Plants have thousands, or even tens of thousands of assets to maintain – including measurement devices, analyzers, final control devices and more. So how can digital technologies be applied to better identify, size, procure, install and maintain them over their useful lives?
In this podcast, Emerson’s Kristin Steiner and Adam Thompson joined me to discussed the MyAssets digital toolset, as one of the components of the MyEmerson Personalized Digital Experience. MyAssets provides a single location where you can instantly access a digital installed base record of devices – smart and non-smart – at your plant, regardless of manufacturer.
Whether drawings and diagrams, technical and troubleshooting documents, repair reports, or recommended spare parts, the information is available in a single view. This enables maintenance planners and technicians to quickly find the device-specific information needed to plan and execute maintenance work faster and more efficiently.
Listen as Kristin and Adam share many ways that MyAssets can help you streamline tasks and drive improved maintenance metrics like first time fix rate and schedule compliance.
Jim: Hi, everybody. I’m Jim Cahill with another Emerson Automation Experts podcast. The digital revolution continues to roll on, and simplify and streamline more and more of what we can do. Today, I’m joined by Kristin Steiner and Adam Thompson to discuss MyAssets, one of the elements in the MyEmerson Personalized Digital Experience. Welcome, Kristin and Adam.
Kristin: Hi, Jim.
Adam: Hey, Jim. Thanks for having us.
Jim: Hey. It’s great that you’re here. Well, let’s get started by introducing yourselves for our listeners. Kristin, can you share some of your background and current role with Emerson?
Kristin: Sure. It’s great to be here. I’m Kristin Steiner. Fun fact about me is I started my career in accounting and came to Emerson in an IT role just over eight years ago. Since then, I’ve transitioned into a role that focuses on our aftermarket sales and supports our customers in how they can more easily manage the life cycle of their Emerson products.
Jim: Well, that’s great. I love that fun fact you shared there. How about you, Adam? Can you share some of your background?
Adam: Sure. I currently work with Kristin, supporting the MyAssets portfolio, which we’re going to talk about today. My past with Emerson, I’ve been here for almost 10 years. I was in inside sales for about four and a half, then I transitioned into product management for DP flow. And then I had an opportunity to kind of move over and work with Kristin in the MyAssets portfolio. So, that’s where I’m at now.
You know, I find my history especially within Emerson is it’s really helpful in terms of us being able to identify some hurdles or some problems that we’ve been running into in the past with our customers. And so, it’s been great to work with her and continue to be able to create interesting functionalities that help solve those. So, I’m excited to be here. Thanks for having us.
Jim: Well, it’s great you all both are here. And let’s just dive right into it. Kristin, let me start with you. How is Emerson helping our customers take advantage of digital tools?
Kristin: So, Emerson is connecting people and technology to make it easier to do work. We’re moving towards a self-service and collaborative approach where Emerson and the customer can work together to solve problems. Our solution to that, and to help our customers, is a self-service and collaborative environment called MyEmerson. It’s a personalized digital experience, and it includes MyPreferences where you can manage your email subscriptions, MyWorkspace which allows you to engineer and configure products. MyTransactions allows you to quote an order. MyAssets is an online digital install base which we’ll dive more deeply into. And coming soon are MySoftware and MyTraining.
Jim: Wow. It’s a pretty broad portfolio of things to really help our customers do things a little bit more effectively and efficiently. So, Adam, how do you see digital tools changing the maintenance landscape?
Adam: That’s a great question. I think we’ve done a few things especially within the portfolio that allow us to be able to push content to the people who need it when they need it. Right. A big thing that we’ve been working on is applying QR codes to our products. And so, as we go about manufacturing products and shipping them to customers, I think since last May of 2020, we’ve been putting QR codes on our products. And so, what that does is it allows them to scan the device on-site directly in front of it with whatever device they use, whether it’s a tablet or their mobile device. And it gives them the information they need when they need it. So, we’re talking manuals, quick start guides, datasheets, and kind of bulletins. Stuff like that that might need immediately, they have access to.
We’re also in the process of coming up with a few other features that I think we’ll talk about later. But that’s the big one right now is just giving content to users when they need it. And so, hopefully, that’s kind of one of the things we’re trying to achieve with this portfolio.
Jim: Yeah. Considering the alternative of being out there and realizing you don’t have the information you need to maybe heading back and taking trips back and forth, that seems like if you can just call it up through your QR code, your little smartphone or tablet reader, wow, that could save a lot of time. Kristin, what kind of information would a customer expect to see when they log in to MyAssets?
Kristin: Sure. Great question. So, when a customer logs into MyAssets, the landing page is a device list of all the devices that we have on-site for them. We’re pulling that information currently from our manufacturing systems, and we continue to grow that with walk-down information. And we’ll be pulling from multiple different sources over the next couple years. In that device list, you can see life cycle status and the breakdown of the different devices on-site as well as the hierarchy of your plant.
From there, you can drill down into a specific device and see the device details which include a high-level overview, any documentation related to that device, a device history and schedule. So, ship date, any walk-downs or any events that have occurred. You can also have the ability to see trainings that are available for that device and see face model recommended spare parts. And then the last piece of information that you can see is the walk-down page.
So, we’ve taken our walk-downs, and we are presenting them to you in a digital way where you can see the recommendation of the red, yellow, green status, and any comments in a really easy, readable way, consistent across all of the different devices that Emerson manufactures.
Jim: That’s really bringing the digital revolution to what was once just a green-looking valve or a blue transmitter and being able to access all that. That’s tremendous. Adam, you mentioned maintenance technicians having access to information right at the device. Tell me more about how they would use that information.
Adam: That’s a great question. So, we’re working with customers globally to get a better understanding of what information they’re looking for. And one of the big things that they’ve been asking for regularly is, again, quick access to documentations. So, quick start guides, any kind of manual that helps them install products, wiring diagrams, any kind of drawings that they may have purchased or that are very general. But it allows them to understand what the orientation of the device should be, how to install it, make sure that it’s commissioned correctly. So, that’s a lot of the stuff that we’re seeing upfront.
Some of the stuff that we’re starting to see later is, are we able to get access to the certifications and documentation that we purchased? So, generally, what happens is that documentation is in a box that gets shipped to customers. It gets misplaced or gets turned away with the packaging. And then they take that device and they put it on the shelf. And so, they struggle in trying to find it. So, generally, they call us back and say, “Hey. We purchased this product from you. We’d like to be able to get the documentation. Can you send it to us?”
We’re trying to kind of alleviate our customer pain point by providing that content upfront in that QR code through the device history and schedule that Kristin talked about a little bit. They’re going to be able to find that content when they need it rather than have to wait for us. So, again, just trying to push them information when they need it and where they need it.
Jim: Yeah. If you have it right when you need it, and if you’re solving a problem, then you solve it that much faster, it would seem to me. Kristin, in addition to work in the field, I imagine there’s a need for this type of information when planning service engagements or turnarounds or activities like that.
Kristin: Yeah. So, having the information like life cycle status or any walk-down results can be extremely helpful when planning the scope of a service engagement or turnaround, also any reports or calibrations that have been done. We have a customer who works with pressure release valves, and they have some mandatory regulatory compliance that they need to continually keep documentation. So, they’ve been loading the documents to their device history and schedule. And that allows them to see what devices may need work or may need to have a calibration done during the next turnaround or the next service engagement to make sure that they stay in compliance.
Jim: I guess, for you, Adam, what are one of the most interesting ways you’ve seen a customer use this information, good stories you can share with us?
Adam: Yeah, absolutely. We’re actually working with a customer who is a midstream customer. And so, they are trying to be a little bit more independent in terms of how they purchase products, how they get information on products, etc. And so, we have worked with them upfront through the MyEmerson portal in terms of product advisor and helping them walk through how to size a Coriolis meter. And so, they were working through that. And, you know, again, we assisted to make sure they understood what did what and how to get the result that they required. So, it went through, and they sized their entire device.
And then they turned around and said, “Is there a way for us to purchase this online? Can we just try to PO and send it in?” And, obviously, we said, “Yeah. We can do that.” So, that’s through the MyEmerson portal and through MyTransactions. So, we help them walk through from sizing to purchasing. So, they went through that after sizing and purchased it. When they received the device, the field guy was on-site when they got there. And the first thing they saw was, “There’s a QR code on here. What does that do?” And so the guy’s like, “Scan it. Find out.” Because he knew. I prepped him and said, “Hey. By the way, if we’re sending this out, it’s a good opportunity for us to get in front of a customer.”
So, the customer scans it, looks at it, and goes, “Oh. What? It’s all here?” And he was like, “Yeah. It’s absolutely all there. Everything that you need to commission this device. In the future, all your documentation. It’s all there ready to go.” And they were just completely astounded, super happy with it. They’re excited. They’re now giving us feedback unwarranted. We’re not even asking for it. He’s like, “You know what would be really cool? It’s if we can have this.” So, it’s great. It’s a nice little, I guess, emotional boost for us for the amount of work and time that we’ve put into the MyAssets portfolio, and also to see customers now wanting to engage in it as well. So, it’s really cool, and it’s rewarding for us.
Jim: Yeah. And I would think, with a lot of these modules, that real-time feedback coming back from customers, “Well, it’d be cool if it did this and that,” allows you to be flexible and keep adding capabilities to it to make it even easier for them. I think the whole way things are structured to be able to do that is really good. Kristin, how about you? Any interesting stories, how you’ve seen customers use this information?
Kristin: Sure. So, we have a customer who is trying to standardize on a specific product. And in the process, they’re doing walk-downs on different areas of their site. And they want us to identify what products that they have installed could be replaced by the [Rosemount] 3051 which is what they want to standardize on. It really does help them with inventory and spares management, standardizing. So, we’ve gone through and we have what we call Recommend Replacement strategy where we can identify those areas where they can standardize and even understand their application and how they want to install it, and recommend to them a model string which we can in the future then add to cart, have it validated, and make it really easy to reorder that device.
Jim: It keeps getting better there, it sounds like. Now, I can’t let you all go without trying to spill some secrets for our listeners of this podcast. So, Adam, is there any upcoming functionality that you can give us a sneak preview of?
Adam: I’m actually super happy you asked me that question first because I’m sure I’m going to steal Kristin’s which is probably my favorite part about this segment. But one of the things that I am really excited about is the timeline called the device history and schedule. And so, if you think about your car…we’ll use the car analogy, right, and Carfax. What this device history and timeline is going to do is it’s going to give you everything that’s happening to that asset, from when you install it, to when potentially an Emerson technician comes out and works on that device. When a calibration is done, it gives you the option as a customer to log some fields to say, “We did work on it.”
It also, in the future, will give you the ability to schedule a service from the platform as well as know when a technician is supposed to be on-site working on a specific asset. So, there’s a lot of things that are happening specifically within that space that are going to be really cool as we move forward, especially for customers to be able to schedule a service and plan out their own STO [shutdown, turnaround, outage] and stuff like that. So, it’ll be great. I’m excited.
Jim: Yeah. That Carfax analogy is a really good one to understand that and imagine for all those devices that you have there in the plant. That’s really cool. Kristin, how about you, since Adam went first and potentially stole your thunder?
Kristin: Yeah. That’s okay. He steals my ideas, too. I’ll let it go. So, one of the big things that’ll be coming soon is serial number specific documentation. And I know this one’s really important to Adam as well. Being able to capture all of the documentation when a device is shipped, and having that easily accessible via a QR code scan when it arrives on-site, not only does that make the documentation easier to access, it reduces the amount of documentation that you have to store and find when you need it, and reduces the amount of paper that we’re using as far as shipping out all of these devices and all of, like…a huge packet of paper. So, it really does cut down on our global impact, I guess, when we talk about the less paper we’ll be using.
Another cool thing that I think we’ll be doing is really starting to integrating MyAssets will all of the other pieces of MyEmerson. Right now, they’re integrated, but we really want to make that process as seamless as it can be where you can simply add a model string to your cart, have it validated, and order it from there, add spare parts from MyAssets page and quickly take that to the cart and get that ordered. Being able to send different devices to MyWorkspace, create lists there. So, all of those integrations, the deep integrations that we’re looking at will be really enhanced over the next couple years.
Jim: Okay. So, faster access to information or sustainable, because less paper is being pushed and shipped and printed and all that good stuff. And then that whole flow from engineering what you want, to ordering it, to getting it, to having what you need with it, to make it get up and running. That sounds like a very powerful tool, and make the engineers out there, their life a whole lot easier. So, Kristin, how does someone get started? Hopefully, there was something in here that piqued someone’s interest, that ready for action, what do they do?
Kristin: Sure. They can visit Emerson.com/MyAssets to try our demo site and to register for a MyEmerson account. You can also reach out to your local Emerson representative for a demo or reach out to Adam or myself on LinkedIn.
Jim: That’s great. Thank you both so much for sharing these stories of how MyAssets as one of the components of MyEmerson Personalized Digital Experience can really help our customers be more effective and efficient in their automation and their instrumentation in their facilities. So, you heard it from Kristin. Reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn [Kristin, Adam], and visit the Emerson.com/MyAssets section for more on these tools.
Well, thank you all so much for joining us today. This has been a lot of fun.
Kristin: Thank you.
Adam: …for having us.
End of transcript.