H Measurement

Endress+Hauser Industry Perspective: Smart, strategic, measured approaches to modern industrial measurement

Oct. 5, 2022
One of the greatest benefits of working in this smart era of manufacturing is unprecedented ability to measure our output, our processes, and our assets. In fact, the whole approach to industrial measurement itself is changing—evolving really—as new tools and savvier workforces using those new tools enable enterprises to monitor and measure the components that make their workplaces work more accurately.

But it can be tricky to stay informed in this era of unprecedented change. Thought leaders are more valuable than ever, serving as guides though process changes that can seem complex to those undertaking them.

Here we chat with Ashley David, product marketing manager for pressure and level products at Endress+Hauser USA, who focuses on providing strategic vision, leadership, and marketing direction of Endress+Hauser pressure products, as well as leading and managing the development of business-portfolio-launch concepts and business-marketing plans. Our discussion, naturally, measures the state of smart industrial measurement.

Q: How is industrial measurement changing in the digital era? What kinds of measurements are we talking about?

A: While every plant is at different stages in the integration of digitalization, I have not been at a facility in recent months that is not currently looking to update their processes and digitize them. This is a good thing. The pandemic truly drove home the need to have access to all of our industrial information in a remote, but secure fashion. Moving toward digital measurements is that first step in the process of doing so.

We specialize in digital and smart instruments, from self-calibrating temperature probes to pressure instruments that can alert users to the need for maintenance, such as our Trustsens technology and our Ceraphire Ceramic Pressure devices.

Our customers need to be able to access their process data—whether from their offices or the plant floor or their homes or even on their phones—to prevent exposing their operators to safety hazards. It really is that simple. And then when we consider scaling out these types of programs, we’re looking at strategically developing new and expanding existing facilities to take the most advantage of the insights smart measurements afford us. This is an exciting time.  

Q: What tools / techniques are at play with smart measurement? What new capabilities are these tools and techniques unlocking?

A: One of the biggest things I am excited about with smart measurements is the visualization of data. When our customers can see what is going on in their processes and how their instruments are performing, they can get ahead of plant shutdowns and schedule maintenance, rather than running into unplanned process downtime. Having instruments that can tell you what is wrong and even predict when replacements must happen can help facilities be more proactive, which saves time and money and makes life easier for workforces. Additionally, this keeps supply chains running smoothly since we can properly plan for events while mitigating product loss and shortages . Having smart instruments also provides a safer work environment for plant workers. By being able to get “eyes” on the process from a distance, this removes workers from harsh environments and decreases the chance of accidents on site.

Q: Must an industrial enterprise have a deep knowledge of smart-measurement approaches to take advantage of them? How can these efforts be outsourced

A: I don’t really like the term “outsourced.” There is a common misconception that smart instruments are taking jobs away from people and that is not the case. The instruments that we develop and support are designed to walk operators and technicians through the process of commissioning and trouble-shooting. There are wizards and step-by-step instructions that guide end users through their instruments and help to streamline setup and troubleshooting. These tools make it easier for teams to do their jobs, rather than eliminating positions. They truly are a benefit to existing workforces.

The facilities and customers with whom we work are our partners in development—we design our instruments with them, always keeping their workforces in mind. While we do offer field service for the commissioning of our instruments, we also offer free phone support and training to help end users at any skill level learn and troubleshoot through every step of these solutions. This is especially beneficial for how many new workers are entering the field. Being able to get new technicians trained is a lot easier when we have smart equipment such as our PMP71B, which can be accessed via a secure Bluetooth app and provides guided setup and troubleshooting.

Q: What most excites you about the future of smart measurement in the industrial universe? 

A: What excites me the most is that I get to be involved in helping our customers digitize their facilities. Being able to witness the future of plant safety, simplicity, and productivity has been fun. It is exciting the customers can now see their instruments easily and quickly and be able to learn about the devices in a hassle-free manner.

We have something to offer for every level of plant digitization. Whether the facility is just in the beginning of bringing signals back to a smaller logic system, or they are fully integrating their instruments into the Industrial Internet of Things, Endress+Hauser has worked to create a product or solution to fit those needs.

Learn more about Endress+Hauser's new approaches to industrial measurement by visiting www.us.endress.com