Alexander Erenko ("Avira"): Animatronics can not become mass production

Avira Group of Companies is going to open a factory for the production of animatronic robots in the Perm region. Robohunter decided to find out more about this from Alexander Erenko, a public relations specialist at Avira.

Avira is a manufacturer of gaming and entertainment equipment (trademark AviraKids). The company has three Russian offices, as well as an office in the Czech Republic. Products are delivered to 16 countries of the world. He is a member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and the Union of Associations and Partners of the Russian Entertainment Industry.

Interviewer: Anna Angelova (A.A.)

Respondent: Alexander Erenko (A.E.)

. .: Why did Avira choose this development direction - production of animatronics?

. .: The company has been working in the entertainment industry for 7 years. The peculiarity of this work is that 95 projects out of 100 are unique. Originality is a key requirement of customers. Because imagine: one mall opens, and there is a game room in it. The second shopping center opens - and there is the same game room in it. No one will go to it, because there is no factor of novelty.

Therefore, the company is constantly developing and offering new products. A couple of years ago, the production of fiberglass figures was opened, thanks to which we can now cast any shape, be it a dinosaur head or some kind of robot. But today, customers are changing requirements: they want the figures to move. Fiberglass, of course, will not move, so the manager of the Avira group of companies, Alexander Zagumyonnov, decided to create Avira Decor, an animatronics production company.

The new production will use its own avirovskoe equipment. About 20% of the raw materials will be purchased: this is primarily artificial leather, servos, wires, and possibly some software.

AA: Who are the potential partners?

. .: Proposals are still coming. Now, an experimental assembly has begun in production - the head of Triceratops and some smaller figures. The head is about two meters. During the assembly process, specialists want to see what will be required, what will be the subtleties [and on this basis form a final list of suppliers - approx. Ed.] .

Just yesterday, a partner came, who has long been engaged in the supply of narrow parts. Such partners are constantly emerging, because there are few such industries in Russia. Cinema friends even told me that most often they turn to animatronics not in the company, but to some kind of handicraft producers who can do a specific project for a particular film.

A.A .: Let's clarify: animatronics are primarily associated with film production. Are you targeting this area or amusement parks?

. .: First of all - for amusement parks. They are now undergoing a new evolutionary cycle, they are looking for unique projects, and the existing ones are very much updated, including Russian ones. But we do not expect that all our products will go to Russia. Now we supply products to 16 countries, and in most of them animatronics are in demand.

On the other hand, we carried out an analysis that showed that separate projects are now required for filmmakers, including foreign ones. Therefore, we will work in these two areas simultaneously. Which of them will be more successful, it is difficult to say. But if the fashion for animatronics in the movies does not pass, then I think the percentage will be substantial.

AA: Where exactly will the new plant be located?

. .: New production will most likely open in Perm. But there is an option that he will have to coexist with the production of fiberglass products, and if you know what fiberglass is, then you know that this requires a large territory free from residential areas and other industries. In this case, it is likely that the plant will move to the Perm region.

AA: Will the production be carried out on its own?

. .: Yes, we do not work otherwise. Our management, Alexei Zagumyonnov, in particular, the principle of working with the team is such that you need a minimum of superfluous people and maximum opportunities for development. Therefore, all employees work on an ongoing basis, in a regular mode, so that they improve their skills and can meet the requirements of the market.

AA: On the Internet you can find individual handicraft projects for the production of animatronics. Are there companies in Russia that make them on an ongoing basis, on an industrial scale?

. .: If there is, then they hide very well or do it not on a permanent basis. We know several industries that are able to produce such products, but apparently they have problems either with marketing, or with product quality, or with cost. Therefore, these products are not demonstrated by them as the main or not at all.

AA: What is the difference between the production of animatronics and robotic production?

. .: When we talk about robotics , we are talking primarily about mass, mass production: for example, make 10 thousand robots that will assemble cars or work as porters using the same program. In the case of the entertainment industry, the uniqueness of the project is important: theoretically, of course, you can build two identical animatronic robots and put one in Kaliningrad, the other in Vladivostok. But, most likely, customers will not go to this step.

For many, the very fact that this is not a unique project causes a lot of negativity. Most often asked to do something new. You can make the same dinosaurs, but in different colors - but it can be a maximum of 3-4 in different parts of the country, with some minimal changes. Further process will not go.

. .: If these are piece products, how much is demand for it formed in Russia and in the world? There can not be a lot of customers?

. .: There can be many customers. We offer animatronic robots for gaming complexes, game rooms, amusement parks. But the potential of use is much broader: they can, for example, be placed in a shopping center to attract customers - so that they come to see and take pictures. The fantasy here is the only limiter.

A park has recently opened in Bashkortostan, where moving and stationary dinosaur figures are used (and dinosaurs are a traditional image that has always been popular with children). The flow of visitors there is just enormous, and, seeing how many customers there are, this year other game rooms are opening next door. For example, in December Ishimbay opens a huge complex of our production - 2500 square meters. m. I believe that this direction has a very big prospect of growth in the Russian market. So the demand will definitely be. Mark it in numbers is more difficult. So far, we have a plan of about 350 thousand dollars.

AA: What exactly is included in this figure?

. .: This is a planned production volume equal to the cost of several figures. It is assumed that over the next year a certain model range will be created, on the basis of which it will be possible to make an offer. Roughly speaking, the company will have to show that it can in order to receive orders. These will be the figures as large as possible, as small as possible and several intermediate variants. Their total cost will be 350 thousand dollars.

AA: Then the question about another amount: the press release states that the company is going to invest 85 thousand dollars.

. .: These are investments in the launch of the project, on the training of personnel and on the site.

AA: Alexei Zagumyonnov noted that a significant part of the production will go to foreign markets. How do you plan to attract overseas buyers?

. .: The same as now. Now in Europe is very expensive labor resources. In Russia, their cost is lower. In Europe, very expensive components. At the same time, the quality of production is very low, because they have completely different safety standards. In Russia, safety standards are much higher. Suppose customers from San Marino or Spain, when they look at our products, say that they want the same for themselves: “Why do our children break their arms and legs but they don’t break yours?” Because we have a net hanging and they are not. We have it in the requirements, they do not have [speech about children's playrooms - approx. Ed.].

The same applies to animatronics: according to our calculations, they will be much cheaper and safer, because they will be made for our market and supplied as Russian products.

AA: Last question: tell the technical details about the first animatronic of Avira Decor - the head of Triceratops.

. .: They have so far been asked not to disclose. Perhaps preparing a surprise for the opening. What can be said for sure: the head will have minimal facial expressions (facial wrinkles at the mouth and eyes). She should move on some sort of neck and open her mouth - this is the minimum program.


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