NAMUR General Meeting 2001:
Meeting of the Automation Community brimming with technological substance

from 2011-11-17

This year's NAMUR General Meeting with a record attendance of 570 participants took place in Bad Neuenahr on 10 and 11 November 2011. As every year, the users of automation technology in the process industry met to exchange views and discuss important issues with invited experts and managers from vendors and associations. Under the title "Process Control Systems – Ways into the Future" it was in particular emerging challenges and opportunities that participants discussed this year. ABB had agreed to sponsor the meeting and with its wide range of products and services turned out to be the ideal partner for a successful General Meeting. In his comprehensive one-hour presentation in the plenary session Dr. Peter Terwiesch, the Chairman of ABB Deutschland's Board of Management, outlined his company's ideas and vision regarding the future development of automation technology. In the ABB part of the workshop programme, important sub-topics were then discussed in greater detail. ABB and NAMUR working groups jointly presented workshop papers on FDI and wireless automation. In the interest of users NAMUR especially welcomes the fact that ABB will assume a leading role in bringing together FDT and EDDL in integrated FDI applications and in combining process technology and energy optimisation in automation technology.

The General Meeting was opened by Dr. Norbert Kuschnerus (Bayer Technology Services) who in his speech pointed out that its co-operation with other associations and in particular its international orientation are of strategic importance for NAMUR. The positive development of NAMUR activities in China is a very encouraging example of such international commitment. For the third time a conference organised by our Chinese colleagues will take place in Shanghai on 23 and 24 November. The sponsor this time will be HIMA and there is every indication that the conference will enjoy record attendance. Dr. Kuschnerus extended a special welcome to the attending representatives of the European user associations EEMUA, EXERA and WIB. For the first time, these associations were given the opportunity to present their activities in the workshop programme. This well-attended workshop session was held in English which is an absolute novelty in NAMUR.

In his speech Dr. Kuschnerus also addressed the international standardisation situation which NAMUR considers highly unsatisfactory as international standardisation is today used as a strategic tool to dominate the market. He announced that in future NAMUR would pro-actively work towards making standardisation again what is was originally supposed to be, i.e. a tool to ensure technological convergence.

During his opening speech Dr. Kuschnerus awarded NAMUR's golden honorary badge to Norbert Matalla (BASF) who had been the coordinator of Work Area 3 since 2006 and very much involved in working on the issue of functional safety and the standardisation of tests carried out in the laboratories of NAMUR member companies.

Some organisational changes were also announced at the NAMUR General Meeting 2011:

After nine years in office Dr. Kuschnerus retired as chairman of the NAMUR Board of Management. His successor will be Dr. Wilhelm Otten (Evonik Industries), while Dr. Kuschnerus will remain on the Board as deputy chairman.

Prof. Hans Schuler (formerly BASF) und Dr. Peter Schuster (Sanofi-Aventis) left the NAMUR Board of Management after nine years of office. Dr. Matthias Fankhänel (BASF) and Dr. Thomas Tauchnitz (Sanofi-Aventis) were elected new Board members.

Michael Pelz (Clariant) will head the Work Area "Process and Plant Management Systems", while Thomas Scherwietes (Infracor) will act as head of the Work Area "Field Devices".

The technical motto of the General Meeting was "Process control systems – ways into the future". Dr. Terwiesch's presentation was followed by three NAMUR contributions which addressed the various aspects of this motto from the users' perspective. Among other things, the interesting results of a survey were presented which had been conducted this year among the vendors and users of control systems.

The workshop programme with a total of 31 presentations covering the entire range of automation technology aspects in the process industry offered an interesting mix of current topics and long-running issues and again attracted a large number of participants.

Energy efficiency will be with us for the next few years as a challenge to automation technology. Two presentations given on Friday morning covered this wide and fascinating area, ranging from politics to the question which cable cross-section would provide optimum energy efficiency. The presentations clearly showed that automation technology can make a substantial contribution to achieving energy saving targets also in Germany and is prerequisite for developing a sustainable, resource-conserving energy supply.

On Friday morning Dr. Otten, the new chairman of the NAMUR Board of Management, described his idea of the role of NAMUR and its contribution towards safe, resource-conserving and efficient plant operation. This objective can be achieved by exchanging experience in the working groups, developing and disseminating know-how and integrating the interests of operators in technical developments. Overcoming the still existing borders between process engineering and automation technology and ensuring technical expertise and qualification of the staff are key success factors in this process.

In order to reach its objectives NAMUR will resolutely follow the course it has adopted. Maintaining and optimising skills, adopting new technologies and guiding their development, continuing the development of international co-operation and expanding its activities into other industries are essential elements of NAMUR's strategy.

The last presentation held at the General Meeting was entitled "Actuators – the workhorses among the PCS devices" and highlighted the multiplicity of solutions available to widely varying issues in the process industry. Traditionally, the last presentation at a General Meeting provides the link to the motto of the forthcoming General Meeting which will be held at the Dorint Parkhotel, Bad Neuenahr, on 8 and 9 November 2012.

The motto of the 2012 General Meeting will be

Actuators – from manual valves to smart positioners
SAMSON, a well known vendor of valves, agreed to sponsor the Meeting; the company's technical expertise and market presence will ensure a successful event in 2012.

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