I am still stung by a comment and ensuing discussion made by a maintenance manager during a talk I gave a few years ago. The talk was an early IoT description of networks, data, information, and the like. The guy raised his hand and said, “The engineers in my plant tell me that this stuff doesn’t work. So just forget about it!”

Emerson Automation developed a strategy called Top Quartile Performance and a service plan called Operational Certainty in order to operationalize Industrial IoT to benefit customers. This report comes from Covestro, one of the world’s largest polymer companies, which has selected Emerson to provide Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to help achieve its goals of minimizing risk and improving uptime at nine high-utilization plants.

As part of the $14 million, five-year contract, Emerson will provide remote monitoring and predictive maintenance to help Covestro optimize these manufacturing facilities for improved production, safety and reliability.

The Emerson program is a tenet of Covestro’s comprehensive digitization program called [email protected] that considers and implements new Industrial IoT strategies and operating procedures to deliver improved performance and meet defined financial targets. Covestro’s reliability program will leverage strategies, solutions and technologies in Emerson’s Operational Certainty program designed to help manufacturers achieve Top Quartile performance. Emerson data shows that Top Quartile companies spend half as much on maintenance compared to average performers and operate with an additional 15 days of available production each year.

Emerson will remotely monitor and maintain 40 of its DeltaV distributed control systems at Covestro plants in China, the United States and Germany. Remote teams at Emerson’s Innovation Center in Austin, Texas, will monitor and provide best practices-based maintenance strategies for local Emerson teams to implement at each Covestro plant. “By collaborating with Emerson to stay proactive about plant availability, we can drive toward always-on production and continue to satisfy customers in our high-demand market,” said Klaus Schaefer, chief technical officer, Covestro.

The Emerson-Covestro agreement reflects an emerging business model in industry, where manufacturers rely on a strategic supplier’s software solutions and deep automation expertise to monitor and execute maintenance, equipment health or energy management programs, allowing customers to focus their attention on critical operating functions that drive plant performance.

“Covestro and Emerson have a shared focus on driving Top Quartile operational performance,” said Jamie Froedge, president of Emerson’s Process Systems and Solutions business. “Connecting Covestro’s global product manufacturing expertise with our remote and local service capabilities allows the right expert to be available, real time, to ensure reliable operations.”

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