“India is a strategic market for Red Lion Controls”
In May 2019, Red Lion Controls - a global expert in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking- opened its new facility in Pune, India. Red Lion’s automation, Ethernet and cellular M2M technologies enable companies to drive productivity improvement through data collection, monitoring, visualization and edge control. Red Lion, part of Spectris Plc (the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company), has been in operation in India since 2011 through its acquisition of Sixnet. Rising customer demand for industrial connectivity - along with Industry 4.0 - across industries is expected to provide significant opportunities for companies like Red Lion Controls. India is a fast growing and large market for Red Lion products and services, says Jack Lee, President of Red Lion Controls. In this exclusive interview with Rakesh Rao, Jack Lee tracks the latest trends in industrial automation and networking and the company’s growth plans.
What is the rationale behind opening the new Pune facility in India?
India is a strategic market for Red Lion where we are investing for the long-term. The facility in Pune will serve as our new India hub, enabling us to deliver outstanding and responsive service to our regional customers. It houses order entry, technical support, product repair and application engineering support in Indian languages. We are also adding engineering personnel at the Pune facility to augment our global engineering capabilities to better meet local customer needs.
How has the Red Lion Controls India journey been so far? Could you please brief us about your operations here?
Red Lion, through its acquisition of Sixnet in 2011, has been operational in India for many years, and has been a well-recognized and highly-regarded supplier of RTUs (remote terminal units) and industrial network products.Red Lion is focused on India as a strategic growth market and is making tangible investments in the region to enable sustainable growth.In the last two years, we have quadrupled our resources in the region and will be making further investments to capture the exciting market opportunities in India and surrounding regions.The investments in India is part of our globalization initiative and plays a strategic role in our expansion plans.
How are your products assisting companies to enhance their competitive edge by improving productivity?
Red Lion products help industrial companies improve productivity and efficiency by providing IIoT (industrial internet of things) products that enable secure and seamless connection to the data in their assets, translate the data into information, and then take action based on the information in real time.
Is the automotive & auto components sector a customer of Red Lion Controls? If yes, how is this sector driving demand for your products?
Yes, the automotive sector is one of six focused verticals for Red Lion – the others include water and wastewater, oil and gas, transportation (including smart cities), food and beverage and factory automation.The automotive market in India has grown significantly to meet the increasing demand of the Indian population, which in turn has increased the focus on productivity and efficiency of its factories.This emphasis on productivity and efficiency improvements has created demand for Red Lion products, for not only the automotive plants/companies but also their Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers.
Demand for automation, along with Industry 4.0, is growing across industries. What does this means to a company like Red Lion Controls?
Red Lion is a technology leader in Industry 4.0/IIoT. Our products enable easy-to-use and secure data connectivity to disparate industrial assets, and can then transfer that data and calculated information to different automation platforms, such as cloud platforms, SCADA and centralized control platforms.
How has the industrial automation and networking sector undergone changes in the last decade?
Industrial automation and networking is an exciting sector that is constantly evolving and solving some of the world’s most challenging problems – such as energy, water and wastewater and transportation needs.As our world becomes more and more automated, the opportunity for industrial automation to add value has expanded from replacing humans to enhancing human capabilities. Automation today is yielding insight that enables data-driven decision in real-time and enabling the shift from preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance (decision making). Artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly create value for end-users in the coming years.
What are the big concerns before manufacturers? How can companies like Red Lion Controls help them overcome these challenges?
Companies are consistently challenged to improve quality, productivity and efficiency of their assets and reduce risk and improve responsiveness to their end-customers. Red Lion products enable the productivity improvements and provide visibility in real-time that empowers operator responsiveness.Our products enable data-driven insights that allow for sharing of best practices across factories and similar operations within factories.
How significant is the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment for you?
Red Lion supplies products to over twenty vertical markets with end-customers of varying sizes. The common needs of the end-customers are similar—connecting and collecting data, gaining operational insights into their data, and visualization of the information –to make intelligence business decisions in real-time.
How do you see the potential of India for your business? Which end-user industries in India are key for your growth?
India is a fast growing and large market for Red Lion products and services. We see significant opportunities to better service customers in the country and region, and therefore have made the necessary investments.India has strategic relevance across all Red Lion focused verticals, whether automotive, food and beverage, oil and gas or transportation. In addition, Red Lion’s products are well-suited for smart cities and alternative energy (for example solar energy) markets in India.
What are your growth plans for Red Lion Controls? What role would India play in your global scheme of things?
We are excited about Red Lion’s future globally and our end-customers will see Red Lion increasingly deliver our brand promise of delivering actionable, innovative solutions designed to make their lives easier and their businesses better. India has a significant role in Red Lion’s future and I am confident that our Indian, and in fact our entire global, team is energised to help us achieve success.