Based on its recent analysis of the Western European motion controller market, Frost & Sullivan has recognised ELAU AG with the 2007 Western European Frost & Sullivan Award for Industry Innovation and Advancement for distinguishing itself in the highly competitive motion controller market by implementing outstanding specialisation strategies and providing customised application-based solutions. The award commends ELAU AG for its in-depth understanding of the dynamics of this market, enabling it to develop appropriate solutions to address end users’ most pressing needs.
“ELAU AG’s ability to conceptualise industry activities and successfully address customer needs is truly a differentiating factor in the competitive packaging industry,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mr. Suman Bhaskar. “ELAU AG’s strategy to concentrate on one end-user application is one of the significant factors behind its success and with this in mind, the company has strategically opened offices in all the major packaging machine building countries.”
A leader in automation for the packaging industry in Western Europe, ELAU AG is also known for being a trendsetter, leading the way in new areas such as promoting robotic functionalities in controllers. ELAU pioneered the concept of embedded robots wherein robots are integrated in the secondary and primary packaging processes. While conventional robots used in packaging usually have their own control architecture, embedded robots offer a simplified solution as they are run by the same controllers that run the machine.
Due to the many advantages offered by embedded robots such as reduced integration time for robots and packaging machines, elimination of the need for a ‘black box’ robot controller hardware and software, and lower energy costs of production, many companies have followed ELAU’s lead and started implementing this technology in their controllers.
ELAU also successfully introduced integrated drives and motors, an initiative that has taken modularity in drives to the next level and surpassed the integration efforts made by other automation companies. ELAU’s self-contained module is a superior design and offers packaging machine designers and users several benefits such as smaller machine size, reduced cabling costs, and plug-and-play machine integration. Here again, ELAU has been something of a trendsetter, spurring many major market participants to start designing and delivering integrated drives and motors in modular form.
Another noteworthy feature of ELAU’s solutions is their open architecture. The human-machine interfaces (HMI) used in its solutions are compatible with all the major companies’ components in the automation industry. The communication protocols are also compatible with solutions such as Profinet and DeviceNet.
ELAU’s keen understanding of market requirements is what gives the company an edge over competitors. ELAU provides only complete solutions that include on-site customer training and is able to keep its finger on the pulse of the customer by directly interacting with them through a dedicated and technically trained sales force rather than using agents or distributors. ELAU’s strong emphasis on quality in manpower is another crucial aspect of its success, and it invests around 20.0 per cent of its revenues for this purpose.
Even post-sale, ELAU plays an active role by ensuring that customers are trained in handling, maintenance, and servicing as it believes in empowering customers to meet their own needs on the production site. ELAU provides training to both the machine builders and end users, with the aim of helping machine builders programme and integrate the solution into the machine themselves. This has been one of its consistent strategies and forms a vital part of the complete package it offers its customers.
“By empowering its customers to handle the implementations themselves, ELAU not only broadens the advantages that customers gain from using its controllers but also helps build a confident, lasting relationship for the future,” says Mr. Bhaskar. “Training its customers on handling, maintenance, and service of its components reduces manpower costs and machine down time while increasing profitability in a very competitive market.”
Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has proven to be a leader in the industry and that, through its pioneering technology, sound business strategy, and research efforts, has been successful in moving the state of the industry forward. Its excellence in the field has extended beyond its technical advancements and encompasses a comprehensive view of market participants resulting in an ongoing improvement in the industry over time. This award recognises the company for its broader, more comprehensive participation in the industry and for its contributions to the advancement of the market.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About ELAU AG
ELAU (elau.com) is a company of Schneider Electric Group, which provides assistance with global support and service. Since Schneider Electric has more than 105 000 employees and a service network in 190 countries, ELAU has the backing of a strong parent that will be giving the company systematic help in achieving the joint goal of becoming market leader in packaging automation.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.