It’s hard not to be caught up in the enthusiasm of Brian Enevoldsen when he says: “We’re just scratching the surface of what automation technologies can do to help create a more sustainable, more energy-efficient world.”
The usually down-to-earth Dane has recently been put in charge of an increasingly important business area at DESMI, a company best known for its high-quality industrial pumps and which serves both land-based and maritime markets around the globe.
DESMI Automation, as Brian Enevoldsen’s division is matter-of-factly called, focuses on providing specialised automation services across all of the company’s business areas. It’s a division that is rapidly emerging as a key offering in DESMI’s broad portfolio – with the potential to extend far beyond traditional pumping applications.
On a sustainable roll
“DESMI is expanding with our markets,” says Brian Enevoldsen. “And we can see that our solid track record in automation is likely to be a key driver in this growth in the years to come.”
Much of the growth he describes is being driven by high-priority customer needs for new cost-efficiencies and competitive advantages, as well as steadily increasing pressure on shipping, offshore and industrial companies for a greener, more sustainable profile. And automation is stepping in to help them meet such challenges.
At DESMI, there’s no shortage of ambition for the new automation division. It’s backed, on the one hand, by years of experience in automating energy optimisation and, on the other, by recent investments in expertise and infrastructure to fuel development and delivery.
“We want to be regarded by our customers as the best automation supplier in our segment,” says Brian Enevoldsen. “So instead of resting on our successes in the automation field, we’ve embarked on a programme of continuous improvement in services, processes and performance.”
Part of this programme, was the early 2017 acquisition of CSEN, a company whose electrical engineers have all the skills needed to help DESMI design and manufacture a greater number of the components used in its integrated solutions. With more control over switchboards, cabling and motor, for example, the company can now automate and optimise every aspect of complete equipment skids – and offer a single point of contact for resolving any technical issues. The acquisition has also brought new capabilities in the fast-growing field of power quality management, too.
Optimising through automation
For Brian Enevoldsen and his newly expanded team, however, it’s the promise of automation that is in focus: “Automation is integral in so many things today – and optimizing energy consumption through automation is one of the most rewarding applications, both for our customers and for our planet.”
While DESMI laid the cornerstone for its automation capabilities in the world of industrial pumps, ensuring they only operate when required and at the actual energy level needed, DESMI Automation has its divisional eye on a bigger picture: “We’re extending our optimisation expertise beyond pumps to a range of other applications where automation can make a difference.”
In recent years, the maritime industry has been seeking savings wherever possible. Yet automation has been surprisingly slow to make inroads, with comparatively few ships optimising their energy consumption for pumps and similar systems, despite clear and compelling business cases. Now, however, the push is on not just to save money, but to comply with heightened environmental protection legislation, too. Here, DESMI and its automation division is a hard act to beat, particularly on its home ground of industrial pump systems.
Brian Enevoldsen explains why: “We’re able to make a significant difference because we have a very strong brand in the pump business as a global manufacturer. It’s our DNA, you might say. We know our pumps thoroughly and we’ve had more experience than most with optimising these systems with the help of automation.”
Already, hundreds of Optisave™ systems, for example, have been installed on board vessels of many different types. Optisave™ leverages automation to save energy by providing intelligent control of the ship’s cooling water system. And, with a typical investment payback period as brief as 12 to 15 months, the systems have quickly proved their worth.
Going beyond the core business of pumps, ventilation and compressors is nothing new for DESMI’s automation team. The company’s Optipower automated solutions are a case in point. Optipower™ manages the quality of power provided to systems to reduce loss within the electrical network, prevent damage from electrical distortion, and ensure that equipment such as transformers and cables is not oversized. All maritime classification societies now have regulations that require power quality to be measured on board ships as of January 1st, 2017. Many shipowners, however, are likely to first discover these requirements when docking – comprising a risk to continued operations. And DESMI Automation stands ready to help them resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
“These days, DESMI views almost every one of these automation projects as a two-sided equation,“ says Brian Enevoldsen. “It’s a win for shipowners and for land-based industries deploying automation in this way, and it’s a win in the fight against global warming, too. We’re undeniably proud to be contributing directly to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in this way – and really, we’ve just beginning this sustainability journey where automated energy optimisation is concerned. Even solar and wind energy applications are in our development searchlight, too.”
Agile development partner
There’s another asset, too, that differentiates DESMI from the larger players in the automation and pumping solution sectors. It’s the flexibility and inherent responsiveness of being a smaller player in the automation field.
“We’re better able to think out of the box than some of the largest companies in the marketplace – and quickly act on those thoughts. We want to be the people you call if you have a good idea for a green solution where automation could play a role, and you need a partner to turn that idea into reality. We’ve got all the skills, and are keen to participate in joint developments across many different industries and applications.”
One particular factor must be present in all DESMI Automation solutions: high quality. It’s a core component of the DESMI brand, and part of what has built the company’s success to date.
“We’re flexible in what we can develop with our customers and business partners, and in the way we bring solutions to market, but quality is non-negotiable at DESMI,” says Brian Enevoldsen. “And that’s the key reason that there’s no doubt in my mind DESMI Automation will get the chance to bring value to many different spheres where our skills and technology can make a worthwhile difference.”