Yokogawa Moves Out!
10th User Group Conference theme is Integrated Solutions for a Sustainable Future
Yokogawa made clear in the first user group meeting held in North America since 2009, that they are not just an instrumentation and controls company, but rather a full service automation partner on a global scale.
Satoru Kurosu, who calls himself "Cross" because of the pronunciation of his last name, gave the Yokogawa Corporate keynote, appearing for the first time in his new position as senior vice president of Yokogawa's Industrial Automation Marketing Headquarters, and a member of Yokogawa's board of directors.
He noted that he had returned to Japan immediately after the earthquake and was extremely thankful for the outpouring of US aid and support after the quake and during the recovery. Kurosu likened that response to the meaning of the Yokogawa logo, the "kite" symbol. "The squared off edges on the top half of the kite refer to Yokogawa's cutting edge technology," he said, "while the curves of the bottom half of the kite refer to the warm hearted nature of Yokogawa's people."
Kurosu noted that Yokogawa's mission is to contribute to society, through producing industrial automation solutions that improve peoples' lives. In two years, he said, Yokogawa will be celebrating its centenary. Founded in 1915, Yokogawa had turnover of ¥334.7 billion in 2011 and over 19,000 employees worldwide. North America, Kurosu said, amounts to over ¥21.3 billion per year.
He went on to describe Yokogawa's place in the global DCS market. "We are about 12.9% of global share of market, in 2011," he said. "But when you look at global market share in the chemical industry, we are number one with 24.5%."
And let's not forget field transmitters. "We are second in the world in sales of pressure transmitters, with 27.3% market share," Kurosu said.
But what is really important, he went on, is Yokogawa's ability to serve its customers on a global scale. "We have 90 affiliates in 55 countries worldwide," Kurosu said, "and we can be truly responsive very quickly to our customers' needs."
Kurosu reminded the audience that he had developed the VigilantPlant concept after being struck by Peter Drucker's comments about well-managed plants. "A well managed plant is a quiet and boring place," Kurosu quoted Drucker.
People aren't always attentive, and most plants are still noisy and busy, Kurosu said, "We need to do something more!" There are safety regulations, security issues, alarms, environmental regulations—the systems are complicated and larger than ever before. What Yokogawa offers, Kurosu said, is a reliable platform on which VigilantPlant Services can build to utilize assets, process and operations information. Yokogawa is enhancing the platform to provide more value: more applications, more scalability and more accuracy. These value added services provide additional safety and efficiency leading to increased human reliability.
It is safety that is the most basic of needs, Kurosu declared. "At an average cost of close to $100m in damages per incident, Operational error is the most significant part of this cost. That's human related errors."
End users need to maintain the plant for 20 to 30 years, Kurosu reminded his audience, and in every segment of the plant lifecycle, Yokogawa is capable of assuming single point responsibility for the entire cycle. From the design and construction cycle, with early involvement Yokogawa can become the Main Automation Contractor (MAC), using a highly regarded Global Engineering Standard system (GES) developed by Yokogawa that includes work breakdown structure and workflow analysis.
In operation, Yokogawa can provide alarm management, advanced process control and procedure management—along with quality improvement based on data analysis, workflow standardization and even energy management.
For maintenance of the system during the lifecycle, Kurosu suggested that Yokogawa could handle condition-based maintenance, either onsite or remotely, and provide migration and lifecycle support services.
It is working, Kurosu announced, with over 23,996 projects all over the globe. He specifically mentioned the Rabigh II PJT, the world's largest petrochemical complex, the IGCC Power plant for Korea's Western Power Company, and the Icthys LNG PJT Wide Scope. This project, Kurosu said, is being done by seven EPC companies and has hundreds of thousands of I/O. Yokogawa has been selected as the MAC. Yokogawa is providing the DCS, the Safety Instrumented System (SIS), the real-time data base and historian, the alarm management system, the APC system and other basic services that all work together out of the box.
Yokogawa is also providing value added operation consulting, Kurosu added. Using standards-based functions and products, "we can achieve both plant safety and energy saving at a high level, and maximize human performance using best practices and ergonomics. That's why Yokogawa has taken the lead in standards such as ISA101, ISA106, ISA 18.2 and in advanced process control."
"Yokogawa realized that automating procedures would yield great benefit," Kurosu said, "and we pioneered Modular Procedural Automation. In refining, MPA (ISA106) hs reducing crude switchover time by 69%; in petrochemicals, MPA reduces operator manual manipulations by 90%, and provides safer startups and shut downs in polymer processing, among other benchmarks."
In all, Kurosu said, Yokogawa is producing "smart ideas for a sustainable future!" He described two pilot projects, one for ocean thermal energy conversion and one for a sustainable ocean biomass platform, both with Yokogawa's sensors and controls.
"Our mindset is making things work," Kurosu concluded. "Being alert to protect customer interests is our mindset. Going the extra mile to do thing right is our behavior, and it is our commitment to building the future to last."
Chet Mroz, president and CEO of Yokogawa Corporation of America, gave a short keynote in which he explained that Yokogawa has set aside time for a Users Only meeting, and he hoped all the end users would attend and be candid because this feedback is critically important.
"I want to focus on what we're doing in the US, Canada and Mexico," Mroz said.
"Now that we have plentiful supplies of natural gas through new drilling technologies ... the US market is now one of the newest emerging markets in Yokogawa's purview," Mroz said. This will create, he noted, ‘Many global business opportunities building on our strengths in Asia and other parts of the world. We have been growing at double-digit rates for the first half of our fiscal year. We are planning for staffing and development of resources-- we're recruiting and adding new engineers. We have a growing backlog that requires those resources."
To grow in the North American market, he said, "We are building on our leadership position to provide solutions throughout the value chain for gas distribution. Our future in North America looks very bright and we're preparing for significant growth opportunities."
We are glad you all came to our User Group Conference, he closed. "We need to have the voice of the customer as a key part of our plans."