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Australia’s largest automation firm realigns businesses

Schneider Electric has announced that it will realign its local company structure to form three core businesses under a uniform umbrella that will be more user-friendly for new and existing Schneider customers.

The news follows Schneider’s recent acquisition of overhead distribution systems distributor, NuLec, and an announcement made last month that Schneider would merge its field operations with that of its SCADA business, Citect.

This most recent news reflects Schneider’s strategic plan to become a one-stop shop for its customers, offering complete power and automation solutions.

One-stop shop

The new plan will see the company realign its businesses to more aptly reflect this direction, forming three units within the corporation — automation, power and ISC (installation systems & control) — all trading under the one banner, as Schneider Electric Australia.

The new structure will come into effect from 1st January 2009, allowing Schneider to combine the strength of its core Australian operations with its acquisitions.

The new entity means Schneider, Citect and Nulec customers will now deal with one corporation, trading under one name and complying with a single business ethic. Schneider Electric Australia will still offer its customers specialist support, enhanced service, simplicity and end-to-end solutions for all three brands, said the company in a press statement.

“Today our customers are expressing a need for more than just world class products and services. In a world where energy is rapidly becoming scarce and increasingly expensive, it is clear that solutions that make energy more reliable, productive, efficient and safe are on everyone’s agenda. Our new deployment in the Pacific positions us perfectly to respond to these needs both in power and automation, establishing our position as the specialist in energy management,” said Schneider Electric — Pacific zone managing director, Lionel Finidori.

Race to the top

The integration will also position the company above its competitors in the automation market, effectively making Schneider Electric and Citect together the largest automation player in the Pacific industry.

Teaming Schneider’s current Australian Automation Division with Citect Oceania will also provide customers with an “unrivalled level of specialist automation support along with integrated hardware and software solutions including MES, SCADA, PLCs, Drives and Services,” said the company.

Citect alone has grown 20 per cent since being acquired by Schneider in 2006, according to the company’s chief executive officer, Christopher Crowe, in an interview with PACE magazine last month.

Citect is now present in over 80 countries, with Schneider investing a cool $20 million into research and development for the brand over the past three months. This investment will see the brand strengthen its software suite following the “spectacular market success” of its new VijeoCitect SCADA product, according to Schneider.

Three-pronged plan

Citect’s vice president — Oceania, Scott Wooldridge, will lead Schneider Electric’s new Australian Automation Division from January 2009.

The Australian Power Division will be created through the combination of Schneider Electric Australia’s Electrical Distribution business, Engineered Services division and subsidiary NuLec. It will focus on software, services and energy efficiency solutions for the mining, industrial, infrastructure, building and energy markets.

“The new division will now be able to offer electrical utility customers a single point of supply for all of their low and medium voltage distribution system requirements,” said the company.

Nulec executive general manager, Wendy Minne, will lead the new Australian Power Division.

“Over the last 15 years we have achieved impressive growth in our share of the low and medium voltage equipment markets. Today both our electrical distribution & industrial control offers enjoy market leadership throughout Australia. Our new Australian Power division will build on this success allowing us to deliver even more seamless solutions to our customers,” said Minne in a press statement.

The Australian Installation System & Control division will continue to offer solutions for residential and commercial buildings. Trading under the Clipsal, PDL, EES and Moduline brands, the Australia ISC Division will continue to be lead by its current executive general manager, Erik Scholz.

Schneider Electric’s range of products and solutions, including CitectScada software, will continue to be available via the company’s network of partners.

For more information, visit or call 1300 369 233.

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