automotive, will Siemens add resources to serve both process and discrete markets? He replied that resources are a challenge that Siemens is keeping in focus. They will add resources if necessary and can also draw on its worldwide resources to meet demand. Furthermore, Siemens has diverse worldwide businesses with a unique pool of knowledgeable talent in a range of domains that can be leveraged on projects.
Thoughts & Observations
Raj Batra obviously has a big job and has been building on a clear vision since he took the position of President of Industry Automation for Siemens Industry in the U.S.
Siemens is taking on a wide range of vertical markets and has the range of products and resources to undertake this effort.
Siemens appears to be doing a good job of integrating the Moore products and taking care of their customers after an initial rocky start when first acquiring the company.
The challenge is execution and keeping a clear focus. The Vertical Market Directors are key positions for Siemens Industry. With their vertical application focus, they should be champions for their customers. It will be interesting to watch how effectively the Vertical Market Directors will leverage other Siemens groups such as power, PLM, and building automation.

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