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Kaleidoscope -Leaders' Views

Beckhoff Enabling 'Made by India' with PC based Control Automation

Jitendrakumar Kataria
Managing Director
Beckhoff Automation Pvt Ltd
Start of Business : 2007
Business website : www.beckhoff.co.in
Main Product Lines : Industrial PCs, Embedded PCs, Fieldbus I/Os, EtherCAT I/Os , Motion Control Products, Automation Software
‘Star’ Product /State-of-the Art Design/Front-running Product : Embedded PCs, IPCs, Remote I/O EtherCAT Bus Terminals
Quality credentials of products (ISO/ CE/UL /CSA/RoHS etc.) : CE/UL/RoHS/ATEX
City & Country of factory and Head Office : Pune,India
Names of locations of branch offices : Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Pune, Noida, Thane (Mumbai)
Main countries of business operations : India
Major market segments for products : Factory Automation, Process Automation, Building Automation
Turnover growth % in last year compared to previous year : 18%

Beckhoff The globally successful Automation Company is a bunch of fearless thinkers. Fearlessness enhances efficiencies & allows freedom to think which gives birth to innovation. 30 years of PC based Control concept was born out of challenging situations & today is a hallmark of Innovative approach to Automation, whether factory automation, Building Automation or Process Automation or IT Automation.

Beckhoff implements open automation systems based on PC Control technology. The product range covers Industrial PCs, I/O and Fieldbus Components, Drive Technology and automation software. Products that can be used as separate components or integrated into a complete and seamless control system are available for all industries. The Beckhoff “New Automation Technology” philosophy represents universal and open control and automation solutions that are used worldwide in a wide variety of different applications, ranging from CNC-controlled machine tools to intelligent building automation.


What were thoughts and philosophies for starting/joining your present business?

Automation is the KEY Technology for manufacturing activity and ITES integration was the future of connected factories. Graduating from Sensor level was essential.


To what extent you feel having fulfilled your objectives today?

We have been successful in establishing BECKHOFF brand in India.

Beckhoff promotes Open Automation technology to Indian industries. We have been able to reach out to machine manufacturers and end users in India to provide Technical support, Spares Support, Trainings.

Control systems plays an important role in machine performance and the fieldbus communication decides which sensors, actuators should be used. Shorter cycle times of Machines require shorter PLC cycle times and this is dependent on the Control System and its computing power.

Today many technology focused machine builders in India use BECKHOFF Control systems. The leading global machinery brands are already users of BECKHOFF control systems for their complex machines.


What according to you are your positive points towards growth and sustenance of your business?

BECKHOFF-Enabling Made by India is an innovative campaign promoted by BECKHOFF India to enable Indian manufacturers and industries to produce innovative world class machines & products. Our growth story in past decade has been a testimony to our efforts. Make in India can be more effective if it is made by Indians.

Our focus is to make our customers more competitive in their businesses.


Would you like to describe briefly your product range?

Beckhoff implements open automation systems based on PC Control technology. The product range covers Industrial PCs, I/O and Fieldbus Components, Drive Technology and automation software. Products that can be used as separate components or integrated into a complete and seamless control system are available for all industries. The Beckhoff “New Automation Technology” philosophy represents universal and open control and automation solutions that are used worldwide in a wide variety of different applications, ranging from CNC-controlled machine tools to intelligent building automation.

Product Overview:

Beckhoff | The IPC Company
Beckhoff supplies the right Industrial PC for every application. High-quality components based on open standards and the rugged construction of the device housings mean that the Industrial PCs are ideally equipped for all control requirements. Embedded PCs make modular IPC technology available in miniature format for DIN rail mounting. In addition to their application in automation, Beckhoff Industrial PCs are also ideally suited to other kinds of tasks – wherever reliable and robust PC technology is required.
Panel PCs
Control cabinet PCs
Control Panel
Embedded PC
Beckhoff | The I/O Company
Beckhoff has the right technology for every signal and every fieldbus. Beckhoff supplies a complete range of Fieldbus Components for all common I/Os and fieldbus systems. With the Bus Terminals in protection class IP 20, and the Fieldbus Box modules in IP 67, a complete range is available for all important signal types and fieldbus systems. In addition to conventional bus systems, Beckhoff offers a complete EtherCAT I/O range for the high-speed Ethernet fieldbus based on EtherCAT Terminals, the EtherCAT Box and EtherCAT Plug-in Modules.
Bus Terminal
Fieldbus Box
Infrastructure components

Beckhoff | The Motion Company
In combination with the Motion Control solutions offered by the TwinCAT automation software, Beckhoff Drive Technology represents an advanced and complete drive system. PC-based control technology from Beckhoff is ideally suited for single and multiple axis positioning tasks with highly dynamic requirements. The AX5000 Servo Drive series and the AX8000 multi-axis servo system with high-performance EtherCAT system communication offer maximum performance and dynamics. Servomotors with One Cable Technology, which combines power and feedback system in a standard motor cable, reduce material and commissioning costs. The drive system XTS (eXtended Transport System) replaces classic mechanical systems by innovative mechatronics. It enables individual product transport applications with a continuous flow of material
Servo Drives
Synchronous Servomotors
Linear Servomotors

Beckhoff | The Automation Company
Beckhoff offers comprehensive system solutions in different performance classes for all areas of automation. Beckhoff control technology is scalable – from high-performance Industrial PCs to mini PLCs – and can be adapted precisely to the respective application. TwinCAT automation software integrates real-time control with PLC, NC and CNC functions in a single package. All Beckhoff controllers are programmed using TwinCAT in accordance with the globally-recognised IEC 61131-3 programming standard. With TwinCAT 3, C/C++ and Matlab®/Simulink® are available as programming languages in addition to IEC 61131-3.
TwinCAT 3
TwinCAT 2
Scientific Automation


Does your product range contain one or two niche or special products that have excellent USP over other manufactures? If so, you may like to describe it?

PC-based control technology.

Since the foundation of the company in 1980, continuous development of innovative products and solutions using PC-based control technology has been the basis for the continued success of Beckhoff. Many automation technology standards that are taken for granted today were conceptualized by Beckhoff at an early stage and successfully introduced to the market. The Beckhoff PC Control philosophy and the invention of the Lightbus system, the Bus Terminals and TwinCAT automation software represent milestones in automation technology and have become accepted as high-performance alternatives to traditional control technology. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet solution, makes forward-looking, high-performance technology available for a new generation of leading edge control concepts


What are your considerations/ideas when you develop and introduce any new product or concept?

Innovative Technology products that can add value to the buyer’s product, manufacturing process and can overcome existing operational, functional challenges that cannot be resolved with traditional Automation solutions.


What are your growth/expansion plans for next 5 years?

Beckhoff Automation India is set on a progressive growth path moving towards Mission100 & is setting up a Tech Centre for Automation Services to serve global customers.


How do you foresee growth of your industry in next 5 years (a) in the country, and (b) internationally

Industrial growth will be exponential in coming years with newer opportunities being created due to higher consumer demand in Urban & Rural markets. Infrastructure, Agriculture sector, Food Processing, Real Estate to name a few. All need smart Automation.

Internationally, Beckhoff is 800M€ company with 4000 employees with presence in 75 countries. Since year 2000 till 2017 BECKHOFF is growing at 16% YoY which makes it a fastest growing Automation company globally.


What kind of bottlenecks you anticipate in your growth plans for next 5 years, and how you plan to counter them?

Skill development that matches industry needs is a biggest bottleneck. Competencies of Industrial engineers, Automation engineers, Instrumentation engineers must be enhanced substantially to enable them become industry ready as quickly as possible. Need for automation engineers will grow.

Beckhoff Automation India has engaged itself with Academics to train young UG/PG students by setting up PC based Open Automation technology Centre. BVB College of Engineering Technology Hubli, PSG College of Engineering, Coimbatore, Vellore Institute of Technology, Manipal Institute of Technology, National Engineering Institute Mysuru, IIT Madras, Delhi are already engaged with PC based Automation Technologies.


In present business practices, do you experience problems like:-

a) Unusual credits expectations by customers, - Yes
b) Payment delays, non-payments, bad debts, - Yes
c) Statutory & regulatory exploitations, -No
d) Harassments from some specific sectors, - No
e) Effects of Government policies(lack of policies/inadequate policies/negative policies)--Yes
f) Effects of International happenings - Yes
g) Effects of changed climatic conditions -Yes


National/local competition is mostly from business units that come up by copying a leading brand with less features, less quality and less price. Do you have experience of it?

Competition is welcome that brings openness & innovation. Buyer should study the value propositions and look at their own Asset Life Cycle cost than product cost. A lower priced product that piggybacks on established brand’s market can serve short term purpose but are never available as long term solutions. Long term availability, Reliability, highest standards of manufacturing & TRUST always come with a price TAG because it takes years to build.


How you see the onslaught of international competition in your business segments?

India’s growing middle class and rising lower middle class is the largest consumer base driving demands. We are opening up our markets to global players. But global competition will be disruptive and our industries have to counter it equally.

In our business segment most of the products are global. But Beckhoff offers global technology rather than products. Hence creative automation solutions, innovative machine designs using the Beckhoff technology can counter global competition.


What are your suggestions and plans for countering such competition – both national and international?

Global Competition is welcome. Innovation with latest Technology is the only answer to onslaught of Global competition. Hence Indian engineers need to be highly skilled in engineering sciences and Automation to remain competitive. India has a large pool of young talent that needs to be channelized for industrial growth.


Do you have any activities in practice for improving performance, loyalty and retention of your employees? You may like to mention those here along with your experience.

Beckhoff enjoys high employee loyalty due to policies that trusts its employees and allows them to be accountable and responsible.


Would you like to mention about your CSR activities towards society?

Beckhoff India has been supporting Schools in rural areas and schools for needy with providing facilities for Drinking Water, reading material, infrastructure facilities etc. However more needs to be done as we grow further. Education & motivation helps make better citizens.