System Integration & Control Systems Design

Alstom Automation

March 2000 System Integration & Control Systems Design

Port Elizabeth's division of Alstom Automation is growing rapidly, along with the regional economy.

Alstom Automation covers the entire spectrum of factory automation. By integrating shopfloor automation with the business systems, Alstom offers a total solution to its clients.

The division's turnover has increased by more than 100% over the past two years, says Director Michael Broek.

Current multimillion rand contracts include the optimisation of vehicle flow at the heart of the Volkswagen plant, the implementation of automatic paint application machines also at VWSA and the electrical installation of the new paint shop at East London-based Daimler Chrysler South Africa.

'Alstom Automation has close technical links with Alstom in Frankfurt, Germany. This linkage has brought international, state-of-the-art technology to the Eastern Cape.'Together with the rest of the Alstom group, the local branch has received ISO 9000 certification as a result of the company's focus on quality.

Alstom Automation's extensive experience lies in designing and engineering automotive-related solutions in the industrial market.

"We solve problems," says Broek. "We are particularly proud of our tracking systems, but our business is to provide appropriate solutions to technical problems. We make complicated production processes more transparent and the products more traceable.

"Usually our clients come to us with the results that they would like to achieve. We analyse their business and propose a South African solution. Sometimes this may only require a small modification, while at other times we are required to redesign their entire systems."

Alstom says that its track and trace solutions are unique in South Africa and beneficial to manufacturers working to ISO 9000 standards.

"Our solutions allow for full traceability of any particular component," explains Broek.

"If a customer has a manufacture-related problem with his car, for instance, the manufacturer can request the complete genealogy of the unit through every step of production. This enables the manufacturer to identify when and where the problem occurred."

Alstom worldwide is among the leading suppliers for international infrastructure markets. From a solid and competitive position, based on more than a century of experience, the company has built a strong reputation for profitability, innovation and flexibility.

The Port Elizabeth branch was set up in 1994 in the traditional heartland of the automotive industry to provide turnkey system solutions for local motor manufacturers and their suppliers.

In recent years, Alstom Automation has been broadening its focus to include general industry.

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