Interview with Hugo Neri, Crouzet’s Global Channel Product Manager
Hugo Neri Crouzet’s Global Channel Product Manager
Hugo has been working at Crouzet for more than 8 years in differing roles. Firstly starting as design engineer in the R&D department later becoming Product Manager for North America. Today, Hugo is the Product Manager for Crouzet’s entire Global Distribution Channel.
1. Who are Crouzet and what do they produce?
Crouzet is an independent company manufacturing mechatronic components for demanding applications in aerospace & transportation, energy, building automation and machine building. Crouzet offers switches and sensors, electromechanical actuators, electrical protection equipment, cockpit controls, automation controllers and control products including timers, monitoring relays, solid state relays and pneumatic components.
Since 1921, Crouzet has enjoyed a long history of close collaboration with customers in the development of products from standard components through to fully customised solutions.
Crouzet’s customers and partners can rely on our worldwide teams to meet and often exceed their expectations. Driven by innovation, our experts are focused on designing and delivering the right product for the right application.
2. What applications and solutions are Crouzet products suitable for?
Crouzet is present in a large number of applications in aerospace & defense, transportation (rail applications both on board and trackside), automotive (specialty vehicles), energy (nuclear, energy distribution, renewable energy), building automation (automatic gates & doors, building efficiency) and machinery (including industrial automation, food & beverage equipment.)
3. What are some of the challenges of developing and deploying applications in these sorts of environments?
The large number of applications and customers that we have all of which have very different needs, combined with the large number of different products that Crouzet produces means that there are many considerations to take into account when we create new products and introduce them to the market.
However, with the different groups of specialists in the commercial and marketing teams at Crouzet as well as technical and logistics experts, we are able to work together to bring the best products to market to meet the highest standards and expectations of our customers and distributors.
4. In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing happening in Automation & Control right now and why?
Miniaturisation and Interconnectivity.
As we move into the future, it becomes possible to pack more functionality into smaller spaces. Every day, we can see smaller systems, machines and control panels but that doesn’t mean less functionality but instead with the same levels or even more than before.
At the same time, we see that all systems and machines have more and more interconnectivity which allows them to interact with each other to have improved operation or to help with preventive maintenance – helping to achieve maximum performance with fewer interruptions and with greater reliability. We are going to see this in its more complex forms such as the IoT (Internet of Things) through to simpler forms of short distance wireless communication for smaller scale applications.
5. What new products and technologies is Crouzet working with / on?
Crouzet will soon introduce a new and very exciting product: a new pocket-size multipurpose controller called MilleniumSlim: The smallest logic controller ever!
Designed for space reduction in any control panel or machine thanks to its 17.5 mm body, this multipurpose industrial logic controller with 8 highly configurable I/Os, can replace dozens of control panel products and will give wireless capabilities to our customers’ applications via Bluetooth.
Powered by the easiest-to-use and free programming software ‘CrouzetSoft’, with a virtual display from any smartphone or PC, Millenium Slim allows remote program transferring and with plenty of pre-programmed applications, it is ready to quickly start any small-scale automation project.
6. What are the key areas of innovation with those products?
The innovations of MilleniumSlim are aimed at providing several benefits to our customers in the areas of miniaturisation, interconnectivity, and ease of use:
- Super slim size & different mounting styles, so the product can fit anywhere providing space reduction in order to allow downsizing of customer applications and replace any product anywhere.
- Universal versatility by having convertible inputs (analog, digital, high-speed, PWM), two output options (relay & SSR / PWM), datalog, Bluetooth, large programming memory, special function blocks, etc. All contained in such a small and affordable product. All with a lot of flexibility so it can be used in any situation, and the customer can rationalize several products into just one.
- Bluetooth wireless communication so the products can communicate between themselves several meters away, allowing different parts of the customer’s application to interact at a distance.
- Bluetooth software transfer that allows the possibility of installation / update of the programs to the controller anywhere without disconnecting it from the application and without using any programming cable.
- Easy and intuitive Function Block programming, for both experts and non-experts making automation simple and accessible for everyone.
7. What key developments are part of the Crouzet strategy for 2021?
New products in all of our different product lines aimed at increasing our portfolio size. These will continue to be focused on the key markets and applications that Crouzet serve taking into account our customer’s need to provide high quality, innovative and creative solutions to their different applications.
8. Why should our customers invest in your products and what sets your products apart from the competition?
Quality, expertise, innovation, ease of use, and the experience of a 100 year old company. These are just some of the reasons why Crouzet products are market favourites today.
- Our automation controllers are famous for being the easiest to use on the market, making automation simple and accessible for everyone.
- Our control relays, timers, SSRs, counters and pneumatic components are known for being a high quality and wide offer of multipurpose products.
- Meanwhile our switches, sensors, motion products, electrical protection equipment and cockpit controls are much sought-after for being especially suited to our customers applications.