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Omron opens automation centre in Catalonia

Omron Electronics : 20 October, 2012  (Company News)
Omron's new automation centre in Barcelona is the fourth such automation centre that Omron has established globally, the first three being in Kusatsu (Japan), Shanghai (China) and, most recently, Fremont (USA).
Omron opens automation centre in Catalonia

The centre provides technical support to the company's Sysmac automation platform, launched a year ago. It will provide training on Sysmac, undertake development of software libraries for target markets, demonstrate technologies and machine models, and facilitate discussions with customers about new prototypes. There is also a Robotics development team setting up kinematics algorithms to handle robotics, with a demo of three Deltas and one SCARA robot in line.

But with the Omron European HQ already established in s'-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands (den Bosch for short!), why Barcelona? Certainly, part of the answer lies in the fact that Omron's two main European markets at present are Spain and Italy, which must be giving the company a few headaches around the Euro crisis. However, Fernando Colás, the Divisional Manager, Integrated Automation Division, Omron Europe BV insists that Omron is more concerned with raising the automation bar across the whole European region than becoming too concerned with the troubles of local economies. "The only route to success in a high technology business is to continually develop new product solutions to automate the widest range of applications," says Colás.

Barcelona benefitted massively from the development that emanated from its own Olympic Games experience, which, amazingly, was exactly 20 years ago in 1992. Since that time, the city has attracted further investment, as Barcelona launches itself as one of the main gateways of Europe for Chinese business. A year ago, in October 2011, a Chinese delegation of 30 companies and four investment agencies spent three days there to find out first-hand the business opportunities and advantages that the Catalan capital offers.

They were participating in the first "China at Barcelona" Summit. The initiative was a platform to attract investments from China. Barcelona has been displaying its potential as one of Europe’s main gateways, thanks to its geographic location, sea port, international airport, and connections with Central Europe, and also its relatively dynamic local economy. Sometime in 2013, the TGV rail connection from Paris should be completed, making it possible to travel from the French capital in around five hours. In addition, Barcelona is one of the leading centres in the Euro-Mediterranean Area, well connected with North Africa and an excellent platform to do business with South America.

According to Miquel Valls, President of Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, one of the main opportunities Barcelona is hoping to exploit is being the front door of their products to the European market. In 2010, a third of all the imported products from China in Spain went to Catalonia, while Catalan exports to China have grown by 28% in the last five years and represented 675 million euros in 2010, over a quarter of 25.5% of Spain’s exports to the Asian giant.

It is no coincidence that prior to the Vision show in Stuttgart, the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) is hosting a Fiesta Española to celebrate its new headquarters in Barcelona and set the mood for the upcoming EMVA Business Conference 2013 next year in the capital of Catalonia. This conference will mark the 10th anniversary of the EMVA which was actually founded in Barcelona in 2003.

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