I caught up with Bourns’ Global Market Director, Camilo Delgado, to learn what the company is doing to meet the increasing requirements of industrial automation applications. Delgado’s advanced engineering training coupled with his extensive product management experience and close customer relationships allow him to see new market initiatives in the making. Ensuring ongoing opportunities are supported, Delgado offers the know-how to bring together the right teams globally to make new application innovations a reality.
Question: What are the key current trends, and those that might be evolving, in the industrial automation market?
Industrial automation can be defined as the use of sensors and control systems to realize a process with little or no human involvement. Overall, automation helps to manage single or multiple processes to improve output, comfort, or efficiencies. For example, factories and buildings are now relying on systems that monitor and self-adjust processes such as HVAC management, lighting controls, welding, security, etc. To best serve our customers, we at Bourns see the automation market in three distinct application areas – home/building automation, factory automation and energy automation. While there are specific technology needs for each, these segments share the goal to increase connectivity by using sensors, automation control systems, and data acquisition or supervisory control. These applications share topologies that allow interconnection of utility, building, and factory systems to create trends such as Industry 4.0 or IoT that help make factories and organizations more productive and intelligent.
Question: How can component advancements help satisfy these strategic market opportunities?
Industrial automation systems are now designed with complex topologies and communication systems to provide higher levels of integration. This situation has driven component demand, particularly for sensors, which allow systems to gather environmental and positioning data to improve monitoring, control, and decision-making. In addition, the need to protect communication ports is now higher than ever as speed and data rates are increasing. This scenario makes electrical protection and conditioning, at a PCB level, more critical for designers, manufacturers, and system integrators. This means that the quality and reliability required by some of these customers has never been more critical. At Bourns, we think of automation as mission-critical to a user. Therefore, electrical components cannot be the cause of system failure or costly downtime even in light of the fact these systems frequently must operate in harsh, outdoor or remote areas with 24/7 work demands. Electrical components in these tough conditions need to deliver robust, high-quality features. Bourns has a strong history of providing proven circuit protection, control, and conditioning devices that can play a vital role in protecting today’s more sensitive systems. In addition, our global distribution footprint and breadth of products makes it easy for systems manufacturers to rely on Bourns to meet most of their production needs.
Question: What new Bourns technologies or products do you see as instrumental in solving important application challenges?
In the future, it will be critical for Bourns to grow our internal expertise in sensor technologies such as MEMs. It is imperative that we complement our protection and conditioning components portfolio with environmental sensors to maintain a high level partnership with our industrial customers. Another area key to our success in the industrial market is for Bourns to continue its leadership in developing components that can withstand the environmental extremes found in automation environments. Our components are designed and tested for the utmost reliability against high temperatures, excessive electrical stresses, corrosive contaminants and other harmful materials or outside conditions that threaten system dependability.
Question: Overall, how is Bourns positioned to meet current and future application needs?
I’d say we are extremely well positioned due to Bourns’ broad market and application knowledge, solid and long-term industrial customer relationships, our strong worldwide distributor channel partnerships and the ‘second to none’ reputation we have for quality products.
Question: What are the main benefits customers will realize when working with Bourns?
We stand behind our products at Bourns; that says a lot about the company to our customers. Standing behind our products takes in more than product delivery and warranties. It includes having close distributor affiliations, the ability to offer worldwide support, satisfying manufacturing capacity needs and adhering to strict and sometimes ever-changing standards. It’s the whole culture, really, at Bourns. Everyone here is committed to ensuring Bourns technologies deliver the highest reliability and satisfaction to our customers.