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Profibus Australia AGM: Innovation, industrial shifts marked 2015

As with its client base, Profibus Australia’s 2015 was defined by industrial transformation and a focus on innovation, its recent Annual General Meeting noted.

The event, held at Burkert Fluid Control Systems on August 25, saw attendees reflect on a raised profile for the organisation during the year. Chairman Rafael Koenig put this down to PAA’s innovation-focussed marketing initiatives over recent years.

Most notable achievements have been the launch of Zenith Awards’ Best Fieldbus Application in partnership with PACE, the launch of Fieldbus Forum featuring nine experts from competing communication protocols, plus the launch of the 2016 PROFINET & PROFIBUS Global Forum and the ‘Automation Innovation Summit’ held at the Australian Technology Park in May 2016.

“Our Industrial Communication Networks are playing a significant role in the current digital transformation,” said Koenig of manufacturers meeting the challenges of the future, which includes the move to Industry 4.0.

“So it is incumbent on Profibus Australia to demonstrate a high degree of thought leadership if it is to assist the companies that fall within our sphere of influence”.

The importance of innovation featured highly in 2015 - 2016, with an urgent national conversation spurred on by the end of the mining boom, and including the release of the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda last December.

The end of the commodities boom has forced Australia to face declining standards of living unless productivity can be lifted. Innovation, unquestionably has to play a role. According to CSIRO research, up to 60 per cent of Australia’s productivity growth overall is due to innovation.

Fittingly, the adoption of industrial automation to lift productivity featured highly at the PROFIBUS & PROFINET Global Forum and the Automation Innovation Summit in May 2016.

For 2015/16, the mining downturn was felt by PAA, as expected. As the 2015 AGM predicted they would be, PROFIBUS training revenues were significantly down for the year.

The 2015 financials saw gross training revenues fall significantly due to the resources industry’s decline and cost-cutting efforts. Two straight years of profits for PAA came to an end.

Furthermore, hosting the highly-successful May 2016 PI Meeting, featuring global industrial communications networks leaders from Profibus International, was a meeting of a calibre not to be seen again here within a decade. It also meant increased planning, administration and promotional costs for PAA.

The AGM also heard that the group’s membership reached an all-time high of 40. PAA also announced the elected 2016 Executive and Marketing Committees.

Executive Committee

Rafael Koenig – PAA Chairman
Chris Hoey - PAA Treasurer
Andrew Dummett – PAA Secretary

Marketing Committee

Falk Hohmann (Siemens), John Ortika (Phoenix Contact), Patrick van Eybergen (TI2), Sean Smith (E+H), Jason Mair (SICK), Jason Lee (GE Automation & Control), Jim Wallace (Balluff), Kaveh Fanian (P+F), Robert Klicek (Weidmuller), Rafael Koenig (Pentair), Chris Hoey (Burkert Fluid Control Systems) and Andrew Dummett (Adshop).

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