The automation suppliers that will be successful in the long term will be those that effectively address application or industry specific problems for end users with a value proposition that cannot be ignored. These problems exist throughout the process industries today, and they won’t be solved by simply offering a product, but through a combination of hardware, software, services, application expertise, and knowledge.
Many of the challenges in the process industries today can be traced not to controls and automation but to plant equipment. Fired heaters, dryers, heat exchangers, and other pieces of plant equipment pose a series of problems from safety risks to poor energy efficiency. Fired heaters, for example, are the largest overall energy consumer in the process industries and represent a tremendous opportunity for energy savings. Fired heaters also present a huge safety risks during startup and shutdown. Anything involving a combustion process represents an opportunity for improved control and energy efficiency.
Yokogawa is one process automation supplier that is combining their resources in hardware, software, and services to target these specific problems in the process industries to offer a comprehensive solution. Having the right applications and products is essential for addressing these industry issues, but it is really the company’s service capabilities that are the prime differentiator and which ensure the long-term success of the solution. Through its VigilantPlant Services business unit, Yokogawa combines services and solutions to support manufacturers in their continuous improvement activities throughout the plant lifecycle.