Q&A: What Endress+Hauser’s U.S. Manufacturing Expansion Says About Its North American Business

The following Q&A aims to provide some added perspective on what E+H's manufacturing expansion here in the States says about it's North American business now and going forward.

Endress+Hauser Level Calibration Test Stand Endress+Hauser
Endress+Hauser Level Calibration Test Stand Endress+Hauser

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An employee at Endress+Hauser's U.S. campus in Greenwood, Ind., performs a final calibration of a guided-wave radar level device on a test stand.

Earlier this month, Flow Control attended an inauguration event at Endress+Hauser's expanded U.S. manufacturing campus in Greenwood, Ind. The event marked the official debut of an 85,000 square-foot expansion of Endress+Hauser's U.S. flow engineering plant, as well as a brand new 105,000 square-foot level and pressure instrumentation manufacturing facility. We covered this event in a news post last week, and the following Q&A aims to provide some added perspective on what E+H's manufacturing expansion here in the States says about it's North American business now and going forward.

RELATED: Endress+Hauser Inaugurates Expanded U.S. Manufacturing Facility

Q: Endress+Hauser is obviously investing to expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S. What are the key drivers of this new investment in U.S. manufacturing capacity?

A: In the United States, our growth over the last 10 years has averaged 18.9 percent ($58M to $260M+) vs. average market growth of 6.6 percent. Key drivers have been the investments in R+D (new products), manufacturing (over 80 percent of everything we sell in the United States is now built in the United States; over 90 percent for flow products), sales channel, and people. Growth in energy sector–Oil & Gas and Power–plus our focus in those markets, has added additional strength to our growth. All of this makes the United States (and NAFTA in total) a great investment return for the Endress+Hauser organization. – Todd Lucey, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Q: You mentioned above that E+H’s U.S. business has shown an avg. annual growth rate of 19 percent since 2003, far outpacing the annual growth rate of the U.S. economy as a whole during the same period. How has Endress+Hauser been able to sustain such a remarkable growth rate during a time when the larger U.S. (and global) economy has seen some pretty significant struggles?

A: Being privately owned and our focus on field measurement has led to our ability to re-invest at an average of 7.5-10 percent of net sales per year into R+D and an additional 7.5-10 percent of net sales per year in automation of manufacturing. This allows us to manufacture "regionally" (closer to the customer base) and not "chase" low cost labor around the world. This regional manufacturing approach also gives us benefits in mitigating exchange rate risk and aids in continuity of operations due to natural disasters (i.e., we can manufacture products in multiple locations around the world and offset some issues with one individual manufacturing location). – Todd Lucey, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Q: How does E+H’s North American business stack up in terms of analytical, flow, level, pressure and temperature? Can you provide a rough estimate on the share of E+H’s North American business that comes from each category?

A: Flow and level lead the way, approaching 15 percent share, analytical approaching 10 percent, and pressure and temperature are in the single digits. Our goal is to grow those numbers to becoming one  of two pre-eminent suppliers of process instrumentation and the services and solutions around those devices by 2017. – Todd Lucey, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Q: What are some of the applications/markets Endress+Hauser is targeting in the U.S. and North America in the near term? Are there any differences across product lines, i.e., analytical, flow, level, pressure and temperature?

A: There are certainly some differences due to the continued introduction of new products. For example, Endress+Hauser has introduced a complete portfolio for Oil & Gas environmental management in Produced Water applications:

  • Level (Liquiphant family of tuning forks and adding a Nivotester for in-situ testing; Levelflex FMP55);
  • Flow (Promag flowmeters; world’s first two-wire Coriolis flowmeters and magnetic flow technologies, as well as offering a complete basket of two-wire instruments in all our product lines), analytical (Memosens Technology and our one-panel solutions; iron analyzers);
  • Pressure (Deltabar S);
  • Temperature (temperature transmitters and thermowells) instrumentation;
  • Services (training through our state-of-the-art PTUs and online; start-up and maintenance; project management; calibration; etc.); and
  • Solutions (inventory control solutions, such as SupplyCare).

In the Food & Beverage industry, to help reduce our customers production downtime, off-spec product, and time-consuming manual grab sampling in food plants, Endress+Hauser offers a full-range of inline analyzers for almost every type of measurement–mass flow for accurate recipe management; density; brix; plato; baumé; °SAL, rate of fermentation; % concentration (solids, alcohol, etc…); pH (using non-glass pH sensors); viscosity; conductivity; dissolved oxygen; chlorine; turbidity; color; and specific gravity.

For the Chemical industry, we offer our customers 250 certified product lines complying with all safety requirements; a complete SIL instrumentation portfolio developed according to IEC 61508 for all parameters including analytics; an extensive portfolio of intrinsically safe instruments–safety by design; and a wide range of corrosion-resistant materials.

We do, however, expect growth in all industry segments, with the Energy sector (Oil & Gas and Power) and Chemical leading the way. – Todd Lucey, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Q: Within each of those broader segments (analytical, flow, level, pressure and temperature), are there any particular technologies that are showing an increase in demand? If so, what do you attribute this trend to?

A: We are continuing to see trends moving away from mechanical flow and level and we see that the device data analytics are becoming more important to help make better business decisions and improve reliability and plant productivity.

In recent years, innovations in our technologies have proven to be the catalyst behind our growth. From the Liquiphant family of vibrating limit switches offering improved measurement integrity, to the revolutionary Memosens digital technology saving our customers up to 50 percent off their maintenance costs when calibrating pH systems, Endress+Hauser’s cutting-edge technologies have proven to be changing the game in the process automation industry.

Notable game changers in flow can be seen through Endress+Hauser’s Promass 100 Coriolis flowmeter, an industry-optimized sensors offering fewer measuring points in a compact design without limitations on functionality–and now new with Heartbeat™ Technology. This technology features on-board diagnostics, monitoring and traceable verification to ensure product and process safety with or without manual intervention and without interrupting the process. And, with the integrated Web server, the Promass 100 can be connected directly to any laptop with a standard web browser and Ethernet cable. Customers with newer technologies like EtherNet/IP benefit from preferred and seamless system integration, reporting a 40% reduction in device commissioning. Also, Endress+Hauser introduced the world’s first two-wire Coriolis flowmeter and magnetic flow technology, reducing customer costs of installation and promoting safety in hazardous areas.

Also, Endress+Hauser recently announced the Deltabar FMD72 for electronic differential-pressure for level measurement, offering impulse line and capillary-free measurement. Ambient temperature changes cause measurement drift in traditional systems. Up to 95 percent of this drift can be eliminated with this new technology, and you get a up to 10 times faster response from this system.

Our innovation does not stop at our sensors. Besides level, flow, pressure, temperature, and analytical, Endress+Hauser has been, and still is, the leader in industrial communication, embracing fieldbus and wireless technologies. More recently, our introduction of W@M (Web-enabled Asset Management) has brought engineers, operators and maintenance staff, who are challenged to manage their plants across the entire life cycle, major time and cost benefits.

As we continue to grow, we will continue to have the right mind set–attributing our growth to innovation, and by continuing to establish ourselves as pioneers in modern measuring technology. That is why we continue to reinvest at an average of 7.5-10 percent of net sales per year into R+D. Every year, Endress+Hauser employees register in excess of 200 patent applications to add to the more than 3,500 currently registered. That is also why we continue to invest and make acquisitions in all segment areas (analytical, flow, level, pressure, and temperature) even further broadening our footprint, offering, and reach to benefit our customers. – Todd Lucey, General Manager, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Q: Endress+Hauser has also been working hard to develop a training presence in North America with its Process Training Units and online training programs. How does E+H see training fitting into its business model for North America?

A: As far as it fitting into our business model, training is considered one of our most important Value Added Services we offer to our customers. We provide reactive support (phone and on-site) of course, and spare parts when needed, but the real value we bring to the market is the technical know-how related to activities such as Start-up/Commissioning, Calibration and Training, which helps our customers be more productive and profitable, and further strengthens our relationship with our customers. This makes us a valued partner, not just a supplier.

Our Process Training University is designed to help users keep up with today’s challenges through a complete training experience on-site, on-line and in the classroom. The demand for higher productivity in the process control industry isn’t changing. You are faced with an experienced workforce of operators and technicians who will be retiring in the coming years. This means you will need to train the next generation of employees. That’s why we have taken 60 years of our experience and applied that to a training that helps users get hands-on experience and the knowledge they need.

Endress+Hauser offers everything from on-line tutorials to our premium training at our PTU® (Process Training Unit) network. PTUs are full scale, working process skids with online instrumentation and controls. You gain hands-on experience with the types of operation, diagnostics and troubleshooting found in real-life process plants. These fully functional “mini process plants” feature Endress+Hauser instruments integrated with Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx process automation system. The Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system controls the PTU by actuating control valves and adjusting speed of pump drives. This is designed with the purpose of educating your field technicians and engineers by providing real-life simulations. You learn the application, installation, operation and diagnostic procedures related to many types of process instrumentation and control processes. Various communication protocols are also demonstrated including: EtherNet/IP™, HART®, PROFIBUS® PA, and FOUNDATION™ fieldbus. You can find our more about our training opportunities at www.us.endress.com/training. – Jerry Spindler, Training Manager, Customer & Field Service Training, Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA

Todd Lucey, general manager of Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA, joined the company in 1993 as the pressure product manager. He has a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and has held numerous product, industry, marketing, support, and sales responsibilities. He is also Vice President of the Board for the Measurement Control Automation Association (MCAA). Mr. Lucey can be reached at Todd.Lucey@us.endress.com.

Jerry Spindler, training manager of customer and field service training for Endress+Hauser Sales Center USA, joined the Endress+Hauser team in 1996 as a Flow Product Manager. With more than 25 years of industry experience, he holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics Technology and an MBA., and has been an active Senior Member of ISA for more than 20 years. Mr. Spindler can be reached at Jerry.Spindler@us.endress.com.

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