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We believe in adapting our global expertise for local markets

EM News Bureau ,  Thursday, August 22, 2013, 15:43 Hrs  [IST]

Venkat Garimella—Venkat Garimella, Director – LVP & CTR Marketing, Schneider Electric India

Schneider Electric is global specialist in energy management with solutions for power and control, critical power, energy efficiency, automation, and renewable energy. We have, in this exclusive interaction, Venkat Garimella discussing Schneider Electric’s expertise and leadership in the low- and medium-voltage switchgear market. While discussing recent innovations by the company, Garimella explains why Schneider Electric has come to be regarded as the global leader in final distribution.

Tell us in brief about Schneider Electric’s LV and MV switchgear business – the key products and services, and the segments to it caters.

In the LV switchgear business, Schneider Electric offers a wide range of innovative products and solutions catering to applications across segments like residential, buildings, industry, infrastructure, datacenters etc. We are at the forefront of digitizing electrical energy on the LV side using advanced electronic trip units such as Micrologic E&P with our range of power circuit breakers, resulting in energy efficiency and management. We recently introduced yet another global rage called EasyPact range of ACBs and MCCBs to suite our customers’ varied applications with a promise of best in class performance. Blokset and Prisma enclosures are our top of line panel and switchboard offers. Acti 9 is our latest and first of its kind range of communication capable MCBs and RCDs along with the well-known range NeoBreak. We also offer power quality, monitoring and protection and control solutions, busways which complete the wide basket of solutions driving the energy efficiency agenda further for our customers.

In the MV switchgear business, Schneider Electric offers a wide range of innovative products in MV switchgear category catering various segments like infrastructure, industry, power plants, transportation, marine, oil & gas, mining, network operators, etc. We offer various models of air insulated and gas insulated, indoor and outdoor type, up to 52kV switchgears. Major offers include PIX as AIS up to 36kV indoor application; FBX, RM6, ringmaster & Flusarc as Ring Main Unit application up to 33kV; GHA and WS for GIS up to 33kV; outdoor breakers up to 36kV; complete range of packaged substation up to 2 MVA, 33kV class. The Premset switchgear by Schneider Electric has been successfully industrialized for various applications up to 11kV, 630A, 25 KA.

Schneider-SwitchWe understand that Schneider has been lately focusing on the renewable energy sector, mainly solar. Tell us more on the products and solutions.
Schneider Electric believes in leveraging its global technologies and expertise and adapting those to local requirements. Going by this philosophy, Schneider Electric offers a complete product basket of balance of equipment (BOS) which includes inverters, transformers, MV equipment, SCADA, grid substation and up to 220kV evacuation substation, DC cable harness, string monitoring system.

Lately we have introduced ‘solar inverter substation’ which is a containerized plug-and-play power conversion system adapted to customer requirements and local standards. We have also launched a complete range of products for residential, small commercial and off-grid solar and backup power in the Indian market.

How has been the market response to the “Acti9” switchgear launched last year?
Schneider Electric is the global leader in final distribution and its unique and industry-first Acti9 communication system is an innovative MCB/RCD system to give protection, monitoring, control and diagnostic at feeder level to make installation more reliable, safe and efficient. This offer is a system which can communicate through universally open protocols like Modbus, GSM, Ethernet, Internet etc. Ever since it was launched in India in October 2012, Acti 9 communication system has been garnering rave reviews from the market for the features it offers. Our customers are now able to monitor their energy consumption, diagnose issues and identify areas of faults and have complete load control – remote and local.

Tell us about Schneider’s system integrators especially in the LV segment. How many integrators do you have in India and what is their broad geographical distribution?
Panel builders are a very important channel for us and we rightly address them as our partners. Presently, we are working with approximately 1,500-plus panel builders in the country and we have dedicated and focused teams engaging with them on regular basis. We run various programs for partners with the sole motto of helping them build excellence in their business, making them future-ready and optimizing the day-to-day techno-commercial strategies. This apart, we also have various legal partnerships, both licensee and alliance, with some of them for exclusive promotion of Schneider Electric products.

Schneider-SwitchTell us about how you train system integrators, keeping them continually abreast of latest Schneider products and solutions.

Under our Panel Builder development programme, we continuously reach out to them on new product information. This is done through special new product launch seminars for panel builders and regularly through presentations and training at their premises. Product managers under marketing vertical are regularly in touch with panel builders on this. Also, under digitization initiatives, we connect with them directly by using various web-based tools. We intend to strengthen this initiative as it maximizes our reach.

For the switchgear business, which economic segments represent your biggest business drivers, especially in the current scenario of overall depressed demand?
We continue to find some traction around infrastructure sectors like ports, metro rails, airports, power utilities companies, data centres etc. Being one of the largest companies in energy efficiency space, we see a good opportunity in large size energy-intensive end users, ranging from manufacturing to commercial/office building segments.
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