Emerson Exchange Immerse offers users an opportunity to share successes, improve skills and knowledge, and work hands-on with new technologies.
This is interesting if you are someone who follows market trends. I’ve written a few times about the pressure industrial technology companies face from Wall Street analysts. These companies need to show that they are hot technology (read software) companies beyond the old hardware days. Rockwell Automation started calling itself a software company with its partnership with PTC and acquisitions of Plex and Fiix. ABB has been making software noises. I just came from the Siemens Digital conference that was all about breadth of software. At the same time I visited the Hexagon conference where software was the topic. Next was Honeywell with some instrumentation and control discussion (the software group conference comes later), but there was a lot of software discussion there.
Emerson has been calling itself a software leader for a few years. Especially so with the (sort of) acquisition of Aspen Technology. Now we have news of the rebranding of Emerson Exchange as Emerson Exchange Immerse with a new software focus.
Global technology and software leader Emerson will bring together customers, experts, and automation industry leaders for a three-day, process automation experience as part of the first Emerson Exchange Immerse. The conference will be held October 3-5, 2023, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
As an extension of the comprehensive Emerson Exchange events held globally, Emerson Exchange Immerse will enable users to more directly focus on process automation systems, solutions, and software including technologies from DeltaV™, Ovation™, AMS, Guardian™ and AspenTech. Registration is now open for Emerson customers. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31, 2023.
Emerson Exchange Immerse attendees will engage with their peers, broaden their knowledge base and gain valuable insight from industry leaders. Users will learn the latest technology advancements, implementation successes and proven project solutions being used throughout process automation. Topics will span a wide range of industries including energy, life sciences, chemical, refining, food and beverage, power generation, renewables, hydrogen, biomass, water and mining industries.
“One of the best ways our users, and even our own Emerson experts, learn about new process automation strategies and technologies is from hearing each other’s stories,” said Nathan Pettus, president of Emerson’s process systems and solutions business. “At Emerson Exchange Immerse, attendees will not only hear those stories in user presentations but will be able to dig deeper with our hands-on technology exhibits and in our many networking events.”
Emerson Exchange Immerse will feature over 200 sessions—more than half of which will be presented by users—as well as technology exhibits and educational courses. In addition, forums led by industry experts and Emerson executives will explore how advanced automation software from Emerson is helping companies make measurable progress toward operational excellence and sustainability goals.
Emerson will also host an Exchange user conference for customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in Düsseldorf, Germany, Feb. 27-29, 2024.
I’ve accumulated a few interesting project news items from ABB.
- Robot automates Amazon Reforestation
- All-electric mine study in Australia
- China Telecom digitization project
World’s most remote robot automates Amazon reforestation project
A pilot project between ABB Robotics and US non-profit organization Junglekeepers is demonstrating the role Cloud technology can play in making reforestation faster, more efficient and scalable.
ABB Robotics is supporting Junglekeepers in their mission to protect 55,000 acres of Amazon rainforest and reverse deforestation. In a first-of-its-kind demonstration, ABB’s cobot YuMi is automating planting tasks in a jungle laboratory, speeding the process and allowing Junglekeepers’ volunteers to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work.
Through ABB RobotStudio Cloud technology, ABB experts simulate, refine and deploy the programming required for YuMi’s tasks in the jungle from 12,000 kms (7,460 miles) away Västerås, Sweden – enabling the world’s most remote robot.
“ABB’s collaboration with Junglekeepers demonstrates how robotics and Cloud technology can play a central role in fighting deforestation as one of the major contributors to climate change”, said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. “Our pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest and helping them to conserve the land they live on.”
In a jungle lab, located in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a YuMi cobot has been installed to automate essential tasks in the seed planting process, usually an entirely manual effort. The cobot digs a hole in the soil, drops the seed in, compacts the soil on top and marks it with a color-coded tag. YuMi enables Junglekeepers to replant an area the size of two soccer fields every day in zones requiring reforestation.
At the same time, by automating this task, Junglekeepers’ volunteers are able to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work, such as patrolling the area to deter illegal loggers, educating locals on the preservation of the rainforest and planting mature saplings.
Creating a fully remote and autonomous cobot installation also overcomes the difficulty of finding people willing to stay and work in the distant jungle location. After its initial installation, YuMi can carry out its tasks autonomously, with only trouble shooting as needed.
“As of right now, we have lost 20 percent of the total area of Amazon rainforest; without using technology today, conservation will be at a standstill,” said Moshin Kazmi, Co-Founder of Junglekeepers. “Having Yumi at our base is a great way to expose our rangers to new ways of doing things. It accelerates and expands our operations and advances our mission.”
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest through human activities such as logging and burning to clear land for agriculture are contributing to the devastating effects of climate change. It is estimated that more than 870,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared since 1985, an area larger than France, United Kingdom and Belgium combined. With tens of billions of trees already being gone, the region is warming fast.
“The Amazon is in danger. That’s why we need technology, science and local knowledge to work together in order to save it. Otherwise, we will be too late. The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference,” said Dennis del Castillo Torres, Director of Forest Management Research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute. “It is very important to have a combination of high technology and conservation. There are many technologies that we can use to preserve the forest, and this robot can help a lot to reforest faster, but we have to be very selective. We have to use it in areas of high deforestation to speed up the process of replanting.”
The pilot project is supported by ABB’s RobotStudio Cloud technology, enabling teams all over the world to collaborate in real time. This remote new way of programming enables new levels of flexibility and instant refinement, resulting in greater efficiency and resilience, and no loss of planting time. With more than 25 years of offline programming experience, RobotStudio offers best-in-class digital technology, enabling 99 percent accuracy between simulation and reality. This allows users to reduce time for testing robotic solutions by 50 percent and takes production downtimes to zero.
ABB Robotics’ pilot project in the Amazon furthers its objective to contribute to sustainable transformation through intelligent robotics and automation solutions, supporting businesses to increase productivity, reduce waste and maximize efficiency. In 2022, ABB Robotics collaborated with the Parley Global Cleanup network, a non-profit organization collecting marine plastic waste, to create personalized designer items such as recycled furniture, using 3D additive printing. In accordance with the wishes of Junglekeepers, the pilot scheme in the rainforest with RobotStudio Cloud and YuMi will last for approximately six weeks (across May and June 2023). Following the conclusion of the pilot program, ABB will explore opportunities to assist Junglekeepers on a more extended basis as well as exploring further opportunities for its robotic solutions and cloud technologies to play a central role in driving sustainable transformation.
All-electric mine study from Australian operator IGO
- A team of experts from the three companies will work together to design electrification for the Cosmos Nickel Project
- Study will consider mine hauling operations, power distribution, energy efficiency and power management, with decarbonization and electrification crucial to the future of this industry
- Perenti’s expertise and technical capabilities are combined with ABB’s eMine framework for electrification and automation
- The collaboration setup by ABB and mining services group Perenti has been awarded its first contract by Australian mine operator IGO Ltd. to provide an all-electric mine study for the full underground electrification of IGO’s Cosmos Nickel Project in Western Australia.
Experts from the three companies will work together to provide a pathway for the optimum design of mine electrification at the IGO-owned Cosmos Project. This will include mine design optimization for electric operations, production and operating philosophy, fleet selection, power distribution and electrical infrastructure design, electrification system and battery management, ESG and safety impact analysis, and cost modelling of both Capex and Opex.
The study is a significant step in IGO’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability performance by trialing new technologies and decarbonizing its operations, helping to create a cleaner energy future. The mine operator’s aspiration is to implement a complete mine electrification solution at Cosmos by mid-2025.
ABB and China Telecom unveil joint digitalization and industrial IoT lab
- The laboratory is a collaboration between ABB Measurement & Analytics China Technology Center and E Surfing IoT, China Telecom’s Internet of Things subsidiary
- The collaboration will explore the extensive integration of process automation solutions and empower multiple industries in China with digital transformation tools
- The lab will support manufacturing industries with end-to-end industrial IoT solutions that help with real-time, data-driven decisions for safer, smarter and more sustainable operations
ABB and China Telecom unveil a joint digitalization and industrial IoT laboratory in Hangzhou, China. The collaboration between ABB Measurement & Analytics China Technology Center and China Telecom’s Internet of Things subsidiary E Surfing IoT will focus on developing end-to-end industrial IoT solutions for industrial companies based in China.
As China transforms its manufacturing industries, the industrial IoT field is developing fast. Currently, China is promoting the green and sustained growth agenda, bringing many new opportunities to areas such as smart manufacturing, digitalization, energy efficiency, and smart cities.
As part of the collaboration, ABB and E Surfing IoT will explore avenues for technology integration and industrial application of new technologies as well as new directions for next-generation industrial IoT solutions. The two teams will focus on comprehensive digital solutions that incorporate ABB sensor technology, China Telecom’s 5G network, industrial IoT and connectivity technology, as well as cloud computing.
Recently, ABB collaborated with E Surfing IoT in the field of smart water networks. As part of the collaboration, Chinese water companies were able to increase the quality of data from their water networks and hence the operational efficiency by an average of more than 20 percent through implementing IoT solutions, achieving energy savings and cost reduction.
It will take me a few days to compile all my notes from a busy two days at HUG 2023, the annual Honeywell User Group conference this week in Orlando. Rather than a couple of hours of presentations with maybe one or two interviews like many conferences, we had two days of presentations and 1:1 interviews. Well organized and a lot of information. Of course, that means Honeywell has been active in product development.
Digital twins exist not only in discrete manufacturing. The first product covered is an extension of the Honeywell digital twin called Digital Prime. I’ll have more to add after digesting my notes with the team leader. Interesting (to me anyway having just purchased a Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV) is a new battery product called Ionic. The final product is Upstream Production Performance Suite containing interesting new sensing.
CLOUD-BASED DIGITAL TWIN
Honeywell Digital Prime solution—a cloud-based digital twin for tracking, managing, and testing process control changes and system modifications. Digital Prime is a cost-effective solution that allows users to test frequently for more accurate results while resulting in an overall reduction in reactive maintenance.
Digital Prime offers the highest level of quality control through an efficient and collaborative solution for managing changes, running factory acceptance tests and improving project execution and training without having to disrupt the production system. The platform can be used by companies in industries such as Oil & Gas, sheet manufacturing, and chemicals to test modifications during planned shutdown periods to reduce rework.
Most solutions require dedicated hardware, can be vulnerable to security breaches and don’t stay current to match live operations. Digital Prime addresses these challenges by providing a “lab system as a service” that continually updates to reflect changes that occur on the production environment, providing a dependable digital twin.
Digital Prime is a collaborative ecosystem with secure cloud-based connectivity, a virtual engineering platform, and built-in security protection. The digital ecosystem can be accessed by users across the globe through its subscription service using multi-factor authentication, enabling the customers to standardize across the enterprise.
HONEYWELL IONIC, A MODULAR BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
Honeywell Ionic is a compact, end-to-end modular battery energy storage system (BESS) and energy management tool that offers improved energy density compared to what’s currently available on the market, while delivering a significant reduction of installations costs.
Installed with lithium-ion battery cells, the design emphasizes flexibility and futureproofing. Honeywell Ionic includes Honeywell’s Experion Energy Control System and a chemistry-agnostic Battery Management System (BMS). Experion helps users to manage and optimize energy use by improving uptime, enabling peak shaving and providing the ability to create a Virtual Power Plant. The BMS provides insight into performance at the cell level, and is configurable with advances in battery chemistry, insulating the end user from future supply-chain risks.
Due to its structural design and compact dimensions, the modular architecture provides a solution that can be deployed with a standard forklift and simpler site preparation – which significantly reduces installation costs. The modular design also provides higher energy storage per square foot, scalable from approximately 700 kilowatt hours (kWh) to 300 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy capacity in a standard configuration and lasting up to two hours at maximum rate of discharge. This solution provides customers a lower installed cost per kilowatt hour. The modular approach allows customers to incrementally add storage capacity at their own pace, not having to invest in more capacity than needed.
Honeywell Ionic BESS also offers a sophisticated set of safety capabilities, including three layers of the latest generation BMSt Systems (BMS) ensuring battery health and system safety. Additionally, it can be configured with Li-Ion Tamer, which further improves the safety of Li-ion batteries, sensing thermal runaway before it occurs.
Features of Honeywell Ionic include:
- Scalable and flexible ~700kWh building block for a forklift-able installation, significantly reducing the cost and time of installation
- Battery module is designed to accommodate cells from multiple battery suppliers
- Battery management system supports all battery types and chemistries, helping futureproof the core architecture of the system and facilitating system augmentation
- Liquid cooling to help equalize battery temperatures through charge and discharge cycles, prolonging battery life
- 1500VDC battery stack to maximize power conversion efficiency
- DC augmentation support
UPSTREAM PRODUCTION PERFORMANCE SUITE
Upstream Production Performance Suite (UPP Suite), an end-to-end solution that automates and digitalizes operation from the well head to the control room.
The solution is offered in three tiers – Lite, Supreme and Ultimate, providing a variety of control and monitoring options for operators.
Lite offers users a basic sensing and monitoring solution, complete with Honeywell Versatilis sensors and software. Supreme is a standard solution with process enhancement that adds a control and safety system, advance process control, and asset performance monitoring. Ultimate offers users the most comprehensive and complete solution, adding visual analytics cyber and network security, partner solutions and asset performance monitoring simulation.
Honeywell’s UPP Suite solution is available now.
These Honeywell news items are a couple of months old. I’ve had a lot of news—especially coming first from Hannover and then from Automate. But most of my thinking time is about humans using the technology; or, technologies using the humans. Will we be replaced? Or, will we figure out how to use all the technology being developed in order to make life better for us all?
These news items are sent to writers like me to show that these companies have sold something. I’m interested in how people are using the technology and why. So, let’s dive in.
Much of Honeywell’s efforts have been toward sustainable applications. In this example, Honeywell’s Experion technology solutions will enable the bioenergy leader to centralize its automation, safety control and telecommunications systems to meet rising global demand of clean, low carbon, transportation fuels at SGP Bioenergy’s Golden City Biorefinery in Colón, Panama.
As one of SGP’s key automation contractors, Honeywell will deploy its Experion technology solutions for the plant’s distributed control and safety systems (DCS) and Experion Industrial Security systems for its integrated telecommunications to build a sustainable aviation fuel refinery.
Once fully operational, the biorefinery is expected to produce 180,000 barrels per day of advanced biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and 405,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually, according to SGP.
KOREPlex Battery Gigafactory
KORE Power, a leading U.S.- based developer of lithium-ion battery cells and modules for the e-mobility and energy storage sectors, will deploy Honeywell’s end-to-end, integrated Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform (MXP) at the KOREPlex gigafactory in Arizona.
According to a National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) report, the traditional approach to lithium-ion cell manufacturing comprises many inefficient manual operations, leading facilities to commonly operate at a 70% production yield at steady-state. As a principal manufacturer of battery cells and modules for the energy storage and e-mobility sectors, it is essential for KORE to implement highly efficient and therefore sustainable production practices.
With continuous closed-loop control, Honeywell’s Battery MXP will enable KORE Power to visualize and control their entire lithium-ion battery (LIB) production process in real-time, from mixing, coating, assembly to formation-finishing area. This centralized approach will allow KORE to reach target capacity faster while improving production yields and improving safety.
The digital Honeywell MXP platform lets users scale up their enterprise and achieve steady-state operations with superior yields starting from the first day of operations. Coupled with production optimization and improved efficiencies, Honeywell’s solution reduces energy consumption, enabling companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the platform provides online quality management with complete production traceability/genealogy of the cells produced.
KOREPlex will be the first fully digitized and integrated lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility using Honeywell’s MXP platform. By employing Honeywell’s proven expertise across related industries such as life sciences and sheet manufacturing, this solution builds upon existing technologies to fit the requirements for lithium-ion cell production.
The KOREPlex is expected to be operational in early 2025 and will be among the first U.S. gigafactories built independently of an automotive OEM, enabling the facility to supply cells to a wide range of customers, from innovative e-mobility start-ups to utility customers seeking to improve reliability with energy storage. The KOREPlex is expected to have an annual production capacity of 12 GWh of high-density lithium-ion cells, with lines committed to both NMC and LFP chemistries.
Honeywell Ventures is a co-investor in KORE Power and participated in a funding round in November 2022.
Quick news update from Festo—who is certainly keeping their PR machine busy.
Festo now offers CPX valve manifold configuration to Emerson DeltaV DCS systems for fast, simple, and effective programming, commissioning, and validation of Festo-based pneumatics for skids and machines.
This first-of-its-kind third-party commissioning solution brings one of the world’s most versatile valve manifold control platforms, CPX, to the DeltaV DCS ecosystem. Fast commissioning enables system integrators to speed up time to market, lower engineering overhead, and design new, innovative, and unique distributed control solutions. Simple CPX configuration commissioning is available for the Rockwell ecosystem as well.
The CPX electric terminal is a modular peripheral system for valve terminals. System integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) adapt CPX to a wide range of applications. The modular design of the CPX enables a virtually endless range of pneumatic system configurations.
’m still catching up on a bit older news. One of the benefits of all this digital and digital twin conversation concerns simulating processes. These have uses ranging from training to improving processes. This news concerns a collaboration between Honeywell UniSim and Borealis.
Honeywell announced that Borealis will implement Honeywell’s UniSim Live software as early adopters to build process models for optimizing operations through virtual process simulation. UniSim Live will allow Borealis to extend the utility of process models to near real-time process monitoring and focus on early event detection by using digital twins to improve plant reliability.
Based in Austria, Borealis is a leading international provider of polyolefins, base chemicals, and fertilizers, and also one of the world’s largest producers of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). The organization continues to invest in new technology and digitalization tools to improve processing capabilities and efficiencies as part of its Borstar program to optimize and transform key operations.
Process models are digital representations of a plant and its processes. They are commonly used for designing process equipment or for training operations staff. UniSim Live’s advanced process modeling detection capabilities are helping Borealis detect and mitigate issues that can impact plant performance. The collaboration with Borealis builds on Honeywell’s 20-year efforts associated with the Abnormal Situation Management consortium, whose charter is to improve plant safety and reliability.