Emerson Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in ZEDEDA

ZEDEDA provides network edge management and orchestration for industrial applications. It has been reaching out to large automation companies for partnerships or collaboration. Its solution integrates with Emerson’s DeltaV automation system. It announced in mid-December 2022 that Emerson Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Emerson, has made a strategic investment.

Emerson’s solution integrates ZEDEDA’s edge management and orchestration offer into its DeltaV automation system, enabling Emerson customers to extend DeltaV to the distributed edge. This expansion will deliver enhanced OT solutions while also continuing into the IT environment, providing software-defined automation and revolutionizing how customers can deploy and connect workloads within their distributed environments.

Honeywell Connect 2022 Updates

Honeywell has been an enigma to me for several years. I haven’t been confident in product direction, where different elements of process automation would fit, and would it make a transition to software. Then came Honeywell Forge. Where did that fit with Process Solutions and UOP? Then we had the pandemic and I couldn’t make the User Group this year due to many conflicts.

This is mostly my deficiency, but also I had lost track of contacts. All that is remedied, and the picture is beginning to focus. I was also able to catch some virtual conferences to gain insight from CTO Jason Urso.

Honeywell Forge is coalescing into a viable software division. Process Solutions is cranking out some interesting new products and services. Sustainability is a key strategy. Cybersecurity remains strong within the portfolio.

I’m quite late with this update. Following are major points from recent announcements. Check out the various links for more.

Manufacturing Excellence Platform

Manufacturing Excellence platform provides real-time end-to-end production visualization and dashboards for multiple user roles from operators to management, process unit timelines, detailed equipment status, and trends of critical process parameters. The Manufacturing Excellence platform, built for Life Sciences applications, puts actionable information in context in one interface. The solution digitizes paper-based batch records, work instructions, and logbooks to ensure consistent compliance with standard operating procedures.

Honeywell Forge Performance+

As part of the new Honeywell Forge Performance+ for Industrials suite, Asset Performance helps deliver asset reliability and energy efficiency through real-time monitoring of assets using predictive models embedded with deep-domain expertise. Asset Performance can help to both detect potential asset health issues and predict possible time to failure in order to proactively improve plant availability.

Enhancements to Existing Honeywell Software Solutions

  • Honeywell Plantwide Optimizer – End-to-end solution that integrates planning, operations and blending in near real time.
  • Honeywell Operations Management – Enhancements to the user experience designed to help industrial operations managers to better proactively monitor, document and operate their industrial processes to reduce downtime, increase throughput and yields, and standardize shift reporting.
  • Honeywell Workforce Competency – Enhancements to the simulation-based experiential learning solution to develop and enhance the competency of today’s industrial workforce include persona-based dashboards and a new soft Safety Manager direct link.

Cybersecurity

Honeywell’s AMIR managed service brings increased cybersecurity capabilities to an organization’s existing Security Operation Centers (SOCs) to strengthen OT cybersecurity across the enterprise.

Cyber App Control, previously known as Application Whitelisting, is a vendor-agnostic cybersecurity solution suitable for both Honeywell and non-Honeywell control systems designed to provide an additional layer of security that allows only known and trusted applications to run on ICS assets and increases a customer’s ability to prevent known malware and zero-day attacks on OT environments that often rely on more vulnerable legacy systems with challenging maintenance schedules.

Honeywell Forge Sustainability+

• An enterprise solution that measures fugitive and process GHG emission leaks, continuously monitors sites for new or remediated emissions, reports on emissions’ status and drives emission reduction strategies and solutions.

• Innovative gas detection technologies with Honeywell Versatilis Signal Scout gas detector and Gas Cloud Imaging, interfaces with Emissions Management for continuous measuring and monitoring of emissions, enabling customers to better manage GHG emissions proactively in near real-time. 

• Reporting of process emissions with site- and enterprise-level trending and visualization that allows organizations to locate methane leaks that may cause production loss or impact worker safety, as well as gain access to metrics and alarms associated with gas leaks.

• Enterprise-wide accounting, visualization and reporting that eliminates periodic manual reporting and provides a holistic, near real-time view of Scope 1 emissions for HSE professionals and executive teams.

Honeywell and Aramco JV for Business Process Software

Honeywell and Aramco have announced the signing of a joint venture (JV) agreement to provide a set of end-to-end business process automation solutions, under the Aramco Namaat Industrial Investments Program. The technology solutions can be offered to a wide range of industrial sectors to help maximize profitability, improve productivity, sustainability and operational excellence, on a global scale. The new JV offerings will leverage Aramco’s Plant.Digital platform (formerly Integrated Manufacturing Operations Management System – iMOMS) as well as Honeywell Connected Enterprise’s technology development and industrial digital solutions implementation experience.

The JV aims to equip industrial companies with the tools, processes and practices they need to run plant operations more effectively and accelerate sustainable digital transformation and operational excellence initiatives. It will emphasize the development, integration, and deployment of Operations Technology (OT) solutions and Digital Transformation consulting.

The new JV is expected to create more than 300 jobs in Saudi Arabia within five years, supporting the Aramco Namaat Industrial Investments Program, which is designed to boost Saudi economic and workforce development.

Partnership for Track and Trace Solutions

Honeywell announced that Imperial Brands, a British multinational tobacco company, has chosen Honeywell to provide the Honeywell Track & Trace solution (“Honeywell Track & Trace”) to digitalize and transform the monitoring and tracking of their supply chain operations.

In addition to the cloud-based Honeywell Track & Trace solution, Honeywell will provide a comprehensive and integrated system of support, professional services, and governance to help Imperial’s business meet critical requirements for compliance and executing its global supply chain.

A Few Thoughts On Instrumentation Networking

Tilo Merlin holds the role of instrumentation platform manager at ABB in Frankfurt, Germany. We connected on Microsoft Teams because I was curious about the latest ABB take on what’s happening on the foundation side of the Industrial Internet of Things—networks and instrumentation.

Coming from the instrumentation world, he often referred to RS-485, that ubiquitous serial networking standard. He told me that Modbus and Modbus TCP remain popular for instrumentation networks. As is the HART serial protocol. It takes a long time to make changes in the process world, I guess.

Speaking of HART, I’ve been curious about the growth of use of the digital side of the protocol. Engineers can use just the analog side as a serial network. I’ve often heard that the digital side is seldom used. Merlin noted the digital side of HART is used mostly for commissioning and diagnostics.

Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (APL) has gathered much publicity lately. I just wrote about ODVA releasing a conformance test meaning that developers must be getting close to releasing product.

Merlin pointed to the beauty of Ethernet that you can just add protocols to the physical layer. APL bests Ethernet POE (power over Ethernet) by requiring just two wires for power to the device as well as signal. Often the two wires already exist in the plant. This little factor reduces labor to install the new network. The network is low power, therefore intrinsically safe. ABB makes a couple of instruments that utilize power from the network. I foresee a growth in that area.

ABB finds customers wishing to separate asset management from the control system. Energy management is currently the important function of asset management. Companies don’t wish to pay for extensive engineering hours to do the programming through the control system. 

I walked into a marketing topic mentioning I had talked with a customer engineering manager who pleaded with technology providers to simplify their systems. They don’t have people with time or often skills to deal with network complexity.

ABB has a marketing slogan, Measurement Made Easy. True to his engineering heritage, Merlin said at first he thought it was just marketing (don’t we all sometimes think that?). He has come to experience the truth of the vision. They are working to make things simple as the app on your smart phone.

300,000 Tons in Carbon Emissions to be Saved by Autonomous Oil and Gas Operations

Taking environmental issues and carbon reduction out of the political arena and placing among those who can actually do something promotes good stewardship—and good business. Check out The Carbon Almanac (click the photo on the web page). This book contains a wealth of facts and action items for us all.

The major automation technology providers have invented and unleashed many ways customers can reduce carbon footprint. This research from ABB shows how offshore companies can reduce global carbon emissions by 300,000 tons per site per year, the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.

  • Moving to autonomous operations increases reliability and predictability of energy supply
  • Annual savings of up to $30 million can be achieved  

ABB has published another of its ‘Energy Transition Equation’ reports that shows how industrial customers can reduce carbon emissions and manage the energy transition for a more sustainable future.

Based on nine months of research and modelling, the report highlights how early adoption and integration of automation, digitalization, and electrification technologies to enable autonomous operations can deliver savings of over 300,000 tons of carbon emissions per annum for offshore sites (approximately 25 percent reduction). This is the equivalent of removing 150,000 combustion cars from the road and is the same volume of CO2 responsible for five million tons of glacier mass lost each year.

The report also demonstrates how companies can realize production efficiencies of up to $30 million in annual savings, while delivering net revenue increases of up to $120,000, thanks to autonomous operations.

A key part of this is redeploying companies’ offshore workforces, moving them from hazardous roles into new ones onshore. In doing so, employers can offer safer working environments, a better work-life balance and fill industry talents gaps by reskilling employees to support a data-led approach to oil and gas exploration and production.

In 2021, ABB reduced its own CO2 emissions by 39 percent as part of its Sustainability Strategy 2030 and expects to be fully carbon neutral by decade’s end. The strategy details how ABB will support its global customers in reducing their annual CO2 emissions by at least 100 megatons by 2030, the equivalent of removing 30 million combustion cars from the roads.

The report’s economic modelling was undertaken by independent economist Steve Lucas of Developmental Economics, in conjunction with ABB Energy Industries and supported with desktop research of academic and industry sources. ABB will publish reports focused on the power and chemicals markets in 2023.

Notes to editors

These figures are based upon hypothetical scenarios of a 1 x 150000 barrel a day (oil) FPSO and a 1 x 150000 barrel (oil) Fixed Platform. Both assume an operational life cycle of 15 years with a 5-year development phase. Some have been rounded out for the purpose of the press release – exact calculations and figures can be found in the report or can be downloaded here.

Emerson Exchange 2022

The control and automation market I’ve been in since the late 90s has definitely become a software market. Yes, the main players that remain do still have their legacy controllers, instrumentation, sensors, and networking. The excitement that remains is mainly software and services. Domain expertise within the supplier community becomes increasingly important. 

I was coming off a vacation (not planned by me) and couldn’t work out the logistics of making it to Dallas. I kept up with things through press releases and reports from social media guru Jim Cahill. I survived missing presentations by the inimitable CTO Peter Zornio. News came through, anyway.

Announcement summaries follow. 

Boundless Automation

This next-generation architecture will empower companies through “boundless automation” to manage, connect and deliver operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) data seamlessly and easily across the enterprise. Moving data freely and securely across OT and IT domains – from the intelligent field to the edge and cloud – will enable operational and business performance optimization across the enterprise.

It really is all about the data.

Check out Jim Cahill’s report.

DeltaV

  • Emerson’s Latest Control System Update Lays Foundation for Software-Driven, Data-Centric Automation Platform
  • DeltaV version 15 helps drive faster, easier digital transformation to accelerate IT/OT convergence, enabling easy upgrades and modernization

Intelligent Field

PlantWeb plus recent acquisition AspenTech = Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, optimized by AspenTech, enables industrial manufacturers across all industries to “See, Decide, Act and Optimize” their operations. Leveraging a robust suite of sensors, software and control technologies, Plantweb now enables companies to optimize the business and sustainability performance of their plants and enterprise through advanced asset and business optimization software.

SCADA

Movicon.NExT 4.2 is a flexible, modular platform that provides local HMI, supervision and analytics that scale from small IIoT or WebHMI applications on embedded Linux devices to large Windows server systems, allowing users to achieve sustainability and performance improvements, one step at a time, easily and cost effectively.

I/O Interface

Emerson has released DeltaV IO.CONNECT, a new subscription software service designed to help plants simplify modernization with an open architecture pathway that makes it possible to transition to more efficient control schemes without the need to completely overhaul existing infrastructure. In a traditional plant with tens of thousands of I/O points and many controllers, this can save hundreds or thousands of hours of labor and up to 40% of the capital required for a total rip-and-replace upgrade.

Hydrogen Production

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), a regulated subsidiary of Sempra, has selected Emerson’s digital technologies, software and services to demonstrate the resiliency and reliability of its new [H2] Innovation Experience in Southern California. One of the first microgrid projects of its kind in the United States, the [H2] Innovation Experience is a technology demonstration that aims to show how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used in pure form or as a blend to fuel clean energy systems of the future.

Collaboration For Large-Scale Green Hydrogen Production

The large process automation suppliers are racing for leadership in green hydrogen production. You could search hydrogen on the blog to see the latest news. This one updates a new initiative by ABB Ventures.

  • ABB and Hydrogen Optimized announced a collaboration that positions companies for global leadership in large-scale green hydrogen production systems.
  • Combined technological offerings will include Hydrogen Optimized’s RuggedCell high-power water electrolyzers and ABB’s high-power rectifiers.
  • The two companies consolidated their alliance with a new commercial agreement signed at a hydrogen trade show in Stephenville, Newfoundland, attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
  • This includes an investment by ABB into Key DH Technologies Inc. (KEY), the parent company of HOI
  • Global electrolyzer capacity will reach an estimated 3,100 gigawatts by 2050, according to a June 2022 report published by DNV. The group forecasts that electricity-based green hydrogen will be the dominant form of hydrogen production by the middle of this century, accounting for 72 percent of output.

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