Achema trade show preview (June 11 to 15, 2018 in Frankfurt)

LEWA looks back on positive business development over the last three years.

The past three years following Achema 2015 were a period characterized by several challenges for LEWA GmbH. The pump manufacturer was awarded contracts on many calls for tenders, both in the process industry and in the pharmaceutical sector—all while the market atmosphere worsened, most notably in the oil and gas sector. Despite the lack of industry growth, the company continued to make long-term investments and went ahead with an extensive expansion at the Leonberg factory site.

LEWA plans to maintain this course for 2018 – which also included the restructuring process that was completed in the meantime. This involved optimizing production and the entire manufacturing environment in general. At this year's Achema, interested trade visitors will catch an initial glimpse of innovations, some of which have been planned and others which have already been implemented.

Stefan Glasmeyer, CSO of LEWA GmbH, defines three key topics that will play a central role at the trade show:

The first is a new performance rating within the successful Ecoflow pump series. The Ecoflow LDZ will be presented as a triplex unit featuring three different pump heads, serving as a typical example of how versatile LEWA pumps are. The second key topic involves various solutions and an application example from Industry 4.0, while the third focuses on the new NIKKISO centrifugal canned motor pump models, manufactured in accordance with DIN EN ISO 2858.

“Owing to our extensive expertise and our global presence in many different regions, we achieved the highest sales in the history of the company over the past year. We were able to offset the difficult situation in the oil and gas segment thanks to orders for diverse applications in the downstream-process industries and the pharmaceutical industry,” reports Stefan Glasmeyer, CSO of LEWA GmbH, looking back at the past three years. “Furthermore, this positive development gives us reinforcement in our continued efforts to strengthen our market position.” Despite the difficult market situation in the oil and gas sector, important project bids were won at the international level. Exemplary milestones in the course of this include a chemical injection module weighing 714 tons and featuring 40 diaphragm and process pumps, implemented in Singapore, as well as the follow-up order to a major project on the Arabian Gulf, for which LEWA had previously delivered 40 pump skids in 2015: In the summer of 2017, an additional 20 pump skids were delivered, increasing flow rate by a total of 56 million m3/day. The plan is to complete the project by the end of 2018. Discussions have already been held with the client regarding an additional phase of the project.

Expansion at the Leonberg factory site

“We have expanded our capacities at the Leonberg location and have invested in new production machines, research facilities, storage facilities, test benches, painting lines and factory buildings,” says Glasmeyer. The investments that have been made give the core competencies of the company a sustainable boost and improve its position on the global market as both a manufacturer and a technology provider. A new pump testing room is part of this enhancement. Here, the pump systems are tested under the most realistic conditions possible and jointly with the customer—ultimately allowing the pumps to be optimized to the specific application. In order to achieve this, LEWA experts use exactly the same fluid in test runs that need to be pumped or metered when the application in question is run for real. Having offices close to production and production lines optimized for the value stream allows for greater production efficiency and faster deliveries than were possible with the former spatial arrangements.

Acquisition and portfolio expansion

Integrating the factory acquired from competitor Seko in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates into the supply chain on December 1, 2016 provides LEWA with manifold opportunities for expansion. “Expanding our presence in the Middle East region offers many advantages. We are now able to manufacture fully integrated systems and chemical injection packages in close proximity to one of our core markets, significantly shortening production and delivery channels,” Glasmeyer states. The takeover of the global sales and distribution of NIKKISO centrifugal canned motor pumps by the LEWA Group is another restructuring project that will be concluded in the coming year with the Chinese market integration. “As a result, our portfolio is expanded and we can be more responsive to the requirements of our customers,” Glasmeyer explains. “Furthermore, we're designing our in-house processes to be more efficient, which is reflected by faster inquiry and order processing.”

There have been developments emerging for quite some time now that will have wide-ranging effects on the future of the industry. For example, it is necessary to account for the ways in which increasing proportions of renewable energies are changing the energy mix. “Our explicit goal is to carry over the expertise from our core industries into the growth markets and to establish ourselves there as a reliable partner on the market,” explains Glasmeyer. “We have already been able to implement this successfully in many projects in industries such as the food and pharmaceutical industry. And we are continuing to make efforts to expand the application diversification of our portfolio.” In addition, pumps are not exempt from increasing digitization in the context of Industry 4.0. It is becoming more common for industrial pumps to be used both for pumping media and for recording data and analyzing it in real time during usage. The data obtained here is used for the purposes of process optimization and increasing service and maintenance efficiency.

Outlook for 2018: Milestones for the industry gathering at Achema

Achema in Frankfurt am Main in 2018 will be an important event for pump and system suppliers. LEWA has defined three key topics for the world's leading process industry trade fair: The first is the new LDZ performance rating from the Ecoflow series. It will be presented as a triplex unit with three different pump heads in order to give visitors an idea of the application range of the LEWA Ecoflow series.

“This unit will include a remote head design for extremely high and low temperature applications between – 70°C and + 400 °C, an M900 pump head in hygienic design, and an M800 pump head for high-pressure applications up to 1,000 bar,” Glasmeyer says. Naturally, other pump head options are also possible. The exhibit will be accompanied by an augmented reality animation, which allows visitors to examine the inner workings of the pump.  For the second key issue, LEWA plans to provide visitors with an understanding of its competence as a systems integrator in the area of process engineering, including highlighting the opportunities that Industry 4.0 offers to this industrial sector. As part of this topic, special data glasses for repair and maintenance support using remote service will be introduced.

“To further improve the quality and scope of our after-sales service and our focus on the customer, data glasses will be added to our customer service and maintenance portfolio within the framework of a pilot project starting in the fall of 2018. They are either included in the delivery when the contract is concluded or can be purchased additionally afterwards as a service,” reports Glasmeyer. “Our goal is to identify technical problems immediately during the service call through video and audio transmission and by exchanging documents. This way, we can guide the customer through diagnostics and maintenance work and offer them even better and faster service.” What is more is that the LEWA Ecoprime Twin series is equipped with functions relating to System 4.0, which will be demonstrated at the booth.

Thirdly, the NIKKISO centrifugal canned motor pump will also be exhibited at the booth. In order to increase market penetration in Europe, NIKKISO is currently developing models in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 2858 standard that provide a reliable alternative to conventional centrifugal pumps with mechanical seals.

Stefan Glasmeyer, CSO of LEWA, and his team will be available in person to talk throughout the Achema trade fair from June 11 to 14, 2018. Arrange a meeting here