The 2013 Emerson Global Users Exchange held in Grapevine, Texas, in early October offered something for everyone — from plant and operations managers to instrument and maintenance technicians to process and controls engineers. Attendees enjoyed more than 400 sessions and forums, technology exhibits spanning the size of a football field, 16 certified professional development courses, plus a networking event at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
In addition to Industry Forums, which provided insight into what peers, other suppliers and customers were doing to compete in uncertain economic times, Emerson presented "Product & Service Roadmaps" that detailed its products, services and enhancements to be released in the coming months – as well as insights into the strategy and technology guiding future solutions. The event also held Technology Forums, which discussed how to keep up with the latest advancements in automation technology, trends, current-use cases, practical issues and networking with industry experts and peers. Finally, the event concluded with several “Meet the Experts” panel discussions. Each session gave attendees a chance to ask questions and interact with some of Emerson’s leading technologists.
One of the topics discussed at length was "pervasive sensing." Wireless networks will be the highway for a new generation of pervasive sensors and analytical software applications that will give end-users the ability to make more informed, profitable decisions. The executive leadership of Emerson Process Management described the company’s vision of “Pervasive Sensing,” and three customers showed how they’re using Pervasive Sensing solutions.
“We want to make sure we’re a listening organization, and show we can work with our customer to solve their toughest problems,” said Steve Sonnenburg, president of Emerson Process Management. “Our customers are traditionally vigilant in optimizing their plant performance and keeping them safe, but there are other areas into which they haven’t had as much visibility. There’s an increasing emphasis on other business-critical issues, such as equipment reliability, environmental concerns, energy use, security and personnel safety. The cost of monitoring these areas has been dropping due to wireless technology, and we’re now reaching an inflection point that we’re calling Pervasive Sensing.”
In essence, pervasive sensing is founded on three pillars:
• Innovative sensors that are multivariable, non-intrusive and cover wide areas;
• Easily commissioned components that are wireless, self-powered and configuration-free;
• No-maintenance devices that are accurate, calibration-free and have lifetime reliability.
This foundation delivers huge amounts of new data to a Strategic Interpretation level, which sorts through it by using sensor awareness functions, new algorithms, industry knowledge and human expertise. Finally, this interpretation level presents its findings
to users at the Actionable Information level.
With lower-cost wireless sensors, it is now doable to have many more sensors. Ultimately, all this information will be brought together in an integrated operations center (iOPS), where the operator of the future will be a business operator, using a business operations network to monitor and manage actionable information.
Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson Process Management, gave an overview of the company's new technology, including the pervasive sensing concept. Zornio began by explaining that Emerson had reorganized its product and services offerings, grouping them into functional areas: Measure and Analyze; Operate and Manage; Final Control and Regulate; and Solve and Support.
Starting with the realm of Measure and Analyze, Zornio described a new and substantially different Elite Coriolis mass flowmeter family. The next generation Elite CMFS (for Coriolis Mass Flow Sensor) is a fully drainable mass meter that sets a new standard in high-performance mass flow measurement.
“We were able … to produce a new meter family with real advances,” said Andy Dudiak, Micro Motion vice president and general manager. “The accuracy of the new instrument is +/- 0.05% of mass flow, +/- 0.05% of volume flow, and +/-0.0002 g/cc density, with 30:1 turndown. That’s high meter rangeability, and we’ve made it more stable at low flows. The zero stability of the instruments reflects a 50% improvement over the previous generation of Elite meters.”
Zornio went on to announce new viscosity and density meters and a polymer-housed version of the 3051 pressure transmitter that is natively wireless and boasts a five-year calibration cycle. He introduced a quad-sensor vortex meter for safety instrumented system (SIS) applications that provides a process variable output and three voting safety outputs. In magmeters, there’s a new abrasion-resistant, high-temperature lining that Emerson calls Adiprene. There are new temperature transmitters, as well as a wireless guided wave radar transmitter. He introduced next-generation process analyzers, including the Rosemount Analytical Model 1066, a two-wire device with either HART or Foundation Fieldbus outputs. A new oxygen analyzer and a multipath ultrasonic flowmeter for LNG applications also were unveiled. Incus is a new ultrasonic gas leak detection system that “listens for leaks and senses them before they become critical,” Zornio said.
In the area of Operate and Manage, Zornio revealed a new Distributed-RTU SCADA product that allows easy, drag-and-drop configuration of control strategies across multiple remote terminal units. Version 12 of AMS Device Manager with new asset classes is shipping. “And we have partnered with Beamex and Meridum so that we can have very smooth data transfer and workflow capability from the field to maintenance,” he said.
In Batch and Operations Management, Zornio noted several enhancements, including improved operator integration and the increased ability to prevent unauthorized changes. He pointed to improved electronic logbooks and recipe-authoring tools, especially applicable to the life sciences industries. The latest iteration of the CSI Machinery Health Monitor is now the CSI 2140 Machinery Health Analyzer. This portable, tablet-sized, four-channel unit is equipped with Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless. “It has benefited greatly from human-centered design in its navigation and HMI,” Zornio said.
For Final Control and Regulation, Zornio introduced an electric level loop for upstream applications including an easy Drive electric valve and LZe electric liquid level controller. He also showed the new 1098-63EGR Regulator, which he said is “zero-bleed, very green and great for oil and gas applications.”
In the area of Solve and Support, Zornio singled out some new packaged applications, such as Asset Monitoring for Cooling Towers and Asset Monitoring for Compressors. Of course, he couldn’t leave products without talking about wireless. He introduced the new 1552WU wireless gateway which combines a WirelessHART gateway with a 5-GHz Wi-Fi backhaul, and the latest version of the company’s network management software, Smart Wireless Navigator. Zornio’s view of the future focused on the changes that “pervasive sensing” will bring to the process plant. “We will have more real-time data for business-critical information, just as we do today for process-critical information,” he said. “You will see probably double the field sensors that you use today, and you will need the tools to manage that data and turn it into information.”
“We know our customers want application-specific solutions,” Dudiak said. “They want human-centered design solutions for easy start-up and maintenance, and they want simplified system integration with the plant networks so they can remotely diagnose meter health.”
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