Building a Better Digital Transformation Foundation

by , | May 3, 2021 | Control & Safety Systems, Digital Transformation

Todd Walden

Author and Blogger

While new technologies connected with digital transformation, IIoT, and Industry 4.0 are exciting and carry great promise, it’s important to make sure there isn’t more you can be getting from what you already have. This is the main point of an Executive Corner column in InTech for April by Sean Sims, vice president for Emerson’s DeltaV™ platform. In nearly every digital transformation project, one of the first goals is to find ways to help plants and personnel live up to their full potential.

Two of the most common areas where organizations underutilize the control system, and as a result leave value on the table, are optimizing control loop performance and implementing state-based control. A predictive modeling infrastructure can help improve production performance, quality, and repeatability. However, if that infrastructure is built on a suboptimal automation foundation and operators do not have the best decision support tools available, existing operational inefficiencies can prevent production and profitability gains when a new production plan is pushed down to the plant.

Emerson has found that optimizing the equipment plants already run helps companies increase annual capacity by 1.5% and reduce operator interventions without major CAPEX costs. Personnel productivity can be optimized too.

Capturing unrealized value in the control system must also include empowering personnel. An effective alarm management strategy—which in Emerson implementations has achieved as much as a 90 percent reduction in alarms—makes it easier for operators to focus on proactively avoiding abnormal production situations and increasing their span of enhanced control. Many modern control systems also have the ability to configure in-place analytics that provide situational awareness and decision support for operators at a glance, creating the right environment for operators to perform at their best.

Partnering with a trusted automation expert can help reduce variability and optimize production to improve your plant. Without major new investments, an expert partner can help minimize process variability for optimal control performance with advanced control design, systematic loop tuning, and process troubleshooting.

Visit Emerson’s Services, Consulting & Training pages at Emerson.com. We provide a global network of service capabilities, and are the partner of choice​ for many companies just like yours. Our consultants employ innovative technologies to accelerate your competitive edge. Our Educational Services can train your staff throughout your plant life cycle. Once performance is optimized, the next stage of investment will be all the more effective.

You can also connect and interact with other engineers in the Oil & Gas and Chemical Groups at the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.