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Emersons valve autom

offering is thrust

The Emerson Process

Management manufacturing
facility in Nilai, Malaysia. Home
of Fisher Valves, Malaysia and
Valve Automation, Malaysia.

y mid 2002, with numerous manufac-

As the saying goes, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
If any one company has actively sought that light for a sidelined
B turing and operating units world-
wide, eight company owned valve au-
business, then it has to be Emerson Process Managements tomation centres and more than two
hundred and fifty global distributors,
actions to right its valve automation business. Just two years ago, Emerson was a valve automation force to
a catastrophic fire destroyed the companys production facilities in be reckoned with.With an extensive
product line including rack and pinion ac-
Hengelo, the Netherlands. Following this tragedy, Emerson tuators, pneumatic and hydraulic scotch
redefined its valve automation business strategy, creating new yoke actuators, linear actuators, gas hy-
draulic actuators for pipelines, quarter
production facilities for its rack and pinion product offering and
turn electric actuators, and control acces-
successfully transforming Hengelo, the former factory for sories, Emerson had established a strong
and reliable name for itself with five glob-
producing El-O-Matic actuators, into a Configuration Centre for
ally recognized brands in the valve and
the European market. Valve World recently visited Mr Dan Button, flow control market. In short, Emersons
Mr Dave Plum and Mr Dan Wisenbaker at Emerson's headquarters valve automation business was clearly on
a path for growth through technology, so-
in St. Louis, MO, USA, to find out how the company has managed lutions, and service.
to create opportunities through adversity. That position was seriously challenged in
May of 2002 when Emersons Nether-
lands based production facility for El-O-
By David Sear and Sarah Thompson Matic actuators was destroyed overnight

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production facility and moving forward

omation with redefining our rack and pinion busi-


t back on track!
World-Wide distribution creates a
safety net
Quickly moving into recovery mode,
Emerson looked to its distributors to pro-
vide customers with the valve automation
products and services that they needed.
The comprehensive worldwide network
of distributors acted as a safety net, catch-
ing Emerson in its time of need. Mr But-
ton expresses his true gratitude: I can
very proudly say that our distributors
around the world really stepped up to take
care of our customers and provide them
with the products they needed the most.
After the tragic fire at its Hengelo, This alleviated a lot of the pressure on us,
the Netherlands, facility in May
2002, Emerson successfully put the
giving us the time to organise ourselves
recently inaugurated location in and make a start on the re-building of the
Nilai, Malaysia, at the heart of its facilities in Hengelo.
recovery strategy Mr Wisenbaker notes that a key differen-
tiator for Emerson is the amount of fin-
ished inventory available in the local mar-
kets. Fortunately, there was already a
buffer of El-O-Matic actuators in the mar-
ket place. Most of our distributors carry a
significant amount of stock, regardless of
market fluctuations. In addition, we saw
and still see - distributors working togeth-
by fire. Mr Button explains: At that time, and volume.We had just started to imple- er in order to balance their inventories.
nearly two-thirds of our rack and pinion ment this plan when the fire completely That has been a great help and speaks vol-
actuators were being manufactured in our disrupted our entire business. umes about the true customer focus of
El-O-Matic actuator facilities in Hengelo. Mr Plum continues: Our strategic plans stockists. On top of all of this, in many
Considerable sums had been invested in for the process valve industry were built cases, our customers worked very closely
lean manufacturing technology and we around the El-O-Matic actuator as the with us to identify suitable alternatives
were in the process of rolling-out a cus- foundation.With the El-O-Matic actuator and were willing to substitute products
tomer centric strategy that would lever- plant literally in the ashes, you can imag- from our Bettis or Hytork actuator
age best cost and best service in conjunc- ine that we had some initial difficulties in ranges.This is all proof that there are sig-
tion with a product strategy that afford deciding how to move forward while con- nificant advantages to having such a broad
our customers the features and benefits of tinuing to serve customer needs.We product offering: flexibility and choice to
an actuator that their individual applica- needed to act fast because of course we name but a few.
tions require.This strategy included both still had customers depending on our El-
organization and product.We were in the O-Matic products, but we were also sen- A new strategy
process of defining strategies to consoli- sitive to the expressed needs of other cus- Having resolved clients immediate con-
date capabilities into Centres of Excel- tomers wanting new products and better cerns about product availability, Emer-
lence to provide product focus via engi- service. Fortunately, we are a broad based sons management team had some breath-
neering, development and marketing of supplier with other major market brands ing space to develop a recovery strategy
our rack and pinion actuators.We were in Bettis and Hytork.Those products for its El-O-Matic actuators.Although
also discussing opportunities to leverage remained unaffected by the disruption in Hengelo had been a flagship production
production to compete more effectively the Netherlands.This gave the manage- facility, it was quickly realised that the
in the local market in the Netherlands as ment team some flexibility to focus fully predicted five years to rebuild the location
well as throughout Europe based on price on re-building the El-O-Matic actuator would prove unworkable. Instead,

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The large LEAN assembly

line spring press operation is
used for El-O-Matic sizes E600
thru P4000 and Hytork size
XL281 thru XL4586 actuators.

All Nilai-manufactured actuators are

One of the three Nilai LEAN assembly lines. This line
subjected to a 100% final integrity test
produces the smaller El-O-Matic and Hytork products thru size
including functionality and pressure /
E350 and XL221 actuators. All lines employ LEAN assembly
leakage testing.
techniques including three-bin KanBan and a seven stage
progressive assembly approach.

thoughts turned to the recently inaugurat- actually makes the actuator much more Asked which clients could benefit from
ed production facilities in Malaysia. Mr suitable for chemical and hygienic applica- the World Area Configuration Centres, Mr
Button : A viable option was to transfer tions. Furthermore, the performance, the Button makes it clear that distributors,
the entire production process of the El-O- fit and the function of the product have OEMs and end users alike can all be
Matic rack and pinion actuators to our also been improved upon, he comments served with complete product packages to
Malaysian facilities.The planned comple- suit strict and varied specifications. The
tion date of this new plant was much earli- Flexible manufacturing via World Area two established World Area Configuration
er than the expected completion of the Configuration Centres Centres in Tampa and Singapore have set a
new Hengelo facilities, and would allow Once manufactured, the new actuators trend within the Emerson group for high-
the earlier reintroduction of this product are shipped to one of Emersons three quality products, very short lead times
line. Mr Button further notes that the World Area Configuration Centres, which and competitive costing. I am convinced
new Malaysian facilities boast three assem- includes the newly refurbished Hengelo. that the new centre in Hengelo will con-
bly lines capable of building 170,000 units The other two are found in Tampa, USA, tinue that fine tradition.
per year in a range of sizes. Current and Singapore. Mr Button: Our new
monthly output is around the 10,000 unit strategy is to produce high volume very Customer care
mark, which is set to gradually increase. lean quantities in the facilities in Malaysia In addition to its World Area Configura-
Lean production is assured thanks to close and then to send them to a World Area tion Centres, Emerson continues to high-
ties with the local supply base. Configuration Centre in each of the three light its local valve automation presence
Emerson has also used the enforced peri- major world areas (Europe, the Americas via what Mr Plum calls its Local Cus-
od of reflection to further improve and and Asia).The facilities in Hengelo have tomer Care Centres.With existing facili-
develop the El-O-Matic product line. been reborn as a new World Area Config- ties located in Germany, England, France,
Asked for examples, Mr Wisenbaker notes uration Centre, where products can be South Africa and Singapore, new centres
that substantial improvements have been configured to the specific needs of the in- will be opening soon in Brazil, China,
completed in the appearance and per- dividual customer.At the same time, the Dubai and Argentina. Mr Plum explains
formance of cast components. Instead of Hengelo facilities will continue to produce how once the customer has received their
using a combination of sand casting and small quantities of special products as custom-made package of actuators, valves
gravity feed casting for the smaller body well as the high-tech Field-QTM range. and accessories, there is always someone
sizes, we can now offer customers high- Needless to say, we are all pleasantly sur- at hand at a Local Customer Care Centre
pressure die castings. Further, we have re- prised that it has not taken as long as we to offer after sales help, technical advice
placed spray-on enamel with powder coat- first imagined to get the plant in Hengelo and automation. Our Local Customer
ings.This is not just a cosmetic change, but back on its feet. Care Centres are situated in numerous

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Name: Emerson
Founded: 1890
Sales: USD 14 billion world-wide
Manufacturing base: 400-pls locations world-wide
Employees: over 106,000
Businesses: Emerson Appliance Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies
Emerson Industrial Automation
Emerson Motor Technologies
Emerson Network Power
Emerson Process Management
DeltaV Control Systems
Rosemount Measurement Devices
Fisher Control Valves and Regulators
Valve Automation (see box)
The facilities in Hengelo have been reborn as a new World Area Configuration
Centre, where products can be configured to the specific needs of the individual
customer. At the same time, the Hengelo facilities continue to produce small Solutions and Services
quantities of special products as well as the high-tech Field-Q range. Emerson Professional Tools
Emerson Storage Solutions

countries around the world. Here, our Care Centres are often combined with Going forward
customers receive a 24-hour, seven days a local distributors, meaning that new Emerson is very much in touch with the
week service. Our plan is to provide prod- equipment, spares and parts or engineer- customers wishes and takes its role as
uct and applications expertise, locally, to ing expertise are always at hand. Emerson supplier very seriously, continues Mr
help customers solve problems. Or repre- prides itself in knowing our customers Button. High-quality products, short
sentatives are available either face-to-face, place high value on prompt service, so lead times and the availability of expert
or to answer the phone and discuss and same day/next day service and delivery is technical support are what Emersons
offer advice on the problems at hand, in an important goal for us. It has been a key customers have come to rely on and
the local language. Our representatives are differentiator for us in the past and will trust. In that light, our employees can be
well-trained and qualified to protect our continue to be so in the future empha- very proud of what has been achieved in
customers investments. Furthermore, sizes Mr Plum. the past two years.We have faced some
major challenges yet have managed to re-
vitalise our rack and pinion business and
& FIGURES rebuild the facilities in Hengelo.We have
rebuilt our business and reorganised
Name: Emerson Process Management Valve Automation Division along a three-tier approach comprising
Brand names: Bettis manufacturing,World Area Configura-
Dantorque tion Centres and Local Customer Care
El-O-Matic Centres.This is already proving to be a
Field-Q successful formula. As a result, the com-
Hytork panys relationships with its distributors
Shafer and customers have strengthened and the
Major products: Pneumatic rack and pinion actuators
quality of our products has significantly
Pneumatic scotch yoke actuators
improved. Our focus has now shifted
Hydraulic actuators (gas/hydraulic, subsea, linear)
4-Turn electric
even closer to the customer and his
Control accessories
needs, which means that Emersons cus-
Torque range: 10 in-lbs to 6,000,000 in-lbs tomers can expect no less than reliable,
Key applications: On/off valves (ball. plug, butterfly, gate, 1/2 - >40) flexible, fast and efficient service, as well
Key markets: Oil & gas production, gas transmission, process, power, water & waste as Emersons high-quality actuation tech-
Key sales: North America, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Asia nology. All in all, Emerson is most defi-
nitely back and on track.

www.valve-world.net DECEMBER 2004 Valve World 25