GE Fanuc announces new organizational vision, structure

New strategies and multi-year organizational changes unveiled at first GE Fanuc Discover Series Users Conference in New Orleans align with customers, manufacturers evolving needs for improved productivity, compliance and reduced costs...

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, May 31, 2005 -- GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc., a unit of GE Infrastructure, has announced a new organizational vision and structure that closely aligns the company's strategies and solutions with the needs of the industrial community -- to help manufacturers improve their competitive advantage through greater productivity, regulatory compliance and reduced overall operational costs. GE Fanuc announced the new company structure and strategies at the GE Fanuc Discover Series Users Conference, held May 23-26 in New Orleans.

Based on independent research and GE Six Sigma studies into manufacturing challenges, GE Fanuc developed this new structure to help companies accelerate the rate of return on capital investments through innovative and open automation solutions. The new structure seeks to:
-- Help automation users improve business performance on three different levels: products, processes and business expansion;
-- Build automation solutions on award-winning open and layered platforms; and
-- Utilize technical expertise and domain experience to ensure "Value Delivered" equals or exceeds "Value Promised."

"To creatively, consistently and flexibly solve our customers' toughest challenges, we embarked on a transformation of GE Fanuc and our product portfolio," said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO for GE Fanuc Automation. "This multi-year endeavor included acquisitions, organizational adjustments, product directional planning, internal and independent research, and strategic assessment. As a result, our global team is committed to continuously aligning GE Fanuc with changing business needs and bringing success to customers on a daily basis."

Improving Business Performance
To improve automation users' business performance with regard to products, processes and business expansion, GE Fanuc combines GE's manufacturing domain expertise and Six Sigma methodologies with the latest enabling technologies. In the area of improving business performance through products, examples include meeting varying OEM requirements for both off-the-shelf and custom innovation, providing rapid response for lower downtime, and supporting open technology roadmaps. To boost business performance through processes, GE Fanuc, for example, helps automation users optimize production processes, leverage existing assets, improve and track quality, and improve regulatory compliance. Lastly, GE Fanuc automation solutions can provide a platform for expansion by enabling new business models, offering remote monitoring that eliminates traditional geographic boundaries, and leveraging agile operations.

"Research indicates that the most difficult challenges facing manufacturers today are only beginning to be addressed, and as one of the largest manufacturers, GE understands the need to improve productivity through innovation and expert processes," Garwood noted. "A very clear outcome of the research -- optimizing existing production operations and standardizing plant IT systems with truly open solutions are both paramount considerations to improving performance."

Open and Layered Platforms
To facilitate the development and implementation of open and layered solutions for industrial automation, the company has aligned its hardware and software product groups under the leadership of Bill Estep, vice president of the automation solutions business. This team maximizes the open solutions offering of new technologies such as the PACSystems® family of Programmable Automation Controllers and the ProficyTM family of Automation and Production software.

"We are continuing to design, build and invest in both our hardware and software -- from our real-time information portal to our universal engineering development environment -- through aggressive multi-generational product plans," Estep conveyed. "Our goal is to bring open and layered automation products to market quickly and provide users with powerful intelligent production solutions. These integrated solutions address major engineering and business challenges -- such as higher productivity and communications openness -- and help users boost the overall performance of their automation systems, reduce engineering costs, and significantly decrease concerns regarding short- and long-term migration and platform longevity."

As a long-term strategy, the acquisitions of embedded systems companies, VMIC and RAMiX, have allowed GE Fanuc to more rapidly develop technology for the PACSystems family, which features a single control engine and universal programming environment to provide application portability across multiple hardware platforms and deliver a true convergence of control choices.

"With PACSystems, GE Fanuc is delivering on its promise for high performance on several different platforms, allowing OEMs and end users to choose the exact control system hardware that best suits their needs," Estep explained. "Through this innovation, GE Fanuc is addressing major engineering and business issues -- such as higher productivity and communications openness."

Further, the acquisitions of Intellution and Mountain Systems positioned GE Fanuc for an expanded offering to the process industries, value-added historian capabilities, and a strong technical basis for plant performance management. The Proficy family of Automation and Production software -- which spans from control-level programming to analytics -- provides a full range of integrated, easy-to-use software applications and services to continuously improve productivity, profitability and competitive advantage by enabling the real-time enterprise.

"In combination with GE Fanuc's technical expertise and domain experience," Estep continued, "Proficy solutions control and optimize processes, gathering, analyzing and transforming data into information and allowing users to operate in real time -- helping to ensure that production runs smoothly, efficiently and with greater return on investment."

Technical, Domain Expertise
Additionally, the company has reorganized its hardware and software sales team to help users maximize efficiency, quality, and throughput while better integrating with manufacturers' overall supply chains. Steve Szamocki, vice president of sales, said, "GE Fanuc has fantastic momentum in many areas, and we have been adopting changes over the last year to help manufacturers and OEMs. We have one of the automation industry's strongest offerings in innovative hardware, software and related services -- including a network of well-respected distributors, representatives and Systems Integrators."

Furthermore, the company has aligned its Global Marketing and Professional Services organizations under the leadership of Tom Cruz, vice president of global marketing and professional services. The new team focuses on marketing, application development, and project implementation as well as the Premier Solution Provider program for Systems Integrators.
"GE Fanuc teams with systems integrators on many projects -- large and small -- which facilitates open solutions with best-in-class products," Cruz explained. "We manage these important alliances together with our market development and internal proof-of-concept work all in one group, under one leader with common goals around successful projects for our customers."

Under this new structure, GE Fanuc will continue to help automation users meet their operational challenges with value-based solutions designed to address manufacturers' needs such as:
-- Increasing operational productivity;
-- Using plant-floor data for real-time performance improvements;
-- Driving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by finding hidden capacity;
-- Connecting the plant floor to ERP and the enterprise; and
-- Revitalizing legacy systems.

"This is an unbelievably exciting time for GE Fanuc and our customers," Garwood said. "We have built on GE's extensive track record, won numerous awards for new innovation and service, put in place an improved organizational team and structure, and helped manufacturers worldwide achieve a greater level of competitive advantage -- which is truly what GE is all about."

GE Fanuc Automation (www.gefanuc.com), a joint venture between GE and Fanuc Ltd of Japan, delivers automation hardware and software designed to help users reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance profitability. With solutions and services catering to virtually every industrial segment, the business unit provides a diverse array of capabilities and products, including controllers, embedded systems, advanced software, motion control, CNCs, operator interfaces, industrial computers, and lasers. Based in Charlottesville, Va., it's a part of GE Infrastructure and combines the diverse global strengths of the GE family with the local presence customers need to design, develop and maintain their automation investments.

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