How to Connect IIoT Devices to Cloud-based Applications

Emerson's Mike Boudreax on IIoT sensors to Microsoft Azure Cloud at CERAWeek 2019There is much talk this week at CERAWeek 2019 about the need to get data from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors and final control devices “out to the cloud” for collaboration. But how? IIoT technologies provide the opportunity to expand monitoring beyond process control. New insights are now available to other critical equipment – such as control valves, heat exchangers, cooling towers, and more.

At the Microsoft Agora house, Emerson’s director of Connected Services, Mike Boudreaux, shows exactly how data from IIoT-based sensors out to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, through an edge gateway device. Mike showed me various Emerson wireless sensing devices—temperature, pressure, acoustic and a control device, a Fisher control valve with digital valve controller (DVC) connected to a WirelessHART gateway.

Mike explains how Control Valve Condition Monitoring works. Behind rotating equipment, control valves are the next most critical asset type that can benefit from predictive maintenance. The DVC controls the valve and is wired directly to the control system. But it also contains a wealth of diagnostic information which can be transmitted wirelessly to the WirelessHART gateway. Continue Reading

Digital Transformation in Electrical Power Industry

Emerson's Bob Yeager on Digital Transformation in the Power Industry at CERAWeek 2019Today is Power day at CERAWeek 2019 where the focus is on the electrical power generators and distributors bringing electricity to our homes and businesses. Like the other industries this week, digital transformation initiatives are on their minds.

In a panel, Power: Realizing value from digital transformation, Emerson’s Bob Yeager discussed the use of digital technologies to help predict, manage, and control complex power networks. Digital Transformation involves Digital Twin technology to create an integrated thermodynamic, first principle model of the process, that’s integrated, alive and synchronized with the actual control system.

Another panelist noted that digital transformation starts with people and ends with people. Customers are part of this transformation as well as the people within the companies who serve them. Continue Reading

Digital Technologies and Business Value

Emerson's Mike Train on extracting value from technology at CERAWeek 2019How do we translate the technology investments we make into business value? In a CERAWeek 2019 panel, How Technology is Creating Business Value, Emerson president Mike Train offered perspectives from an automation technology point of view.

Mike opened his comments by advising to start with the business case before the technologies. Prioritize based on impact and the effort required to implement and manage change. Early successes with solid returns can enable scaling to tackle larger challenges. Look for opportunities in the key areas including safety, reliability, production, and energy & emissions.

One panelist mentioned the importance of cloud-based applications to foster collaboration among experts located in different locations, or outside the company with key suppliers. This collaboration process is much more difficult with applications spread out in silos in different servers in different locations. Continue Reading

India Energy Security–Choices in Affordability and Sustainability

Emerson's Mike Train on India's Energy Future at CERAWeek 2019India is currently seeing a great transition in energy supply and consumption. This has brought up many questions in the industry: What affordable fuel mix is optimal, and should the market or government policy decide? To decrease pollution in Indian cities, how will the fuel mix choices need to change, especially in the power and transport sectors, where fossil fuels now dominate? How can national champions leverage their customer reach in the energy sector to bring the best technologies to consumers?

In a CERAWeek 2019 panel, India’s Energy Security: Choices in Affordability & Sustainability, Emerson president Mike Train shared his perspective on the energy industry in India.

One panelist opened by setting the stage on India’s current energy situation. The primary concern is ensuring energy security, sustainability and access. Today, about 83% of the country’s domestic crude oil consumption is met by imports. To shift to a more sustainable energy supply, the primary focus is to ensure policy framework is put into place, so the amount of imports is greatly reduced. Continue Reading

Digital Skills and the Workforce

Emerson's Mike Train on Digital Skills in Workforce at CERAWeekOrganizational change involves managing change for people, processes and technologies. Emerson executive president, Mike Train, joined a CERAWeek 2019 panel, Digital Skills & the Workforce to look at the people part of this change management process.

Panel moderator Susan Kish opened the panel describing the change in the workforce from the early 1900s through what it’s expected to be by 2030. The shift continues toward more service sector employment and increases in manufacturing and production. One panelist noted that new members to the workforce understand the importance technology although recruiting for the energy industries is harder compared with other technology-based industries.

Another panelist shared Saleforce’s TrailHead educational site. It’s a free service to allow anyone who has the initiative and access to the web can build IT-related skills. Continue Reading