Endress+Hauser inaugurated its newest U.S. facility with the introduction of a collaborative campus just south of Houston in Pearland, Texas (Figure 1).
The $34-million, 112,000-sq-ft facility brings the Swiss precision of Endress+Hauser’s process-variable instrumentation to the traditional heart of the process industries.
“Switzerland is known for its precision,” explained Matthias Altendorf, CEO of Endress+Hauser Group, who promised to bring that same degree of calibration to the instruments produced at its Houston campus that it’s brought to other Endress+Hauser facilities around the United States, as well as globally (Figure 2).
“We have certain hubs all over the continent to make sure we are close to the customers,” said Altendorf. “We are very excited for this investment in the U.S. market. When we look at the campus, we want to have the space that we can grow into over decades.”
The expansion reflects the company’s strong foothold in the United States with multiple facilities and its connection to customers. “It enables us to provide the best service to our customers, strengthen our relationships with strategic partners and grow our presence in the Gulf region,” emphasized Altendorf. “We are committed to sustainably generating value for this region (Figure 3).”
The Texas campus is designed with customers in mind and is equipped for training, repair and calibration services. “We’ve been here for decades, but we haven’t had an opportunity to serve our customers like this,” explained Todd Lucey, general manager of Endress+Hauser USA (Figure 4). “We broke ground on this building March 7, 2019. A lot has happened in that period of time, but we finished the building on time and under budget.”
Figure 3: CEO Matthias Altendorf emphasizes of sustainability, not just for days, but for decades to come.
Figure 4: Klaus Endress (left), supervisory board president and son of Endress+Hauser founder, Dr. Georg Endress, and USA General Manager Todd Lucey explain how the facility was completed on time and under budget, despite the global shutdown.
Endress+Hauser support teams, including inside sales and application engineering teams, provide localized technical expertise for customers. The training services include a state-of-the-art process training unit (PTU), the 10th of its kind in the United States, where customers also can learn about IIoT capabilities and Bluetooth-enabled devices. With 200 points of measurement and seven tanks set up for live training sessions, the Houston PTU is the largest training unit of its kind in the United States. It runs on Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx.
The campus is also equipped to perform accredited instrument calibration across a variety of measuring principles including flow, level, temperature and pressure. The accredited calibrations can be performed remotely at customer sites or in the Houston laboratory with its 12-inch calibration rig, the largest in the country.
The campus was engineered with an emphasis on both sustainability and regional architecture. The building is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver project as stipulated by the U.S. Green Building Council. This provided a framework for green building design, operation and performance that reflects Endress+Hauser’s focus on sustainability.
To reflect local architecture, the designers emphasized responsiveness to the local climate, use of regionally authentic interior and exterior materials and attention to scale. “We learned that Houston is humid,” explained Altendorf, noting NEMA and IP ratings, as well as the requirements for cabling conduits.
The campus also doubles as a collaborative environment for Endress+Hauser’s business units and partners. “You can’t be creative if people don’t come together,” said Altendorf. “You can’t be creative just in the digital world. This is a space where people can come together.”
Figure 5: The Houston facility houses the global marketing and applications group for SpectraSensors Gas Analysis business, run by John Schnake (above), general manager and corporate director, process analyzers, and Analytik Jena’s product lines for laboratory instrumentation, directed by Dr. Monde Qhobosheane, president and CEO, Analytik Jena.
Figure 6: CEO Matthias Altendorf talks about Endress+Hauser’s relationship with Vector Controls and Automation Group as its president and managing partner, Jared Boudreaux (left), listens.
The Houston facility houses the global marketing and applications group for SpectraSensors Gas Analysis business and Analytik Jena’s product lines for laboratory instrumentation (Figure 5). “Each group has its own area of the campus,” noted Lucey. “We wanted to find a footprint with expansion capabilities.”
The facility contains office space for 125 employees, including 75 Endress+Hauser employees, as well as 50 team members from Vector Controls & Automation Group, its sales and service provider. “Our customers see us as one team,” explained Jared Boudreaux, president and managing partner at Vector (Figure 6).
“At the end of the day, we continuously have to get better at what we are doing,” emphasized Altendorf. By investing money into the process-control market, Endress+Hauser aims to have the strongest basket of products around. “We try to support our customers over the entire value chain, from R&D to engineering and logistics,” said Altendorf.