MASTERING INDUSTRY 4.0

Abu Dhabi 2019 | AEROSPACE & DEFENSE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Karl-Erik Neumann, CEO of Exechon Enterprises, on raising the UAE's technical capabilities and meeting manufacturing trends of the future.

Karl-Erik Neumann

What is the story behind the formation of Exechon Enterprises?

It is a long story that started in my garage in 1985, where I ran my own production engineering company. Then, one day, I received a request from a major Swedish company to perform the automatic assembly of phone relays. The result was the first PKM, Tricep, which gained popularity among major aviation OEMs and automotive companies. Eventually, further technological developments led to the current carbon-fiber XMINI, which leads to better productivity efficiencies at the highest levels of technology. To achieve the specifications of the XMINI, it was essential to reduce both the size and weight of the unit by scaling the previously proven XT design as well as replacing previous heavy components with new lighter components. Given these achievements, today we are able to significantly contribute to the UAE's Industry 4.0 movement, applying our technology to a wide variety of sectors.

What role does Exechon Enterprises play within Industry 4.0, and what is its growth strategy in the region?

Exechon Enterprises is a joint venture that provides the most advanced Parallel Kinematic Machine technology capable of transforming manufacturing processes and adapting to integrated factory workflows. The advent of new planes and cars, which have new shapes and are made out of carbon, plastic, and aluminum, meant that traditional machine tools were outdated. As such, Exechon represents an innovative platform that merges automation and robotics to meet futuristic manufacturing trends, in line with the global trend of Industry 4.0. Since we saw an alignment with the direction that the UAE is determined to take in terms of industrial production, we decided to set up our base here with an international and local partner. Our goal is to provide the market with a machine that is relatively low cost, innovative, and highly accurate, capable of developing the goals of the fourth industrial revolution. Today, part of our strategy is to expand our operations and bring value to other countries in the region to further enable the advent of Industry 4.0. For example, we are planning to enter Saudi Arabia by tapping into aluminum casting, which adds up to the aluminum profile manufacturing we have in the UAE.

How does Exechon add value to the technological profile of the country?

Exechon is playing an additional role in the country based on its experience in robotics: our machine is built to suit the needs of companies working across the construction, automotive, and aerospace sectors. Indeed, our product has the ability to replace human efforts in a more efficient way, disrupting the market to raise the level of UAE's technical capabilities and productivity. There is growing interest from younger generations to learn how automation can impact the productivity of the country, and technology can help this transition by enticing Emiratis to work in an industrial setting. Automation is a global trend and presents different issues: some jobs will be disrupted, while others will be created. The UAE is at the forefront of this trend, and with a growing population and skill set, the country is set to advance with its transformative technological efforts.