Emerson Exchange

A year of growth and promise

By Paul Studebaker

Sep 24, 2019

EE19 leaderboard

“I see before me 2,600 of the world’s best people—our customers, partners and employees,” said Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business, in his keynote at the opening of Emerson Global Users Exchange 2019 this week in Nashville.

Karsanbhai’s promotion to executive president was announced at last year’s event and, he said, “It’s been a big year, for our industry, for our company, and for me personally.” During the past year, he has visited many Emerson and industry facilities, and met with customers around the world. “Each of your companies faces unique challenges and problems, but you have a lot in common in your goals and opportunities,” he said.

The oil and gas industry is experiencing capacity constraints and a volatile market, and needs to reduce costs, improve asset performance and develop its people. Upstream supply is seeing higher downstream demand, and needs to expand safely and reliably. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is growing globally, and “40% of the world’s expansion is in North America,” Karsanbhai said. Regasification capacity is increasing in Europe and Asia, and shippers are raising capacity.

Meanwhile, the power industry is dealing with a new mix of generation, including renewables. Pharmaceuticals and specialty chemical are integrating new processes, raising demands on controls and quality. Packaging and automotive industries are seeking greater flexibility to meet changing customer demands.

“Focus on the things you can control: safe operations, increasing reliability, optimizing production,” Karsanbhai advised the audience. “Automation professionals have a direct impact on company performance.”

How it’s growing

Karsanbhai stressed Emerson’s long history of and continuing efforts to truly understand the industries and customers it serves, and described its increasing array of hardware, software and services to meet their changing needs. Innovations over the past couple of years include last year’s introduction of DeltaV v14, “the most intuitive and scalable DCS ever built,” he said. Ovation 3.7 for power and water has advanced control, cybersecurity and analytics, and Guardian Support v13.2 prognostic service provides a DCS health score that reflects safety and security risks.

For data management, Plantweb Optics v1.5 does historian and trending with increased scalability, Plantweb Insight has additional health analytics, and AMS Device Manager v14 offers smart commissioning with higher security.

Emerson has also recently developed digital isolation valves for critical safety applications, two-wire Coriolis meters to simplify installation for improved measurement, hygienic instrumentation for food and beverage applications, and ultrasonic plastic joining for precision welding applications.

Along with product expansions and improvements, “We’ve made eight key acquisitions this year,” Karsanbhai said. “Last year, we acquired Pentair valves, and now have AE Valves for cryogenic applications, Circor for steam traps and regulators, and Permasense for erosion and corrosion sensors.” The additions of Aventics smart pneumatics and Asco valve have increased the range for factory automation.

“A year ago, we acquired GE Intelligent Platforms to bring in traditional PLC applications in hybrid and discrete automation,” Karsanbhai said. “Integrating PLCs with DeltaV and Ovation is a significant step toward fully integrated solutions across your facility and organization.”

Data management acquisitions include KnowledgeNet for machine learning and analytics, iSolutions for data management consulting, Bio-G for cloud SCADA, Zedi for life science analytics, GeoFields for pipeline integrity, Paradigm for exploration and production, and ProSys for alarm management.

At your service

Emerson now has 4,000 people around the world involved in project engineering, management and execution. “We have 700 specializing in pharmaceuticals, and a dedicated LNG team,” Karsanbhai said. The company’s 300 global service centers include two new ones, one in the Permian basin, and one in Vaca Muerta, Argentina.

With its expertise in industries and applications, and its growing hardware, software and services capabilities, the company is positioned to help solve virtually any automation-related problem, as well as facilitate improvements in most areas of plant operations. “Our ability to serve you essentially depends on the trust you place in us,” Karsanbhai said. “Tight alignment and trust accelerates progress, and brings real value.”