The topic of the panel was Digital Disruption & Evolving Business Models (YouTube video runtime 42:07).
Jonas opened noting the trend for process manufacturers and producers in becoming more interested in procuring services at levels 3 & 4 of
the ISA-95 hierarchy TSIA’s B4B model instead of purchasing equipment and software. In essence, they are looking for the expertise to come in addition to the technology so that they can focus on running their businesses more safely, reliably and efficiently. Instead of using capital to purchase the automation and manufacturing execution equipment and software, they are using operating budgets to fund and prove out the return on investment through improvements in key performance indicators in production and availability. This is a significant part of the digital transformation.
He noted that 3rd party suppliers traditionally came into the plant with their measurement and diagnostic equipment to check on the health of plant assets. More and more, these assets are being instrumented with wireless vibration, temperature and other measurements, with this data sent to the cloud to analytics software for remote experts to help identify problems before they lead to abnormal situations. This data is separate and apart from the sensors used for control and safety instrumented systems and sent through secure “data diodes” to the analytics software.
Jonas provided an example of steam trap monitoring. He noted that Emerson was never in the business of manually monitoring steam traps in plants. When the Rosemount 708 wireless acoustic transmitter was developed and installed into production facilities, it created the opportunity to have experts monitor these steam traps and find problems before they led to large energy losses. The steam traps were previously monitored by plant personal on manual rounds and could go for a long time leaking steam and wasting energy. These same types of connected services are possible as other wireless sensors are easily added.
When asked about the tradeoffs between applying the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), connected expertise and security, Jonas noted that it must be secure to be applied. Emerson recently announced the Secure First Mile, a set of architectural approaches and designs, enabled by a family of security services and robust, secure and flexible servers, gateways, and data diodes that ensures that data in existing operational technology (OT) systems can be easily and securely connected to internet-based applications.
Watch the full panel discussion to hear the panelists thoughts on how these technologies, communications paths and experts are fundamentally changing the way process manufacturers and producers operate.
You can also connect and interact with other operational improvement experts in the Improve & Modernize group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.
Update: I incorrectly referenced the ISA-95 model and corrected in the text above to the TSIA B4B model.