He comments that the reorganisation of the sector, which has seen the grouping of the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies, Building Technologies, Industry Solutions and Mobility divisions under the company's Industry sector, will "seek to build on existing synergies between the divisions to enable us to address our customers' requirements over the complete life cycle of their plants, facilities or buildings, more effectively and efficiently."
Clarkson also highlights the advantage that the restructuring strategy holds in light of South Africa's skills crisis. "By pooling engineering, operations and service resources, we will be more attractive to our customers and will be able to offer a far more responsive and professional service to our customers."
He proposes that the restructuring of the Industry sector offers the greatest challenge and, simultaneously, the largest potential within the company's total reorganisation strategy. The reorganisation of the Industry Sector sees the incorporation of five industrial divisions into a single sector with clear assignment of responsibilities, reduced complexity and flat hierarchies.
"In the past, the industry divisions have sometimes sent conflicting messages to our customers and have even found themselves in opposition because of differing dynamics and strategies within their industrial markets. We have identified synergies and opportunities between the divisions which will increase our efficiency and allow all of these divisions to work very closely together to provide additional value to our customers."
The Siemens' Industry sector will provide high value product, systems, solutions and services across the complete industrial and infrastructure sectors, including road, rail, harbours, airports, and building infrastructure.
The spectrum of offerings from the Industry Automation Division extends from standard products to system solutions for energy and automation technologies used in manufacturing and process industries. As the leading provider of industry software, the Division increases the efficiency of the entire value-added chains of the manufacturing companies - from product design and development, to production, sales and service.
The Drive Technologies Division offers customers solutions for electronics manufacturing as well as complete systems, including standard and large drives applications across the entire drive train. These solutions, comprised of numerical control systems, converters, and motors and drives, are tailored to the individual customer application.
The Building Technologies Division bundles Siemens' offerings for building security, automation and operations, both as a service provider as well as a manufacturer of products and systems. The spectrum of products ranges from electrical installation technology, heating and ventilation systems, to security and fire safety systems.
Industry Solutions is the systems and solutions integrator for plant business and covers everything from planning and construction, to operation and maintenance over a plant's entire life-cycle. The Division has the process know-how for increasing the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises in various industries and meets the need for environmentally compatible solutions with its water processing and raw material processing systems.
With its "Complete Mobility" approach, the Mobility Division is pursuing the goal of networking various transportation systems with one another in order to move people and goods efficiently. Complete Mobility combines the competencies in operating systems for rail and road traffic with solutions for airport logistics, postal automation and rail electrification, as well as rail vehicles for mass transit, regional and long distance transportation.
Clarkson comments that a strong focus of the Industry Sector in Southern Africa has recently been in the mining industry, where the Sector offers total electrification and automation solutions to its customers. Having traditionally been strong in this field and having long standing relationships with key customers, he says that the Sector will continue to place great emphasis on this industry in the future, both from a product and systems perspective as well as from a solutions supplier point of view. Siemens has recently successfully completed a major project at coal producer Anglo Coal's Mafube colliery, and is currently pursuing further specific opportunities in this industry
Meanwhile, the upswing in South Africa's economy over the past decade has enabled Siemens to revive its previously robust mine winder solution business and strengthen its market position in this field.
"We currently have a number of mine winder orders in house and we are working on other opportunities which will put us in a strong position in the market and make us one of the centres of competence in this field within Siemens worldwide."
Clarkson comments that a large focus of the Building Technologies division will also be in the mining sector.
"We hope, through the synergies that we generate across the sectors, to be able to include this offering in a total Siemens offering to the mining sector," says Clarkson.
Infrastructure, particularly harbours and airports, will also continue to be a strong focus for Siemens into the future. "We have a very large installed base of equipment and systems at airports in South Africa and we are continuing to provide airfield solutions at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports, as well as at several other major airports countrywide."
The marine industry also offers an opportunity for Siemens Industry, following the upswing in the ship building market and its prospect for growth in the future.
"We are very well positioned in terms of ship service, ship repair as well as the current building of new ships," enthuses Clarkson.
Siemens is subcontracting to Southern African Shipyards for the complete electrical infrastructure of five tugboats on behalf of State-owned entity Transnet National Ports Authority, the first of which will be launched in 2009.
A number of recent acquisitions has boosted Siemens Industry's competencies, adding a large drives manufacturing and service facility in Isando, a mechanical workshop in Meyerton, and a rail enclosures, rail communication and integrated rail communication panel manufacturing plant in Kaya Sands to its existing facilities.
Meanwhile, Siemens' low-voltage switchboard and panel production facility, in Pinetown, has recently completed an extensive R18-million expansion ensuring that it is well positioned to meet these future growth opportunities.