ALPHR Technology has recently announced a new partnership with BDZ Automation, a process automation and systems control specialist, based in Gdansk, Poland. Their first project together involves comprehensive support from BDZ in adapting ALPHR’s machines for the assembly and testing of illuminated vehicle components for one of ALPHR’s clients located in central Poland. At a time when it has been difficult to travel, there are many benefits to be found in developing a network of global partnerships, but what are the gains from partnership for the delivery and implementation of software?
In this particular example of partnership, BDZ will be providing ALPHR with support for the mechanical installation and set-up of new fixtures and tooling, electrical modifications and robot reprogramming, to accommodate new part variants. This will involve a moderate amount of software engineering and initially will be managed from the UK. Software Engineering Manager for ALPHR Technology, Stuart Lindborg has plans to change this in ways that reflect ALPHR’s overall approach to all their delivery and implementation partners.
Stuart is looking to form a strong technical partnership with BDZ Automation that will ultimately include software development, systems development and implementation in Poland. The initial training will involve sharing the structure of ALPHR’s software systems and how they operate, with BDZ’s electrical and software engineers. Normally, this training would take place in person, but travel restrictions have made this difficult. Stuart plans to run training courses remotely or, where possible, in person; training that will take between three to six months.
The importance of software to this and to any ALPHR project is self-evident. Stuart says, “Software is the glue that binds everything together. We take all manner of different technologies, that on their own are fabulous and they work really well, but in order to make them deliver the systems that we need, we need to join them altogether to create the absolute functionality that we are after. The software brings it all together and marries up to deliver the client’s requirements. The aim is to certify partners like BDZ, so that they can go and work on ALPHR Technology software and systems, maintain warranties and become very strong development and delivery partners – to effectively be the hand of ALPHR.”
Both BDZ Automation and ALPHR Technology are mindful of the environmental footprint of their businesses, and reducing the necessity for large amounts of travel is a big consideration for both companies. Over the last twelve to eighteen months, ALPHR has carried out a significant amount of work remotely. Advances in technology mean that some work can be carried out by ALPHR software engineers remotely, such as optimization and bug fixes, for example. However, it remains true that for certain changes and adjustments, an engineer needs to be with a machine to see how it reacts. This is particularly the case where moving parts or inspection cameras are involved.
It is clear, global pandemic notwithstanding, overseas partners bring not only expertise, local knowledge and a faster response for ALPHR’s clients, but in human terms, they are able to go to a client’s site with no barriers to understanding. Stuart says, “It is as if ALPHR Technology is there speaking in the native tongue.”
This new partnership means that BDZ Automation will become part of a valued network of overseas partners helping to ensure a seamless service to ALPHR clients, wherever in the world they are located.