Why all this talk about digital transformation? It really boils down to the pressure manufacturers and producers are under to remain profitable, yet do so ever more safely, efficiently, and reliably. This pressure coupled with amazing technology advancements in just the last few years are driving this rethinking and actions companies are taking.
In an earlier post this week, Fostering Profitability through Digital Transformation, Emerson’s Doug White put his finger on exactly what technology advancements have occurred to enable big advances in business performance. You can now:
- Measure and collect data on almost anything.
- Send data anywhere and store all you want with fast/cheap access for those who need it
- Access built-for-purpose operational analytics that don’t require data scientist-level expertise to use
- Access intuitive, convenient & mobile user interfaces which help to turn the analytics into actionable information
The first bullet is all about Pervasive Sensing. Wireless instrumentation has reduced the economic barrier of installation and non-traditional measurements continue to become available. Some examples of non-traditional wireless sensor types include pipe & vessel corrosion/erosion sensing, vibration sensing, and acoustic sensing for leaks and releases. Even traditional measurements like pressure and temperature become more pervasive with innovations such as wireless pressure gauges and non-intrusive, wireless pipe temperature transmitters.
Sending data to cloud-based applications that can easily scale in storage and computational power requires a secure architectural approach and design. This architecture is enabled by a family of security services and robust, secure & flexible servers, gateways, and data diodes that ensures that data in existing wireless sensors and operational technology (OT) systems can be easily and securely connected to internet-based applications.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) analytics, part of the Plantweb digital ecosystem, generate new operational insights that drive more effective decisions when it comes to specific asset classes or site-wide improvements. Examples of these analytics-based applications include Plantweb Insight, Plantweb Advisor, Plantweb Optics, and DeltaV Mobile.
Not only do these IIoT sensors and analytics turn vast quantities of data into actionable information, this actionable information can be routed to the right personnel for faster decisions and action. The personnel who receive this information might be experts on site, or in a collaborative, integrated operations center of experts, or even experts with a third-party supplier, such as the Emerson Connected Services team of specialists.
For example, a sensor monitoring a safety shower can alert plant personnel that someone needs immediate attention. Shortening the time to action helps drive safer operations. Another sensor that indicates a bearing on large motor is beginning to fail can provide early warning to schedule a repair before unplanned downtime and lost production occur.
These are just a few of the many possibilities enabled by rapid technological advancements to drive business performance improvements in safety, reliability, production, and energy & emissions.
Visit the Plantweb digital ecosystem section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and solutions to help drive your digital transformation programs. You can also connect and interact with other IIoT and digital transformation experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.