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Motion control industry moves toward integrated products, interoperability

Motion control industry moves toward integrated products, interoperability

Telyas acquired Bayside Motion Group in 1986. Under his direction, the company has grown from one that supplies military gearheads to its present position as a major supplier in the motion control industry. He instituted cellular-manufacturing techniques in the company and acquired four other companies, Micro Slides, MFM Technology, Palomar Robotics, and Alstrom Automation. Prior to establishing Bayside Motion Group, Telyas was an analyst with the First Boston Group, where he was responsible for researching and providing analysis on leveraged buy-outs. He holds a bachelor's degree from New York University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Ease of use and quick implementation of solutions are critical in motion control today, says Telyas. And, engineers want their systems to be interoperable as they outsource more of their motion control.

Design News: What are the major trends in motion control that are common across the industries you serve?

Telyas: The biggest trend is toward more integrated products. Companies want to have their complete motion services coming from one source, and they want interoperability. The "best-of-breed" concept was relevant a few years ago because there were pronounced differences in technologies. But now, ease of use and quick implementation are more important. That makes integrated products more important. Finally, companies are looking to outsource to satisfy their motion control needs today.

Q: What are the major pressures that engineers involved in motion control face?

A: For suppliers, they aren't just doing engineering work anymore. They are also doing business-development work. Because outsourcing is more strategic, we find what engineers bring to the table is their expertise.

Q: Are engineers who use motion control asking for more application support than they did five years ago?

A: Yes, they are seeking more application support. They tell us about their business and ask us for solutions. They describe business requirements and ask us to define the application. We take on more responsibility.

Q: Are engineers more interested in systems solutions than individual components in motion control?

A: They are more interested in solutions. They ask questions like, "Will the machine make 300 chips per minute?" The motion control industry has been afraid to take on process responsibility-ensuring quantifiable results, but that's the next frontier. The industry will have to guarantee certain processes, but it's not ready to do that yet.

Q: Can precision motion control play a part in efforts to increase security in air travel?

A: It can by minimizing the routine work security people do at airports. Motion control can automate those activities, and let humans do other tasks.

We have worked with Boeing on radar and night-flight technology that works with motion control, and we have worked with the Israelis on missile control, but we haven't worked on security issues, though we have worked with an individual who wanted to replace humans with a robot for security applications.

Q: Is e-commerce a practical channel for engineers to get planetary gearheads, roller bearings, and linear and rotary servos?

A: It's not a practical channel if you're delivering expertise. We have to talk to engineers. Every opportunity is a one-off. We help engineers to decide what questions to ask in the first place.

But, the Internet is good for component-level sales where we can push down the cost. Our systems solutions are not appropriate for the Internet, though we have an on-line collaborative work space where customers can find lead times, among other important things.

Q: How does Bayside Motion Group differentiate itself?

A: We are the only company to have gears, servo motors, and linear technology under one roof. So we can integrate all these technologies.

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