Emerson: Security a Main Focus

Monday, October 2, 2017 @ 05:10 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
Cybersecurity is one of the main focuses for Emerson Automation Solutions.

“Cybersecurity is a huge focus for us across our entire portfolio,” said Mike Train, executive president at Emerson Automation Solutions during his Monday keynote address at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2017 in Minneapolis, MN. “We are also working with Microsoft and embracing their security initiatives.”

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In relation, safety, which has also been a vital element needs to be tightened up where manufacturers are not losing money related to safety incidents.

“Each year $1 trillion is lost because of safety incidents, reliability issues, emissions and production,” Train said.

In terms of safety, top quartile performers had one-third the number of safety incidents as compared to their average industry peers, Train said.

With that staggering amount of losses each year, the goal appears pretty obvious, manufacturers need to reduce safety incidents, improve reliability, reduce emissions and optimize production.

That is also where Emerson’s Project Certainty comes into play.

“There is huge pressure to deliver results for days, weeks, months,” Train said, adding 65 percent of projects over $1 billion fail to meet financial and schedule goals. Top performers, Train said, would end up saving $430 billion a year if they were top quartile performers.

Train talked about their Project Certainty. That focuses on reaching goals and becoming a top performer. Reaching those goals involves something the industry is not very good at and that is adopting change.

“It is all about getting the right information in the hands of the experts,” he said.

That sentiment falls speaks more to the reliability aspect and that falls in line with Emerson’s final control products.

That is where Terry Buzbee, group president final control at Emerson, talked during his part of the keynote about how his organization is looking to the future.

“Final control is all about safety and reliability,” Buzbee said. “We are making sure whatever is in the pipe remains there. “

Safety was a part of that discussion in talking about Emerson’s $3 billion purchase of Pentair, which closed some gaps in product lines. One area he mentioned was integrated safety systems.

“Safety systems usually come bundled from various vendors and are not certified,” he said. “But with the Pentair deal, there is one certified integrated safety system from Emerson.”

He also mentioned remote monitoring is available on demand. Final control services to help solve ongoing issues.

In terms of ongoing issues, Train talked about the changing workforce and people.

Automation is in the news as being a job stealer, but he couldn’t disagree more. When street sweepers had jobs back in the horse and buggy days, those jobs went away when automobiles started to take over. Then even more new jobs ended up created to work with and handle the new technology hitting the streets. The same can be true of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Experts said banks would start losing jobs, but instead they started adding jobs. Yes, maybe people working behind the counter lost their jobs, but they were able to grow into more customer relationship mangers that focused more on services.

“The fact is technology has changed lives. Modern automation has made plants more efficient, reliable and safer,” he said.

What is at issue now is the workforce is stretched and productivity is stagnant. That is where technology and the people using it come into play.

“We are at an inflection point,” he said

People have to look at how their jobs will be different over the next few years. One goal would be to be able to predict wellness instead of reacting to failures, he said. “Technology is becoming intuitive, thoughtful and situationally aware.”

“Technology alone will not get you there, it is still about people. Helping people increase their knowledge and skills for the future. Traditional manual jobs are becoming skilled data driven jobs.”

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