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Good fit for Rockwell Automation

Updated : 2015-03-23

By Dong Jidong ( China Daily )

Rockwell Automation is confident of further development in Harbin due to the city's sound investment environment and local government policies, said a company executive.

The global automation company chose to establish a plant in Harbin based on the city's strong technological research capacity and its convenient transportation, said Ian Shih, business manager at Rockwell Automation Control Solutions (Harbin).


Rockwell Automation facility in Harbin is an important part of the company's emerging markets strategy.

Shih has worked in the Harbin plant since January 2014.

More than 20 technical universities and colleges, including the renowned Harbin Institute of Technology, are based in Harbin.

Rockwell Automation's facility in Harbin has a strong research team of about 20 members, all graduates of technical colleges in the province, Shih said.

As the company strengthens its strategic cooperation with colleges and research institutes in the city, it donated automation equipment worth 1.1 million yuan ($175,800) to the Harbin Institute of Technology last year.

"We are obliged to help these technical colleges have access to the most-advanced equipment in the world," Shih said.

He added that Harbin is connected with Europe by rail and highways, which enables transportation to the continent only half the time it takes by ocean.

Since it entered China in 1988, Rockwell Automation, headquartered in Milwaukee in the United States, has established 37 sales offices, five training centers, three manufacturing facilities, a global research and development center, and a software development center in the country. It employs more than 2,200 people in the country.

In 2012, it acquired the medium-voltage drives business of Harbin Jiuzhou Electric Co and established Rockwell Automation Control Solutions (Harbin). The purchase enabled Rockwell to design, engineer and manufacture medium-voltage drives and power solutions for a broader base of Chinese and other customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

"Acquisition of Jiuzhou accelerated our emerging markets strategy," said Mike Laszkiewicz, vice-president and general manager of Rockwell Automation's power control business. "It will enhance our position in the critical Asia-Pacific region by strengthening capabilities in the medium and higher-power-rated product lines."

The company also emphasizes localization. Rockwell Harbin now purchases at least 40 percent of its raw materials in Heilongjiang province, Shih said.

He added that the company's high requirements on materials have improved the competitiveness of local suppliers while increasing their brand awareness.

Rockwell Automation will further help promote brand recognition for made-in-China products among its customers around the world and promote Harbin's advantages for investors, Shih said.

The company plans to invite its overseas customers to visit its factory in Harbin and film promotion videos in the factory, Shih added.