• Sees Boundless Automation as Industry Inflection Point to Address Data Barriers & Modernize Operations
  • Advanced software-defined automation architecture to integrate intelligent field, edge and cloud, unlocking a new era of productivity
  • Global automation leaders convene to learn about Boundless Automation at Emerson Exchange in Düsseldorf

I seem have become sort of persona non grata by the new marketing regime at Emerson Automation group. However, I picked up this news from it’s meeting last month in Düsseldorf, Germany. I found this statement by automation President and CEO Lal Karsanbhai interesting. It reflects the underlying philosophy I wanted to address when Dave and Jane and I started Automation World back in 2003. The world requires suppliers to go beyond proprietary control and leverage all the data for higher level decision making.

“After decades of implementing evolving automation strategies, manufacturers recognize the need to extract greater value from data that is locked in a rigid and now outdated automation architecture,” said Emerson President and CEO Lal Karsanbhai. “The proliferation of data and the development of advanced software are moving us to an era of unprecedented productivity. Rich data and advanced software are converging to form the next major inflection point in the industry.”

Acknowledging the foundational problems we’ve identified for years, Emerson says it is “poised to transform industrial manufacturing with the next-generation automation architecture designed to break down data silos, liberate data and unleash the power of software with Boundless Automation.”

I applaud Emerson’s strategy, although I do wish it had been done along with the standards efforts of OPAF. But only a couple of competitors seem to be serious about that one. Further, I continue to find companies in my research still trying to break down the silos. I thought we had accomplished that 10 years ago. I guess not. We still have complex networks of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and every department for itself on data definition and retention.

To address this challenge and help customers achieve their operational improvements, Emerson is introducing a vision and actionable strategy to push more computing power closest to where it’s needed and establish the blueprint for a modern industrial computing environment. This environment includes flexibility to deploy software across the intelligent field; a modern, software-defined edge; and the cloud. All three domains will be connected through a unifying data fabric, helping to maintain data context, improve its usability and increase security.

Emerson’s modern, software-defined automation architecture will break down hierarchical networks, securely democratizing and contextualizing data for both people and the artificial intelligence (AI) engines that depend on a continuous flow of information.

Here are the components within Boundless Automation:

  • Intelligent Field: An intelligent field will simplify access to more data from more sources and a greater diversity of applications. With smarter devices and new connection technologies like 5G and APL, customers can streamline both connectivity from anywhere in the world, and integration across the new architecture
  • Edge: The new OT edge creates a modern, secure, low-latency computing environment, putting new software tools and actionable data closest to its user. This enhanced edge environment establishes a platform for IT and OT colleagues to innovate and collaborate more than ever before.
  • Cloud: The cloud will power complex operations and engineering capabilities on-premise and across the enterprise by providing infinite analytical computing power, enterprise collaboration, attractive lifecycle costs and on-demand support and service.
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