INNOVATION is what makes it possible to distinguish a leader from a follower. Interview with Barbara Wójcicka, Beata Sołtys and Wojciech Znojek, Management Board for SABUR Sp. z o.o.
30 years of innovation. How should this element of your logo be understood?
Barbara Wójcicka: SABUR was established in 1993, exactly 30 years ago. Back then the slogan Innovation was not as popular as it is today. Automation manufacturers and suppliers competed on a completely different level. Only few customers and business partners were bold enough to invest in new, unknown solutions. We were in the minority. Our thinking was outside the box.
We saw potential where others did not and at the same time we had the courage and knowledge to transform our ideas into deployment. We wanted to be proactive, innovative, bold, creating new trends and not just following them. After those 30 years, we are still faithful to this principle.
Can you list two distinctive and innovative projects, completed in the future and ahead of their time.
Wojciech Znojek: One of the solutions we have offered since the company’s inception is a master visualisation and control system SCADA. Today SCADA is in fact a standard, one might say a “must have.” Out of the thousands of licenses our partners have implemented, the most important was the first one, 30 years ago. This was a truly innovative project, one of the first deployments on the Polish market. What we implemented was a completely new class of solution and this is never easy. A project like that, a complete success, is like a wind in the sails. It really helped us sail on.
BW: Speaking of innovation, it is impossible not to mention our solutions for managing electricity and other utilities. For the past few years, it has been a topic talked about something at length. Rising costs, depleting resources and availability issues mean more conscious and rational consumption. At least a few utility monitoring solutions can be found in SABUR’s portfolio. The first energy reading and billing software (SOIRE) was created back in 2008! This has been recognised by specialists, and in 2009 SOIRE was awarded the Gold Medal of the Automaticon fair. We have all undergone a real technological revolution since then, but one thing hasn’t changed – the cheapest energy is the undelivered one – a timeless maxim, today more true than ever before.
And how does it look like now when technology is at a much higher level? Is it still possible to be innovative? Any recent solutions launched by SABUR that surprised the market?
WZ: Technological innovation it can be much as art. Some works are appreciated immediately, others only after some time. Often it’s a matter of the right place and the right time.
This was the case, for example, with our solution for remote and at the same time secure access to installations – aka Ubiquity. It had been available and used for some time, but gained real popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was still the same solution, but the market situation was different. The sudden and strong need to combat isolation, limited secure local access to information, equipment, entire installations and technical support brought about much greater interest in our solution than before. For many companies, it was the only chance to continue operations.
Beata Sołtys: The result of our work over recent years is CERTAGO, a process data management system. A solution at the intersection of the IT, OT and IoT worlds. It is the future. Clear user dashboards, simple visualisations and easy-to-interpret charts. Data centralisation and versatility. Simple operation and 24/7 access from any location and any device. Text or email alerts.Versatility and flexibility of the solution, simple implementation, freedom of system expansion. Such are the current requirements of customers and such is CERTAGO.
30 years in business is a major achievement. What is the secret of SABUR’s success?
WZ: Our work can be compared to that of a physician. Clients share with us their pains of unknown origin and causes, talk about symptoms and ailments. Our job is to make the right diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. The idea is not to apply the most popular drug, but to take end-to-end care of the patient. This is how we operate at SABUR. We offer our clients a whole set of additional services, supporting them from the business and technical side. It is an added value to our offer that takes us to a higher level and helps us to stand out from other suppliers, in patricular now, when the market is abundant with products that feature similar parameters in data sheets.
If it’s so obvious, why only so few companies pursue this method?
BW: Many suppliers focus solely on selling products. They are able to offer low prices and … virtually nothing more. It’s simply their strategy. They invest in sales departments and online stores, but not in customer service or R&D. They follow trends, but do not have the competence or capacity to create them themselves. This is what distinguishes leaders from followers. We always wanted to be leaders.
Cyber security has been a very popular buzzword in recent years. Does this also apply to the automation industry and the solutions you offer?
BS: Yes. And let me say more. In recent years cyber security has become extremely important to the automation industry. Industrial solutions have traditionally been isolated from IT and enterprise networks, but the two are now becoming integrated. As industrial systems are now connected to the Internet and thus more accessible from any location, the number of potential sources of attack on a company has also increased.
Accordingly, we are increasing our investment in security to provide our customers with the highest level of protection. That’s the main reason why we launched Saia PCD® QronoX, a system that conforms with the ANSI ISA 62443 industrial automation standard and features the SL3 security level. It’s a combination of the QNX operating system, modern language PLC programming using high-level and exceptional compatibility.
We are also constantly improving our own competences to offer the best protection for our customers.
What are you currently working on, if that’s not a secret?
BS: Currently under development are systems based on the Internet of Things, a direction with a tremendous potential. With our experience in this field, we are able to develop our own solutions, such as radiator control or air quality monitoring systems. This strategy helps us expand our core business with further innovations.
Years ago, we already developed solutions for optimisation and cost reduction, specifically by reducing the consumption of utilities such as electricity, water and gas. Now our customers can enjoy an average of 20 to 35% savings in facilities where our optimisation solutions have been deployed.
We are responding to market needs – at Sabur you will find solutions for monitoring and controlling large photovoltaic farms, as well as turnkey solutions for managing electric car charging stations.
As a company, we are committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions that help our customers achieve their goals and reduce their environmental impact.
SABUR yesterday, today, tomorrow. Which slogans # most accurately describe you?
#OT #SCADA, #PLC, #IoT – the basis of our operation,
#TEAM – our greatest asset,
#Innovation – our promise of value to customers and partners,
#FairPlay – our principles, integrity and ethics in business, unchanged forever and ever.
Barbara Wójcicka – CEO, Sabur sp. z o.o.
Wojciech Znojek – Vice President, Sabur sp. z o.o.
Beata Soltys – Board Member, Sabur sp. z o.o.
Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by Anastazja Lach