Emerson’s Kendall Beushausen joins our continuing podcast series, 5 Questions for an Emerson Expert. As an Operational Certainty consultant, Kendall works with clients to help improve reliability through the application of the latest technologies and improved work processes in process management, maintenance and reliability through the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics.
In the coming weeks, look for a more in-depth podcast with Kendall on the ways to think about the Industrial Internet of Things and its application in the process industries.
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.
Jim: Hi, everyone. This is Jim Cahill, and welcome to “Five Questions for an Emerson Expert.” Today, I’m joined by Kendall Beushausen. He’s an Operational Certainty consultant for Emerson. Kendall has a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Thomas Edison State College and was an engineering officer of the watch and an auxiliary control room supervisor for the United States Navy. He has an extensive background in reliability and maintenance and has been with Emerson now for 11 years as a consultant. Welcome, Kendall.
Kendall: Good afternoon, Jim. Thanks for having me.
Jim: You bet. So, I’d like to start by asking everyone what their path was into this type of career. So what made you decide to pursue a STEM-based career?
Kendall: It was actually my dad. I left college and was making plans to join the service. He’d retired from the Navy. So, I asked for his advice and help as I pursued a naval career. And as soon as I asked him, he immediately said that I needed to apply for the Nuclear Power Program, which I did. And subsequently went into the Naval Nuclear Power Program and did eight and a half years in the Navy in Operations and Maintenance reactor and steam plants.
Jim: Wow. That’s a fascinating background and of all the experts I’ve spoken with to date you’re the first one with that kind of nuclear background, very cool there. From starting with that in the Navy, what got you into our world of process automation?
Kendall: Well, after I left the Navy, I went to work for a robotics company for several years and transitioned into a couple of follow-on manufacturing jobs where I was a maintenance supervisor. The last facility that I was at had implemented what they called a high-performance maintenance program, which was actually an Emerson-produced product, similar to reliability-centered maintenance.
And that plant was shut down due to economic reasons. And because we had been implementing this high-performance maintenance program, coincidentally I received an interview with Emerson. And it happened to be with the group that actually developed that program. So, I was hired relatively quickly into the Emerson group, and have been working in the services business with Emerson for 11 years now.
Jim: Wow. That really worked out well from having experience with it to going to the team that worked on it. That worked out very well for you. So tell us about a recent challenge that you’ve been working on perhaps with one of our customers or some of them to solve.
Kendall: Actually, I’m currently working with clients in the refining business. They have been working for several years to implement strategic asset management plans, ultimately moving them from the fourth quartile performance to higher levels. They’ve struggled to…not with the technical complexities of the work, but actually having the resources to complete all that’s necessary to make that transition. And we are actually in the process of accelerating that particular client’s progress now.
Jim: That sounds like we’ve got a clear business challenge of trying to up the quartiles that they’re in, so lots of opportunity in doing that.
Kendall: The great thing about this particular project, they were on board. They’ve been on board for the last four years or so in this journey to best practices. And, like I said, their biggest obstacle is resources. And because we do this on a regular basis, we have a higher proficiency for completing the different phases of this particular journey.
Jim: That’s great. And I think a lot more manufacturers and producers out there are facing that with fewer people needing that outside expertise to, kinda, help drive their performance. So, I guess getting outside our fun world of process automation and the things we do to help our customers, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Kendall: I’m an outdoors guy. I love to hunt and fish. My wife and I do a lot of boating. And I’ve also in the past done a lot of residential rehab work, which I really enjoy.
Jim: Well, that’ll keep you outdoors, too. Sounds like a lot of fun. My final question for you and it’s, you know, as we have a lot of people in the industry retiring and a lot of new people coming into the industry, what advice would you have for someone new coming into our world of process automation or our customers’ worlds of manufacturing and production?
Kendall: I would recommend that they pursue all opportunities. Don’t allow yourself to get pigeonholed into one skill set. Continue to pursue multiple skill sets.
Jim: Well, that sounds like good advice. I had heard that somewhere. Go for, early in your career, a lot of breadth and a lot of different experiences. And then as you advance your career, maybe you get into more specific areas in there. So, I think that’s wonderful advice for everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today, Kendall, and sharing a little bit about you. And we look forward to part two where we’ll get into digital transformation a little bit more. So, until then, thanks for joining us.
Kendall: Thank you for having me.
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