Kevin Barker named new president of Beckhoff Automation LLC

Industry veteran brings global experience to United States operations.

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Beckhoff Automation has announced that Kevin Barker has been appointed the new president of Beckhoff Automation LLC to manage Beckhoff business operations across the U.S.

Barker takes over the leadership role that Aurelio Banda has held for four years. Banda led Beckhoff Automation LLC revenue growth and business developments to new heights, finishing fiscal year 2018 with nearly $80 million in U.S. sales, new field offices and more employees than ever.

As the new president, Barker will oversee all sales, engineering, marketing and administrative operations from the headquarters of Beckhoff Automation LLC in Savage, Minn., outside Minneapolis. This location also houses the main technical support hub and warehouse for Beckhoff customers in the U.S. Prior to joining Beckhoff, Barker worked at Yaskawa America, Inc. as the director of sales in the company’s motion division.

“As a proven manager of large, cross-functional teams, and an esteemed expert on motion control, EtherCAT and general automation technologies, Kevin Barker is well prepared to guide Beckhoff Automation LLC to the next phase of business development,” said Hans Beckhoff, managing director and founder of Beckhoff Automation. “Kevin’s expertise and abilities align very well with our philosophy to implement leading automation technology based on Beckhoff’s PC Control principles, in close collaboration with customers. As the leadership hand-off from Aurelio Banda is completed, Beckhoff Automation LLC operates on its strongest foundation ever with significant revenue growth, major investments in new regional offices and the hiring of numerous skilled employees across the US.”

Over an eight-year tenure at Yaskawa, Barker led multi-national sales teams with the responsibility to develop complex industrial markets, large sales channels and advanced motion control offerings, including the company’s lineup of EtherCAT servo drives. Barker, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyan University, also held director-level positions at Mitsubishi Electric Automation and Omron Electronics earlier in his career.

According to Barker, the prospects for developing the market in general automation technology and a rapidly evolving portfolio of motion control solutions were major factors in his decision to join Beckhoff Automation and lead the subsidiary into a new era.

“I have dedicated my entire career to helping machine builders, manufacturers and other high-tech companies succeed on a global scale with leading-edge automation technologies. Beckhoff Automation is the logical progression of my journey and an exciting new chapter,” Barker said. “I am honored to lead the US subsidiary of such a profoundly innovative automation company. Further, I am ready to take charge with a strategic vision that empowers all US-based employees, lifting the high bar set at Beckhoff Automation, the inventor of EtherCAT and pioneer in PC-based control technology.”

Barker succeeds Aurelio Banda who has served as CEO and president of Beckhoff in North America for four years and guided the company to consecutive double-digit profit growth. Banda was a driving force behind the Beckhoff growth across the US, Canada and Mexico. During his tenure, Beckhoff became the preferred automation partner for many highly recognizable Fortune 500 companies across numerous industries, such as packaging, entertainment, semiconductors, metal cutting and material handling/logistics. This has proven to be the catalyst for business success and a key point in Banda’s legacy at Beckhoff as he leaves on the best of terms.

“I have had the privilege to lead Beckhoff in North America, starting with a vision to expand our market, which has been shaped into the reality today of deeply entrenched market penetration with even more well-established US manufacturers and machine builders. My time with Beckhoff Automation has been an immensely rewarding experience that I will never forget,” Banda said. “I am excited now to pursue new endeavors, and envision Kevin Barker continuing to drive the momentum Beckhoff has built to date in numerous high-tech industries throughout the United States.”

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