The USA is very clearly a future market for the HARTING Technology Group, and HARTING is particularly emphasizing digitalisation. In the opinion of Dr. Frank Brode, Senior Vice President New Technologies, it offers enormous growth potential. “Driven by IT and software, the highly dynamic US economy offers huge opportunities for HARTING, as classic suppliers of solutions for machine and plant construction and Integrated Industry experts. HARTING is excellently positioned to bring together these two worlds, the cyberworld and actual production. We see ourselves in the role of enablers here,” said Brode during a press tour in the USA.
In this connection, Brode emphasized that the approach from the US point of view in no way contradicts that from the European-German perspective. “Each continental approach and its derivation is legitimate in its own way. We can only develop the digitalisation process by working together with our US partners,” Brode concisely stated. “Digitalisation will turn the world of today upside down. Processes, business model and entire sectors will either change or perish,” said Brode.
HARTING has been involved in numerous national and international committees, associations and organisations for years, Brode continued, and named the memberships in trade associations such as ZVEI, VDMA and BDI, and also in technology associations including Zukunftsallianz Maschinenbau, it’s owl, Plattform Industrie 4.0, DFKI and SmartFactory KL. Such involvement allows the Technology Group to promote technological developments as a trailblazer while HARTING also profits from the experience of other companies in the field.
HARTING has also been a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) for several months, as Brode emphasized. This puts HARTING in close contact with the high-tech companies in the USA. “The developments triggered by the Internet of Things will continue to remain the mega topic in coming years. HARTING will actively participate in the development of these new technologies and will bring them to market maturity. Our membership in IIC and also in MIT allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the times,” remarked Brode.
The IIC organisation, with headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts, has the goal of further developing Internet technologies for industrial use. The organisation was founded in March 2014 by the US firms AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel. The organization’s members currently include more than 200 companies around the world, and HARTING is now one of them.
HARTING is looking for companies in the USA to work with in order to tackle the complex challenges and develop convincing customer solutions. “We are currently holding talks with real specialists and top partners,” said Brode.
The strong and intensive re-industrialisation of the US economy holds great potential for HARTING and not only in terms of new technologies: Today it is already the most important driving force for the HARTING business, the board member explained.
To strengthen their competitive ability, more and more US companies are reaching the conclusion that they can improve their productivity with plug-and-play industrial technology while also achieving cost savings. Such products are comparatively easy to install.
In addition to the resulting efficiency gains and cost savings, these products also eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the need for additional components. For example, the Han-Modular® systems from HARTING make it possible to combine power, signal and data connections in a single connector, which considerably simplifies and streamlines assembly.
Soon HARTING will be starting production in Silao, Mexico. The plant will be manufacturing over molded cables and cable harnesses. “HARTING can be found wherever our customers are,” said Brode, referring to the large production plants operated by the VW Group and the many suppliers who have products manufactured in Mexico.
The factory in Mexico is the right step to expand HARTING’s market position in North and Central America. Brode added, “For all of Central and North America, we are focussing on the target markets: automation; energy; transportation; radio, stage and event technology; machine construction; medical technology; and infrastructure,” Brode said.