Far ahead of its time
Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions celebrates 20 years of innovation
For two decades, Endress+Hauser has given the topic of digitalization a place it can call home. Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions is responsible within the Group for everything related to digital communications and automation solutions. Currently, applications for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are the focal point of the work.
According to Managing Director Dr Rolf Birkhofer, the creation of Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions in the year 2000 was a trailblazing decision. “What we did was to bundle important issues related to digitalization in the process automation industry in a separate company,” he explains. “A genuine pioneering and innovative spirit marked our activities from the very beginning. This spirit can still be felt today, such as in the development and operation of our own IIoT platform.”
The number of employees has grown steadily since the company’s inception. More than180 people now work for Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions – about 160 in Reinach, Switzerland, and around 20 in Freiburg, Germany, which was added as a second location in 2016. At this site, the employees primarily develop products, solutions and services for Industry 4.0 environments.
From digital fieldbus to the Internet of Things
In the early years, Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions focused its activities mainly on solutions and products in the area of communications, a phase that was marked by digital communications protocols and technologies such as PROFIBUS, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART. A further focal point was the integration of measurement instruments with the help of electronic device descriptions (EDD) or FDT/DTM technology.
Today, Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions generally focuses on applications for Industry 4.0, including the Netilion IIoT ecosystem developed by the company’s specialists. This platform ensures simple connectivity in industrial plants and enables digital services via the internet. Endress+Hauser has already rolled out Netilion to more than 20 countries.
“We have long grown accustomed to having access to digital services via our private smartphones,” says Rolf Birkhofer. In light of this trend, the managing director expects growing acceptance for cloud-based services among users of process automation and further growth for the company. “Plant operators can better exploit the potential of their device data with Netilion. That saves time, simplifies processes and prevents errors across the entire life cycle of a plant.”
Focusing on the customer experience
“For Endress+Hauser Digital Solutions, the mission of the future is clear,” says Rolf Birkhofer. “We will continue to develop digital services based on the Netilion platform, offer additional instruments and communications protocols, and provide our customers with a persuasive experience across all touch points in the digital world as well.”