Nikolaus Krüger oversees the areas of sales, services and engineering and is a member of the Endress+Hauser Executive Board since 2008.
He has been part of the company for over 30 years, working in instrumentation and services and estimates that globalization has marked the
biggest change for the Swiss group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. In fact, Endress+Hauser has made significant investments in the last 25 years to get a global footprint and improve sustainability, by opening facilities in China, India, Japan, Brazil, the US and Europe.
''This is the best decision we’ve ever made,’’ affirmed Mr. Krüger, ‘’as it makes us independent from currency impact and shortens the logistics chain making it more sustainable and efficient.’’ Endress+Hauser believes that the final objective for plant operators all over the world is always to minimize risks and maximize efficiency. This is why Endress+Hauser develops all instrumentation according to IEC 61508, resulting in what Mr. Krüger calls “safety by design”. And with Heartbeat Technology, the company offers a new concept for device diagnostic, verification and monitoring with the aim of ensuring high plant availability and low operational expenditure. A comprehensive solution completely ‘’Made in Endress+Hauser’’, that integrates the main and best products in the company’s portfolio.
N. Krüger: Process optimization has safety and efficiency as main drivers but also cost minimization has a strong impact. One of the elements
to monitor is the key performance indicator related to unplanned shutdowns. They affect the availability of a manufacturing process, reducing profitability, and they require unplanned maintenance activities, increasing the risk of incidents because of people in the plant. Another key aspect of process optimization is the standardization of assets as well as the standardization of asset’s capabilities. Heartbeat Technology provides the user with a standardized experience through different measurement technologies from Endress+Hauser.
N. Krüger: The diagnostic functionality of Heartbeat Technology is the reliable way to have a 24/7 health status of the instrument, this happens
in the background thanks to factory-traceable redundantly reproduced references. Thanks to the high level of diagnostics, the amount of dangerous undetected failures is minimized. Therefore, proof-test intervals to find these dangerous undetected failures can be extended considerably. While extending these proof-test intervals Heartbeat Technology Verification allows the user to create an on-demand report with the status of the diagnostics and thus keeping the diagnostics status documented through the operating time between proof-tests.
Heartbeat Technology Monitoring goes beyond the verification report and looks into the actual values behind the internal references. This means that a user can predict systematic faults like damage to a flowmeter’s sensor because of corrosion before the factory-defined limits are crossed. But not only plant availability is increased thanks to Heartbeat Technology - the main benefit is to plan maintenance based on real needs and save money thanks to predictive maintenance.
N. Krüger: Process instruments are often installed in hazardous areas and exposed to extreme process conditions. With safe design and manufacturing we contribute to risk reduction. Since many years we develop all our devices according to IEC 61508. Our approach ensures safety by design, shown in the specific Safety Integrity Level of the instrument. Today we offer the best choice of SIL-rated measurement devices for all
applications. An industry requirement is to reduce the number of dangerous undetected failures. With Heartbeat Technology, we could minimize the share of dangerous undiscovered failures thanks to a diagnostic coverage of up to 98%. An we support plant maintenance with plain text messages and precise instructions.
N. Krüger: Safety should not be compromised by connectivity. On the other hand, connectivity brings new horizons in terms of man-hours in
the plant allowing the operators to take decisions remotely and reducing the risks associated to people in the plant doing maintenance activities.
In Endress+Hauser we help our customers to improve their processes and increasing safety is part of it.
When approaching the safety topic, it’s essential to find the balance between plant safety and plant availability. A proper Functional Management System by implementing the standard IEC61511 is a good start where the safety lifecycle is clearly described. Risk reduction measures to avoid systematic faults or minimize the random failures is one of the mayor steps that should always be part of a safety discussion.
N. Krüger: Underestimating risks has been a common practice. Due to incidents that occurred in the process industry new standards have been
introduced as well as reports that provide experience to prevent, in some cases, dreadful events. When proper risk analysis has been done, and stakeholders from all relevant sectors in a company like finance, operations, logistics, management, etc. are part of it, we see a strong safety culture.
At Endress+Hauser we are a reliable safety partner and we suggest that all aspects of risk reduction are considered and weighed. We have identified systematic faults like wrong specification or wrong maintenance procedures as the main cause of instrument failure and that’s why Heartbeat Technology brings a new world in terms of Monitoring capabilities.
N. Krüger: We have introduced a new internal standard in Endress+Hauser to ensure that the Heartbeat Technology user experience and specifications are the same across our measurement technologies. This will bring an easier implementation and standardization of Heartbeat Technology for our customers.