Emerson held a media/analyst presentation on its sustainability efforts. I remembered writing and swore it was for here. After much searching, I found a document that is my monthly column for Automazione Oggi, an Italian automation magazine.
In addition, Emerson also held a user conference called Exchange Immerse. The control and software organization held the event last week. I was not invited—budgetary constraints I was told. So, no report on the conference itself and anything happening there. The company did release a number of news items which I’ve noted briefly below.
Emerson recently gathered assorted media writers virtually to discuss its ongoing efforts with sustainability. Seth Harris, Emerson Director of Sustainability for the Americas, and Gerardo Muñoz, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager for AspenTech (an Emerson business), discussed how advanced automation ensures integrity across the carbon capture value chain.
Emerson’s Framework includes: Greening Of—how they improve internal performance; Greening By—how they support and enable customers’ decarbonization and environmental sustainability; and Greening With—how they foster collaboration among many stakeholders.
The emphasis of this presentation included energy source decarbonization and energy management.
Carbon capture represents an estimated 15% of total CO2 reductions by 2070. These are achieved through both direct air capture and point-source capture. CO2 is captured from emissions and processed for deep well storage. The process includes four steps. First is separation and purification of complex toxic gas to yield high purity CO2. Next, the gas is compressed and liquified to an ideal stable state for transport. The liquified CO2 is safely transported to its destination for, fourth, stored in stable geologic formations.
My question for all of you inventive chemists out there is can’t this gas be used as a feedstock in order to make something useful?
This looks to me as Emerson’s response to the user-pushed initiative for Open Process Automation. Emerson has not been active with the Open Group’s work. But obviously they feel the customer pressure for software defined and more openness with connectivity and potential for upgrade. These are significant advancements proving out Emerson’s tagline as a software company. I find that doubly interesting given that a competitor has dropped software from its tagline. One of my more popular podcasts discusses “Software Eating Manufacturing.” Check these out.
Boundless Automation Vision Drives New Technologies for a Next-Generation Automation Platform
Emerson announced the first of a series of new technology releases that build upon its Boundless Automation vision and serve as the foundation of its next-generation, software-centric industrial automation architecture. The new technology releases will transcend a traditional control system, creating a more advanced automation platform that contextualizes and democratizes data for both people and the artificial intelligence (AI) engines.
Emerson’s DeltaV Edge Environment will provide more secure ways to move data from the automation platform to wherever it is needed – data lakes, data scientists, analytics applications in the cloud, enterprise resource planning systems, etc. – without losing valuable operational context.
Emerson also announced the release of technologies supporting the increased bandwidth and intrinsically safe connectivity of Ethernet advanced physical layer (APL).
Its new DeltaV PK Flex Controller allows users to leverage subscription-based services to use only the technologies they need, with the flexibility to add functionality at any time. Subscription options also enable teams to reduce capital costs and shift expenses to the operating expense budget. As a next phase, Emerson will add more than 16 services to its subscription portfolio to provide customers with more flexible business models, empowering them to drive innovation and growth with ease.
Emerson has also added new software-as-a-service, cloud-hosted solutions to bring data from the edge into the cloud, helping combine cloud data with AI tools to upskill personnel and offset experienced worker shortages. Those AI analytics tools, including AMS Optics and Aspen Mtell, will help teams build models for predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies that unlock the autonomous plant, while simultaneously creating a new paradigm of centralized operations where highly skilled personnel work in tandem with AI.
As expanded connectivity brings more assets, devices and data into the fold, teams will need more powerful tools to help them manage and use the information coming in from many different sources. Emerson’s Ovation Green solutions, including asset management and supervisory control and data acquisition software, represent a powerful suite of technologies to combine a utility’s renewable energy assets into a single management tool, unifying data and setting the stage for holistic automation across the power grid. Similarly, tools like AMS Data Server unshackle reliability data, making it easier for users to get critical information out of the intelligent field and into cloud-based applications for use by cross-functional teams.
Emerson Forms Life Sciences Executive Board to Advance One-Click Technology Transfer Initiative
Emerson announced a new executive board of key life sciences leaders to help define, review and demonstrate prototypes for Emerson technologies that will safely speed life-saving drugs to market.
Collaborating through Emerson’s One-Click Technology Transfer Board, Emerson customers FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Merck and Pfizer will lead the development of strategies, solutions and guidelines to convert today’s life sciences manufacturing recipe transfer process into a digitalized production platform. Digitalizing recipe technology transfer will reduce the time, effort and risk of managing, sharing and translating information to help get new drug therapies to patients faster.
Emerson will also open a dedicated research center to accelerate the development of One-Click Technology Transfer software. Located in the Singapore life sciences manufacturing hub that is home to 8 of the 10 global pharmaceutical companies, Emerson’s new research center will design, develop and verify the software and digitalized production platform.
Emerson’s One-Click Technology Transfer capabilities will help digitalize drug recipes and recipe management, from discovery and development to production at scale, providing valuable translations between drug recipe requirements and manufacturing processes while establishing best practices and creating a framework to unify disconnected systems into a holistic platform. The board will define reference data models and objects for one-click manufacturing, create the framework for a centralized recipe transport and translation platform that is scalable and extensible, and define and implement standards for version and quality control while simultaneously ensuring the overall system is easy and intuitive to use.
Emerson’s data scientists and software developers at the research center will use the latest computer software development technologies to perform rapid prototyping to test and verify concepts. The software platform developed through rapid prototyping will be tested and proven, working across the One-Click Technology Transfer Board company supply chains as appropriate.
The new board builds on Emerson’s globally recognized life sciences leadership combined with the industry’s most flexible and integrable solutions. Bolstered by its acquisition of the Fluxa PKM solution and AspenTech’s software capabilities including AspenTech DataWorks industrial information management software, Emerson is well positioned to develop the technologies and standards for a fully integrated end-to-end solution for the drug development pipeline.
New Digital Valve Controller First to Offer Embedded Edge Computing
Emerson has announced the Fisher FIELDVUE DVC7K Digital Valve Controller, a new design improving upon 30 years of field-proven innovation. The DVC7K features Advice at the Device technology with embedded computing and analytics that convert raw data into actionable information locally with Bluetooth capability, within the device. This means maintenance personnel can receive the data via their phone, tablet, or computer wirelessly without having to be in a control room at the plant location. The new valve controller technology improves the performance, reliability, and uptime of both on-off and control valves—and by extension an entire process plant or facility—in a wide variety of process industry applications, and provides the information required to create streamlined work processes.
Previously, digital valve controller data had to go to a host system to be processed and prepared for viewing, however, with the intelligence of this system, data is now accessible without requiring access to the host software. All information can be viewed at the DVC7K’s local user interface, nearby via Emerson Secure Bluetooth wireless technology, or remotely after it is transmitted via a wired digital network to a host, such as a distributed control or asset management system.
The local user interface provides indication of valve health at a glance via LEDs, and users can drill down from the interface home screen to find more information. Emerson Secure Bluetooth enables access to one or more digital valve controllers at distances up to 30 feet from any device capable of supporting Bluetooth, such as a smartphone or tablet. Whether the information is viewed locally, nearby, or remotely, plant personnel can use it to drive awareness of valve health.