Emerson: A Connected Future

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @ 06:10 PM gHale


By Gregory Hale
Safety and security remain a cornerstone as the manufacturing automation sector moves to the future utilizing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

“IIoT is an evolution, not a revolution,” said Mike Train, newly named executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions, during his Monday presentation at the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Austin, TX. “IIoT is all about people enabling people to turn data into insights.”

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During Train’s talk, he presented highlights of projects and products Emerson is focusing on like Operational Certainty and the updated version of Plant Web.

While Plant Web has been around for almost 20 years, with IIoT, it is getting a rebirth with its hardware, intelligent devices, and software all playing into the IIoT to help boost performance.

Within that concept, security plays an important role with what Train called the “secure first mile.”

That entails securely getting the right data to the right people so they can improve operational performance. The idea, though, is wrought with potential risk as the more connections and communications that continue, the threat level increases. Moving the data from the plant floor onto the Internet to enable IT and cloud-based applications, ends up being a security issue.

That is where Emerson created a set of architectural approaches and designs that allow users to connect highly secure data from protected control and operation systems to operational performance applications in the cloud environment.

The security portfolio includes security services and secure and flexible servers, gateways, and data diodes. This security endeavor ensures the right people anywhere in the world can gain immediate access to the information they need.

Train also talked about Operational Certainty. Emerson conducted some research and found 65 percent of projects over $1 billion fail due to cost overruns and scheduling.

“Companies are running on borrowed time,” Train said. “Companies are establishing metrics to drive out costs, but that is not enough.”

That is where Operational Certainty comes into play.

What they want to do is point out how top quartile manufacturers perform and see what they have to do to get there.

He said there are four fundamental aspects to look at:
• Safety
• Reliability
• Production
• Energy management

In safety, the top quartile performers have three times fewer safety incidents. “We want to return everyone home each day,” Train said.

In reliability, the top quartile performers spend half as much on maintenance compared with average performers and operate with an incremental 15 days of available production each year.

In production, top quartile manufacturers spent 20 percent less on production-related expenses as compared to average producers.

In energy and emissions, the top performers spent one-third as much as the industry average on energy costs and had 30 percent less CO2 emissions.

Moving toward a more connected future and a future with fewer workers because Baby Boomers getting ready to retire, manufacturers have to understand the old way of doing things just may not cut it anymore.

“Automation professionals need to be the agent of change,” Train said. “In today’s market, standing still means you will step back.”



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