Key engineering trends in Australia for 2015

Guy Dann, Country Manager of RS Components
Australia and New Zealand shares his views on how 3D printing for rapid
prototyping and connected devices are set to be the key drivers of Australia’s
engineering industry, as well as the company’s strategic focus in 2015.

The Proliferation of 3D Printing for
Rapid Prototyping

According to Gartner’s 2015 Top 10
Strategic Technology Trends, 3D printing unit shipments should nearly double
next year, and then double again in 2016. 

Such growth is expected, as 3D
printing is fast becoming an essential part of the design process for both
electronics and mechanics, with the ability to create quick turn-around
prototypes, saving months in the design cycle.

Based on
your observations, is Australia experiencing similar growth in demand for 3D

Definitely, especially as the demand in Australia is one of the most evident
in the world, with almost every industry sector exploring the possibilities
that 3D printing provides. There is strong growth for 3D printers and
consumables as customers within the industrial sector are now beginning to see
3D printing as not only a prototype solution, but one that can handle small
batch production runs.

What has RS done to promote 3D printing in Australia?

3D printing is dramatically
impacting our customers’ ability to rapid prototype and is fast becoming an
essential part of the electronic and mechanical design process, saving months
in the design cycle.

However the cost of hardware
and lack of easy-to-use design software for non-CAD specialists could be
barriers to adoption. To address the challenge, RS provides complete end to end
and accessible 3D technology package. 

Our range of 3D printers covers
everything that our customers need; from cost-efficient RS branded 3D printers,
to well-known brands such as RepRapPro and 3D Systems.

We offer a suite of free
design tools to easily create new product concepts with direct interfaces to 3D
printing and fast turnaround PCB manufacturing.

We have a library of manufacturer approved reference designs, 3D models,
PCB symbols, etc., that are time-saving resources to help engineers design

In December we released DesignSpark
PCB Version 7.0, updated with three of the most popular requested new features,
thereby further enhancing ease-of-use for designers.When used in tandem with our intuitive
DesignSpark Mechanical 3D software, customers can create sophisticated 3D models
quickly and inexpensively.

The Internet of Things

It has been predicted that there could be as many as 26 billion
devices connected to the Internet by 2020. Together these connected devices
create the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing us to control and monitor remote
devices via the Internet.

Surely, the development of IoT will create a multitude of challenges and
opportunities for engineers. How does RS intend to meet the growing demand for

Our customers have already begun to utilise
connected devices to enhance productivity, from wireless connectivity for a
food process line to remote monitoring of a water treatment site. 

smart phone is evolving into a personal control centre for all the other
devices that we live and work with. At RS, we have seen very strong demand for hardware
platforms, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi and mBed that support prototype IOT
related innovations.

Our business has
always responded rapidly to changes in technology, the internet itself is one
such example and has completely changed the speed at which we publish new
products and how our customers interact with us. We currently have over 500,000
components that we dispatch on the same day as the order.

RS’ Strategic Focus in 2015

What are growth expectations and focus areas in the next 12 months for RS?

Our plan in 2015 is to continue to
outperform the market. The Australian Performance Indices have highlighted that
it is tough out there. 

We are investing in our local warehouse in Sydney as we
know that the ability to deliver 60,000 parts to anywhere in Australia by the
next working day is still valued by our customers.

do you see the most potential and growth opportunities?

We are very focused on serving the needs of
electronics research and development engineers, along with all manufacturing
sectors in our market. 

We see strong growth opportunities in population-driven
sectors; specifically food & beverage manufacturing and utilities. 

We are also
seeing strength within our customers in the resourcing sector as they
concentrate on delivering value from investments and look to RS to support
their maintenance, repair and operation’s needs.

do you think is the biggest challenge for the industry? What will RS do
to address these challenges?

A constant bugbear for our exporters is the
strong Australian currency. Hence, productivity improvement is critical to
maintain a competitive advantage. 

RS helps engineer partners address this concern
by always offering the latest products for new designs, and we are able to add
value within the procurement process by driving costs down with our
e-procurement solutions.

Please share the plans you have for the Australian market?

Our global strategy is now firmly
established and our Australia operation is well placed to deliver this

Globally, we have added 33,000 new products to our range in the first
half of our financial year. Our customers in the manufacturing sector, especially
in the food & beverage manufacturing sector can expect to see more products
and initiatives from RS as we continue to invest in our range to provide for
growing engineering needs.

James Dann has been Country Manager for RS Components in Australia and New
Zealand (ANZ) since January 2014. In his role, Guy will implement RS’ global
strategy in ANZ to increase customer base and drive business growth.

leads a team of 68 in ANZ across five sites, who are integral in maintaining
the human touch of the business for customers.

joined RS in April 2006 in the United Kingdom, where he established an Electronic
Sales Team, and was instrumental in achieving 32% Compound Annual Growth Rate
(CAGR) over five years. He was also responsible for setting up RS Components in
Switzerland which now has over 3000 customers.

Prior to joining RS, Guy
was involved in varied roles from sales, to business development, and corporate
account management in the fields of Electronics and Test and Measurement. His
previous roles include being a Corporate Account Manager at Microplease,
and a Technical Account Manager at Arrow Electronics.

Guy holds a BND in
Electronics and IT and is married with two daughters

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