Tamás Jeránek took over as the new President and CEO of Siemens Plc. as of May 1, this year, almost a decade after joining Siemens. He tells Diplomacy&Trade about how he sees the activities and position of the company on the Hungarian market as well as what it can offer to its business partners.
“In the last few years, the Hungarian economy and the Hungarian market have been very active with new investments, new users, even greenfield projects, in which we were able to participate, and, of course, there were many brownfield projects, where we also implemented the solutions of the fourth industrial revolution. Many of this is directly with the end users or through their partners. We get to the end users through, for example, our system integrators, machine manufacturers or electrical contractor partners,” explains Tamás Jeránek as he continues to be responsible for the Digital Industries area, which is one of the flagships at Siemens Plc. in Hungary.
He adds that it is mainly the automotive industry that has recently brought new investments to the Hungarian economy with the construction or expansion of quite a few car factories. “These not only need to be built, but also to be operated afterwards, and Siemens has been – and is – playing a very important role in this, as we are enabling factories to operate more efficiently.” According to the CEO, they have references from almost all industries, such as manufacturing, rubber, cement, process and food&beverage sectors. With Siemens, customers can connect their real and digital world. Siemens Plc. is also involved in global R&D processes where the work is aimed at further digitalization of the automotive industry.
Competitiveness built on traditions
“Siemens has been in Hungary for more than 135 years, which is an incredibly long time and we are very proud of that. We want to build on that, continue to be competitive and help our customers to digitalize, modernize,” the CEO says. The Hungarian population may have known Siemens from telecommunications, mobile devices, household appliances but the company has withdrawn from those areas. So, from the point of view of the general public, Siemens has become a business-to-business firm, a high-tech company has emerged from an industrial conglomerate, which is very well known and is very much a showcase company for the players in industry and the economy, he adds. “We are much stronger now, we leave a much bigger mark on everyday life. Another example of this is our Smart Infrastructure area, which takes energy infrastructure where it has not been before, upgrades existing infrastructure and makes buildings more energy efficient and ‘smart’ with building automation solutions. Globally, Siemens has become one of the world's biggest software companies in recent years, and this area is also represented in Hungary: for example, evosoft – part of the Siemens Group –, is Hungary's largest software house, contributing to industry 4.0 developments. As Tamás Jeránek points out, “at Siemens, we have the same goal in as in any other country: to serve our customers with the utmost care. We are not looking to sell a product or a service, but solutions and systems. We have a long tradition of doing this.”
Education and sustainability
Thanks to its uniquely broad portfolio, Siemens can assist its clients to become companies of the industry 4.0 era, from designing a product with the concept of digital twins and production support to maintenance or data analysis, to name a few.
Siemens is also contributing to the take-up of Industry 4.0 from the education perspective. “Whether it's through training or workshops, we transfer the knowledge through live demonstrations, seeing, touching, connecting and programming the tools together. It is not uncommon that maintenance staff who have been there for several decades are now being given the task of gaining a better understanding of the latest controls or technologies needed to move or automatize a production line, for example. Our SITRAIN training center has been training professionals in the latest Siemens technologies for over 15 years. We train close to a thousand people a year at our center, and provide on-demand training on-site,” the CEO&President explains.
The other big initiative is participation in public education. Higher education has a very long tradition of cooperation between Siemens and various universities, be it the Budapest University of Technology or universities in the countryside. “We often have joint research development projects with large laboratory facilities, providing equipment support or simply interacting with future engineers about an internship cooperation where university students work with us, supplementing their studies before graduation. Then, if all goes well, they might continue their careers with us,” he adds.
Perhaps one of the most important flagships of sustainability today is energy efficiency. With its tools, Siemens can collect usable data from the equipment installed on production lines providing smarter, more transparent information to the client. This can lead to informed decisions about the next investment or to use less energy or to produce more products with the same investment of time and energy. “If those machines are equipped with the right sensors – and the good news is that you can do this retroactively on any older machine – you can collect, analyze that data through Siemens systems, you can evaluate their operation and optimize the existing manufacturing processes as well.”
A decade with Siemens
Tamás Jeránek graduated as an engineer and he says he still makes good use of that knowledge as he is able to voice a professional opinion in various issues that come up at business meetings at Siemens. During his career, Jeránek worked in an engineering design office, then moved to another multinational company. After setting up an own company and operating it successfully, he missed the atmosphere that one is surrounded by at a multinational company in a responsible leading position. “That is when Siemens and myself found each other ten years ago. In fact, I have been responsible for industrial automation, drive technology in almost the same position since then and now this has been complemented by the management of Siemens Plc.,” he highlights.
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