In an Ovation Users’ Conference panel discussion between Glenn Heinl, vice president of Lifecycle Services; Mike Brown, manager of lifecycle proposals; Jaime Foose, director of security solutions and lifecycle shared services; and Hugo Ibarra, manager of west regional projects, participants looked at how the power and water industries are changing to sustain the infrastructure of the globe, and at the upcoming technologies and services supporting those changes.
Planning for the long term
Changes in personnel, in power and water systems, and in global outlook and demand are having a impact on the way industry operates. One way organizations can help navigate change is to start looking more closely to lifecycle planning to help address the industry changes occurring globally. Glenn explained,
“We want to be able to sit down with all of our customers and map out how they want their systems to look one year from now, five years from now, and ten years from now. That’s what the lifecycle planning process does.”
Lifecycle planning helps organizations prepare key strategic areas such as upgrades, automation, and digital transformation to spread improvement initiatives across time. Instead of every upgrade being a large, expensive project, organizations can develop a five or ten year lifecycle plan to spread out the monetary, time, and personnel commitments required to keep plants up to date.
In addition to lifecycle planning, organizations are continuing to embrace predictive and proactive maintenance.
“At this time of year, we all know in North America the heat is up and power must be produced all day and all night, 24/7. Any little hiccup can cause a serious issue.”
Predictive maintenance helps organizations ensure systems are ready to go even during peak production. One key strategy is moving from manual to automated monitoring. Instrumenting systems not only unlocks more regular, reliable data collection for analytics and trending, but also opens the door to remote automation control centers. Glenn shared,
“We’re seeing a lot of projects for remote automation control centers. They bring data back into a central automation center to efficiently run multiple plants at the same time.”
Hugo shared another exciting example of the benefit of integrated remote operations,
“We also see an increase in system consolidation projects where customers are pulling remote applications controlled by separate, smaller systems into their Ovation system using a variety of software and technologies to simplify that process, improve operations and reduce costs.”
With more remote operations comes a need for greater cybersecurity. As nations and industries take action to protect critical infrastructure, government initiatives and executive orders are impacting how providers operate. Jaime explained,
“We’re seeing a really big focus on supply chain. You want to make sure that the products and software that you’re receiving are from a secured source, and that you know where it came from and where it has been while in transit to you.”
Jaime offered three key strategies to start improving the security of your plant today:
- Have a plan and a policy
- Educate everyone
- Segment and isolate your networks
Services eliminate complexity
Maintaining a reliable, secure control architecture means keeping systems up to date. To accomplish this, customers are taking advantage of an array of Emerson services to reduce complexity in their systems. Increased focus on professional services is particularly common in renewables, where Emerson teams are providing a great deal of long-term support. Michael explained,
“A lot of pursuits coming in are very complex. To help, Emerson enlists a solutions architect who works with the customer to understand project scope and help provide a cost-effective solution.”
Be sure to visit the Process Control for Power & Water Industries section on Emerson.com for more on the technologies and solutions to drive improved performance in electrical power, water & wastewater.