You are all aware of it: concentrated work on the further development of products, components and functionality in order to achieve ever-increasing specialization and perfection, especially in the technical field. Efficiency measures, standardization and cost reduction play an equally important role there as inspection-friendly designs for reducing shutdown times.
At NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, the application of diverse development techniques such as value analysis has resulted in innovations which have been selectively protected by patents. Constructions and functions which have already been used for several years for the product Impact Classifier Mill (ICM) could be transferred to the product Pendulum Mill (PM). On the other hand, the application of materials in the PM product have also found their use for manufacturing ICM components. At the NEA Milling Day on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme as an independent subsidiary of the NEA GROUP, several technical details were demonstrated in specialist presentations and practical workshops.
Synergy effects can be equally profitable organizationally. The leitmotif “Follow the markets” was introduced to the NEA GROUP 25 years ago. At the same time, mill construction takes advantage of the GROUP’s international locations, either employing qualified employees there or founding local companies as in Brazil and the U.S.A for Sales and Processing in the respective sales areas. The local links, support in the commercial and technical areas as well as CAD capacities are thus provided internally within the GROUP – a win-win situation for NEA and its customers.
Within compressor technology, synergy effects are also used successfully when revamping & modernizing existing own and third-party design systems. As comprehensive studies as well as safety checks are required for this in advance, the editorial is dedicated to this topic.
The transfer of experience and technical features as well as the international observation of the customer relationship in all business divisions comprise important tasks in synergy design. This issue provides you with a refreshing mix of technical and organizational views.
Enjoy reading it!
Alexander and Stefanie Peters
Once the operating conditions of reciprocating compressors change revamping is a good opportunity to make them fit for current technical specifications and process conditions. Recently NEA modernized recips in an Eastern European refinery to easily meet new requirements. Customers are considering compressor adaptations due to new or extended process requirements. Reciprocating compressors are always tailor-made and designed for a specific operating condition and for long lifetime. New developments and requirements or product specifications demand change operating conditions. Thus, the operators want to modify or revamp their compressors to match the new process conditions or changed capacity as they did in the following case. In 2003, NEUMAN & ESSER GROUP delivered a reciprocating compressor size 2SZL320H to a refinery in Eastern Europe for a desulfurization process, compressing hydrogen from 28 bar suction pressure up to 85 bar discharge pressure. The reciprocating compressor is a two-crank, horizontal, two-stage, double acting, lubricated service machine with 530 kN max. rod load. The compressor is directly driven by a rigidly coupled electric motor with a nominal driver power of 1,700 kW. The original design capacity was approx. 33,000 Nm³/h. The NEA scope for the compressor unit as a whole included the pulsation vessels, interstage cooler, interstage separator up to the last stage check valve. After only 5 years of successful operation, the hydrogen gas demand increased approx. 15% due to higher demand on clean fuel.
Verification of Compressor and Accessories Initially, the existing reciprocating compressor is re-calculated according to the original or as-built situation with the NEA compressor design tool KO³ (Compressor Optimization Version 3). This verifies that the compressor fulfills the designated process conditions without deviations and avoids general mechanical or performance problems. Following this, a calculation is made with new operating conditions. In a first step, a pre-check is made in order to see if an adaptation of the compressor for the new operating conditions is basically possible. The modification of both the compressor itself and the surrounding accessories need to be considered. If the pre-check result is positive, a revamp project is realistic. The second step is the detailed verification of a compressor revamp as an engineering study starting with a thermodynamics and compressor calculation. For this Eastern European refinery the conclusion was to install a new compressor crankshaft with an increased stroke to fulfill the new requirements within the allowable compressor limits. The piston rods and piston had to be replaced due to the existing cylinders’ running length. The advantage here is that the cylinders are not changed; the general compressor arrangement can remain. Using the advanced compressor design tool KO³ several compressor characteristics had to be checked including valve design, mechanical properties and crankshaft strength. Each compressor upgrade also effects a verification of the accessories. The new required compressor performance must be covered. According to the current legal situation in Europe, it is necessary to comply with the “Machine Directive” (CE) and ATEX regulations, if making significant compressor modifications. Depending on the kind of modification, a revamp and subsequent operation of modified equipment is only allowed in conjunction with a valid original equipment manufacturer (OEM) declaration.
Risk Analysis and Management of Product Safety The NEA GROUP has generated a spark hazard analysis and risk assessment for reciprocating compressor units. If there is a substantial modification, the assessment is performed and measures – if required – are indicated. Just as for new compressor design, major revamp jobs or modifications must comply with the advised product process. This means use of a procedure for all scheduled quality control instructions, for feasibility study, risk assessment design engineering, and fabrication. A large number of reciprocating compressors run over several decades and many can run even far longer, revamping is a good opportunity to make them fit for current technical specifications and process conditions. With the right technical support by a compressor OEM, the reciprocating compressor can be prepared for long-term operation and match the operating company’s demands. The intensive engineering in advance pays off. This way NEA always provides the technically safest and economically most reasonable solution. This was also the case with the Eastern European refinery. At the end the customer was very satisfied with the result. The delivery took place in time and at the revamp on the construction site was accomplished within only three weeks.
The NEUMAN & ESSER grinding systems process bentonite for the oil and gas industry with maximum precision and economic efficiency. Only by doing this can the extraordinary material properties be exploited to the fullest.
The mineral bentonite can be found all over the world. It is formed from weathering volcanic ash. Bentonite is a mixture of various clay minerals. It consists of 60-80% of montmorillonite. Further accompanying minerals can include quartz, mica, feldspar, pyrite or also calcite.
Primarily its exceptional properties are noteworthy: when stirred into water, as it demonstrates a so-called thixotropic reaction. It reacts as a fluid when mechanically stressed, i.e. shaken or stirred. However, it hardens in quiescent condition because its viscosity increases.
The most common use of bentonite is in drilling fluids. The bentonite in the flush fluid lubricates and cools the cutting tools whilst protecting against corrosion. As the drilling fluid generates hydrostatic pressure in the borehole, it hinders fluid and gas penetration.
Although these drilling fluids are also used for simple drilling such as wells, their true potential is only demonstrated for demanding tasks such as drilling for oil and natural gas sources and exploration on drilling platforms.
The drilling liquid conveys the drill cuttings to the surface. When the purge pumps have idle periods, the thixotrophy of the bentonite hinders the stone material from dropping back into the drilled shaft.
As a flush fluid, bentonite seals the drilled shaft from water ingress downwards and at the sides of the shaft. The mineral forms a firm sludge cake on the bore wall which provides the borehole with additional stability. The fine bentonite particles enter into the bore wall, swell and harden. Depending on the constitution of the ground structure, fine and coarse particles are needed.
Good arguments in favor of an NEA PM system
The requirements of the bentonite particles are not unusual, but nonetheless critical. API 13A “Specification for Drilling Materials” precisely regulates the technical data for the bentonite in the drilling fluid.
A leading manufacturer of drilling grade bentonite in the Middle East supplies oil and gas producers worldwide. Since 2005, he has been using a NEUMAN & ESSER grinding system for bentonite grinding. The bentonite manufacturer selection was made for a cyclone configuration with a PM 20U4 pendulum mill and an SDR radial classifier 1200 for coarse grinding from 15–25% > 63 μm.
Frank Verreck, Area Sales Manager at NEUMAN & ESSER Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, explains: “The arguments in favor of this investment were this system’s high throughput performance of nearly 18 t/h and reliable reproducibility of the product fineness as well as the outstanding selectivity. That was important for the customer. The system can be used for highly precise setting of the particle sizes, enabling precise predictions of the properties of the drilling fluid. This rules out unpleasant surprises at the oil and gas producers’.”
Grinding experiments at the NEA Test Center
Furthermore, NEA customers profit from the grinding system manufacturer’s several decades of experience. “We have offered our customers the opportunity to reconstruct their grinding process since 1940”, Frank Verreck explains. “We have various systems in our Test Center which can be used for all grinding and air separation experiments. The NEA Test Center supports the planning of new systems as well as the improvement of existing systems to optimize processes and products.”
What finally convinced the Middle East bentonite manufacturer of NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme was their impressive wear protection provided by the NEA mill. The impurities in bentonite cause increased stress, attrition and wear and tear in the mill. Nonetheless, the abrasive feed material does little to harm the mill. All the components of the grinding system are designed to be robust and wear resistant. “If our customers are as happy as this customer is, we are then particularly proud of our mills and grinding systems“, as Frank Verreck admits.
NEA Grinding and Classifying Systems for Bentonite
NEA has gained experience in grinding bentonite, bentonite-coal mixes and Fuller’s earth. Today, more than 50 bentonite grinding systems are successfully in operation. Cut point range and maximum particle size can be set very precisely, both for the small mills and the large systems which grind bentonite up to 40 t per hour fine or 55 t per hour coarse. Moist feed material with up to 18% water content can be processed without any problems. An efficient hot gas generator provides the required heat necessary to dry the bentonite, while simultaneously grinding and classifying the product in the mill. The NEA grinding system has low costs for wear and tear, maintenance, electricity and is thermally efficient.
|Montmorillonite||Due to the montmorillonite, bentonite provides special properties relating swelling properties and adsorption. The triple-layer silicate can intake an exceptional quantity of water and extends by a multiple of the original size. The inner surface of a gram of bentonite is 400–600 m² – normal clay only has 2 m². The swelling and viscosity behavior of bentonite in the presence of water as well as its particularly high inner surface open numerous application options for the mineral.|
|Application||Bentonite is used as a food additive as well as in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as an additive in ceramics, in foundries, for paper and detergents and also as a surface coating in nanotechnology for varnish and paint. The multifaceted mineral is a heat stabilizer in plastics, air purgers, absorbents and binders.|
A multi-level atrium, specially built in the production hall, provided space to accommodate some 190 invited guests from 19 countries including long-term customers, business partners and suppliers.
Managing Partners Stefanie and Alexander Peters together with Managing Director Manfred Salgert were proud to open this technical event, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the foundation of NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme. Their speeches took the audience through the history of milling technology from its inception in 1931 to the present day, highlighting the successful milestones of growth and product development along the way. As pendulum mills were the cornerstone the business was built on, a suitable prelude to the series of presentations that were to follow was provided by the SGL GROUP, a long-standing customer in this field. Hermann-Josef Reuter, Head of Production at their Bonn plant, shared his experience operating the early NEA pendulum mill series before proceeding to highlight the advantages of both the new PM 08 with Direct Drive, and the Cyclone Filter CF 40. He was particularly enthusiastic about the consistency in product quality and the increase in feed rate at comparably lower power consumption since their installation last year.
Guests from the powder coating industry were visibly astonished by the operator presentation that followed, when Leo D`Anna, Plant Manager at IGP Pulvertechnik AG in Switzerland, presented the performance range of results and particle size distributions from comparative tests he had run at the NEA Test Center using a variety of grinding tools. His conclusions caused the various ICM grinding tools and the cast iron ICM 96, a global first, to be among the most popular attractions when the spacious exhibition area was opened.
Placing a pronounced focus on technical details, Karl-Heinz Schwamborn, currently Product Manager at NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, then presented the innovations in NEA’s new generation of cyclone filters. No sooner had the applause died down when he found a very special highlight in the programe waiting for him: Mr. Salgert along with many customers Mr. Schwamborn had been close to, such as Dr. Michael Scheiter from CWS Powder Coatings, Sonny Smith from I.V.C. Industrial Coatings, USA and Metin Mizrakli from Pulver Kimya Sanayive Ticaret, Turkey, provided him the honor, in speeches, letters, or video messages, of bidding him farewell upon his upcoming retirement after a total of 23 years as Managing Director and later Product Manager at NEUMAN & ESSER. Clearly moved, Mr. Schwamborn left the stage carrying an 1:10 scale ICM model that the factory apprentices had made for him.
This exceptional finish to the presentations left everyone in perfect mood for the little ceremony that was to follow, the Flying Buffet in the festival tent. Here Mr. Salgert proposed a toast to celebrate the company’s anniversary, accompanied by three costumed “Walk Acts”; a brilliant trio of performers representing the NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme sites in Germany, USA and Brazil and who created a jovial atmosphere in the tent.
The program was far from over after lunch. The afternoon agenda was specifically reserved for hands-on workshops, giving visitors a detailed insight into various NEA technologies. Guests could cherry-pick from a series of parallel sessions and either attend presentations on such technical particularities as explosion protection or ultrafine classification, or take part in the four workshops in the NEA Test Center. Here guests were able to observe grinding tests using the pendulum mill PM 05 DD and the ICM 12, the process and results of which were also broadcast live into the production hall. The visitors’ interest was caught in particular by the practical demonstrations which showed how to fit an ICM 60 with new replacement parts and how easy it is to disassemble and maintain the PM pendulums, including the grinding rolls.
After a day of intensive exchanges with customers and positive feedback, a very pleased Mr. Salgert addressed the guests in the atrium in his final speech of the day. These closing words included his vision of the future for NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme: continued reliance on the company’s innovative drive, venturing into new areas of application, further internationalization and most of all its continued evolution to become a solution provider by increasing the scope and number of systems delivered.
The growing supply of shale and so-called “unconventional gas” in North America has seen a corresponding demand for reciprocating compressor packages. This has prompted NEA USA and NEAC Compressor Service USA to invest extensively in this sector in order to support customers. Unlike other providers, however, they also apply the API 618 standards to these applications. In an advertising campaign launched in 2009, NEA USA started to actively promote a “Made in Germany” compressor with a “Made in the USA” package to these markets, and their achievements are clear to see. With over 750 API 618 packages across North and Central America, these two American companies have, since their foundation in 1992, continually proven their ability to successfully manage projects from proposal to final commissioning.
The investments made by NEA GROUP USA from 2012 to 2014 were substantial: Several experienced industry veterans were hired, technical cooperation with GROUP headquarters in Germany in product development was intensified, and geographic sales coverage increased. To meet the stringent technology standards they have set themselves, NEA USA works closely together with NEA GROUP’s Central Division of Technology department in Germany on customized compressor systems. This strategy ensures that all aspects of compressor performance and mechanical design are optimized.
The result: NEA GROUP USA is perfectly positioned to serve customers in the Upstream and Midstream sectors (gas production, transport and storage), who require extremely reliable systems for highly demanding applications and value highly efficient, quality project management.
NEA USA continues to promote and differentiate itself from all other packagers in the USA through its focus on engineering and project management. When developing projects, NEA USA creates detailed 3D models with the customer right from the start. Interactive and meticulous reviews of these 3D models in collaboration with the customer provokes important discussions on issues such as control logic and finalizing instrumentation components, which assures the customer that they will be receiving the customized package they desire.
The fruits of this “tailor-made” approach can be seen in just a sample of the projects won by NEA USA in 2014:
For each of these projects, NEA GROUP USA developed a robust installation and commissioning plan in close collaboration with the customer.
NEA USA and NEAC Compressor Service USA know that they have a unique selling point in their service offer as an OEM compressor manufacturer and service provider for the Upstream and Midstream sectors. The customer receives a compressor system tailored to meet his exact requirements and has a single contact partner throughout the entire design and commissioning process. From the initial meticulous design of the compressor system to the final on-time installation plan – an unconventional supplier of compressor solutions in a market for unconventional gas.
NEA USA and NEAC Compressor Service USA were proud to take the stage at the 43rd Turbomachinery Symposium in Houston from Sept. 22 to 25, as one of the 343 exhibitors in the oil & gas downstream sector. The NEA 130 frame horizontal compressor was definitely among the fair’s central attractions, which prompted lively discussion about its size and material properties. For NEA GROUP USA, this was also their debut as a sponsor of the event. This corporate branding objective also clearly surpassed expectations given the large number of visitors.
In the first week of October, the Gas Machinery Conference (GMC) was held in Nashville, Tennessee. GMC is a meeting point for experts in the North American natural gas market and is the major platform for the NEA GROUP USA team to gain end-user awareness. NEA GROUP USA put on a great show by exhibiting the 250hs frame horizontal compressor, and discussing the many queries posed by visitors from the upstream and midstream sectors. Dr. Klaus Hoff, Head of Central Division of Technology at NEA GROUP, was invited to fly in from Germany to give a technical lecture on how to select the most suitable coupling for a drive train. His impressive presentation was evident by the great numbers of visitors flocking to the exhibition stand with questions and feedback.
The congress center at the Hofburg in the heart of Vienna was the stunning venue for the 9th EFRC Conference from Sept. 10 to 12. The special ambience that infuses the former imperial residence undoubtedly contributed to the success of the conference, as the over 350 experts from 25 countries present all agreed.
Both operators and manufacturers of compressors and components were able to enjoy a varied program on the theme of reciprocating compressors which included a half-day workshop to introduce the 2-day event, 15 sessions with 40 presentations on technology and operation, and an exhibition area boasting 25 stands. As a brand-new addition to the program, the session “Technology Update” featured presentations on the latest product developments. NEA GROUP Germany was able to demonstrate its extraordinary technological expertise on the topics of foundation refurbishment and revamps and modernizations, which caused many visitors to join the NEA stand afterwards for lively discussions. Here a multimedia world awaited them. “Augmented reality”, the new generation of 3D animation, was used to impressive effect to display the special features of the NEA innovations BLUESTROKE® and BLUEPOCKET® as well as NEAC Compressor Service’s 3D laser measurement technology. All aboard for the 10th EFRC Conference in Dusseldorf in 2016!
After Vienna, Copenhagen and London, NEA GROUP couldn’t miss the opportunity of exhibiting at the international EAGE fair in Amsterdam in June. Immensely popular, stands are usually booked up far in advance but, thanks to well-timed organization, NEA managed to secure an attractive stand.
Naturally, the rampant world cup fever at the time had also spread to the EAGE in Amsterdam. The German win against Portugal on the very first night of the fair was the perfect prelude for a successful exhibition.
The main goal at this fair was to showcase the new oil-free seismic series BLUESAPS®. The exhibition stand was staged around the ‘Movie Tower’. Its cutting-edge LED technology not only caught the eye of every expert visitor, but also made great use of 3D animation to clearly display the differences between the oil-lubricated SAPS and the oil-free BLUESAPS® systems. The EAGE once again gave NEA GROUP the opportunity to get the latest news from the seismic industry and to hold detailed talks about new projects with both long-standing and potential new customers. We have already set our sights firmly on the next EAGE 2015 in Madrid.
This was the first time that the entire NEA staff had come together, thus fulfilling a personal dream of Hanns H. Begass. As Managing Director, he had played a leading role in developing and integrating the production site in Wurzen and was therefore an important bridge builder between East and West. He had a trio of reasons to celebrate in 2014: his 65th birthday, his 25th anniversary in the service of the company, and completion of the final chapter in his successful career.
For this occasion, Managing Partners Stefanie and Alexander Peters invited every employee from Übach-Palenberg, Wurzen and Stassfurt to company headquarters, welcoming a total of 465 guests. This meant that the production site on Werkstrasse had the honor of hosting the largest company celebration in over 180 years of company history.
To begin the celebrations, Stefanie and Alexander Peters, together with the Senior Company Consultant Klaus Peters, praised the successful manager’s work and highlighted the importance of his role in transforming the business from a single company into a global group player. After this, the works councils from each production site held a laudatio for Mr. Begass, regaling staff with anecdotes from their time spent working together. As he accepted the presents, certificate and best wishes, he was visibly moved.
Joram Seewi, comedy juggler and TV celebrity, acted as master of ceremonies to guide the guests jokingly through the evening’s program. He was a great hit, entertaining everyone with his juggling, witty quips and cheeky tricks.
The teams really enjoyed the tug-of-war competition that followed; a revenge match for the 90th anniversary celebrations at STASSKOL in 2011. In twelve teams, divided into women, men, and apprentices, of five members each, the colleagues from the various NEA sites lined up to do battle. These highly dramatic ten-person contests and bitter duells were refereed by Joram Seewi with roars of support from the crowd.
And even if the team from Übach finally had to admit to defeat at the hands of their colleagues from the East, everyone enjoyed it tremendously. This was a farewell that most retirees can only dream of.
Company Run in Leipzig
The 7th Leipzig company run took place on June 4 and was again a successful event. More than 10,000 runners took their marks on the roughly 5 km-long course around Leipzig’s FIFA World Cup stadium. Amidst this colorful crowd, 23 NEA sportspersons could be made out in their new, stylish NEA running shirts and E-NEA-RGY socks.
Under ideal weather conditions, the fun aspect was predominant, however sporting ambition did not suffer. Therefore virtually all the runners were able to improve their times considerably compared to the previous year. Cold isotonic drinks awaited them as a well-deserved reward after reaching the finishing line.
In a pleasant get-together with live music, the runners let this impressive event draw to a close. Everyone agreed: next year again and maybe more of the Wurzen colleagues will also feel like lacing their boots and participating in the 2015 company run.
Company Run in Aachen
The Aachen company run took place for the third time on the evening before the “Day of German Reunification”. Under sunny skies and temperatures just over 20°C, more than 6,400 starters from 430 companies met. Some 50 of the runners were from the NEA Übach-Palenberg headquarters.
As in Leipzig, the emphasis was not only on sporting success. NEA primarily values the team spirit, but also the employees’ health. Nonetheless, NEA can be proud of the results. Supported by vociferous colleagues, the E-NEA-RGY 5 team reached an excellent 22nd place in the team rating from a total of almost 750 teams on both courses. The E-NEA-RGY 10 team even achieved a highly commendable 12th place.
The Aachen company run also stood for supporting charities in 2014. With the run, the organization team attempts to support the sports clubs and institutions in Aachen which clearly work for health, movement, integration and non-violence between children and youths. Three selected projects from Aachen and the region are supported by the Aachen company run with a total donation of 15,000 euros.
NEA has been busy building again, this time round virtually. The Integrated Management System has been given a new “home”. We already reported in Issue 26 that new software for managing the IMS documents, based on Microsoft SharePoint, will be introduced. Last but not least due to its flexible extension options, the decision was taken in favor of the QUAM software from the company Lintra in Magdeburg, Germany. QUAM stands for Quality, Environmental Protection and Work Protection Management. QUAM not only steers the documents, but guides the employees in a targeted manner to the information needed – faster and more clearly than to-date. A total of more than 30 editors were involved in the transfer of the contents. New names were introduced, instructions are now processes, department names have been changed and a lot more has been adapted. However, it was well worth the effort. A lean and clear-cut system has resulted. With it, a constant information platform exists, which will link further applications in the future. Switchover took place on Sept. 1, thus releasing the new system for the companies in Germany. Currently, international rollout is in progress at the GROUP’s other locations. The target is that all NEA GROUP companies work with this system by the middle of next year. Therefore, right in the sense of ISO, the Integrated Management System will enjoy continuous improvement.
New CAD system allows the NEA GROUP to grow even closer together
Already at the beginning of 2014, NEUMAN & ESSER Deutschland started using a new CAD system. The intelligent software stores a system’s technical attributes such as temperatures, pressures etc. centrally. Everybody involved in the engineering process from the Engineering, I&C and CAD departments can make use of it and work on it together with the colleagues, and that worldwide. Data security and confidential handling of customer information are paramount when exchanging data.
However, prior to this, the employees of the globally spread NEA locations must be trained to handle the software. Therefore, from Oct. 6 to 24, the 1st International CAD Training took place at the Übach-Palenberg location with 16 key users. The participants from the Sales und Application Centers in Brazil, the U.S.A., India, Italy and Germany mostly practiced handling the software functionalities already implemented.
In order to make it possible for all users to use an identical layout, a tool was developed in the CAD project which enables multilingualism of the CAD software. Technical features and labels can be translated into any language needed. Moreover, simultaneously a pilot project was implemented successfully at the end of 2013, whereby the SAP system takes over and integrates the technical CAD data. Implementation in Germany will begin in 2015.
“What belongs together is now growing together with the new system”, as Project Manager Mike Gorgas describes the global CAD system integration status. Since the end of November, all the key users from the training have been equipped with the required CAD and SAP software as well as the corresponding access rights.
The top item on the agenda of the 3-day Commercial Team Meeting in July was SAP, which in particular involved an intensive exchange of experience after the “go live” introductory phases in the UAE, Italy and Germany. The approximately 20 participants from NEA GROUP sites across the globe that had gathered watched exciting live sessions of sample bookings in the finance, controlling, warehousing and logistics modules. Next on the agenda were a series of interesting presentations on health management, the new IMS software QUAM as well as assembly and guarantee insurances.
To digest this intake of heavy facts, the party took an excursion to the CHIO show arena in Aachen; a great opportunity for intercultural exchange while watching a horse show jumping tournament. Joachim Steuck, new Head of Commercial Administration at the production site in Übach-Palenberg who organized the meeting, had developed a special programe for this year’s get-together: ”I made a point of fostering a team spirit at the meeting, and making sure there’s a clear understanding of everyone’s roles”, he explains. This clearly went down well with participants. ”We have devised ways of how to improve cooperation between headquarters and other sites and now we will work together to put these into action”, said Alessandro Mandurino, Vice President Administração & Finanças of NEA América do Sul in Brazil. Who could ask for more?
Over 20 employees of NEAC Compressor Service, from sites across the world, came to Übach-Palenberg to attend the Global NEAC Sales Meeting from Nov. 6 to 8.
The event focused on giving an introduction to the use of a range of software platforms to manage and maintain customer and compressor data. NEA’s CRM system enables the GROUP to care for customers to a consistently high standard and to manage all the commercial aspects of each compressor. Maintaining and updating the machine and customer data bases was therefore the subject of intense discussions at the Global NEAC Sales Meeting.
The Compressor Dashboard is a SharePoint-run machine database, and is effectively the technical cockpit of NEAC Compressor Service. It contains all of the documentation and data for the lifecycle of each machine, including records of all international service visits. The MoC is the first SharePoint-based process that is interactively managed and used to administrate change management for each compressor.
All of these systems are intended to conserve knowledge and, in addition, all of the historical technical and commercial data about every single machine will be available anywhere in the world, “at the touch of a button”. This, combined with the expertise at each global NEAC site, will ensure that customers receive the exact support they need, whenever they need it. It will also guarantee that customer data is protected against unauthorized access by third parties – one of NEA’s highest principles.
On the final day of the NEAC meeting, the participants visited the bird of prey station in the Eifel National Park in Hellenthal. Having a bald-headed eagle perch on their arms was a daring experience for many!
NEAC Managing Director Bernd Wagner was extremely satisfied with the way the Global NEAC Sales Meeting had gone. “Our widespread international staff are increasingly taking to heart that we are a single team, acting globally. We have become a unit.”
After tremendously successful Milling Days in Colombia and Brazil, NEUMAN & ESSER continued exploring Latin America in Ecuador, bringing experience and expertise to new clients. Mining experts from different companies gathered at these events to talk about their issues and needs, and discuss the current state and future of the mining industry.
NEUMAN & ESSER Sistemas de Moagem e Classificação Ltda also presented new developments and technological innovations to the participants in the Peruvian capital of Lima. As these events were so well received, NEUMAN & ESSER is now planning and looking forward to further Milling Days. This successful tour of Latin America is due to continue, with a meeting of companies in Mexico in the coming months.
For the first time, NEAC Compressor Service organized the “Training on the Road” in Germany and Austria. NEAC has continued its service concept systematically by holding its lecture series in the customers’ immediate vicinity. With the “Training on the Road”, they were then able to profit locally from NEAC’s solid technical know-how.
The NEAC experts held technical presentations in the five cities Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Cologne and Linz. The topics were: General Overhaul, Piston Rod Seals, Compressor Fitness Checks and Life Cycle Observation. Thomas Lüder, NEAC Sales Manager Germany, was impressed: “It really went down like butter. Let’s do it again!”
Ilya Asser, NEAC Sales Manager Austria, also reported consistently positive feedback: “Mutual exchange was highly intense. Such a platform where the Austrian compressor operators meet in this manner clearly does not yet exist.”
There are currently some 90 trainees embarking on their professional careers across the three NEUMAN & ESSER production sites. Such an apprenticeship at NEUMAN & ESSER goes beyond training the purely professional skills. It is equally important to strengthen social skills and provide a forum to stimulate thought and discussion on topics not normally in focus for these young people. This has become the particular goal of the annual apprentice excursion, which also gives the trainees the opportunity to get to know their colleagues from the other sites, as was the case once again this year in September.
The first stop on this year’s tour was the youth hostel in Dusseldorf. A varied outdoor team training event then followed in the meadows by the river Rhine. After dinner, the trainees set off for a nighttime GPS tour in an illuminated mothballed smelting works, set in the Duisburg Landscape Park. After such an active start, the quieter schedule planned for the next day gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. A viewing of the headquarters production facilities and afternoon guided tour of Aachen was brought to a cozy conclusion in the famous “Pontviertel”, home to the city’s nightlife.
Wednesday was dedicated to the topics of health and addiction, and began with a presentation by the DKMS, the German Bone Marrow Transplant Registry. Listeners were particularly impressed when a young man who had already acted as a donor shared his experience with the audience and was able to address many questions and allay anxieties directly. The apprentices were then encouraged to have their bone marrow type tested and registered as potential donors. In subsequent workshops, run by the addiction assistance center “Suchthilfe Aachen”, the young participants were made aware of the risks of addiction substances such as alcohol, cannabis and synthetic drugs like crystal meth carry.
The event-packed summer festival the following day rounded off an exciting week, after which it was time for the 40 apprentices from Wurzen and Stassfurt to pack up and head for home, waving their colleagues from Übach-Palenberg goodbye until next year’s apprentice excursion in 2015.
Part 6: Paradise for Fun and Games
STASSKOL GmbH Managing Director Thomas Borchardt, and Chairperson of the Workers’ Council Dörthe Peulecke were guests at the inaugural celebration of a child daycare center playground in June 2014. One year earlier, flooding had caused devastating damages there.
Close to the company’s Staßfurt headquarters in Germany, the “Gronaer Spatzen” outdoor facilities in Bernburg became a victim of the flooding in 2013. The playground was fully flooded, necessitating the replacement of the fence, lawn area and all playground apparatus.
STASSKOL itself was again a victim of flooding in 1994. The premises and machinery stood under water for several days. Therefore it was natural for the employees to help.
Together with Company Management, they donated some 1,700 euros for the elimination of the damages in the daycare center. The children thanked the helpers and companies who helped with a short program and presents.
Lord Mayor of the city Bernburg, Henry Schütze, cut the inaugural ribbon ceremoniously and the children rushed to the new playground apparatus. Prior to this, the 33 children and five educators from the daycare center thanked the helpers for the fantastic support and sung for them, gave them homegrown sunflowers and photos of the new playground. “We would not have been able to replace all the playground apparatus without the donations”, said Sabine Burau, Manager of the children’s facility, ”the playground has really ended up being lovely”.
NEUMAN & ESSER donated the Technical University of Dortmund a piston compressor, which can used both in a gas volume test stand and for teaching purposes. At the inauguration, Prof. Andreas Brümmer (left), Head of the Chair of Fluidics, thanked NEA’s Managing Partner Alexander Peters (center) and Gerhard Knop (right) from the Central Division of Technology.
On July 24, 2014, a new gas volume test stand was inaugurated at the Technical University of Dortmund. It is used by the institute to explore different stationary and non-stationary issues in the field of fluid mechanics. In addition to the required operational and technical control modules, in particular a pulsation generator as well as the measurement section and the associated measuring technology comprise the test stand research area.
Construction of the test stand started about three years ago and was then completed gradually with the various components. The first was the NEA reciprocating compressor 2TZS20 (a 2-stage, dry-running, size 20 vertical compressor). NEUMAN & ESSER provided the Technical University of Dortmund with the recip back then. The NEA compressor’s task in this test stand is the static charging of the closed loop with up to 10 bar.
However, the NEA reciprocating compressor is not only applied in the test stand: it is mostly used for teaching purposes. It is equipped with cylinder pressure indication, enabling clear demonstration of pressure build-up and pressure profile of the two stages to the students. The crankcase is covered with acrylic glass plates, enabling observation so that the movements of the inner parts can be observed in detail during operation.
Following the preparation of the company chronicle on the occasion of the 175th company anniversary in 2005, back then under the supervision of Stefanie Peters, her father Klaus Peters, now NEA GROUP Senior Consultant, has matured the idea to release a further large publication this year. Its title is ”Fine cloth – the rise and fall of the cloth industry based on the Eupen and Aachen textile entrepreneurial family Wilhelm Peters during the period from 1830 to 1970“. But why exactly this book and why this year? If you are familiar with the NEA company chronicle, you will also know the answer. Wilhelm Peters, Klaus Peters’ great grandfather, was born in 1814 in Meerholz, Hesse, and passed away in 1889 in Eupen, Belgium. He is the progenitor of the entrepreneurial Peters family and, as the founder of the Eupen cloth factory W m. Peters & C ie. in 1837, was the first textile manufacturer in his family. His sons and grandchildren follow his entrepreneurial vocation. Here we come full circle to Klaus Peters, who has taken the company founder Wilhelm Peters’ 200th birthday as the occasion for this opulent work, financed by the Peters family NEUMAN & ESSER Foundation. Every reader who has held it in his hands once will bear witness: “Fine Cloth” is a testimony to industrial development on the left bank of the Rhine.
Nine and a half years of rehearsal and the birth of their daughter Amelie in February had prepared Stefanie Peters and Peter Fleige well for the wedding vows they took in front of the Lord Mayor at 11 am on June 28, 2014 at the Couven Museum in Aachen. 200 guests joined them to celebrate as the little family embarked on this new journey through life. The biblical floods that accompanied the festivities all day and well into evening must be a good omen for a very happy marriage. As they say in Italy, no rain, no gain!
The end of 2014 will see three key figures of the NEA GROUP go into retirement. They all have worked for NEUMAN & ESSER for over 20 years, and both witnessed and shaped its growth from single enterprise to global player – each in a different department. Hanns H. Begass, in his roles as Managing Director of the production sites in Übach-Palenberg and Wurzen and Controller of the NEA GROUP, was the indispensable right-hand man first of the Managing Partners Klaus Peters, and after 2007 of Stefanie and Alexander Peters. As such he was substantially involved in the strategic planning and development of the GROUP, and was the bridge that spanned the generations.
Karl-Heinz Schwamborn was responsible for establishing the ICM as a product in the GROUP and for its continuing development. As Managing Director of NEA Mahl- und Sichtsysteme, in charge of sales and technology for the ICM and PM series, he made a lasting international name for himself with customers.
Siegfried Meyer manages the standard product range of compressors, a vital part of the CO2, biogas and seismic areas of application. As Vice President Sales at NEA Deutschland, he is also a member of the biogas association. Among his many other achievements, it was his technical expertise that made the success of the biogas series possible.
These three “veterans” are going to be sorely missed, both on a professional and personal level. On the bright side, however, all three have made sure their unique expertise remains within reach and in the hands of highly capable successors, who have been working alongside them to learn the ropes over the past few years. And if there is anything at all we are not quite sure of – we know exactly where they live!
■ Since Jan. 2014: Commercial Manager at NEUMAN & ESSER GmbH & Co. KG; since Jan. 2015 also Head of GROUP Controlling
■ Born on Aug. 14, 1959 in Aachen, Germany, Joachim has a daughter and son and lives together with his partner in Aachen
■ 1979-1985: Studied Economics at the RWTH Aachen University Degree: Master in Business Administration
From 1985 to 2013 he occupied leading positions in controlling or managed the entire commercial division of the following production plants and service providers in Germany:
■ William Prym Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Stolberg, Rhineland, metal working sector
■ AGITmbH, the Aachen Enterprise for Innovation and Technology Transfer
■ WIRTH Maschinen- und Bohrgeräte-Fabrik GmbH, Erkelenz, manufacturer of machines and drills
■ AREVA Energietechnik GmbH, Schorch transformer division, Mönchengladbach, power technology
■ Schumag AG, Aachen, production and sale of precision made metal parts for the automotive industry
■ devolo AG, Aachen, production and sale of dLAN (direct local area networks)
Hobbies: ■ Volleyball, jogging and dancing salsa