“Experts predict that in the post-coronavirus world, digital technology would have accelerated and transformed the business world,” says head of marketing at Endress+Hauser South Africa, Natlee Chetty. “Currently, we are all faced with a unique situation. Many companies must find alternative ways and places to operate their businesses – be it working from home, the lack of access to catalogues and paper documents, or the visit restrictions to their offices. None of us have all the answers, but at Endress+Hauser our mission for the future is clear. We will continue to develop our digital offering and services based on our Endress.com and Netilion platforms to enable efficient operations of our customers’ plants, resulting in increased productivity and cost savings.
“We have also developed what we call a ‘Seamless Customer Journey’, which is all about ease of doing business with our customers. We aim to provide our customers with an unforgettable, customer centric experience through endress.com – a smart and powerful digital platform that enables easy navigation within a few minutes, in the office, in the field, or on the go. Endress.com allows customers to review previous transactions, get quotations, purchase products, order spare parts, download documentation, and get access to contacts wherever they are – personally and digitally.”
Using the IIoT to create new levels of service
Endress+Hauser’s Netilion solutions are designed with the intention to empower customers to optimise productivity and plant availability at any time and from anywhere, enabling the flexibility required in these uncertain times. It has never been more important for manufacturing companies to be ready and equipped with technologies that will put them at the forefront of their sectors.
“Our state-of-the-art devices provide a vast amount of useful data which our customers can utilise to drive productivity,” adds Chetty. “Our innovative products can be easily integrated into the cloud, mobile devices and artificial intelligence, to create the ultimate future experience in plant technology. Using the data of connected products to engage with customers in new ways and on one integrated platform is in accordance with our digitalisation motto for process automation: #empowerthefield!”
Step by step into the digital age
One look at a smartphone is enough to bring you up to date on many everyday issues. Is everything all right at home? How are my shares doing? And how many fitness points have I collected today?
Soon digital convenience will also be the norm in the process industry. Endress+Hauser is working on IIoT solutions in order to make the data from all the sensors of an industrial plant easily accessible from anywhere. Digital interconnection is on its way.
Part of Endress+Hauser’s IIoT strategy is to develop specific applications that integrate seamlessly into existing plant technology and immediately provide users with added value. The first application is called Endress+Hauser Analytics, which enables a digital inventory of the installed base to be captured. With Endress+Hauser Analytics, all field devices in a plant can be easily categorised and analysed, even those from third-party manufacturers. An interface module installed in the network, in this case an edge device, independently recognises the various instrument types and creates a digital twin in a cloud-based hub.
Alternatively, the devices’ nameplates can be read by the Endress+Hauser Scanner app and the information can be automatically uploaded to the cloud application (Netilion), where they are compared and added to the Endress+Hauser device database. Endress+Hauser Analytics reduces the time for taking inventory down to a fraction of that required for manual recording. Through the app’s clear interface, which can be accessed via mobile devices as well as the office PC, customers can view device data and documents such as calibration certificates or repair reports. Furthermore, they also receive information on the criticality of measuring points, on standardisation opportunities, as well as successor products should a device require replacing.
The key elements of Endress+Hauser’s IIoT ecosystem, Netilion interface modules for connectivity and the Endress+Hauser device database help to realise the full potential of intelligent measurement devices and create the foundation for algorithms that connect the existing device and process data, therefore generating added value for users in the form of digital applications.
The cloud data is encrypted and securely stored in certified research centres. Further applications based on the Endress+Hauser IIoT ecosystem are also set to be ready for the market soon. An application for asset health monitoring will monitor the status of the installed base and is set to enable predictive maintenance. Endress+Hauser Smart Metrology is going in the same direction: This application will enable the optimisation of the calibration intervals of pH sensors. Another application for water quality will allow for the simple and cost-effective remote monitoring in water applications.
The IIoT ecosystem provides customers the opportunity to enter into a new relationship that goes beyond the sale of products. Partnering with Endress+Hauser enables manufacturers with new ways to optimise plant processes, perform predictive maintenance and ultimately reduce plant downtime and unnecessary associated costs.
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