Yokogawa dedicates Houston sales, service complex

04/20/2006


HoustonYokogawa dedicated its 100,000 sq ft sales and service complex in Sugar Land, TX, on March 8, with top management and other officials participating in a "spiritually refreshing" sake ceremony, offering blessings, happiness, and good business to assembled employees, customers, partners, other guests, and their families. The building, on a 20-acre site, opened in September 2005. It has a Customer Care Center, presentation room, three demo rooms, Global Response Center, Transmitter Regional Modification and Distribution Center (RMDC), Analytical Lab, conference rooms, training rooms, and areas for engineering, sales, staging, and shipping. For hurricanes Katrina and Rita, part of the building served as a staging area for equipment and supplies for afflicted industries.

David Johnson, Yokogawa 's first U.S.-born president and COO, says the facility ideally suits customers and will provide a stronger local presence for Yokogawa in the heart of the energy and petrochemical industries. "North America offers the most competitive dynamic market for process control, with a wealth of customers, management, and talent in the Houston area. This facility accurately reflects our employees' goals and intentions in the marketplace," Johnson says. Comments were just prior to participating in a ritual using wooden mallets to break open a barrel of rice wine. Traditional method of drinking is from a cup-sized wooden box, but glasses were available; the boxes were offered upon departure.

The facility includes a 3,000 sq ft demo room, the only one in the company to incorporate products (on two operator consoles and 15 kiosks) from all Yokogawa business units: Network Solutions; Field Instrument Solutions; Test & Measurement Solutions; Analytical Solutions; and Systems Solutions. A pumping process demo called the "Sugar Land Water Works" includes an Evans eight-screen console and shows interoperability of FOUNDATION and HART instruments offered by Yokogawa. The console shows Yokogawa's Plant Resource Manager on two screens, Centum CS 3000 and ProSafe-RS on four screens and the Exa Products Suite (Yokogawa's advanced solution software) on two more screens. Near the front of the room are kiosks with products of Yokogawa partners: Pepperl + Fuchs, MTL, Phoenix Contact, Ohmart Vega, and MooreHawke. Three person-years of engineering time went into the demo room alone.

Interoperability Lab tests the interoperability among various vendors' equipment and the Yokogawa's Centum distributed control system.

Global Response Center handles customer service in conjunction with other response center worldwide to fulfill customer needs any day, around the clock.

Process Control
Process Control

Kiyoshi Makino, chairman and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America (right), wearing a "happy coat," dips into the broken wooden sake barrel, serving up blessings, happiness, and rice wine at the company's new 100,000 sq ft Sugar Land facility (left). Photos by Mark T. Hoske.

Transmitter Regional Modification and Distribution Center provides calibration, modification, and pressure testing of transmitters and manifolds. Transmitter electronics can also be changed out to accommodate various networks. Customers also can send in hand-held communicators for an update to device drivers.

Analytical Lab offers application engineering on gas chromatograph (GC) and Fourier Transform near-infrared (FTNIR) products. Yokogawa offers sample testing, column manufacturing for other GC manufacturers, application engineering for GC, run tests and perform stability and repeatability tests, and factory acceptance tests.

The site offers room for expansion, including, possibly, manufacturing. Within one month of the facility opening, Yokogawa received an Excellence in Construction award from the North Texas Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors and received local and international media praise for the complex. The design of the building came from several key management personnel and was constructed by Kajima Construction Services. Tony Sethi, Systems Business Unit vice president, did most of the interior design.

It consolidates and expands upon space available two other Houston-area facilities, first of which opened six years ago. Yokogawa established its Americas corporate headquarters in Newnan, GA, in 1985, which remains the center for Yokogawa Corporation of America (YCA), the North American unit of $4 billion Yokogawa Electric Corp. Products include analyzers, flowmeters, transmitters, controllers, recorders, data acquisition products, meters, instruments, and distributed control systems. Yokogawa has 18 manufacturing facilities, 82 affiliate companies, and more than 650 sales and engineering offices in 28 countries.

Since its 1915 founding, the $4 billion company has secured more than 7,000 patents and registrations, including the world's first digital sensors for flow and pressure measurement. The company calls industrial automation and control, test and measurement, information systems, and related industry support "the core businesses of Yokogawa."

—Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief,
MHoske@cfemedia.com





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