All process control suppliers say they're committed to their customers. A few prove it.
Endress Hauser (www.us.endress.com), a family-owned company based in Switzerland, demonstrated its own commitment on June 5 at the formal opening of its newly expanded flow measurement instrumentation plant in Greenwood, Ind. The company invested more than $18 million in bigger and better production and calibration facilities for flowmeters, including what it reports is the largest calibration rig in the U.S. and the most accurate Coriolis calibration lab in North America.
During a daylong celebration and tour of the facility for its users, staff, local officials and the media, Endress Hauser's leaders reported that, at a time many manufacturers are moving production to other countries, its new flow manufacturing facility is dedicated to the manufacture and calibration of flowmeters in the U.S.
"We believe in expanding our production sites around the globe to be closer to our customers all around the world," said Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress Hauser Group, "We see this expansion as part of our sustainable growth strategy."
Endress+Hauser's immense magnetic flowmeter calibration rig is the largest in the U.S. and can measure flow in pipe sizes up to 48 inches.
Dr. Gerhard Jost, managing director of Endress Hauser Flowtec AG, the group's specialist for flow measurement engineering, added that, "This expansion of the company's U.S. division demonstrates Endress+Hauser's complete commitment to the North American market and its loyal customers."
Following the plant tour, David Spitzer, principal at Spitzer and Boyes and a frequent Control contributor, observed that, "The manner in which the rig measures flow is interesting. This flow laboratory uses an automated array of smaller, redundant, parallel Coriolis mass flowmeters that is automated to use the appropriate size flowmeter(s) to measure the desired flow rate. The Coriolis flowmeters in the array are calibrated using the weigh tanks on the calibration stands used for smaller flowmeters."
Besides the huge calibration rig in the electromagnetic facility, the company's Coriolis manufacturing area has added a calibration laboratory that is reportedly the only one of its kind in the U.S. "No manufacturer can calibrate Coriolis meters more accurately than Endress+Hauser," says Hans-Peter Blaser, general manager of Endress Hauser Flowtec's U.S. division. "Deviations in measurement accuracy can have a big impact for customers. Accurate measurement is essential to quality. If the measurement isn't accurate, the customer may waste product or expensive ingredients required in the process."
Jost added, "Endress Hauser is the only company that can state all our calibration rigs worldwide are accredited by the appropriate national standards organizations, according to ISO/IEC 17025. This means customers around the world can rely on consistently high, documented quality from Endress+Hauser, regardless of the production site."
Spitzer added, "My underlying interest in visiting this facility was to see the flow calibration rig used to calibrate Coriolis mass flowmeters that typically have 0.05% rate accuracy (as compared to 0.2% for magnetic flowmeters). With an expanded uncertainty of 0.015%, this new facility is claimed to be the most accurate production calibration rig in the world. Aside from automatically verifying its calibration overnight, the weights had plastic covers to reduce dust accumulation and the potential for depositing oil on the weights should they be touched."
Endress Hauser also explained that its newly expanded flowmeter facilities will help users doing new process control projects funded by the U.S. Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, especially for drinking and clean water projects. "Our customers are scheduling projects that must be completed within a very specific timeline. They need to know Endress Hauser can deliver instruments that meet their timeline," said Blaser. "Our investment in U.S. facilities means Endress Hauser has the flexibility and capacity to respond to customer needs."
A virtual tour of the expanded facility is available at www.ehmarcom.us/manufacturing/promag.html.