IEN Europe: JUMO has about 70 years of experience in the measurement and sensors world. How has the brand evolved over time? How important is this sector in the manufacturing industry?
Mr Juchheim: Since it was founded in 1948, JUMO GmbH & Co. KG has been noted for its constant growth. This primarily relates to our product portfolio, which has consistently been supplemented with new measurands for a growing number of industries. My grandfather – the company founder Moritz Kurt Juchheim – started production of glass contact thermometers with six employees, and JUMO quickly acquired an excellent reputation through the quality and reliability of its products. Over the course of the coming years, dial thermometers and heater thermostats were then added, before we started to manufacture electronics-based measuring and regulating devices in the 1960s.
Then, in the 1980s, the areas of pressure measurement technology and analytical measurement were added. The 1990s were primarily characterized by JUMO controllers and paperless recorders, which both enjoyed global success. At the beginning of the 21st century, we began to focus more on wireless measurement technology and also developed our own automation system. With these innovative products, we have also tapped into an ever-increasing number of new markets. JUMO products are used around the globe in industries such as heating and air conditioning, food and beverage, renewable energies, and water and wastewater.
But our main focus is still temperature measurement. With our temperature probes for heat meters, we have been the global market leader in this area for several decades. The latest trends very clearly go in the direction of digital, intelligent sensors. Furthermore, it is our express goal to evolve from a pure component manufacturer to becoming a system and solution provider.
Alongside this development in our products and industry, we have also grown strongly internationally. The first JUMO subsidiary was founded as far back as the early 1970s. Our corporate group currently includes five branch offices across Germany as well as 24 international subsidiaries and more than 50 agencies around the world.
IEN Europe: What is your most important market? Which are the main differences among various European markets?
Mr Juchheim: Our highest sales figures in Europe come from the French market, but worldwide, China has become the clear leader. The main difference between the European markets lies in their respective key industries. In Scandinavia, for instance, we are very strong in the shipbuilding industry, while in the Netherlands the area of water and wastewater has become increasingly important in recent years. But the interaction with our customers has ultimately always been shaped by the traditional JUMO strengths – regardless of the country. We have always been able to impress clients with our high degree of flexibility and speed, high-tech products, and our strong, solution-oriented way of thinking.
IEN Europe: JUMO has recently launched an improved series of semiconductor contactors with a new look and compact design, specifically engineered for use in smaller control cabinets. Which features did you update? How have users welcomed this evolution?
Mr Juchheim: Our new semiconductor contactors are a clear response to customer requirements. The trend is currently moving towards increasingly compact systems, which, of course, also affects control cabinets. For this reason we decided to update our proven JUMO TYA 432 series of semiconductor contactors. The 25 A variant is now available in a slim design type that is 17.5 mm wide. Additional current values are 40 A and a new 60 A version in a single-phase design. A three-phase variant with 20 A current is also included in the product range. All types are designed for nominal voltages up to AC 600 V.
Our semiconductor contactors have always been popular with our customers because wear-free switches increase machine reliability and reduce maintenance as well as downtime costs. Furthermore, constant switching noises from mechanical contactors are a stress factor for people in the immediate vicinity. Semiconductor contactors do not have moving parts or contacts and therefore switch soundlessly with high switching speeds.
IEN Europe: JUMO has developed an innovative connection system for digital sensors that enables the setup of intelligent sensor networks. Can you show us the key points of this new technology? What benefits does it provide to users?
Mr Juchheim: JUMO digiLine – here JUMO presents a new bus-compatible connection system for digital sensors that pushes the door wide open to the industries. With JUMO digiLine, a diverse range of sensors can be connected to each other in a star or tree structure. Only a single digital signal line runs to the evaluation unit or controller. This enables more efficient and faster cabling of plants in which several parameters need to be measured simultaneously at various locations. This, in turn, opens up entirely new possibilities for industrial applications in the processing, food, pharmaceutical, and water industry.
The special feature: JUMO digiLine pH and redox sensors are delivered as a unit consisting of the sensor with reusable electronics. Once the pH or redox component has become completely worn, the connection is separated and the electronics can continue to be used with a new sensor. This makes ecological and economic sense.
The system's DSM software (Digital Sensor Management) is also brand new. The necessary parameterization and calibration of the electrodes can be carried out conveniently in the laboratory. Calibration data and the evaluation of the sensor status are stored directly in the sensor and enable seamless documentation over the entire lifecycle.
IEN Europe: JUMO actively participates in trade fairs all over Germany. How relevant are these exhibitions for your company?
Mr Juchheim: Every year, JUMO takes part in some 70 trade fairs and exhibitions in over 20 countries worldwide, about 15 of which are in Germany. This number alone underscores the high value that trade fairs have for our company. Even in the age of the Internet, personal customer contact still cannot be replaced by anything. And since we are at home with a wide variety of products in a large number of industries, we are always able to provide a pleasant surprise for customers who only know of JUMO in connection with temperature measurement.
IEN Europe: We are experiencing a revolution in the industrial panorama. What does the future of industry have in store for the world of sensors and transmitters?
Mr Juchheim: Measurement and control technology will and has to become increasingly intelligent against the backdrop of Industry 4.0. Sensors will be able to monitor their own status and send a notification when they have to be changed. They will also collect comprehensive data over the entire course of their lifecycle, so that better and more application-specific products can be developed. In the course of this development, automation technology will also take on additional tasks. Virtual teams will control many processes from any location through Internet and cloud solutions.