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COPA-DATA celebrates 30th anniversary

July 10, 2017
From start-up to global player

Thomas Punzenberger was inspired by his experience as an engineer in automotive manufacturing to found COPA-DATA in 1987. It all began in a two-room apartment. Today, COPA-DATA is the largest independent provider of software solutions for industrial automation and the energy sector.

(Source: COPA-DATA)

On September 1, 2017, COPA-DATA will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Thomas Punzenberger founded Ing. Punzenberger COPA-DATA in 1987 in Salzburg. What began as a small start-up is now an international company with subsidiaries, distributors, partners and customers based all around the globe. According to COPA-Data, since its foundation, it has dedicated itself entirely to technology. By the end of the 1980s, the brothers Thomas and Alexander Punzenberger recognized the potential software systems offer to industry – and to the energy industry in particular.“Right from the start, our aim was to develop automation software which was to be better and simpler than any other system on the market,” said CEO, Thomas Punzenberger. “At that time, many advised us against establishing our system on the basis of Microsoft Windows, because this was not common practice in the industry. Our concept of “setting parameters instead of programming” was also met with a great deal of skepticism at the beginning. But our success proved us right. Both decisions have contributed significantly to our growth over the last 30 years.”Software "made in Austria"As a privately owned Austrian family business, COPA-DATA is independent of external investors and stock markets. Although more than 90 percent of the turnover is generated through exports, the zenon software is developed exclusively at the company's headquarters in Salzburg. From here, the product is distributed via 11 subsidiaries, 16 distributors and around 200 partner companies around the world.With the 30 year anniversary, COPA-DATA recently appointed a larger management team of three people at the beginning of the year. In terms of both its turnover, which stands at 31.4 million euros (2016), and number of employees, of which there are presently around 230 worldwide, COPA-DATA says it has set a course for growth over the next five years.Pioneer of the digital Smart FactoryWith its software systems, zenon and straton, and a network of professional partner companies, COPA-DATA now supports companies in the automotive, energy and infrastructure, food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors as they undergo a digital transformation to the Smart Factory. This extends from traditional automation projects for visualizing, monitoring and controlling machines and equipment, right up to cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things solutions for cross-location data analyses or predictive maintenance.“As the industry becomes increasingly digitalized and the previously separate worlds of OT and IT begin to merge, application scenarios which include entirely new elements are emerging for zenon. This allows us to make inroads into additional business sectors such as smart cities. Our software is best equipped for the new challenges faced by the industry and we have many more innovations in the pipeline for our customers over the coming years,” Punzenberger said.

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