Interesting facts emerge from financial report.

15/05/2017
E+H reports sales flat, but sees growth in Ireland, reports Processingtalk.info‘s  Nick Denbow from Basel.

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.

Production

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

Digitization

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.

 @Endress_Hauser #PAuto #IoT
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Two million mag meters plus…

02/05/2016

Endress+Hauser has produced over two million electromagnetic flowmeters since 1977. “That is more than any other manufacturer,” they claim. “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.

EH_MD_01The company’s 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, Endress+Hauser 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 former military barracks.

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.”

To put this into context: 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 guarantees 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.


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 toEH_MID_03 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.

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.”

@Endress_Hauser #PAuto

Diamond jubilee for remarkable company.

11/02/2013

Endress+Hauser celebrates its sixtieth anniversary!

2013

E+H Sternenhof office and conference complex in Reinach, Switzerland

Endress+Hauser, specialist in measurement and automation engineering is in fine fettle in its 60th year: the family-owned company has just welcomed its 10,000th employee and in the last year alone, over 500 jobs were created worldwide.

19551953 to today

It all began in a rather small and inconspicuous way: on 1 February 1953, Swiss engineer Georg H Endress and German banker Ludwig Hauser set up their company in a backyard in Lörrach, Germany. The first level measurement instrument was patented just two years later and these innovative measurement instruments soon enjoyed a good reputation in the industry. As early as 1957, sales exceeded one million Deutschmarks.
In the subsequent decades, the fields of operation were expanded to include flow, pressure, analysis and temperature, with new production sites built or bought for development and production. With a growing number of sales partners, Endress+Hauser gradually conquered first the European market and the Asian and the American markets soon followed. After Ludwig Hauser’s death, the Endress family became sole shareholders in 1975. At that time, the company had around 1,000 employees. 15 years later, the headcount reached 4,000 with sales in excess of 500 million Swiss francs.

At the dawn of the digital transmission and communication era around 1990, Endress+Hauser was actively involved in various fieldbus initiatives. In early 1995, the company founder placed the business in the hands of his second eldest son Klaus Endress who runs it to this day. Responding to the challenges of globalization, Klaus Endress developed the international network of production and sales, while at the same time steadily expanding – and still expanding – the service range (project planning, maintenance, calibration) and extensive automation solutions (monitoring, control, system integration).

1955staff

Staff 1955

Production_1955

Production 1955

Production 2012

Production 2012

A global network of companies, a range of high-quality products and solid family-based foundations: 60 years after its foundation, the measurement engineering specialist Endress+Hauser still continues to expand. This success is due to the continuity of a prudently run family-owned business whose first and foremost principle is to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements. ‘First serve, then earn’ was one of the mottos of company founder Georg H. Endress (1924-2008) – and it has lost none of its validity to this day!

Headquartered in Switzerland, the company is today an undisputed world leader in measurement and automation engineering, with products synonymous with precision and reliability. The company’s independence, fully owned by the founder’s family, has been laid down in a charter which safeguards its future. Thus protected are the fundamental principles of the Endress+Hauser Group: a corporate culture resting on trust and a sense of responsibility is the solid groundwork for sustained growth and technological innovation. This ‘Spirit of Endress+Hauser’, filled with life by the company’s leadership, makes values such as modesty, loyalty, commitment and fairness the compass points for entrepreneurial actions.

From the device to the system
The last 60 years have left their mark on the Endress+Hauser Group of course – in the positive sense: the vendor of devices and instruments became a full-range supplier who supports its customer in operating their plants reliably, efficiently and environmentally compatible throughout their entire life cycle. “Our strength is that we are entirely driven by the market,” says second generation CEO Klaus Endress. “We learn from our customers and strive to create sustained and outstanding benefits and value for them.”

Today, over 40 sales centres and over 70 representatives around the globe sell products, services and solutions delivered by Endress+Hauser and production sites in 12 countries are engaged in manufacture and development. Thanks to the global roots in various different regions and industries, the Endress+Hauser Group is well able to cope with cyclical fluctuations. The lean and highly networked organization guarantees flexibility and rapid response.

A remarkable landmark has been reached during this time of celebration as the company welcomed its 10,000th employee. Around 500 new jobs have been created worldwide in the last 12 months alone. Continuity valued highly in this family-owned business: in spite of the finance and public debt crisis in 2009, no employees were laid off – with the result that a new sales record was promptly accomplished in the following year after the economy had begun to recover.

Outlook
With sales totalling €1.5b ($2.05b), the Endress+Hauser Group marked up another record year in 2011 – in spite of a strong Swiss franc and a flagging European economy. “Although the market is extremely volatile today, 2012 will be an excellent year for us,” says  Klaus Endress. “We trust in our strength and look ahead with confidence, but we must stay alert.”

With well-targeted acquisitions in biotechnology, gas analysis and energy management, Endress+Hauser has recently rounded off its product portfolio. With an equity ratio of over 70 percent, the company is largely independent of lenders and is well equipped to meet the challenges of the future.


W.A.G.E.S. for cost reduction!

07/01/2013

This paper from Endress + Hauser, discusses the increase in understanding and necessity of monitoring and controlling energy efficiency in utilities.

1. Introduction
Production plants in all industries are coming more and more under pressure to measure the cost of their utilities:

– Water
– Air
– Gas (e.g. Natural Gas, other gases or fuels)
– Electricity and
– Steam

It is interesting to confirm that this W.A.G.E.S. trend is independent of the type of industry. It is to be seen in small breweries and in big chemical sites.

One important driver for this pressure is the rise in the cost of energy. The cost of natural gas for industrial applications has more than tripled within less than ten years and the price for electricity in Europe has risen by 30% within less than 4 years.

Certifications according to EMAS and the ISO 14000 series also force customers to measure the energy streams using calibrated technology.

Savings_book_large
Find out more about how you can benefit from E+H’s experience in Energy Monitoring Solutions, you can now receive a free copy of their Energy Saving Book from their site!
More information about the Endress+Hauser Energy Monitoring Solution on line.

The utilities have been neglected frequently in the past. Currently, however, they are coming more and more into the focus. Still many companies only measure natural gas and electricity only at the custody transfer point. Using these few measurements, however, important parameters like specific energy consumptions are determined that give important indications: how much energy does it take to make a ton of product? These measurements, however, are only taken on a monthly or sometimes even on a yearly basis. Investing a relatively small amount of money in comparative terms it is possible to set up energy monitoring systems that measure the consumption of each respective utility close to the point of use. These measurements can then be used to build meaningful relations between energy consumptions and driving factors that enable the customer to

• Control their energy consumption with a better resolution (application-wise and time-wise)
• Identify and justify energy reduction projects (where is most energy consumed? Which changes are possible?)
• Detect poor performance earlier (are the boiler’s heating surfaces fouling?)
• Get support for decision making (should the contract with the provider of electricity be changed?)
• Report performance automatically (which Energy Accountability Centre/shift etc. is performing best? Did exceptions occur?)
• Audit historical operations
• Get evidence of success (did promises made by a manufacturer of energy efficient equipment come true?)
• Get support for energy budgeting and management accounting
• Provide the energy data to other systems (e.g. existing SCADA)

2. What is energy management

Picture 1: The Energy Management Cycle.

Picture 1: The Energy Management Cycle.

Energy management can be seen as a cyclic operation. Everything starts with the basic data collection: energy consumption is measured and converted to appropriate units. For most of the utilities, these conversions require highest attention:

– already the conversion from volumetric units (e.g. natural gas measured by turbines, steam measured by DP devices or vortex meters) to corrected volume, mass or energy often is done in a wrong way resulting in errors in the range of typically 10…30%
– many devices are wrong installed resulting in similar error ranges and
– if already the basic is wrong, the analysis will be wrong and all action taken will be based on wrong information.

The easiest form data collection is paper and pencil. It is amazing to see how many people in the industry still have to walk around the factory and find certain meters on a monthly basis to take the readings. Modern systems perform this automatically: Modern recorders as stand-alone devices or so-called “software recorders”are able to record data in the commonly used 15 min. or 30 min. intervals. If these intervals are not sufficient, even a data collection every 100ms is possible.
Most modern systems of data collection are even able to collect the data of up to 30 devices using bus communication and pass the data on using “Field Gates”.

3. Data analysis
If the Data collection is the basis of it all, data analysis is the heart: It helps to convert the pure measurements of energy data into meaningful data.

A first basic way consists in analyzing the 15-min or 30-min data profiles:

– What is the base-load of the application? Why energy is still consumed without production? How can this base-load be reduced?
– What is the typical maximum load during productive hours? How can the maximum load be reduced? (This is important e.g. for electricity contracts)
– What is the typical load distribution? How can a more uniform load-distribution be obtained?

For this purpose, different policies of load-management are available (e.g. peak-clipping)
Even more meaningful is to put energy consumptions into relation to a driving factor. Examples are:

– how much heating energy is consumed compared to how cold the weather is (so-called degree days)
– how much energy is consumed to make a ton of product
– how much electricity is consumed in order to light a building compared to the hours of day-light.

Since all of these parameters put into relationship energy consumption with a relevant driver, they are generally called “Specific Energy Consumptions” (SEC).

Controlling such a factor now enables the customer to control if a certain process is drifting over time, i.e. the process is becoming more in-efficient. Possible causes of such a drift can have multiple reasons:

– the amount of leakage in a compressed air grid is growing because of lacking maintenance
– the specific energy consumption for making steam is rising because of lacking maintenance of steam traps (steam traps fail open in case of a failure)
– the specific energy consumption for heating a building rises because of fouling of the surfaces of heat-exchangers

Generally, comparing the energy consumption with a driver will reveal a linear relationship. In certain applications, this linear relationship also shows an intercept that does not equal zero.

If no actions are taken, the trend will be as follows:

– the intercept grows (examples: increasing leakage in a compressed air application or due to failing steam traps)
– the slope of the linear relationship grows (loss of efficiency e.g. because of fouling heat-exchangers)

Customers, however, will strive to

– reduce the intercept and
– reduce the slope of the linear relationship.

The linear relationship found can now be used as a target for the future. One example: if in the past it has taken 4 GJ of energy to make a ton of steam, we expect this same value for the future, too – unless we take any actions to improve efficiency.

We can now compare the real energy consumption to the expected one and record the differences. If this difference exceeds a certain value, a warning will be generated.

pic2

Picture 2: The Control Graph for controlling deviations from a pre-set target. If the control limits are exceeded, an alarm can be generated

We can also take these differences and total them up over time in the so-called CUSUM (cumulated sums) chart.

Picture 3: The CUSUM chart. It acts as a totalizer and can reveal savings achieved.

Picture 3: The CUSUM chart. It acts as a totalizer and can reveal savings achieved.

This chart acts like a bank-account: If the process becomes less efficient, the CUSUM chart will run away from the zero line. In the picture the process has become more efficient, however. In our example, an economizer was installed improving a steam boiler’s efficiency. We can now read directly from the chart that compared to former performance the investment into the economizer saved the company 1100 MWh of energy within 15 weeks.

Where this data analysis can be done?
Recording the performance, analyzing data every 15 or 30 minutes and displaying current specific energy consumption values can be done easily using modern time recorders that display these values close to the process. These modern recorders already can perform even complex math operations. Thus, employees running certain processes can be directly involved and start asking questions:

– Why are certain shifts more efficient than other?
– Why was the specific energy consumption stable for months but started drifting recently?

These analysis techniques and also the “targeting” procedure described above can also be performed in Energy Monitoring software.

pic4

Picture 4: Set-up of a typical full-blown energy monitoring information system

4. Communication/reporting
Recipients of Energy reports can be found in different hierarchies: from operations personnel to top management and in different areas of a company (production/operation/engineering, controlling, energy and eco management).

The reports must provide information to enable the user to act. Operational staff needs to know when a problem has occurred as quickly as possible and know what they should do about it. Senior management, on the other hand, needs summary information to know that procedures and systems are working well. In order to design reports, it is important to understand who needs reports and why.

Reports to senior management might include:

– a summary of last year’s costs, broken down into EACs (energy accountable centers)
– a summary of the current year’s performance on a monthly basis

• against budget
• against the previous year
• against targets

– a note of the savings (or losses) achieved to date and how they were achieved
– a note of additional savings opportunities and what actions are ongoing to address them

A new report to management should be issued each month and be available in time for board meetings.

Operations management will be responsible for operating processes and plant efficiency. They will need to know on a shift, daily, weekly or monthly basis (depending on the nature of the process and the level of energy use) what energy has been used and how this compares with various targets. The information will be used to

– measure and manage the effectiveness of operations personnel and process plant and systems
– identify problem areas quickly
– provide a basis for performance reporting (to executives)

Operations personnel need to know when a problem has occurred and what needs to be done to rectify it. This information needs to be provided in a timely manner, which might mean within a few minutes of the event for a major energy-using process, or within a day or a week.

Engineers associated with operations will need reports similar to those for operations personnel. Engineers may typically be involved with problems where there is more time to act (compared with process operators), for example, cleaning heat exchangers, solving a control problem or removing air from a refrigeration condenser.

Engineers who are not directly in operations but who provide support will need more detailed historical information. Typically, these individuals will be involved in analyzing historical performance, developing targets and modeling. They will require access to the plant data historian and will use analysis tools, ranging from commonly available spreadsheet software to advanced data mining and similar software.

Engineers that are involved in projects will need supporting data, for example, levels of energy use, process operating conditions, etc. They will also need access to the raw data in the historian and access to analysis tools.

The accounts department may be interested in actual energy usages and costs to compare with budgets. They will need information that is broken down by department so that costs can be allocated to related activities. Accurate costing of operations and the cost of producing goods can improve decisions regarding product pricing, for example, and the allocation of resources.

Energy and environmental managers will need summary data that identifies the performance achieved and trends, much like what executives and operations managers require. Like engineers, they may require more detailed information for specific analysis.

The environmental department may want energy consumption expressed as equivalent CO2 emissions, and the energy reports may need to be integrated into environmental reports that are more general. Summary information may be required for annual energy and environmental reporting and may be needed more frequently by regulatory bodies.

The energy manager may be involved in energy purchasing as well as efficiency. He may need information about the profile of energy use (using a half-hourly graph, for example), peak usage, nighttime usage, etc. The energy manager will also need access to the raw data in order to allow evaluation of purchasing options and to check bills.

We can see from this broad variety of requirements that modern Energy Management Information Systems have to be very flexible in creating these reports.

5. Taking the action
Results of implementing Energy Monitoring Informations Systems in the UK indicate that, when properly implemented, such a system can save 5 to 15 percent of annual energy costs. As an initial approximation, 8 percent appears to be a reasonable estimate. [1]

Implementing an Energy Management Information System alone and taking the action based on the outcome of this tool alone will result typically in 8 percent savings. Most experience regarding this tooling can be found in the UK based on the local “Carbon Trust”.
Further savings can be achieved by spending capital cost e.g. for more efficient burners and boilers, economizers etc.

Savings Strategies in Energy Management typically fall into the four following categories:

• Eliminate. Generally, one should question if certain processes or sections of a plant are really required or if they could be replaced. A simple example: eliminating dead legs of a plant.
• Combine. CHP is a well-known “combine” process: generation of heat and electricity are combined. Another example is the use of off-heat created by compressors for making air e.g. for pre-heating factory air.
• Change equipment, person, place, or sequence. Equipment changes can offer substantial energy savings as the newer equipment may be more energy efficient. Changing persons, place, or sequences can offer energy savings as the person may be more skillful, the place more appropriate, and the sequence better in terms of energy consumption. For example, bringing rework back to the person with the skill and to the place with the correct equipment can save energy.
• Improve. Most energy management work today involves improvement in how energy is used in the process because the capital expenditure required is often minimized. Examples include reducing excess air for combustion to a minimum, reducing temperatures to the minimum required. Improving does sometimes require large amounts of capital. For example, insulation improvements can be expensive, but energy savings can be large, and there can be improved product quality.


Practice for professionals

30/07/2012

At the research institute for bioprocessing, NIBRT, specialists expand their understanding of this field – using pilot plant from Endress+Hauser. This partnership is a win-win situation for both sides.

National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training HQ in Co Dublin, Ireland.

The impressive façade of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Dublin reflects the institute’s objective of being in the top league for bioprocessing research. Opened just one year ago, the visitor is greeted by a striking entrance hall with columns supporting the roof, the dimensions of which are reminiscent of a modern art museum. But it is a very special form of art that is studied here: any conceivable scenario of bioengineering production and cleaning processes can be played out on a wide selection of simulation facilities –the perfect test laboratory for the experts of tomorrow.

Thanks to partnerships with global players from industry, NIBRT is recognised as the centre of competence that sets international standards. “This enables us to have the most cutting edge technology, allowing trainees to experiment on state of the art equipment”, explains Killian O´Driscoll, Director of Projects. The companies contribute their know-how, and in turn profit from the training facilities of this centre of excellence.  In the training unit, biopharmaceutical production can be simulated, starting from measurements right through to certification or calibration, with the option to vary any multitude of parameters.

Cooperation
Endress+Hauser has been on board right from the outset. “For the benefit of both organisations, a strong relationship with mutual respect and trust has quickly emerged” says Christophe Roche, General Manager of Endress+Hauser Ireland. Although only one training unit was foreseen initially, the collaboration has developed so well that in the end a complete simulation rig for biotechnological process automation was supplied. Further test rigs at the institute were equipped with measurement and automation systems. “Endress+Hauser Ireland is pleased to continue the support with local maintenance.”

The rig was developed by specialists from the Application Training Center in Reinach, who also delivered the first training course. “We are delighted that Endress+Hauser, with their wealth of know-how has selected us as a partner” says O’Driscoll.

The participants of the training courses are often employed at companies and bring a whole host of specialist knowledge with them. Nevertheless, this is where mistakes can be made in order to learn from them. “Customers do not always know what they want, but they send us technicians to be trained and since this training could be tailor-made, we could develop a program adapted to those topics as well”, explains Plant Manager Michael Lacey.

Impetus
The NIBRT in Dublin was established by the Irish Government in conjunction with the four major universities of Dublin. It marks the pinnacle of far-sighted planning which can trace its origins back to the 1960s, when the first step were taken to open up the predominantly agricultural Irish economy to new branches of industry. Attracted by the good business environment, international companies from the pharmaceutical industry set up around Cork in particular. Today the Irish Life Sciences industry, with 170 companies and a 50 per cent share of Irish exports, is the most important industrial sector in the country. And investment continues to grow.

Perspectives

George H Endress (1924-2008)

The project also brings benefits for Endress+Hauser, too. Not only because our employees can be trained here but also the fact that the key clients and partners of NIBRT become familiar with equipment from Endress+Hauser and learn to value its quality – and later, in the best-case scenario, do not want to forgo this experience.

Thus Endress+Hauser in Ireland is a player in the top league of biopharmaceutical research, continuing the spirit of partnership with universities and educational institutes initiated by their late founder George H. Endress. The concept of increasing knowledge by working in partnership with institutes and universities continues to bear fruit–in Ireland, too, at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, NIBRT.


Every Jack will find his Jill – level from E+H

01/11/2010

There is one suitable measuring principle for every level measuring task

Carsten Schulz, Product Manager, Level – Endress+Hauser Group

A large number of physical measuring methods are used today for continuous level measurement of the most diverse product media in the area of liquids and bulk solids. Of course, both plant planning and operating staff would like to have one single method as this would indeed reduce the training requirements and commissioning errors as well as lead to cost savings (e.g. for replacement devices). However, every measuring principle has its strengths and weaknesses.

If a level measuring device is to provide a safe and reliable measured value in all operating conditions,  the medium properties, possible process effects during the entire operating time and the installation site must be taken into account in addition to the temperature and pressure resistance when selecting the device,. An experienced manufacturer such as Endress+Hauser, who can offer the correct measuring system adapted to the task at hand, may be relied upon as a competent adviser. The examples described below illustrate the requirements of plant planning staff.

Microwaves tick all the boxes
The use of high-frequency radar measuring devices offers various advantages over ultrasonic waves in level measurement. Free-space radar devices such as the Micropilot M are thus suitable for high temperatures up to 400°C and operate in a vacuum or at pressures up to 160 bar. The Levelflex M guided radar can also be used up to 400°C and 400 bar. Vapour or various gas compositions present in boiling process containers have virtually no impact on the propagation speed of the microwaves up to 200°C and 50 bar at the same time.

The physical properties of the transmitted microwave are another advantage of radar measuring technology. The microwave can even radiate through a number of plastic and glass types. The levels in various plastic or glass containers can thus be measured from the outside without mounting a nozzle.

Fig.1: Measuring the level from the outside using the Micropilot M FMR240

Reliable even in tough conditions
The Levelflex M guided radar measuring device is the ideal solution where various application conditions are expected to cause intensive foam generation. This technology is virtually unaffected by foam generation due to its operating frequency of approx. 1 GHz and the fact that the microwave pulses are guided along a rope or rod. If conditions are made even more difficult due to mechanical factors, e.g. in a fast-rotating, multistage agitator container with strong turbulence and intense foam generation at the same time, the solution to level measurement is, as always, pressure or differential pressure measurement. More complex measuring tasks, such interface detection, also require various methods to ensure a reliable measurement that is adapted to the process.

Up to three measuring values can be output if the Levelflex M guided radar is used (interface, layer thickness and overall level).

The interface can only be determined using capacitance probes. The advantage of these devices is their use for interfaces where emulsification occurs. The reflection signal of a guided radar device is reduced by the emulsion. In this instance, capacitance probes continuously determine an average value from the emulsion that forms. The measuring values can be reliably captured using a gamma measurement if the procedure is made even more challenging due to the formation of multilayer phases.

Image 2: Suitable level measuring technology is selected based on the application conditions.
From left to right: clear interface, measuring using guided radar; interface with emulsion layer, measuring using capacitance probe; multiple interfaces, measuring using radiometry.

The perfect solution for bulk solids
In the area of bulk solids, e.g. in the case of free-flowing products such as sugar or quartz sand, cones or funnels can form on the surface of the product when the container is being filled or emptied. They can form either on the entire surface or locally and have the same effect as reflective surfaces so that measuring by means of a diffuse reflection of the transmitted pulses is not physically possible. There is no difference between ultrasonic and free-space radar measuring devices where conditions such as this occur. Guided radar, such as the Levelflex M, has the advantage that it offers a virtually punctate measurement. It is the only proper solution as reflective surfaces or cones and funnels that form during filling and discharge have virtually no impact on the reflection signal.

Image 3: Level measuring task in a sugar storage silo using the Levelflex M

Light, powdery bulk solids such as Aerosil products, polystyrene or wood dust can have very low dielectric constant and density values when the moisture content is low. Radar or ultrasonic devices cannot guarantee reliable measurement in this case. A safe and reliable measurement result can only be guaranteed using a mechanical level system. The mechanical components have mostly been replaced with electronic in the new Silopilot M, which includes state-of-the-art frequency converter control, using a single-phase supply voltage, and a three-phase traction engine. There is no “sound beam” as is the case with ultrasonic technology or an emitting angle as with radar methods. Cross beams do not impact the level system. In addition to the advantages mentioned, this method also provides assurance to the operator from the point of view of managing process influences that may not be anticipated at the planning phase.

In extreme cases, applications with intense dust buildup during pneumatic filling of high silos with powdery media, e.g. cement or flour, can result in complete damping of the reflection signal when using ultrasonic measuring devices. With a small number of exceptions, radar level measuring devices are not affected by conditions of this type. They penetrate the dust and are reliable even during filling.

Robust measuring technology is required, for example, in applications for quarrying work in the processing of hard stone. The movement of the ultrasonic sensor membrane produces a self-cleaning effect, which means that regular cleaning of the sensor is unnecessary and maintenance work avoided.

The ultrasonic measurement is available in a separate version at the same time. In this version, the sensor can be positioned at a distance of up to 300m from the relevant switching unit. This is particularly advantageous in tough application conditions such as stone crushers with strong vibrations.

The list of examples of application-specific requirements of measuring technology could go on endlessly. If the choice of level measuring device is based purely on the aim to use a “modern“ measuring method, the user may lose the benefits a traditional solution would offer and possibly even at a lower price; e.g. capacitive measuring technology, ultrasonic or pressure measurement or a mechanical level system.

Product selector based on 55 years “expertise” in level measuring technology
Take advantage of the decades of experience Endress+Hauser offers you in selecting the correct level measuring device for your specific measuring task. Profit from the benefits the company provides as a full-range supplier of all standard measuring methods: the time and cost savings guaranteed by a reliable measurement.

Image 4: Section of the product selector

The product selector (image 4) supports the user in planning the various procedures for continuous level measurement in the area of liquids and bulk solids.

The contents include an overview of the measuring principles with technical data, the resulting advantages and application limitations. Guided by your application, we recommend the preferred of the various measuring methods based on our experience. You are also provided with installation instructions for the various technologies.

The aim of this product selector for “Continuous level measurement in liquids and bulk solids – Selection and engineering guide for the process industry” is to divide into segments the best possible solution – in terms of price and task – that is tailored to the application in question.


Final control elements and other stories

12/05/2010


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Douglas Control  & Automation

Loose Insert: Metrology Systems & Services

The April/May 2010 issue of Read-out, Ireland’s journal of instrumentation, control and automation, highlights final control elements.

Steriflo’s Mark 96 pressure regulator, marketed by Manotherm, is used in sanitary applications. Emersons Fieldvue digital valve controllers are used in an Australian chemical plant “saving us thousands of pounds,” according to the instrument technician on the site. Also featured is Festo’s range of ultra-fast jet valves and Tyco’s EBCO valves to provide full flow replenishment to storage tanks in, for example high-rise buildings.

The front page article gave details of the new marketing strategy of Irish company Biotector Analytical, who have appointed Hach as exclusive distributor in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Europe for their range of on-line liquid analysers. Another company with a presence on the North American continent, Qumas, has won the Deloite Best Managed Company Award. This company is a provider of compliance solutions.

There is a report on the Ireland Section of the International Society of Automation visit to the Blanchardstown Institute of Technology where a large assembly of first and second year students participated in a talk on combined heat and power. These students are hoping to qualify with a BSc in Sustainable Electrical and Control Technology. The purpose of this course is “to equip students with the skills and knowledge to embark upon a rewarding career in sustainable engineering within the construction and manufacturing sectors.”

The National Instruments scheme to support micro and SMEs in embedded development is discussed. This is in the form of training and grants of up to nearly €30,000 in software, support and training. “National Instruments…is committed to supporting innovation!”

John McAuliffe, in the InSide Front article, “Cracking the Safety Code“, discusses the poractical applications of the new European Machinery Directive (SI 407/08). that came into force in January. John is Managing Director of Pilz Ireland.

Among the new products highlightes in this issue is Yokogawa’s DXAdvanced DAQSTATION range, Phoenix Contact’s PSI-Bluetooth ProfiBus set, E+H’s Liquiphant M density meter and Blue-White’s new junction box and connector arrangement on their Flex-Pro A3 peri-pump.

Read-out is published every two months and distributed throughout Ireland. Advertising rates, which have maintained their 2004 levels are on the website in Euro, Pounds Sterling and US Dollars.

The next issue for June/July will concentrate on Flow measurement & Control.

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