KROHNE and SAMSON announce joint venture and new innovation
KROHNE and SAMSON have announced a joint venture, FOCUS-ON, at a press conference on 19 September 19 in Frankfurt am Main. FOCUS-ON is a newly founded company dedicated to the development, production and marketing of autonomous actuators for process industry 4.0. Coinciding with the announcement of the partnership, the company also unveiled an innovation that unites valve and measuring technology with diagnostics and control functions in one device. This combination of process instrumentation and control marks the world's first intelligent process node specifically developed for the process industries, said the partners.
KROHNE and SAMSON have equal shares in FOCUS-ON, which is registered in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. The basis for FOCUS-ON is the cooperation between the two companies, which have been working together in various marketing projects and events worldwide for over 25 years. The expansion into a strategic partnership in process instrumentation and the establishment of a joint venture was initiated by CEOs Dr Andreas Widl, SAMSON, and Stephan Neuburger, KROHNE.
"In the age of digitisation, leading innovations can only be achieved in cooperations," said Widl. "Here, two partners cooperate with full trust and at eye level.
"We brought our ideas together and from this FOCUS-ON emerged, which bundles our innovative approaches to decentralised control and predictive maintenance resulting in the intelligent process node as the first product," Neuburger added.
The technological motivation for the development of the module is explained by Dr Thomas Steckenreiter, CTO of SAMSON.
"With FOCUS-ON, we are taking a decisive step towards the autonomous factory that can produce autonomously while also autonomously optimising."
His CTO counterpart at KROHNE, Dr Attila Bilgic, added, “Developing the adaptive control function was only a first step: more important is the integration of diagnostic functions and artificial intelligence. Our autonomous actuator knows its current status, can predict future conditions, and it is capable of learning and can adapt to applications."
The intelligent process node combines three functions: sensor, actuator and control. The module measures the flow in a pipeline and regulates its valve function independently to achieve the specified set points.
"We are sure that this product significantly reduces plant complexity," Neuburger said. "Other key benefits include better and more efficient control of resources and the ability to optimise a process through extensive diagnostics. Plant availability can be significantly increased."
Due to the integrated measuring sensors for flow, temperature and pressure, the device can, for example, recognise and predict cavitation. Increased stress and the wear of the valve and the piping can be avoided or significantly reduced. Thus, plants can be operated uninterrupted and without standstill for longer periods.
Sales of the intelligent process node are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
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The combined company will provide both measurement technologies and cloud-based monitoring.