Monday, 27 June 2022

What's cooking?

Choose the right Ingredients for truly optimized operations

This was the first time for many to attend a face to face conference of any kind. Many events have suffered because of the COVID pandemic and Emerson postponed many of their innovative Emrex Conferences on both sides of the Atlantic which we have reported on over the years. Then last year EMREX EMEA 2021 went online.

This year in Europe instead of the major EMREX function over several days in a particular European city the decided to hold a smaller event in various venues throughout the region entitled Emerson Innovation Day 2022 headlining "Optimising Performance with the Right Ingredients."

Seán Boylan
In Ireland there were two such events one in Dunboyne and the other in Cork. We attended the event closest to Dublin and the Meath venue certainly was not shy in showing its football credentials with a statue of the legendary manager Seán Boylan standing by the main entrance. The town was also familiar to the older participants as the area in which the soap "The Riordans" was filmed week after week indeed the local church was where Benjie and Maggie tied the marital knot. (I was tempted to include a picture of this idyll of Irish country living but controlled myself.)

The fact that many people were confined due to the pandemic meant that perhaps they were unaware of the great changes in automation. We were introduced with a short film on how these challenging changes were being handled by Emerson. Some of these, like remote management of processes and indeed the conducting of remote meetings was accelerated by enforced isolation. 

Digitizing became the in word as IT and OT moved into ever more closer cooperation. Another challenge hurtling us into more change the full effects of which we hardly know is being instigated by the war in Ukraine. It looks like this will hasten uptake on reducing the use of fossil fuels and the adoption of alternative energy sources.

The use of automation was key in the Life Sciences industry in developing the various vaccines combatting the pandemic. Key stratagies had to be developed using data, much cooperation focussed on personal medicine solutions and vitally to debottleneck facility during the ramp up phase towards full capacity production.

There is a danger of being flooded with data but being unable to access the right information needed to make critical decisions.The key to success here is PKM - process, knowledge, management. Sometimes these can be reversed to the detriment of the production of the final result.

In order to solve flexibility and fast track project constraints and reduce architecture pains where possible, a process valve piloting solution was developed by Emerson which has now become a standardised product for the end-user on all projects. Again resource and speed are key factors in project execution.

Another aspect was highlighted for producers. Maintenance. Sometimes this is a reactive operation. A controller fails - "go fix it!" This means delays. The argument was that predictive maintenance is best. Also the development of remote calibration has been an enhancement forced in part by work practices during the past two years.

Better visibility into key operations data is essential to improve efficiency, increase plant and personnel safety, and support predictive maintenance strategies. The use of of WirelessHART and the mesh system with smart instrumentation makes more possible the optimisation and utilisation of assets and ultimately increase production.

Of course no Emerson function would be complete with out a presentation on DeltaV. This one was no exception. Each release of the DeltaV DCS brings innovative technologies that optimise operational efficiency. Here participants learned how it’s easier to bring in spectral waveform data, support for high-density cards making PLC migrations easier, HMI improvements, and integrating Module Type Packages into DeltaV. And we were teased by news on the next release!

The event was attended by maybe more than 75 people in Dunboyne and the quality of questions from the floor was high and stimulating.

It was quite different from EMREX but attendance included many people who would not be able to travel and spend two or three days in one venue. All user conferences are very important in encouraging interaction not only with the automation manufacturer but also between different users in similar and dissimilar industries

Salad days!
Oh and the freebies! Each participant received wooden salad servers which tied in nicely with the "Choosing the Right Ingredients" theme of the conference. Also a copy of their "Innovations in Process Automation" publication- get your own copy here!

Forward Focus!
EMREX itself is coming to America next October. Emerson Exchange is back in-person October 24th-28th, 2022 in Grapevine, TX USA. The blurb says "Emerson Exchange is more than just an industry-leading technical conference. It’s a unique opportunity to learn how you can maximize assets and increase profitability with other leaders and experts from across the process automation industry." Learn more

@Emerson_News @EMR_Automation @EmersonExchange @HHC_Lewis #PAuto #Ireland

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