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Automation Technologies 5/2016

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Automation Technologies 5/2016

Reliable high-quality

Reliable high-quality measuring technology in every respect Martin Raab Wanhua Chemical Group has grown into one of the world’s largest chemical companies at breathtaking speed. Endress+Hauser has played a key supporting role for years. More than 5,000 measurement instruments are installed and they are extremely reliable. SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT Author: Martin Raab, Head of Public and Internal Communication, Endress+Hauser Group, Reinach, Switzerland About Endress+Hauser Endress+Hauser is one of the largest family-owned business in the process automation industry with its headquarters in Reinach, Switzerland. The company offers comprehensive process solutions for flow, level, pressure, analysis, temperature measurement and recording across wide range of industries. Endress+Hauser employees more than 12,000 people worldwide and annual revenues upto Euro 2.0 billion. World-scale plant: there are more than 5,000 measurement instruments from Endress+Hauser installed at the Wanhua chemical complex in Yantai in northeastern China AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 5/2016

What’s behind the success at Wanhua? For Sun Jinxiao, quality is the key. “It’s about the quality of the product and also about the quality of the partnership,” says the instrumentation and control equipment manager at Wanhua Chemical Group, which has been using process measurement engineering from Endress+Hauser for more than 20 years. The company relies almost exclusively on instruments with the blue label for many tasks. In 1995, a thermal mass flowmeter opened the door to the isocyanate production facility in Yantai, which was still located on the old factory grounds at the time. Wanhua was struggling with a competitor’s devices that were repeatedly causing problems due to corrosion. The Endress+Hauser instruments quickly proved their worth. Sun Jinxiao regards the products as high-quality, precise and reliable, and his points of contact at Endress+Hauser as service-oriented. “Our companies have a similar culture. That simplifies the cooperation.” Wanhua has a remarkable history. Until just a few years ago a single-product manufacturer, the company has since expanded heavily, including overseas, plus it has diversified its product offerings. Wanhua’s state-of-the-art integrated chemical complex in the new Yantai industrial park, which manufacturesisocyanates, is on par with the world’s largest integrated production sites. Demanding applications “The complex boasts more than 5,000 measurement instruments from Endress+Hauser,” reports Zhang Xingguo. The sales engineer takes care of the important customer and is intimately familiar with the plant from his time as a service technician. He estimates that two out of three flowmeters and nine out of ten level instruments are from Endress+Hauser, not to mention all the tank gauging devices. “Our products are time and again the instrument of choice, especially for demanding measurement applications.” For this reason, Wanhua uses Gammapilot radiometric instruments if levels and limit values have to be externally captured without a connection to the process. The guided radar Levelflex sensor performs a valuable service at many other measurement points to reliably monitor levels. Key insights into the process are also provided by Coriolis mass flowmeters from the Proline Promass series. “We can overcome high pressures, viscous media, different pipe diameters and even difficult installation situations,” explains Zhang Xingguo. “We carry out research and development on our own,” says Sun Jinxiao. “That means the demands on our partners are growing as well.” The instruments are often put through their paces in test installations and pilot plants prior to being used in an application for the first time. At the beginning, there were doubts about the reliability of the Coriolis flowmeter technology at lowest flow rates. “We were able to prove that the single-tube Proline Promass 83A was made for this task and delivered precise measurements,” says Zhang Xingguo. Zhang Xingguo, Endress+Hauser China The sales engineer views himself as the customer’s partner. “We not only want to sell products. We want to solve our customers’ problems.” With this approach, Endress+Hauser equipped a truckloading terminal at Wanhua that can fill 60 tankers, relying on an automation solution developed especially for the Chinese market. “The system works flawlessly and is easy to use,” confirms Sun Jinxiao. More than a business Wanhua has even bigger plans and is following an ambitious path. Zhang Xingguo is pleased to be along for the journey. “Endress+Hauser paid a lot of attention to Wanhua from the start,” emphasizes the sales engineer. “I also believe the customer always comes first.” In one instance when Wanhua urgently needed a pH electrode, Zhang Xingguo contacted a representative and another customer to acquire a replacement part on the spur of the moment. Sun Jinxiao values this type of commitment and praises the Endress+Hauser employees for “taking the initiative and being very goal-oriented.” He adds: “They can work very independently here because they are well-trained and familiar with our safety regulations. We always deal with the same points of contact. That leads to excellent relationships that go beyond mere business aspects!” Photographs: background fotolia, others Endress+Hauser Technology leader After joining Endress+Hauser as a sales technician in 2003, my mobile phone has never been turned off. It’s not different now that I’m a sales engineer. The employees at Wanhua often face difficult challenges. Even if they call in the middle of the night, I take the time to help them as best I can. I view the customer’s issues and challenges as my own. You have to put your words into action. That’s the only way to build trust and a good relationship with the customer! Wanhua Chemical Group is one of the world’s leading producers of MDI and TDI isocyanates, intermediate products of polyurethane, a versatile plastic. Headquartered in Yantai, the company also operates a highly integrated chemical complex. Wanhua markets its products in 40 countries and has subsidiaries and locations in Europe, the Middle East, America and Asia. Nearly one-third of the 8,900 employees work outside of China. AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 5/2016


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