Trimble helping China grow

Updated: 2013-11-26 09:27

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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The Chinese market has been increasingly attractive for US companies and more and more US firms, such as Trimble Navigation, Ltd, a leading provider of advanced positioning technology and mobile solutions, have come to view China as their largest overseas market.

Trimble, based in Sunnyvale, California, kicked off its Dimensions China 2013 conference in Beijing recently with more than 2,000 registered attendees from across China and neighboring countries. It is the company's second Dimensions conference in China since 2009 and China is the only place outside of the US where Trimble holds such a conference.

"I think the conference is an opportunities for Trimble to show Chinese customers the solution capabilities we have today across the industries and to let them know some of the new solutions we would like to bring to the Chinese market in the future,"said Chris Gibson, vice-president of Trimble. "It is also an opportunity for our employees to better understand our customer's demand."

The two-day conference featured speeches from distinguished leaders across multiple industries, as well as more than 100 breakout sessions demonstrating the use of Trimble's technology in a wide range of applications and how the company's technology is transforming the way the world works to improve productivity.

"Trimble has been in China for 15 years,"Gibson said. "Although only 5 percent of our revenue is from China, China is our largest market outside the US."

Trimble has been expanding its presence in China since 1998 by setting up its first China office in Beijing as the primary base for support and service operations in the country. It later opened a training, support and service Center in Shanghai, and over the years has expanded to Changchun and Xi'an with manufacturing facilities and R&D centers.

Currently, Trimble's major areas of business in China are surveying and mapping,precision agriculture and digital construction. The company has participated in several major projects in China, including the LanXin Railway, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Kunming airport and Beijing Bird's Nest stadium.

The LanXin Railway project for instance — a 1,104-mile high speed railway connecting Lanzhou and Xinjiang — is the longest railway in northwestern China and scheduled for completion in 2015.

"For the first time, we implemented a compaction system on the construction base of the railway, so we could use machine control and guidance to make sure the ground is compacted to the appropriate level,"Gibson explained. "When they build the next level of the railway, the ground is stable."

Trimble's intelligent compaction capabilities have allowed for the detection of sub-surface material anomalies early in the construction process, which is beneficial because it allows the project to stay on track.

"One thing we've learned from China is that they are very aggressive when it comes to construction timetables,"he said. "Our service helps them meet deadlines they are looking for while making sure of the quality as well."

Another major project Trimble had was with the State Farm in Heilongjiang province, where Trimble provides guidance solutions to aid the whole planting process.

"By using our technology, they can not only maximize the utilization of the fuel from the crop perspective, but also make sure they are not planting seeds twice in the same place, which makes a more efficient use of the land,"Gibson said.

"We still see significant opportunity in China as China continues to develop from an economic perspective. Some of the key things that we will be working on is to understand our customers in more detail and ensure our solutions are localized to meet their needs,"Gibson said.

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