E+H reports on 2016 sales

The report that follows was first published on Eoin O’Riain’s Read-Out.net website in Ireland last week. It gives the first report on Nick Denbow’s visit to the E+H European presentation in Basel, which included a tour of the Maulberg manufacturing operation for level measurement products, like the NMR81 radar based systems. Financial results for the 2016 year were discussed with the 70+ journalists and media analysts attending.

This year, Endress+Hauser expanded the presentation of their annual financial results, inviting journalists from not only Germany and Switzerland, but including others from Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain. In all 70+ attendees heard Klaus Endress and Matthias Altendorf say that the consolidated Group sales fell slightly between 2015 and 2016, by 0.2%, achieving Euro2.1Bn. This fall was actually only because of currency fluctuations. “Currencies created a headwind for us last year,” said Altendorf. Working from the value of sales in local currencies, sales in total actually increased by 2.1%. Whilst the Group is family owned, their annual report is published and audited to the standards expected of any other international business.

CEO Matthias Altendorf emphasised that “When compared to overall industry growth, we held our own”. E+H performed well in Europe, but sales in America declined. Africa and the Middle East experienced solid growth, but in the Asia-Pacific region business stagnated.

Within Europe, the best performances for E+H came from Ireland, Italy and Finland. The best performing sectors in all countries were food & beverage, life sciences, and water & waste water. Overall business declined in oil & gas, chemicals and primary industries like metals. The power and energy industry sectors showed good performance outside Germany, where E+H also felt the effect of weak German exports and some internal restructuring. The oil & gas decline badly affected sales in USA, UK and Norway, although the UK sales centre gave a good performance by aligning efforts with other active market sectors.

Investment continues.

E+H plans for investment and growth continue for the current year. Earlier in the week a new factory extension was opened in Reinach, where flow products are manufactured. (see Read-out Signpost – “Flowmeter output growth requires new facilities” – 5 May 2017).  The journalists were given a tour of the manufacturing facility in Maulberg (D), where a new extension to the production area is in operation, and a new NMi level measurement system calibration facility for radar based systems has just been completed. This is certified suitable for calibration of the Micropilot NMR81 radar system, working at 80GHz, which achieves a +/-0.5mm accuracy over a 30m range, for use in oil storage tanks and oil terminals. There are plans now to extend this calibration facility to allow such calibration out to 40metres, as well as to extend the factory yet further: 1912 people work at E+H Maulburg, and 5200 people in the Basel region, out of the total E+H staff of 13,000.

Analytical measurements

The biggest growth area in E+H is actually in the analytical instruments that use Raman spectroscopy to analyse liquid and gas streams on-line. The major industries now applying this technique are within the life sciences sector, where immediate analysis of input and both gaseous and liquid effluent streams enables much closer control of biochemical and fermentation processes. Indeed the 2017 issue of the E+H corporate magazine “Changes” features a major focus on new applications in the Life Sciences industries.

Other new analytical techniques are developed for monitoring water treatment processing, for example in the new Swiss plants which by law have to have a fourth stage of purification, to remove hormones, phosphorus and other drug residues. The strength of E+H here derives from their strategic decision a few years ago to invest in the process analytical area, particularly in the field of spectroscopy, acquiring Kaiser Optical, Analytik Jena and SpectraSensors. “Our analytics strategy has been validated by the market,” said Matthias Altendorf.

Bundling IIoT activities

The acquisition of German SensAction AG in early 2017 also ties in with Strategy 2020+ which was rolled out last year. The company, headquartered in Coburg (D), manufactures innovative systems for measuring concentrations in liquids. Endress+Hauser is tackling the challenges of digitalization by bundling a number of activities. A new subsidiary in Freiburg in Breisgau,(D), is working exclusively on products, solutions and services related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The significance of digitalization can also be seen in the growing number of patent registrations. There were 273 first filings in 2016. The intellectual property rights portfolio thus boasts more than 7,000 active patents. R&D spending rose to 7.8 percent of sales. Endress+Hauser introduced 64 new products to the market. “We are investing in innovation for our customers,” underlined the CEO.

Trends in automation.

The focus for E+H sales and their customer base is broadly on automation engineers, so it was interesting to hear Matthias Altendorf comment that the statistics for industrial output show that the Britain has now dropped out of the top 10 countries in terms of automation business activity, whereas they had held a prominent position there some years ago.

The other aspect of interest was that there are distinct differences between countries, in terms of the sex of the engineers involved in the major projects served by E+H. In Germany they are mostly male, whereas the majority of engineers in Turkey are female. In South Korea and India there are high percentages of female engineers (and engineering journalists). Also, by industry, it is noticeable that in the biochemical and life science sectors the engineers are predominantly female.

Mourning Alice Endress

The Endress+Hauser Group is in mourning for Alice Endress. Following a brief illness, the widow of the company founder died peacefully in her sleep on 6 July surrounded by her family. She was 97 years old.

Alice Endress-Vogt was born on 14 May 1919 in the community of Schwyz in central Switzerland. After attending a trade and hotel management school, she moved to the south of Switzerland where she met Georg H Endress who was performing his military service in Tessin. The couple married in 1946 and had their first child, a son, one year later. Three more sons and four daughters followed.

Throughout her life, Alice Endress deliberately maintained a distance from the company that her husband started in 1953. For many Endress+Hauser employees she was nevertheless an important and esteemed person. She was present at many company events until the last months of her life, especially in the Basel region, and always felt very comfortable in the midst of things. She attended the annual Endress Family Day in Berlin as recently as May 2016.

Alice Endress was laid to rest in Arlesheim, Switzerland next to her husband who passed away in 2008. Family and companions said their final farewells during a service at the Arlesheim Cathedral on 19 July.

2M EM Flowmeters in 40 years

Since 1977, Endress+Hauser has produced over two million electromagnetic flowmeters. The company claim this is more than any other manufacturer, and that E+H is the market leader in electromagnetic flowmeter technology. “This magic number stands for high-quality measuring technology and, above all, satisfied customers in all kinds of industries,” says Bernd-Josef Schäfer, Managing Director of Endress+Hauser Flowtec AG, the center of competence for flow measuring technology.

The Endress+Hauser success story as a manufacturer of electromagnetic flowmeters began in the middle of the 1970s. In order to enter the water and wastewater market which was emerging at that time, E+H purchased the company ‘Flowtec’ in Bern, in 1977, and moved it to a new location in Reinach (Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland). This is where Endress+Hauser started to produce flowmeters with just three employees, in a former military barracks.

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The 1977 production unit at Reinach

Then, work was done on an on-demand basis. “Whereas today,” says Bernd-Josef Schäfer, “our production spans six sites around the globe – in Switzerland, France, the USA, China, India, and Brazil – and boasts state-of-the-art logistics. This infrastructure is what has enabled us to produce two million electromagnetic flowmeters to date in accordance with required quality standards.” These two million electromagnetic flowmeters could measure a volume corresponding to four times the flow rate of the Amazon. Each production site also features precise calibration facilities which are regularly checked by national accreditation bodies and which guarantee consistently high measuring quality for each individual device.

Constant innovation for customer satisfaction

The company’s success, which spans almost 40 years, is due to many factors. In particular, its inventive talent has enabled Endress+Hauser to keep offering its customers new, groundbreaking devices capable of measuring all kinds of fluids, such as water, milk, acids, alkalis, or ore slurry, with the greatest accuracy. With clever innovations such as the precision measurement of difficult fluids (Autozero, 1981), microprocessor control (Variomag, 1984), two-wire technology (Eximag, 1987), or the operating matrix (Tecmag, 1990), Endress+Hauser has always managed to stay one step ahead of the competition.

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In 1985, 800 and 2000mm bore flowmeters were produced for monitoring drinking water supplies delivered around Algiers

In 1993, all of these device variants were brought together to form a single product family under the name of “Proline”. Alongside this family, however, Endress+Hauser also produces flowmeters for very particular applications – for example, filling bottles at one-second intervals.

Looking to the future with Proline

Since 1993, the Proline device family has undergone constant development to ensure that it meets the prevailing requirements in a wide range of industries. Following the second generation launched in 2000, the third and most recent Proline generation (2012) offers a multitude of unique functions and device properties. This means that system operators will not only be able to retrieve measurement and diagnostic data via display, WLAN, web server, or fieldbus, but will also be able to monitor the process comprehensively and, if necessary, check the functioning of a flowmeter during operation.

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One modern production line for Proline electronics units

Bernd-Josef Schäfer sees the future of Endress+Hauser optimistically: “Innovations such as these enable us to align our product portfolio consistently with the needs of every industry. We are looking ahead to our three-millionth electromagnetic flowmeter with great confidence.”

This E+H release was first published by Eoin O’Riain in Read-out.net in Ireland

Third-generation to lead E+H UK business

The current Managing Director of the Endress+Hauser UK sales centre, David Newell, has announced his retirement after serving the company for thirty years. He will be replaced by Steven Endress, the first third-generation member of the Endress family to take an operational role in the family business. Steven’s father, Hans-Peter Endress, the former Managing Director and current Chairman of Endress+Hauser UK, will relinquish his duties as Chairman but remain on the Group’s Supervisory Board.

 

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David Newell

David Newell, now 65, boasts 42 years of experience in the process automation industry, of which he has dedicated three decades to Endress+Hauser. He will retire on 30 September 2016, satisfied in the knowledge that he leaves Endress+Hauser as one of the leading suppliers for process instrumentation in the UK. He joined Endress+Hauser in 1986, and became Director of Sales in 1997 – then Director of Sales & Marketing in 2002. After being promoted to Deputy General Manager in 2010, he assumed responsibility for the entire operation two years later. David is married with two grown children and the proud grandfather of two grandchildren.

Third generation of the Endress family

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Steven Endress

The new Managing Director of Endress+Hauser UK, effective 1 October 2016, will be Steven Endress, who is currently Director of Services at the UK sales centre. Prior to joining the company in 2012, he spent ten years in the software development industry. His previous position was Vice President of Sales at AppSense Inc, in Munich, Germany, where he was responsible for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. Steven holds a degree in business studies and subsequently received an MBA from Lancaster University. Married with two children, the 37-year-old is the eldest son of Chairman Hans-Peter Endress and grandson of the company’s founder, Georg H Endress.

With Steven Endress taking over the management, Hans-Peter Endress (69) will relinquish his duties as Chairman of the Board at Endress+Hauser UK and concentrate on his work with the Supervisory Board of the Endress+Hauser Group.

Happy retirement David!

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

@ProcessingTalk

Major expansion of UK test and training facilities at E + H

P1020020aEndress+Hauser in Manchester, UK, was established 45 years ago as the first overseas sales centre for the Swiss parent company, founded by George Endress 60 years ago last February. In fact the actual date on the UK company records was 11 November 1968 – so the inauguration and opening of the new apprentice training and engineering centre on 8 November 2013 by his son Hans-Peter Endress, now chairman of the UK operation, was singularly appropriate, as a “wonderful birthday present” of which George would have approved.

 

The redevelopment and total internal refitting of this building, to help E+H serve their customers better, as well as to invest in the training of the young people needed to work in E+H, and for the customers’ engineers who use E+H products, has cost around GBP650k. Hans-Peter saw this investment as turning their stated company strategy into reality: currently the E+H group has 544 apprentices, interns and graduates in training, around 5% of the workforce.

Taking action on training

David Newell, md of the UK operation, explained that the training centre, and the examples of the equipment and demo rigs operating there, had been designed and built by E+H engineers, in particular using the efforts of four current apprentices. The building originally housed the sales offices, but was vacated when the modern sales and engineering offices were built alongside on the same site. This new sales office is the fourth largest E+H sales centre in Europe, and sixth largest in the world: currently 14 of the staff members there were recruited into the E+H apprentice or graduate training programme.

Newell suggested that it was only because E+H was privately owned that they were able to follow the desires and beliefs of the shareholder family and invest consistently in training for staff. Currently he sees a real shortage of engineering skills and education in young people emerging from schools and colleges, and a low take-up of engineering courses at Universities. In taking their own action to remedy this, E+H are working along the same lines as many of their customers – such as HJ Heinz, working with the University Technical Centre at Wigan (and using a food processing plant in the UTC, instrumented by E+H, to produce soup, which is then distributed to the needy in the area); Arla Foods sponsoring the Eden project at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, covering food technology and engineering; and Nestlé working with Sheffield Hallam University on a specially configured degree course. This year E+H employed two new school leavers on a 4 year apprenticeship, who will spend their first year studying at SETA, the Stockport Engineering Training Association.

Hands-on demonstrations

A tour of the training facilities showed that E+H are indeed achieving what they aspire to be – a multi-specialist in the supply of process automation systems. The application examples used in the training rigs cover typical projects where their equipment is used, and are even typical of some of the custom modules they supply at times – typically to R&D laboratories for process development. Examples showed batch control of fluid delivery, similar to bottling or pharmaceutical blending, PID control applied to a pressure reservoir, to show how to control response times, and also PID control of a tank level with a pump and discharge control valve. The air flow rig demonstrated many different types of flowmeter, enabling the effects and limitations of each technology to be observed, alongside the alternatives.

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A separate area, away from the pumps and liquids, represented an on-site instrument repair bay, where trainees on courses can disassemble the sensors, test their operation as they might on their own plant, wire them up and even check the outputs: calibration work is also possible. The available systems covered not only 4-20mA interfacing, but also Profibus and other bus connections where appropriate. Instruments here can also be connected to a simulated control room across the corridor, using equipment and interfacing supplied by Rockwell Automation and Pepperl+Fuchs, two of the E+H alliance partners, who have helped with the development of the centre. From this console further groupings of instruments sited on stanchions around the demo floor are accessed using the different interfacing technologies available, demonstrating Ethernet and WirelessHART for example. Similar hands-on experience is available in the separate lecture room, where each seat is equipped with a desk PC. Here networking and interconnectivity rules, so that all the students can interact with the main classroom display: a true “Collaboration station” in Honeywell terminology! This station can also link to and control any of the working demonstration rigs, to discuss and review the practical training and what they had learnt. Separately the course leader also has control of a local camera which can then show close-up views of the wiring or settings being adjusted on a sensor under investigation, on the same classroom screen.

One of the first companies to use the training centre has been Arla Foods, who have recently invested in a major new dairy in Aylesbury, UK. Endress+Hauser won the packages for the supply of field instrumentation, which included asset management and maintenance contracts, including the training of Arla engineers on the equipment to be fitted on site. The first training has been given using the new centre, concentrating on the specific items they will need to work with.

Engineering facilities

Half the lower floor of the training centre is divided into separate calibration laboratories for temperature, pressure, liquid flow and analytical products such as pH. The water flow rig is relatively small compared to the facilities available at the flowmeter production centres, but can still calibrate meters up to DN100 (4”) to an accuracy of 0.05%. In the other half, an assembly area is used for producing custom made control cabinets with field wiring terminals, some of which are set up for Factory Acceptance Testing before shipment.

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Leaving the training centre – which was in fact officially opened on 8 November by the E+H management, helped by Michael Portillo, an ex-minister in the last Conservative Government in the UK, and others, trainees will hopefully register the following thought presented there, engraved into the wall. This stresses the involvement of E+H and process instrumentation in general in everyday consumer products, as well as in the oil and gas industry, as evidenced by the many examples visible. George Endress, who started his working life as a young engineer at Mather & Platt in Manchester, not far from the new centre, would have been pleased.

“Wherever you are, you’ll find something made by us. Drink a glass of water, eat a sandwich, take a pain reliever or refuel your car – process automation is always involved”.

Footnote: Endress+Hauser has also just opened a new production facility in Brazil, 100km north of Sao Paulo. The investment there has totalled Euro8m ($11m), for the production of flow, level and pressure instruments in the 4300sqm factory. Since the opening a Brazil sales centre in 2003, sales in the area have grown on average at 30% per annum. Other regional production centres are situated in the USA, China and India.