Edge and Cloud Computing Podcast

Control and Control Design magazine have a podcast series, Control Amplified, featuring thought leaders in the world of process control and automation.

Emerson's Peter ZornioIn their most recent podcast, Computing at the Edge, Executive Editor Jim Montague interview’s Emerson Chief Technology Officer, Peter Zornio, about the edge of process automation and control systems and how it’s changed from traditional distributed control. There is also a transcript of the interview in a post, Control Amplified: Computing on the edge.

Here are some of the points that Peter made in the interview. When asked if edge computing was just another name for distributed control, Peter explained:

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Overcoming Self-Imposed Barriers to Operational Performance

This FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in Pod podcast with Emerson’s Chris Hamlin is a follow up to our 5 Questions for an Emerson Expert with Chris.

In this podcast, we explore Chris’ thoughts on a presentation he gave recently at a conference in the Netherlands. The presentation highlighted the massive technological shifts occurring that are affecting the very way we organize our businesses and drive performance improvements.

We hope you’ll enjoy this episode and will consider subscribing to the whole FIRSTHAND: Operational Certainty in Pod series on your iOS or Android mobile device.


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Manufacturing Execution Systems in Drug Research and Development

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) outlines the drug development process in five steps:

  1. Discovery and development
  2. Preclinical research
  3. Clinical trials
  4. FDA review
  5. FDA post-market safety monitoring

I caught up with Emerson’s Zuwei Jin whom you may recall from earlier posts on the role of automation in the drug development process.

Zuwei explained to me how manufacturing execution systems (MES), such as Syncade MES can be used in research environment to gather and organize the information required for tech transfer through the drug development process.

Many pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers have been probing around the possibility of using MES in R&D and believe it can be very effectively applied when moving into the clinical and commercial production steps.  Continue Reading

Accurate Oil Storage Tank Custody Transfer

For oil & gas well pads not connected to pipelines, custody transfer of the produced oil and produced water occurs via truck transport. The trucks load oil from holding tanks and require accurate measurements for the custody transfer from producer. Similarly, this is true for the produced water in their holding tanks sent off for disposal.

In a Flow Control article, API 18.2: Ensure Safety While Providing Better Level and Volume Measurement Options, Emerson’s Tom Wienke shares effective measurement technologies for this application.

The forerunner to API 18.2 is API 18.1: Measurement Procedures for Crude Oil Gathered from Small Tanks by Truck. This standard only permitted manual measurements of this custody transfer process. Tom explained the manual steps:

Step 1: The truck driver climbs to the top of the tank and opens a thief hatch. A tape measure is lowered into the tank to determine the oil level. This first measurement is called the opening gauge and establishes the baseline measurement.

Step 2: The next step is to lower in a temperature sensor to read the oil temperature, which is used to support a density calculation. A temperature reading should be taken at three depths due to stratification, with the three readings averaged.

Step 3: A collector is dropped in to capture a sample. Specific gravity can be measured using a hydrometer. Some of the sample goes into a centrifuge for the “grind out” to determine how much water and solid material is mixed in. The measurements from this sample are applied to the entire lot.

Step 4: At this point, if the truck driver is satisfied with the quality, the oil can be pumped into the truck. When the transfer is over, the driver takes a second level measurement (closing gauge) with the tape to calculate the volume transferred.

He highlighted the hazards of this manual approach:

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Reflections on Digital Transformation

I’ve been giving thought to everything I heard this week at the 2019 ARC Industry Forum now that I’m back in Austin. I think what stands out the most is how to prioritize steps on a digital transformation journey. I captured it in this tweet:

Advice for #DigitalTransformation at #ARCForum: anchor yourself with value to customer. Meet them where they’re at.

If your vision is formed by how you want create value for your customers, then start by prioritizing the actions that need to be taken to realize this vision.  Continue Reading