Pervasive Sensing for Business Critical Information

Emerson Pervasive Sensing Vision

Pervasive Sensing along with Integrated Operations Center and many new measurement devices from Micro Motion division highlighted the first day’s announcements from the Emerson Global Users Exchange as the process systems company revealed a new vision of the future.

Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management, welcomed 2824 registered attendees to the 2013 edition of Emerson Global Users Exchange in Grapevine (Dallas) Texas Monday Sept. 30. The attendance was expected to grow some during the week with late registrants.

Sonnenberg told the crowd that the business is showing growth, albeit a little slower in late 2013. He expects 2014 to begin slowly then accelerate. Meanwhile, Emerson has continued its investment in Process Management products and services throughout business cycles.

Sonnenberg’s key message was for Emerson to become the trusted advisor to its customers. He also touted Emerson as the technology leader in the industry pointing especially to continued investment and development in Human-Centered Design.

Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer, led attendees on a whirlwind tour of new products announced at the conference. Highlighted were the new Elite Coriolis meters from MicroMotion, a distributed RTU network, DeltaV safety integrated systems with electronic marshaling, the asset management product AMS Suite now working with Beamex and Meridium for smoother data flow, the CSI 2140 machinery health analyzer and a new wireless gateway that combines WirelessHART and WiFi in one box. (more on the MicroMotion products in the next post.)

Zornio then moved into a look into the next generation vision. The industry has been focusing on process-critical information. The next generation of products and services will expand that view into business-critical information–Site Safety, Reliability, Security, and Energy Efficiency. These will all be enhanced with the implementation of many new sensors aided by wireless technology for cheaper, faster implementation. Emerson is calling this “Pervasive Sensing.”

Making sense of all this new sensor data will be the task of enhanced analytics that Emerson has already begun work on with Batch Analytics. The whole process will be brought together through the Integrated Operations Center (iOps) that the company has been developing.

I know that all this took tons of investment and engineering time, but it is the vision I’ve been preaching for several years–i.e., what are you going to do with all that wireless sensor data. The answer from the Emerson point of view is now clear. The vision of a better way to manage your plants is becoming reality. I applaud this–and I’m sure all of you who are out there managing your plants will, too.

Here are a few interesting facts and quotes from the official press release:

  • Emerson estimates that over the next 10 years this additional served market will more than double the $16 billion traditional measurement market.
  • For example, the risks associated with equipment degradation or failure were historically dealt with by periodic manual inspections and reactive maintenance, or energy losses were simply unidentified.
  • With the advent of Smart Wireless technologies and advances in sensor technology and installation techniques, Emerson has overcome the cost/value barrier by providing lower cost of deployment, reliable non-intrusive installation, and low lifecycle costs, combined with unparalleled ease-of-use in sensor applications. New software applications and embedded sensor intelligence is also becoming available to interpret the data from these sensors and convert it into actionable information, enabling prompt response to potential problems and better insight for improved decision-making.
  • “Our customers are like anyone else — they want actionable information that can make their lives safer, more predictable, and save them cost, risk and time,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer at Emerson Process Management. “This goes beyond the control room and optimizing process performance. They want clarity and certainty of conditions for business-critical decision-making across all aspects of their operations. To achieve this, a more comprehensive network of sensors is needed. Pervasive Sensing provides the foundation for their insight.”
  • “A great analogy we are all familiar with is the ongoing evolution of automobile sensors,” continued Zornio. “They have evolved from managing engine performance and simple ‘check engine’ alerts to providing actionable information about all aspects of car performance – such as precise tire pressure and fuel economy — to help maintain safety, economy, and provide failure prevention diagnostics.”
  • Emerson is already seeing customers move aggressively to take advantage of pervasive sensing. An Eastern European oil processing plant is currently deploying a full wireless infrastructure to allow the addition of 12,000 Pervasive Sensing instruments – or 60% beyond the base of traditional process measurements — in order to better detect energy losses, equipment corrosion and safety releases.
  • “The Pervasive Sensing opportunity grew out of Emerson listening to our customers and better understanding their needs,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president Emerson Process Management. “While the industry has widespread adoption of process related automation, the opportunities for utilizing technologies that make a profound, measureable business impact outside of the process have been elusive. Not any more. The combination of pervasive sensing with software and algorithms for interpretation and decision-making is empowering customers with actionable insights in places they never dreamed.”
  • Examples of Emerson Process Management products that address the pervasive sensing market include ultrasonic and point sensors in the recently acquired NetSafety and Groveley product lines, corrosion and erosion detection technology from the Roxar acquisition, vibration sensing of rotating equipment from CSI, and the Rosemount wireless steam trap monitor and wireless bolt-on surface temperature probe.
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