Bürkert has developed an efficient device integration platform (EDIP) with a common user interface (büS) and digital communication, in an attempt to ‘Apple-ise’ its technology.
One of the first products to use EDIP will be its Type 8905 Online Analysis System to measure water parameters, which will be launched in September.
Heribert Rohrbeck, CEO, Bürkert Fluid Control Systems told FoodProductionDaily, Steve Jobs sold not just a methodology but an idea and a vision – useable technology to have fun with – and this is a challenge.
“As engineers, we are all freaks. It’s fun to work in a quirky environment but it doesn’t make sense if you can’t earn money from it because people don’t want to buy something they don’t understand,” he said.
“There is a lot that goes on behind the technology but we have to make it useful for our customers. They have to use it every day, they don’t want to have to think about it but buy it and forget about it, like an Apple iPhone, so it does all the work for them.
“I would like to take this image and convert it into Bürkert’s methodology because we do have fun while doing our jobs. I want to create an environment where the customers can enjoy the product whilst using it.”
Rohrbeck added, in the past when Apple launched its computers the typical engineer didn’t like it because it damaged his ego as he wasn’t needed anymore to explain the technology to someone.
In this respect, Bürkert will move from analogue to digital communication, to operate multiple devices using a single display unit to run control functions or access integrated web servers via Wi-Fi.
Using Gateway modules, it will integrate its büS network in Ethernet IP, Modbus TCP or Profinet.
“EDIP allows us to have a bigger range of products across a wider communication platform,” said Rohrbeck.
“I’m a big fan of decentralization. We were looking for a certain standard which enables us to come up with new products and add them to the range with an additional complexity, this is the major reason for EDIP.”
Speaking about the ‘components of tomorrow’ he added he had to ask himself if all its components will survive over a long period of time and if they will be compatible in a competitive market environment.
“As we are not in the market of being a cost leader we have to reinvent our components for the future meaning that we do have to add value to them so the customer can decide, not just on the price but on the benefit of the application,” he said
“I don’t want to say we will give up our water valves or standard commodity components but we might be forced to rethink our product range and to let go of certain items like temperature gages. You can buy these items from anywhere.
“This is not the market where I can personally see a future for us. We are now in discussions with our partners so that we buy these components to integrate them into our systems. Whilst doing that, we can give our products a new life and make it more interesting for our customers.”