1. It is 13 years of manufacturing industrial computer modules for congatec Asia Ltd. How did the investment and production scale-up so far?
18% of congatec’s worldwide revenue is coming from the Asia Pacific region. This clearly shows that products based on German engineering are well accepted for all applications which demand high quality levels.
2. congatec brings its German Industry 4.0 and IIoT expertise to the Chinese market. Can you elucidate more details about this?
The base for all IIoT applications is a rugged, reliable and secure hardware platform - no matter if it’s a gateway or a fog server. The German industrial automation market is developing Industry 4.0 and many key players use congatec hardware to create reliable solutions. This experience and the extensive personal design in support of congatec enables a rapid project start for Chinese customers.
3. Can you give a brief limelight on the various products & solutions provided by congatec Asia Ltd to its clients? Tell us something about your future endeavors, and new applications congatec is coming up with?
congatec’s promise is to “simplify the use of embedded technology”. All our embedded computer products follow this line. We’re active in various standardization committees in order to create future oriented open standards for embedded computer modules. Our offering includes the most complete range of computer modules based on the open standards COM Express, Qseven and SMARC. For applications with less special requirements, we also offer industrial grade single board computers based on Thin Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX formfactors. On top, we offer customizing of our products and an excellent design in support to make our customers as successful as possible.
4. What is congatec Asia’s focus of next 5-year plan? What are the most significant challenges you face being in the forefront of automation industry?
congatec is extending its activities in Asia in order to further improve the revenue share in Asia. The excellent expertise in medical and industrial applications, the high reliability of the products will open new opportunities. Additionally, SBC (Single Board Computer) and EDMS (Embedded Design and Manufacturing Service) are alternative solutions to meet the variety of industrial demands in Asia market.
5. congatec begins the industrial market transition to 10 GbE bandwidth. Could you please explain about this transition?
With the introduction of COM Express Type 7 modules the 10 GbE is now available for industrial applications. This fast technology is no longer limited to climate controlled computer farms; it’s available on rugged COM Express modules which are specified for the industrial temperature range of -40C up to +85°C. This allows for outdoor fog servers but is also utilized for extreme demanding real time applications with high data throughput i.e. industrial robots or autonomous driving.
6. congatec’s COM Express is the perfect solution for extreme scalable solutions in the Industrial Automation segment. Can you share its importance to our readers?
COM Express was defined back in 2005 as successor for the ETX, the first open Computer-On-Module standard. Both standards have been created by people who work at congatec today. congatec was editor for all following specification updates (Rev. 2.0, 2.1 and 3.0 which was release 2017 and defines the new server oriented type 7 definition). Different market surveys show that COM Express serves about three quarters of the Computer-On-Module market which already crossed the USD 1B mark and continues to grow 10-20% every year.
7. Would you like to share any example of an insight that generated a huge positive impact for your clients?
We have customers who did their own computing design for their panel PCs based on chip level. As this is a major development effort, they only could afford to create a new design every third year. The impact was that their product was behind state of the art CPU technology most of the time. Then they created their own COM Express carrier board. Now, they integrated every year the latest CPU technology just by changing to the latest congatec COM Express module. Their panel PCs is always following latest technology now. Business is moving much faster and more successful now. congatec was successful in making its customer more successful.
8. What are the exemplified usages of SMARC products?
Due to the small size and the limited power consumption SMARC only supports low power processors but supports a large amount of industrial and multimedia interfaces. It can be used for low to medium performance hungry application which demand lowest power consumption - quite often battery powered - but still can drive multiple displays, two Ethernet ports and capture Video in parallel. Applications range from vending machines to handheld devices and from small PLC devices to IIoT gateways.
9. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make? – Why?
congatec was founded in 2005 - it’s still a growing company driven by a very motivated and customer oriented team. I believe that also customers feel the positive emotions from our team when it comes to detailed technical discussions. We all are passionate about our embedded technologies. Each and every member of the congatec team contributes and is dedicated to provide advantages for our customers.
10. Which are your most successful implementations in industrial computer modules sector globally so far? Would you like to share some of the inputs in terms of testimonials/feedback received from your customers?
congatec as an embedded board and module vendor provides its products to many world leading device makers in industrial automation, medical, transportation, retail, gambling and other segments. As we’re embedded into our customers systems, we’re not visible - that’s the fate of being a hidden champion. The trustful relation to our customers also includes the discreetness about our customers and all the insights about their products.