Swiss measurement engineering specialist, Endress + Hauser (E+H), invested $40 million in new plants for flow, level, and pressure engineering in Greenwood, Indiana. The Endress family, headed by CEO Klaus Endress, owns the 60-year-old company with a presence in 47 countries, plus an additional 70 countries represented by independent reps.
Production takes place at 22 locations in 12 countries, with more than 10,000 associates on staff. The company has a 73% equity ratio and nearly $2.2 billion turnover.
An extension to the new Greenwood building occupied only five years ago created more than 85,000 sq ft of additional space. The systems for calibrating flowmeters now include the latest technology for gas calibration. The plant for level and pressure engineering moved into a new building with more than 105,000 sq ft of ground area directly next door. The additional production areas will increase the scope of production, while the vacated facilities space will allow for a new visitor and training center for the U.S. sales organization. E+H has had its own sales center in the United States since 1970. "More than 80% of the measurement instruments we deliver in the USA today are now made in the USA," said Todd Lucey, managing director of the U.S. sales center. "We are a proud American company with strong Swiss roots."
The company's roots are grounded in Endress soil. Klaus Endress, CEO, was enthusiastically proud of the company's accomplishments and the direction it's headed, given what the future holds.
"It's important to reduce the carbon footprint," said Endress. "It's important to have some cost savings. We offer support in energy monitoring and management for things such as reduction of waste or loss of material, improvement of plant safety, inventory management, reduction of total lifecycle cost of products and other assets. You cannot rely on what's happening next year. Maybe you have budgets and meet your budgets. But how you reach them is not the budgets. We live in a volatile world. One has to become anti-fragile. Surviving in an ever-changing world and having an advantage from it. We need to have long-range plans and rely on the flexibility of our own people and grab the business where it is. In one year maybe China is declining for us, and this year it is 25+%. This year in the United States we are just about even with last year. In previous years, it was 20% up. Countries performing well last year may not be doing that this year and the other way around."
Matthias Altendorf, managing director, PC Mulbergh, who also is the incoming CEO to replace Endress as he retires, addressed the importance of technology changes. "Remember when the microprocessors came in the 1970s," he said. "You have changes over time on the technology side. You have changes in the manufacturing process. We have a very open eye for changes. Our people deal with those changes. The change in our industry today is the Internet, the transparency, the cloud services. We'll deal with those step by step."
Endress reinforced the importance of always looking forward. "Whatever we go through, you could see it a long time before if you have a watchful eye," he said. "I don't believe in step changes. Biotech is going to change our world. Plants are going to be smaller."
Attracting the right caliber of people in the United States and in Indiana is a big issue, said Lucey. "We can help to support and lead the efforts in the educational system," he explained. "We go to Purdue University as part of the Automation Federation, which has developed an automation engineering curriculum. One of our biggest customers, Dow, talks about finding the workforce. We have to take it upon ourselves as industry leaders to support that area."
E+H fosters a culture that is in favor of our customers and employees, said Altendorf. "That means safety," he explained. "When you go around the world, we have a great interest that our employees are healthy and safe. The people are doing the job every day, and we want them to be comfortable and safe. We have high safety measures and high safety standards. All of our factories are certified to industry standards."