Emerson: Safety, Security Underneath

Monday, October 12, 2015 @ 04:10 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
Safety and security are always the underlying message whenever leaders of organizations talk about their future growth plans.

“Finding new ideas is especially important in this business climate,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management Monday at the 2015 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Denver, CO. “We need to look at projects differently where we increase efficiency and reduce costs. That will allow (a company) to come out of this economy with an advantage.”

Unsupported ICS: Not an Easy Upgrade
Remedy to Fix Unsupported PKS Hole
Age of New and Different
German Steel Mill Attack: Inside Job

Part of what Sonnenberg was talking about was looking at issues today and not solving them with the same old tired ways of doing things. He wants everyone to think differently so they can discover and maximize the opportunities out there.

“The oil and gas industry needs to take advantage of the low cost of feedstocks,” he said. But in a down market, where every penny counts, just how do you do that?

“Companies need to make dramatic steps, not just incremental,” Sonnenberg said. “Now is not the time to just be as good as everybody else.”

With a shift occurring in manufacturing automation to a more connected environment, the underlying security infrastructure will come into play. Those shifts will tend toward increased connectivity and the complexity of facilities and systems on the rise.

In the end, it all comes down to connectivity and that is where security plays a major role for allowing smooth communications.

One of the areas Sonnenberg talked about was moving companies to the top tier, or quartile, of operations. Top tier producers are more productive and end up being more profitable while reducing costs. In a down market that is truly a homerun.

The case he talked about was flaring gas at a plant. No one wants to flare gas, he said, but sometimes it is unavoidable. “What if you used Big Data analytics to analyze the data to find when a flare is about to happen.” Knowing when a flare is about to happen and being able to head it off could result in less flaring incidents.

Sonnenberg talked about making a stronger push for reliability.

Reliability is not just a maintenance thing, he said. “Reliability is a part of everything that happens throughout the plant.”

That means connectivity, which means ensuring safety and security come into play.