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Valuing Innovation In Order To Meet Customer Needs

Valuing Innovation In Order To Meet Customer Needs

Craig Bauer, President and COO, Omron Electronics LLC

At Omron, we place a high value on innovation. As a company, we always develop technologies with our customers and their applications in mind. We know and appreciate the value of a good idea. By constantly listening to our customers and often to their customers as well, and by taking their point of view, we innovate with purpose. Since 1933, Omron has carried out its research and development with the intent to make products that provide solutions. Omron already has close to 4,000 patents and more than 6,000 pending. Today, Omron is located in 65 countries around the globe. With R&D investments of 7% of our global revenues, we continue to carry on the tradition of innovation.

Our core competency of control is leading us to innovations that enable the smart use of open platforms. By enhancing real-time, remote maintenance, and other high reliability technologies, Omron is creating original devices, middleware, and servers. With our other core competency of sensing, we are exploring vision technology that meets or exceeds the level of human vision and developing a new generation of value-add sensors and control products for the 21st century.

Just this past May, Omron's new Keihanna Technology Innovation Center in Kansai Science City, Japan, began operations. The 30,000m2 R&D Center consolidates the research and development previously done in four regional Japanese centers. Consolidating our research into one facility created a synergy that strengthened our R&D programs. With its location in the Kansai Science City, Omron is taking advantage of conditions intrinsic to the area, striving for collaborative innovation with advanced research organizations and corporate research labs in the surrounding area.

Education has laid the foundation for each of our engineers in 65 countries around the world. They create our industrial automation and electronic component products. We know that our engineers' education has helped Omron become the $4.5 billion company it is today. Omron knows that engineering education is key to enhancing the development of the next generation of design engineers who will design for the global marketplace. Along with sponsoring the Design News Global Innovation Award, Omron continues to provide other scholarships and awards for students and teachers.

Design engineers should be given the opportunity and latitude to create. In this spirit, Omron is sponsoring the Design News Engineering Awards' fifth Global Innovation Award to be presented to the engineer that best demonstrates how they designed a specific product for the global marketplace and effectively dealt with international standards, cultural differences, and other global issues. The winner will receive a $5,000 technology award from Omron and a $15,000 grant to designate to the engineering school of his or her choice.

Last year, we were proud to recognize John Kirk, VP/Metallurgical Engineer at Bosch Packaging Technology, who accepted the award on behalf of his team. John played a key role on an international team that developed a high performance liquid filling machine-the first such design in the packaging industry. The new machine not only had to meet the stringent requirements of the FDA and regulatory groups in Europe and Asia, but also address various customer requirements from around the world.

Omron is proud to support the men and women who are looking to be these global innovators. In fact, at Omron, we know that's one of our strengths-providing global innovative solutions for our customers.

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