Endress+Hauser senses an opportunity

Another new facility investment keeps the process-automation company close to customers

By Mike Bacidore

On the final day of May, a new $8 million, 42,000 sq ft temperature manufacturing facility was born in Greenwood, Indiana (Figure 1). Endress+Hauser has manufactured temperature measurement technology and system products on this same campus, which is also its U.S. sales headquarters, since 2008.

The new plant, part of Endress+Hauser Wetzer, will produce sensor elements, thermometers, thermowells, transmitters, system components and recorders. “The new facility demonstrates Endress+Hauser’s commitment to the market and customers in North America,” said Patrick McGlothlen, general manager of the new facility (Figure 2). “It shows that we are dedicated to manufacturing and providing services close to our customers.”

Being as close to customers as possible is not only a strategic advantage for Endress+Hauser; customers are considered to be part of the company. “The ‘our’ in our company includes customers, associates and shareholders,” explained Klaus Endress, president of the supervisory board for Endress+Hauser Holding. The new plant has not only allowed the temperature manufacturing division to move from its previous 12,000-sq-ft residence, which it had outgrown just three years after moving into it in 2011. “It equips us with the ability to increase capacity,” said McGlothlen, whose facility delivers products to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Chile for Endress+Hauser Wetzer.

Founded in 1872, Wetzer originally produced components for Morse telegraphs and chronographs and was integrated into Endress+Hauser in 1977 and then began an aggressive transition into temperature measurement, recording and display.

“We are producing in the region for customers with best-in-class factories,” said Harald Hertweck, managing director of Endress+Hauser Wetzer, which employs almost 700 people worldwide in the United States, Germany, Italy, South Africa, India and China. “Having global production gives us increased flexibility in the market,” explained Hertweck.

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Global production with the ability to be close to customers is a pillar of Endress+Hauser’s global strategy. The family-owned process-measurement-and-automation company is headquartered in Switzerland and operates 26 production facilities in 12 countries.

The new Indiana facility is just one of many investments Endress+Hauser has made in the United States. Kaiser Optical Systems, part of the Endress+Hauser Group since 2013, manufactures Raman spectroscopy devices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where recent construction of a new $9 million plant more than doubled the floor space to 87,000 sq ft.

“We want to be a major player in the biggest automation market in the world,” said CEO Matthias Altendorf (Figure 3). “We’ve invested more than $170 million in facilities in the United States, and we’re not finished. We’re considering the next expansion for the liquid analytical group in California.”

Since 2013, Endress+Hauser’s U.S. expansions and newest additions are all LEED-certified with management systems for the environment, health, safety and energy.

The new temperature manufacturing facility was built to be environmentally conscious and is designed and certified to meet LEED standards, along with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.

“From a manufacturing standpoint, the building was designed to be modular to adapt to changing expectations and requests that happen within our market of business,” said McGlothlen.

Endress+Hauser has continued to grow its temperature, level, flow, pressure and analytical product lines in the United States. “Temperature and pressure are the most used parameters for process control,” explained Altendorf.

Endress+Hauser’s temperature manufacturing facility will play a significant role in its growth strategy in the United States (Figure 4). “We will surpass $300 million this year,” predicted Todd Lucey, North American sales director. “Our plan is to go to $600 million and then $1 billion in the market we serve in the United States. One of the reasons is being able to produce for customers in the market. One-third of our business comes from OEMs and skid builders. It’s still a big growth area for us. Size and space constraints are issues, so we’ve got modular solutions that are designed for OEMs and skid builders.”

In 2006, Endress+Hauser had about $1 million in U.S. temperature sales. “This year, we’ll do $11 million,” said Lucey.

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