Q: Over the past several years, human centered design has been a central strategic initiative across the entire Emerson Process Management organization. Can you speak to how HCD is manifesting itself in the Rosemount offering?
A: Human centered design begins with making our products easier to use, so we really started with our AMS Suite software—making sure that templates are consistent and intuitive across all of our products. Now we're starting to move that into our hardware, which means more consistency in our local displays to make configuration and startup easier to do. If a customer understands one product, they should be able to apply that knowledge to using other products of ours. We want to make the time spent on our products as efficient and productive as possible.
All of our multivariable measurement technologies also are examples of HCD at work. We're putting multiple variable measurements together into a single package, and now we're even adding the differential pressure flow element. The end result is time saved in engineering, procurement and installation effort.
Q: Instrumentation has an obvious role in safety instrumented systems (SIS), but new applications such as safety shower and pressure relief valve monitoring address entirely new aspects of safety that traditionally have not been instrumented. Can you tell me more about instrumentation's role in safety?
A: Traditional safety systems identify upsets and take the plant to a safe condition as quickly as possible. But safety in a broader sense means safety of the local environment as well as safety of workers. As we start to evolve our wireless technologies, we see customers focus on how they can reduce the number of people walking around the facility. Any time an employee is in the plant, on the wellhead, on the platform, there's the potential for a safety incident. Wireless with online monitoring is taking away some of the reasons for these trips to the plant, to help improve overall safety.
Customers are looking at ways to apply measurements in different ways to fundamentally improve the safe operation of their plants. In the case of safety shower monitoring, as soon as that safety shower is pulled, there's a message to the control room and an emergency response team is sent out. Mustering, or people tracking, is another example—you can easily and automatically know if someone has reported in during an emergency situation.
Q: Obviously, a lot more than technical functionality goes into the typical process instrumentation purchase decision. Can you speak to the new differentiators in the instrument market today?
A: While the criteria are evolving all the time, I think our customers still rely on the quality and reliability that comes with the Emerson and Rosemount brands. In addition, more customers around world are looking for more help in properly applying those technologies. There are lots of ways to measure level and lots of ways to measure flow. As new instrument engineers are coming online, and lots of expertise is retiring, there's a need for help in applying products in the best way possible. We help our customers understand the best technology for their application and how to make the most of it. That's a differentiator for us.
Further, we can bring the full solutions capability of Emerson Process Management to bear on behalf of our customers. HCD is making our products easier to use. And wireless is really opening up the whole solution space including the ability to solve entirely new problems.