New Schneider Electric plant reflects firm’s global concept

April 24, 2017 | 09:34
After 24 years in Vietnam, Schneider Electric has given the country a vote of confidence with its new manufacturing plant located in Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City. Yoon Young Kim, country president of Schneider Electric for Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia, spoke with VIR’s Thanh Van about the importance of the new plant and how the company will leverage its latest investments to accelerate operations in Vietnam.
new schneider electric plant reflects firms global concept

What would you say about the development of the company’s Vietnamese branch over the past 24 years?

Schneider Electric has experienced a double-digit growth rate in Vietnam in recent years, thanks to the country’s fast-growing economy. After two decades in Vietnam, Schneider Electric has expanded its operations across many segments.

In the real estate sector, Schneider Electric has a diverse portfolio, including commercial, residential, industrial buildings, and data centres. Meanwhile, in the energy field, we offer energy management and automation solutions to help businesses foster growth and efficiency.

With similar growth planned over the next few years, we expect the latest investment to keep our business growing strongly both in the export and domestic markets. We will research and develop new offerings in response to customers’ requests or expectations. Especially, some new products will only be available in Vietnam.

The new plant is just our first step in Vietnam, as we see ample potential for domestic consumption and export production. We remain open for expansion, such as a possible increase of the plant to meet the rising demand in the future.

The plant will be one of the main manufacturing sites for Asia-Pacific and other key worldwide regions. Could you share some highlights of the new plant?

Measuring more than 12,000 square metres in size on 26,000sq.m of land area, the new plant will be one of the company’s largest in its global network of more than 200 manufacturing factories. The plant is designed to meet expectations of both Vietnamese and international customers.

It will be equipped with advanced machinery to efficiently produce high-tech electronic products for smart homes, in addition to the traditional wiring products that we have been manufacturing in Vietnam. The plant will deploy LEAN manufacturing concepts and Schneider Electric’s latest energy and process management solutions, enabling it to flex and scale to the sophisticated demands of customers.

The plant will stick to three principles, including global process management, qualified raw materials, and workforce training, in order to manufacture quality products meeting Schneider Electric’s global standards. These elements not only ensure our products’ high quality but also their reliability for domestic and foreign customers. In fact, products manufactured in Vietnam have received positive feedback from customers across the globe. Australia is one of the strongest growth markets for our made-in-Vietnam products.

new schneider electric plant reflects firms global concept
The new Saigon Hi-Tech Park plant will be one of the largest in Schneider Electric’s global network of more than 200 plants

Vietnam is an important market for Schneider Electric. What are the group’s commitments to the development of the country?

Over the past two decades, Schneider Electric has demonstrated a strong commitment towards Vietnam. In this respect, we always seek business opportunities to strengthen our presence in the country. This plant is proof that the value Schneider Electric offers Vietnam is exactly what it brings to other countries like the US, Germany, or Australia.

The move is also part of our efforts to develop Vietnamese talents, including engineers, technicians, and skilled professionals involved in industrial technology. With the opening of the new plant, employees will have a chance to access an international talent development programme as well as work overseas.

We believe the Vietnamese market contains unbridled and immeasurable potential for long-term investment. This has inspired us to build the plant to meet higher local needs and scale up the business in the future. Therefore, Vietnamese customers can have a chance to experience the most advanced technology at reasonable prices.

Last but not least, Schneider Electric is committed to contributing to the technological advancement of Vietnam. In the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), equipment is not only automated but also connected with digital devices to ensure efficient operation. We will keep bringing in new technology, automation, and connectivity solutions as we grow together with Vietnam.

Eco-friendliness is an important requirement for all factories. How are green technologies incorporated in the new plant?

Every aspect of sustainable development has been thoughtfully integrated into this project. Rather than installing air-conditioning, we use a cooling system to manage energy efficiently. Meanwhile, water is recycled to ensure zero wastewater.

Staying true to its green mandate, the plant applies Schneider Electric’s newly-launched EcoStruxure platform in every building segment. EcoStruxure is IoT-enabled open and interoperable system architecture and platform that lets us monitor and manage energy consumption in different parts of the plant. This platform delivers enhanced values, including safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity.

With all these efforts, the new plant is expected to cover more than 80 per cent of the LEED green building criteria and is projected to obtain the LEED Platinum certificate in 2017.

Employee welfare is another crucial matter. What steps will Schneider Electric take to ensure a healthy and happy workplace?

The new building is designed to provide a physically and mentally motivating environment for our employees. We have created open spaces on campus to enhance collaboration and connectivity in work. Meanwhile, the informal meeting room will bring people together to foster brainstorming and innovation.

Besides, we set aside some private space to cater to the needs of employees. They will be able to wind down after work in the “well-being corners”. The idea is in line with our flexible work-life balance programmes, like yoga, running, swimming, and guitar clubs.

The workplace even helps employees better integrate work with their lifestyles. Schneider Electric applies the activity-based working concept, which allows people to decide how and where they work in the office at any time, depending on their tasks.

- On April 18, Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, officially opened its new manufacturing plant located in Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City.

- The plant has merged Schneider Electric’s two previous local facilities to become one of the company’s largest manufacturing factories globally. The new plant is geared towards both Vietnamese and international customers.

- The plant reflects Schneider Electric’s newly-launched EcoStruxure, which enables open and inter-operable system architecture and provides a platform delivering enhanced value around safety, reliability, efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity.

- The building is designed based on the concept of agile working and is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and uses recycled water to ensure zero wastewater is produced. It also satisfies the criteria of many industrial certificates, such as ISO 9001, IS0 14000, ISO 50001, OHSAS 18001, zero-accident, and is obtaining the LEED Platinum certificate.

We expect the new environment to make our employees happier and more productive, which will help the company keep its lead in the business. It reflects our brand strategy “Life is On”, which means a good life and modern civilisation can only be “on” if energy is available.

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