IBM opens European engineering support centre

IBM has opened an engineering support unit in Europe modelled on the one launched last October in the US, in an effort to push...

IBM has opened an engineering support unit in Europe modelled on the one launched last October in the US, in an effort to push deeper into the technology consulting business.

The Engineering & Technology Services unit, based in Mainz, will have a staff of more than 100 scientists, engineers and manufacturing professionals who can draw on the expertise of more than 800 experts in the engineering group worldwide, IBM said yesterday. The unit will bundle research and technology services of IBM subsidiaries in several European locations, such as Böblingen, in Germany; Le Gaude, in France, and Zurich.

Responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the new technology group will provide a wide range of consulting services, from microchip design and semiconductor production to automation and optimisation of manufacturing and administration processes, said Heribert Herrgen, a spokesman for IBM in Mainz.

"This is a service that wasn't available in Europe before," Herrgen said. "It's very much an engineering-driven service that targets customers seeking substantial technical support. They may, for instance, require support for planning a green field production facility or require assistance from our research labs."

The technology unit will target companies in the automotive, aviation, electronics, communication and semiconductor sectors and also banks, insurance companies and other groups in the service sector, Herrgen said.

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