Speakers: Who's Taking the Stage?
Thought-Provoking Presentations from Top Speakers

Sankar Ramakrishnan, CEO, HIMA Group

Sankar Ramakrishnan has been CEO of the HIMA Group since 2013. He places people at the center of the enterprise culture – not in spite of HIMA’s status as a leading technology enterprise, but because of it. Sankar has more than 30 years of extensive industry experience and can draw upon his international background and intercultural competence from professional positions in America, Asia and Europe. Before joining HIMA, he worked as Vice President Product Management and Head of Rail Automation India at Siemens.

09:10-09:30, HIMA opening address: A New Era in Process Safety


The Speakers

Valentijn de Leeuw, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group

Valentijn holds a Ph.D. in technical sciences from Delft University of Technology (NL) in cooperation with Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris and IFP (F). He also holds a master’s in chemistry from Utrecht State University in The Netherlands. Valentijn acts as an independent expert evaluator of research projects for the European Commission. Valentijn collaborates with to promote the use of IIoT in Flemish small and medium-sized enterprises. At ARC, his responsibilities include research and consulting in process industries. His focus is on manufacturing operations management, performance management, supply chain management and social sustainability, in particular, the impact of technology and digitalization on individuals and organizations. 


Nico Ramstetter, Managing Director HIMA Benelux B.V. / Vice President Region Europe & Africa

Nico Ramstetter is Managing Director HIMA Benelux B.V. and Vice President Region Europe & Africa at HIMA. With a degree in electrical engineering, Nico began his career as a sales engineer in field service at Rohde & Schwarz. After receiving his MBA, he moved to SEW-EURODRIVE to become Sales District Manager with regional sales responsibility for parts of central Europe and Eastern Europe and later on for Turkey, Middle East and India. Later he worked as Sales Director Central Europe and was responsible for the DACH region for the Course-Hinds segment.

09:10-09:30, HIMA opening address: A New Era in Process Safety

Josse Brys, Senior Manager Sales and Regional Development

Josse Brys is Sales and Business Development Manager at HIMA Benelux. Josse joined HIMA six years ago. A TÜV Safety Engineer since 2013, he studied electronics and informatics. Together with HIMA, he is committed to providing customers with the right solution to maximize plant safety and the operational availability.

09:00-09:10, Welcome and Introduction of HIMA Benelux team


Stefan Basenach, Group Vice President Business Segment Process, HIMA Group

Stefan Basenach is the Group Vice President for the Segment Process at HIMA. Stefan previously worked at ABB Germany as an EPC Business Manager, responsible for substations in the EMEA region. He started his career at ABB as an engineer for power plant control systems. At the University of Stuttgart, he studied Engineering Cybernetics.

09:30-10:00, Safety becomes Smart

Presentation Abstract:

How do you protect your industrial plants throughout their safety lifecycle? In this presentation, you will learn how HIMA’s concept for safety and security helps you master rising challenges in the process industry. You will gain valuable insights into how HIMA provides a seamlessly coordinated combination of products, applications and services to ensure the reliability and profitability of your assets.

Ivo Hanspach, Director of Product Management, HIMA Group

Ivo Hanspach is the Director of Product Management for HIMA safety systems. Degreed in computer technology and automation technology, he joined HIMA in 2009. Beginning as a service engineer, he later specialized in functional safety and explosion protection, as well as advising numerous international companies on conceptualizing a safety system landscape and explosion protection.

11:00-11:30, SILworX News: The Tool for the HIMA safety platform

Presentation Abstract:

From the compact HIMatrix to the latest HIQuad X, all HIMA controllers are based on the same platform, combining hardware and software tailored to each other. In this presentation you will learn how this allows you to reduce the complexity of your safety systems, stay flexible at all times, and are always able to modify your architecture easily when requirements change.

12:00-12:30, HIMax HART Solution – The Package for advanced and safe diagnostics

Sebastian Dänner, Product Manager, HIMA Group

Sebastian Dänner has served as Product Manager for the HIMax and HIQuad safety systems at HIMA since 2011. In addition, he has led the Obsolescence Management Team for components and deputizes the Director of Product Management since 2017. After his IT system engineer education he held an executive position in a start-up company and studied business and electrical engineering before joining HIMA in 2009. Currently, Mr. Dänner is involved in product development, gives customer presentations and supports various IT and consulting projects.

11:30-12:00, HIQuad X Completes the HIMA Safety Platform

Kai Kron, Senior Sales Manager Germany, HIMA

Kai Kron is Senior Sales Manager in the German sales team and a pipeline sales specialist in the Germany-Austria-Switzerland region. After studying at BASF, he began his career at HIMA as a service engineer, followed by his engagement as project leader inside the engineering department. Kai Kron is a certified Functional Safety Engineer and has 25 years of experience in process automation and process safety.

13:45-14:15, How Pipeline Management Becomes Part of a Plant Safety Strategy

Presentation Abstract:

While miles of pipeline may be contained within a typical refinery or chemical plant, identifying and correcting leaks in these pipelines has been problematic. This presentation starts by profiling the level of leak detection and pipeline management expected of plant operators to comply with the relevant pipeline safety standards. It then explains the different methodologies available for leak detection. Learn more about an innovative approach that combines multiple leak detection methodologies and the reliability of a SIL 3 safety system into a single hybrid solution.

Karl-Heinz Kruse, Applications Manager, HIMA Group

Karl-Heinz Kruse is the Applications Manager for combustion technology (BCS/BMS) in HIMA Brühl / Germany. After finishing his higher education school and study, he started as project engineer for safety, process control and instrumentation. His 30-plus years of experience includes work with safety system integrators and for engineering, project managing and technical/commercial sales support for safety integrity systems. His employment at HIMA began in 2002, and he supported HIMA’s Europe sales team for large international safety projects until 2008 before attaining his current position.

14:30-15:00, One System for Safety Interlocks and Critical Control of Burners, Boilers and Heaters

Presentation Abstract:

The comprehensive HIMA solution for burner management, combustion control and boiler protection will be presented. Technical and commercial measures to manage the mentioned constraints are explained with simple graphics and verbal explanations for safety and process optimizing.
Attendees will learn how to structure a complex safety system in combustion technology—from instrument to actuator—while considering restrictive safety and product standards. Further reduce the time and cost of programming and for AHJ approvals by using the TÜV approved and released BMS (Burner Management System) and BCS (Burner Control System) function blocks.

Uwe Bruckhoff, Applications Manager Turbo Machinery Control, HIMA Group

Uwe Bruckhoff is the Applications Manager for Turbo Machinery Control (TMC) in HIMA Brühl / Germany.
During the last 12 years, he has been managing market outlooks and the development of new products, as well as forecasting client project delivery for HIMA.
After studying electrical engineering at the University of Darmstadt, he gained valuable insights into the automation industry for 18 years.

15:00-15:15, HIMA TMC, Less Downtime, More Revenue

Presentation Abstract:

HIMA's approach to rotating machinery control reduces cost and complexity while enabling increased efficiency and digitalization. Existing solutions depend on multiple general purpose and purpose built solutions that complicate the ability to meet these requirements. This presentation will discuss the HIMA solution for the Protection, Control, Operation, and Monitoring of rotating machinery. HIMA's TMC solution will meet all of the user’s expectations by integrating all solutions into one homogeneous platform. Operators can thereby run their machines safely and at maximum efficiency throughout their operational range. Implementation and maintenance are simplified by the consolidation of all functions in one platform and the need for training is reduced. Thanks to the high availability of the HIMA solution and integrated fallback strategies, operators are able to extend the time between planned shutdowns and avoid costly unplanned shutdowns.

Sergej Arent, Director Applications, HIMA Group


11:00-11:30, Safety Platform Integration: Unique safety platform enables efficient applications

Presentation Abstract:

Discover in this presentation how HIMA’s Smart Safety Applications enable your plant to run at the operating limit and minimize downtime. These applications are tailored to individual needs and are designed to rise to the safety challenges of modern plants. Take advantage of for a diverse range of uses, including rotating machinery, burner control, and pipeline management.

12:00-12:30, Smart Safety Services: How to optimize ROI by using smart collaboration

Fabio Lodigiani, Group Vice President Safety Services, HIMA Group

Fabio Lodigiani joined HIMA in October 2017. As Group Vice President Safety Services, Fabio Lodigiani manages and coordinates the company’s worldwide service activities. Fabio Paolo Lodigiani received a degree in electronic engineering from the Polytechnical University of Milan. After completing his studies, he initially worked for various Italian manufacturers active in the automation, software and hardware sectors. In the subsequent six years, Fabio Lodigiani held operational and strategic management positions in sales at E.ON Energy in Milan. Following that he worked in various management positions in the sales organization of leading cable manufacturer NKT Cables for nine years. His most recent position there was Senior Vice President Asset Management, with worldwide responsibility for onshore and offshore services for high-voltage systems.

11:30-12:00, Smart Safety Services: How to optimize ROI by using smart collaboration

Presentation Abstract:

Safety is not a one-off initiative or a quick and permanent fix – it is a continuous, dynamic process. That’s why you need to consider the entire lifecycle of your safety system: from planning and installation to operation and modification. In this presentation, we will introduce HIMA’s Smart Safety Services that enable you to reduce the total safety lifecycle costs, avoid preventable downtime and stay productive.

Dr. Alexander Horch, Vice President R&D and Product Management, HIMA Group

Since April 2016, Dr. Alexander Horch has been Vice President Research, Development & Product Management at HIMA. Previously, he worked as Principal Scientist at ABB Corporate Research in Germany with a focus on process plant optimization and plant asset management. Between 2007 and 2016, he held different management roles in the areas of process control systems and automation of electrical grids, smart grids, manufacturing plants and robotics as well as Industrial Internet (Industry 4.0) for ABB Germany and ABB Switzerland. Dr. Horch is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Automation Professional (CAP) of the ISA. His R&D work was complemented by publications and seminars, regular lectures at the University of Stuttgart and ETH Zürich as well as work for standardization organizations.

10:00-10:30, Functional Safety in Today’s Connected World

13:45-14:30, Automation Security: Holistic approach for a secure last line of defense

"Functional Safety in Today’s Connected World" Abstract:

Functional safety is a well-established field of application today. Technological advances, mainly from other areas, have initiated major changes in many industries. It is therefore necessary to understand if and how realization of functional safety has to evolve in the future. This presentation will explore trends in safety and security that are being imposed by both customer needs and technological advances, as well as discussing HIMA’s future plans and how we will react to upcoming challenges.

Antonio Holl, Service Engineer, HIMA Benelux B.V.

Antonio Holl is Senior Support & Service Engineer specializing in SIS Cyber Security working at HIMA HBL. Until 2016, he was responsible for the engineering of the SIS Cyber Security for a major customer. Degreed in network and computer security technology, Antonio subsequently helped set up a new Security Service department inside the service department at HIMA Brühl. Currently, he is helping a large HIMA customer to engineer, support, optimize, roll out and commission a complicated implementation on an existing environment with security patch updates, VLAN and firewall technology.

13:45-14:30, Automation Security: Holistic approach for a secure last line of defense

Presentation Abstract:

In times of increasing cybercrime, a holistic approach to security is needed. This should cover the core SIS, including final control elements, logic solver, and I/O module and sensors. It should also extend to the SIS environment, including the engineering station, asset management tools (AMS), handhelds, and field entry panels and HMIs. By complementing the SIS with the “HIMA Security Environment for Functional Safety,” this approach takes all important security-relevant aspects of industrial control systems (ICS) into account. These include the five following areas: controller hardware and firmware, engineering toolkit, PC infrastructure, communication infrastructure and lifecycle management.

Ferdi van den Brule, Project Engineering Manager, HIMA Benelux

Ferdi van den Brule joined HIMA 18 years ago. He is a TÜV Safety Engineer since 2006. Ferdi studied mechanical engineering, measurement and control. Ferdi has 35 years of experience in the petrochemical and chemical industry. For the last 12 years, he has been also involved in the development of HIMA safety systems for railway applications.

14:30-15:00, HIMA safety rail applications

Bert De Wilde, EMEA Process Control Discipline Technology Lead, ExxonMobil

Bert has over 20 years work experience in the process industry. Graduated as Master in Electronics Engineering (Ghent, Belgium) he had ample of regional and global engineering positions (manufacturing support, maintenance, central engineering, mega growth projects) within the domains of automation and process control. He has always taken a global interest point of view and worked in multicultural environments (Asia, Middle East, Europe, Americas). In 2010 he was lead Instrument Engineer during the construction of a large complex in Singapore, in 2014 he had the role as Instrumentation Discipline Technology Lead for the Americas Region, in 2015 lead design engineer for a large automation project in Saudi Arabia and currently he has taken the role as Process Control (Instrumentation, Applications, Systems, Process Analytics) Discipline Technology Lead for the EMEA region where a lot of focus is being given to Cybersecurity, operations excellence and innovation.

16:00-16:30, Keynote: Open Process Automation

Presentation Abstract:

ExxonMobil must replace a significant percentage of its regulatory control systems in Refining and in Chemicals during the next ten to fifteen years. Based on a research program that was started in 2010, ExxonMobil has proposed a solution that involves a standards-based open, secure, and interoperable process automation architecture.  This solution leverages technological and business model transformations that other industries have experienced – notably avionics and telecommunications. At present, ExxonMobil is progressing two parallel activities to achieve the vision. The first is an activity with Lockheed Martin to build a prototype of the open, secure, interoperable process automation system. The second is an activity with The Open Group to build the consensus-based standards collaboration among end user companies, suppliers, and system integrators that is required to develop and sustain the standard-based architecture.