I recently had a chance to catch up with Mary Ramsey, who was recently named Senior VP of Schneider Electric Industry Business. She has assumed the position previously held by Andy Gravitt, who has recently retired.

So, just what comprises the Industry Business, I asked. “It includes industrial automation, which in turn includes products such as drives, motion control, HMI, controllers and sensors. MES, data systems, and solutions around PlantStruxure are also included. PlantStruxure is about plant optimization software, beginning with data acquisition changing to meaningful information with a knowledge base around what each role is. I also have responsibility for these main industry segments–water/wastewater, mining/minerals/metal, automotive, food & beverage along with MachineStruxure in HVAC and packaging.”

Her primary goals are to align with customers and differentiate Schneider Electric. “Our customers want to be up and running quickly with intelligence around asset management,” she added. “We offer comprehensive, intelligent libraries in a toolbox. We bring more software competency to our customers through several acquisitions. I’m bringing them closer together. Schneider is known as a hardware company, and automation is a foothold with our expertise in connectivity, platforms, open platforms, safety/regulatory issues and energy management”

Ramsey sees her mission to get the word out about all the Schneider initiatives. “We don’t go for a big splash, but we need to let people know we’re not just the controller piece.”

“We realize that aging workforce has some built-in knowhow to deal with automation problems,” Ramsey said. “We have a full program around university recruiting to help through that. We try to make it a compelling story to bring new recruits and help manufacturers into generational change. So many manufacturing people feel you need an electrical engineering degree, and it helps. But today, more people like having software knowledge. So many things are modeled today, so having the right skill sets for access to information.”

And a final word, Ramsey said, “Finally there is the energy story. It is a hidden cost in different parts of buildings. We are doing a significant differentiation by adding energy management to our offerings. Customers can’t afford rip and replace, so they more often ask how to help manage what they have with better efficiency.”

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