FoodProductionDaily visited Bürkert’s Triembach-au-Val factory near Strasbourg, in France recently.
The facility employs 210 staff and is one of nine production sites within the Bürkert Group and the headquarters for the sales team covering the French market. Planned turnover for 2014 is €32.4m
Low level pollutants
The factory develops and produces industrial sensors: for the measurement of flow rates, pH values, conductivity, levels, pressures and temperatures and it has a Cleanroom for scientific research that has a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapours.
Werner Bennek, product manager, digital communication, Bürkert, told FoodProductionDaily, it has to make sure certain devices do not come into contact with any dust particles for reliability of a product.
“Sensor elements, for products such as the FLOWave need specific MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems), which we produce ourselves,” he said.
“The technology is similar to semiconductors and the structures of the devices are so small that any dust can interfere and cause failure during the manufacturing process. To avoid this, we have to be careful and staff wear protective clothing.
No dust from outside
“To ensure no dust comes from outside, the cleanroom is slightly in overpressure. There is also constant air filtration by recirculation through filters.”
Since it was established in 1965, the facility has undergone several changes. In 1968 it was used for the development and construction of thermostats and regulators for oil heating circuits.
In the late 1980s the company turned its focus toward electronics. The specialisation of individual Bürkert locations was supported as part of a company restructure. For example, mechanical engineering (solenoid and process valves) was moved from France to Germany, and in return the Alsace location took over gas flow measurement in 2008.
In the engineering department, 38 employees work on the product portfolio and development of products. The company’s R&D policy targets both investments at a local level and with external partners. (Triembach is a member of the competition cluster Hydréos - which looks at the quality of inland waters, health populations and ecosystems.)
The products and systems of the Bürkert Group are used in measuring systems and in the control and regulation of liquids and gases. Its portfolio includes solenoid valves, process and analytical valves, pneumatic actuators and sensors.