An exciting new era for OMRON Oceania explained by the Managing Director Henry Zhou

September 28, 2022

This month marks a major milestone for OMRON, a global automation giant.

An exciting new era for OMRON Oceania explained by the Managing Director Henry Zhou

This month marks a major milestone for OMRON, a global automation giant with a proud history spanning nearly 90 years. The company has announced a striking new trading name and unveiled an innovative plan for the future to drive its automation operations in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) over the next decade. OMRON’s automation business in Oceania will now be known as OMRON Automation And Robotics to reflect the company’s core business. In this interview, OMRON Automation And Robotics Managing Director Henry Zhou explains how the company and its customers will benefit from this latest transformation …

OMRON automation business’s new trading name in Oceania represents an important milestone in the company’s proud history. What has been the main reason for the rechristening?

Henry Zhou: Our new company name reflects what we do and who we are – a forward-looking company providing automation solutions based on our advanced and futuristic concept of innovative-Automation. This is a new chapter for our company and our customers and people remain our top priority. We will continue to deliver outstanding service to help our customers, employees and society to grow and prosper.

How will end-users and customers benefit from this transformation?

Henry Zhou: Our customers will continue to benefit through an expanded range of automation and robotics products and industrial solutions. Our exciting and advanced technology based on innovative-automation will enable end users to Work Smarter, Earn More and, most importantly, Have More Fun!

The global pandemic has drastically changed the business landscape. What are the biggest challenges now facing industry in Australia and New Zealand?

Henry Zhou: Businesses across the globe have faced unprecedented challenges over the past two and a half years. Supply chain disruption and skills shortages are causing major headaches for industry in Australia and New Zealand. Businesses are also dealing with surging inflation, soaring energy and material costs as well as steadily rising interest rates and global economic uncertainty. To overcome these challenges industry must transform. More manufacturers are now looking to “onshore” – to bring their operations back into the region. This onshoring – empowered by automation and robotics solutions – is helping them to achieve supply chain resilience and become more competitive globally. And with smart automation, businesses can address current chronic skill shortages, so that team members do not have to perform mundane, repetitive or hazardous jobs.

OMRON is now working closely with Government and leading education institutions, including Universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) to develop advanced training programs. Also, OMRON’s state-of-the-art testing laboratories are helping to improve skillsets to prepare the local workforce for the highly skilled jobs that will help society to be more empowered for future needs.

Specifically, has OMRON identified any outstanding opportunities for Australia and New Zealand in the coming decade?

Henry Zhou: Within the next decade, I firmly believe Australia and New Zealand markets will see the dawn of the new “Golden Age” of manufacturing. This technology revolution will bring great opportunities for manufacturers in the Oceania region.

The surging demand for Food, Life Sciences and Logistics will further enhance the strong position of Oceania manufacturers globally. In addition, new technology is rapidly being developed for emerging industries, such as the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and the emergence of exciting new digital technologies, which will open new doors for manufacturers across a broad range of industry sectors. This will provide some outstanding opportunities for Australian and New Zealand businesses now and well into the future.

As part of the company’s transformation, OMRON Automation And Robotics has unveiled an impressive long-term vision, “Shaping the Future 2030”, to drive growth. How will this be achieved, and what are the benefits for customers and society in general?

Henry Zhou: OMRON is a company with a long-term commitment and plans to help businesses overcome their challenges and social issues in the manufacturing sector and achieve success over the future decades.

Based on the thought of “Empowering people through automation”, our Shaping the Future 2030 (SF2030) long-term vision focuses on key areas such as food and commodities, logistics, medical, EV (Electric Vehicle), digital devices and advanced manufacturing. We see huge opportunities for those sectors in Australian and New Zealand markets. OMRON’s products and services are perfectly aligned to meet their future needs.

Our major advancements in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Advanced Automation will help local manufacturers to stay ahead of the curve. This long-term commitment will give our customers and partners clarity and great confidence going forward.

There are many companies globally that provide automation products and services. Why should businesses choose OMRON – what’s your main point of difference?

Henry Zhou: Firstly, we’ve been around for over 89 years. We are a global company with a strong international professional and partner network. Innovation is an integral part of our DNA. We continue to invest heavily in R&D. This commitment to innovation has cemented our place each year as one of the World’s Top 100 Global Innovators (by Clarivate 2021).

Secondly, we offer the widest range of automation and robotic solutions in the industry. Our advanced technology can be seamlessly integrated into one unique platform, making it extremely easy and efficient to implement. And our ground-breaking technology helps us stand out from the crowd. We are a company renowned for a number of ‘world firsts’ in automation, machine vision and robotics.

Finally, in Australia and New Zealand, we have built a proud track record of service over the past 40 years. Our cutting-edge advanced automation and robotics products are backed with solid customer support, including extensive training and engineering services.

All those qualities make us unique in the marketplace and give our company, our customers and our partners a big advantage.

What should manufacturers look for when choosing an automation/robotics provider?

Henry Zhou: When companies consider investing in new technology, they must do three things – minimise risk, maximise return and ‘future proof’ their new investment. They should look for effective and efficient solutions that provide a strong return on investment (ROI). It is best to start with a small investment with a big-picture outcome. This gives a business scope to scale up and helps to minimise risk. To ‘future proof’ their investment, businesses should always choose a leading supplier that can offer the latest technology and innovative solutions – and provide ongoing support. They should look for a long-term partner that can support their products. A reliable partner with a proven track record.

How can OMRON assist those companies?

Henry Zhou: With a portfolio of more than 200,000 high-tech products, OMRON Automation and Robotics is perfectly placed to service their needs. We work closely with clients to deliver end-to-end factory automation solutions. OMRON’s “three I’s of automation – integrated, intelligent and interactive technologies – help companies to boost production, reduce downtime and significantly reduce costs.

Finally, where do you see OMRON Automation and Robotics in 5-10 years from now – what are your main goals?

Henry Zhou: During the next decade, there are three key goals I would like to achieve:

1. To empower people through automation by creating a productive environment where businesses can grow, and employees are happy in their jobs -- engaged in more creative and interesting roles.

2. To aid significant growth of our business in Australia and New Zealand.

3. To be recognised as a prestigious company with a strong focus on sustainability and the environment – a company that offers the latest cutting-edge technology to enable our customers and employees to unleash their full potential and transform into sustainable and innovative factories.

With our ambitious long-term Vision for the future, OMRON Automation and Robotics will continue to improve lives and contribute to a better society.

Find out more here.

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