September 2019, Dubai

Interview with Şevket Saraçoğlu, President of Mitsubishi Electric Turkey

Why SPS Automation Middle East

Energy, as an important factor in production costs, is a critical resource for each industry. As energy requirement increases in industries every day, energy resources in the world dwindle and costs increase. For countries to adapt to competition conditions, they must preserve production activities consistently and without a hitch, while reducing energy consumption. 
Our brand Mitsubishi Electric, a leading solution partner for energy efficient factory automation provides eco-friendly products and solutions that help achieve energy saving, increased efficiency and reduced production costs, thus increasing the competitive power of businesses. 
In this context, we believe that SPS Automation Middle East, which will help us reach out to participants from worldwide, mainly being Middle Eastern and Gulf countries about our leading power in automation industry, is an important event for our company and industry. 
The success of the SPS expo which had been organized in Nurnberg, Germany for long years was another reason for our decision to participate. We believe this expo will contribute to business world in terms of keeping up with up-to-date information and technologies and forming new business relationships.   
Our expectations for this inaugural event
SPS Automation Middle East is an event that gathers industry representatives such as manufacturers, investors, distributors, system integrators, project managers, consultants, mechanical, electrical and construction engineers; alongside researchers, universities, non-governmental organizations and government representatives from MENA region which contains Gulf countries, Middle East and North Africa. 
As Mitsubishi Electric Turkey Factory Automation Systems, we aim to create network and develop potential business relations by introducing our newest products, services and solutions in automation industry to the broad target mass in these regions which we believe to have high potential in terms of automation technologies.
An overview of Mitsubishi Electric in the Middle East
As Mitsubishi Electric, we have entities in Middle Eastern Region, namely being, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Quwait, Lebanon and Egypt. Our main products and services in the Middle East are factory automation, air conditioning, elevators and escalators, heavy electrical machinery (power systems) and video wall display systems. Additionally, we perform in areas such as; transportation systems, automotive equipment, information and communication systems, public systems, space systems, semiconductors & devices and home products.
Our extensive portfolio of factory automation products and services is used for numerous solutions for areas that include factories, manufacturing plants, building management and social infrastructure projects. From individual sales of elevators and air-conditioning & ventilation systems to complete packages for commercial and residential buildings, we offer solutions to match building requirements and anticipated needs. We are also developing innovative eco-conscious, energy saving solutions for power infrastructure systems. 
On the UAE and wider region’s automation sector 
Automation technologies in United Arab Emirates and the Middle Eastern region along with Gulf countries in general can be said to have just established a presence. However, the region is open to technological developments and is deeply interested in the subject. 
At this point, we can take smart city project in Dubai as an example. It is known that, with the endeavours of United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Infrastructure Development, a huge part of data centre servers are consolidated via virtualization and network infrastructure is being greatly improved as well. 
Aside from that, in the recent years Dubai received attention with its robot cops and was widely talked about with its autonomous police vehicles. First drone taxi test drive was performed there in 2017 as well. All these things are achieved by connecting them to each other via industrial internet (IoT), which is an essential part of Industry 4.0. 
Apart from Dubai, innovation is also supported by Saudi Arabia willing to break its dependence on petrol and they place emphasis on big data analysis for this purpose. Briefly, we believe that these regions aiming to boost production by investing on automation technologies will make considerable investments on automation technologies in the following years.

Industrial automation and Industry 4.0
In order for companies to compete in a global level, development costs must be decreased while production rate and quality are increased. From this perspective, for companies to bring production quality up to global standards in order to have a place in the competition and to gain strength in export, it is mandatory to closely follow developments in automation industry and adapt to developing technologies.
We, as a well-established player in this new industrial phase, provide advanced technological solutions with the e-F@ctory concept which was developed to help industrialists prepare themselves in advance for tomorrow's digital factories. 
We greatly contribute to the digitalization of production with our answer to Industry 4.0 called e-F@ctory concept, which we have been using in our factories since 2003. With the implementation of e-F@ctory in our Nagoya factory, which was built as a digital factory, considerable increase in production capacity was achieved. 
Another example is the pilot program we carried out in Intel's production facility in Malaysia. In this program where Mitsubishi Electric's e-F@ctory concept was combined with Intel's expertise on creating solutions for Internet of Things, production was monitored online via cloud technology. 
While providing Intel's factory with high efficiency, this application also enabled predictive maintenance, low failure rate and low cost. All these results enabled Intel to save US$9 million. Along with this, energy efficiency for a sustainable society was achieved.
Key automation challenges across industries
From a unified perspective for all industries we provide our services to, we can say that it is critical to incentivise companies that invest in R&D, innovation and advanced technologies. We believe that, if quality-oriented operation is widely adopted instead of a price-oriented approach, it will be possible to create projects with high added value and achieve sustainable growth.
We suggest companies to choose brands with advanced technology and experience, serious reference projects throughout the world with measured results that can provide tangible solutions for Industry 4.0 applications, so they can make the right investments. 
Creating a virtual factory and performing a simulation of the eventual factory and production in order to assess the efficiency and shape their investments in accordance with obtained data before any investment is made will help companies move forward more confidently. 
This investment will bring companies; an infrastructure where it is possible to respond to personalized products and services with flexible, rapid and high capacity manufacturing, with ensured data security, where time and costs are reduced thanks to predictive maintenance processes and uninterrupted production is performed and customer satisfaction is increased as a result. 
Within this period, it is also important that companies bring their teams to a position where they can use advanced technologies and have the ability to incorporate technology and big data into their management processes.
Opportunities for this emerging regional market
For automation industry, we can say that there is a huge potential mainly in United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. These two countries have set their focus towards industrial automation industry in recent years. 
According to the data released by PwC, it is stated that by 2030, among Middle Eastern countries including Gulf countries and Egypt, the biggest economic growth will happen in United Arab Emirates. 
Dubai, the biggest city of UAE, managed to become a global city and regional centre for trade and tourism due to their economic diversification in tandem with the drastic improvements in industries such as tourism, real estate, retail, logistics and finance.
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), which UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait are members of, focuses on manufacturing industry.  
The UAE currently carries out studies in order to develop manufacturing industry with an approach cantered on automation and technology. As more emphasis is placed on industrialization in Saudi Arabia, this situation, in return makes them improve infrastructure in the country and take serious steps towards improving industrial cities and regions
Final words on SPS Automation Middle East 
As Mitsubishi Electric, this expo gives us the opportunity to directly address to our customers in the region. The fact that SPS Automation Middle East is the first expo in the region in terms of automation technologies has been exciting us to become a part of such an important structure.