Robert DiStefano at 2014 Emerson Global Users Exchange
Robert DiStefano, general manager of Reliability Consulting for Emerson’s Process Systems and Solutions business unit, discusses the rationale for Emerson's reliability strategy at the 2014 Emerson Global Users Exchange.

Emerson Process Management
hosted its 2014 Global Users Exchange, Oct. 6–10 in Orlando. The event, which is run by a conference board made up of a majority of end-users and a minority of Emerson employees, attracted an estimated 3,200 attendees from 57 countries to partake in a range of technical sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibits focused on four main conference tracks: Measure & Analyze, Operate & Maintain, Final Control & Regulate, and Solve & Support. And while the presentations varied widely around the theme of “Inspiring Ingenuity,” it was clear that the message for the delegation of press gathered to cover the Exchange was Reliability, Reliability, Reliability.

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“We’re here to tell you we’re in the reliability business,” said Jim Nyquist, group vice president of PlantWeb Solutions for Emerson Process Management, during a press conference on the opening day of the Exchange. “And we intend to become the most influential reliability business in the world.”

Emerson’s reliability focus was kicked into high gear in May of this year when it announced that it had acquired Management Resources Group Inc. of Sandy Hook, Conn. Founded in 1987, MRG is a recognized player in the reliability space, and Emerson is clearly working to bring MRG’s expertise to its existing customer base.
Emerson believes the synergy it shares with MRG makes logical sense from an end-user’s perspective. Emerson brings the sensor data and asset management capability, while MRG brings the consulting expertise to drive reliability and process uptime through the Emerson solution set. As a result, Emerson believes it can deliver the benefits of improved safety, availability, and profitability.  

According to the U.S. National Response Center, it costs an average of 50 percent more to repair a failed asset than it does to address a problem prior to failure. For every 1 percent gain in availability, Nyquist said a typical 200,000 BDP refinery will add $8.4 million of additional margin capture per year.

Robert DiStefano, general manager of Reliability Consulting for Emerson’s Process Systems and Solutions business unit, said that top performing plants spend an average of 1.4 percent of their investment on maintenance. For a $1 billion plant, that means $14 million spent on maintenance. Meanwhile, he said poor performing plants spend an average of 3.5 times more on maintenance, or $49 million for a $1 billion plant. By turning poor-performing plants into top-performing plants, DiStefano said an estimated $50 billion in cost savings and 5 percent of capacity/availability is at stake globally. He said these numbers are getting the attention of C-level executives, so much so that reliability is now a board-level issue for the wide majority of industrial companies. Ultimately, this is the reason Emerson believes reliability is an important business strategy going forward.

To capitalize on this opportunity, DiStefano said management consulting is needed to mentor and coach executives to properly build their culture and incentivize effective action among maintenance and operation personnel. Citing the recent publication of the ISO 5500 series of asset management standards (January 2014), he said there is significant momentum behind industrial reliability. ISO 5500 is based on PAS 55, the first publicly available specification for optimizing the management of physical assets and the product of a joint collaboration by the Institute of Asset Management and the British Standards Institution. PAS 55 was issued in 2004 and updated in 2008 before ISO accepted it as the basis for ISO 5500.

Kevin Shoemaker, senior vice president of operations for bio-based ingredients maker Corbion, said his company worked closely with MRG to develop an organizational culture that focuses on reliability. “You have to have significant changes in the way you see the world,” said Shoemaker, who explained that Corbion, like many industrial process companies, previously viewed maintenance as a task only to be performed when something was broken. “I can’t emphasize how much of a journey [a reliability culture] is and how much of a paradigm shift is required to make [it] happen,” he said.

During his keynote address at the Emerson Users Exchange, Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management, explained the key role sensors play in the quest to improve equipment reliability. Citing statistics compiled by ARC Advisory Group, Sonnenberg said 80 percent of unplanned equipment downtime is preventable through advanced sensing. “The more of these problems that we can sense, the more that we can solve before they cause us shutdown. We call this idea of gaining insight from more sensors throughout the plant ‘Pervasive Sensing.’”

In addition, Sonnenberg said Emerson is working to make the process of planned shutdowns more efficient. “Sometimes even planned downtime can be a problem, if there’s too much of it,” said Sonnenberg. With the aim of addressing this issue, Emerson is offering a turnaround planning service that is designed to help users reduce the frequency and length of their turnarounds.

Based on the themes discussed at the Exchange, it is clear that Emerson sees reliability as a business strategy. With the addition of MRG’s consulting expertise and the sensing capability it brings through its technology portfolio, Emerson believes it is uniquely positioned to enable end-users to maximize profitability and efficiency through improved plant uptime.
 

Technology Roundup

From a technology perspective, Emerson offered up several product announcements that are relevant for flow control systems. The following roundup offers highlights from among the showcase technologies at the 2014 Emerson Global Users Exchange.

5700 Coriolis Flow TransmitterCoriolis flow transmitter for improved measurement insight: The Micro MotionModel 5700 is a Coriolis flow transmitter designed to translate measurement data into meaningful insight and instruction. It is applicable for a range of applications, from liquid and gas custody transfer to simple process control.  The Model 5700 provides users access to detailed measurement history for troubleshooting or optimizing the process. The graphical user interface was designed for intuitive operation, with simplified installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The new transmitter translates Coriolis measurement data into useful operating insight through robust, time-stamped history files for process and meter health data, and logs for configuration changes and alarms. The Model 5700 digital signal processing architecture provides fast flow response time, making it a good fit for custody-transfer proving and short batching applications. The historian feature also adds an element to Micro Motion Smart Meter Verification, which provides measurement of the full meter health without process interruption.
 

Rosemount 8700Magnetic flowmeter line with new safety and diagnostic features: The Rosemount 8700M Magnetic Flowmeter line is designed to provide enhanced safety for hazardous-area applications along with intelligent diagnostics. These features aim to help users across a variety of industries take advantage of improved installation, maintenance and process management practices. Glass feed-throughs transmit signals between isolated compartments of the transmitter enclosure, providing a barrier for safety and reliability. The all-welded sensor design and dual-compartment transmitter housing are designed to keep critical components isolated from environmental hazards—a leading cause of electronics failures. Enhanced diagnostics, including Smart Meter Verification and Electrode Coating Detection provide users with more information about the flowmeter, installation and process. The Electrode Coating Detection diagnostic identifies coating on the electrode before the sensor signal is compromised, helping to prevent inaccurate flow measurement. The 8700M line leverages Human Centered Design concepts to make it easier to install and use. With a fully functional through the glass Local Operator Interface (LOI), all diagnostic information is at the tip of a finger in any environment. An enhanced terminal compartment with larger connections on the sensor and transmitter simplify field wiring. 
 

705 Wireless Transmitter for Turbine FlowmetersWireless totalizing transmitter for flow measurement in remote applications: The Rosemount 705 Wireless Totalizing Transmitter is designed to install on new or existing turbine meters or pulse devices to deliver flow and totalized flow volume over time. The totalizing transmitter also delivers predictive diagnostics data to indicate instrument health and support timely maintenance to intervene on issues before they affect operations. The transmitter provides flow rate and totalization in an operator-configurable unit with security lockout to protect from tampering, remote installation flexibility, 1 second update to ensure timely information, and configurable k-factor to enable installation on any turbine meter or pulse device. The new transmitter is scheduled for release in the second quarter of  2015.

Bettis EHO Valve ActuatorElectro-hydraulic operator for remote valve emergency shutdown applications: The Bettis EHO actuator is designed to handle critical shutdown situations where dependability is a must.  The EHO is available in either spring-return or double-acting configurations. Torque outputs can handle valve sizes from 6” to 60”. The EHO operates on utility electrical power or optional solar power for remote areas where electric power is not available or not reliable. The EHO is operable in temperatures ranging from -40 F to 140 F (-40 C to  60 C). Its fail safe capability is reliable with fast close or open stroke times, suitable for emergency shutdown in oil or gas service. 
 

EIM Electric Valve ActuatorIntelligent electric valve actuator with compact profile and simplified digital controls: The EIM Model 500 with TEC2 Electronics is an electric actuator for use in rotary and linear valve applications. The TEC2 electronics are designed to provide the visibility, insight and reliable control needed for effective plant operations. In today’s plant environment, getting timely information on valve operation in process units is key to reducing costly downtime. The TEC2 electronics provide ready information on actuator status and diagnostics that help operations avoid unscheduled maintenance. The Model 500, with its compact size, light weight, and advanced electronics, automates small valves used in tight piping configurations and can be utilized with a Remote Display Module for difficult-to-observe applications. With increased stem acceptance, the Model 500 accommodates a variety of valve mounting options. Maintenance and setup are simplified with a non-intrusive design that eliminates the need to open control compartments. Model 500 actuators utilize an open network control architecture allowing a range of topologies and protocols including Modbus, HART, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet, and Ethernet to integrate into existing or new communication networks.
 

Rosemount 248 Wireless temperature transmitterLightweight, rugged wireless transmitter for single-point temperature measurement: The Rosemount 248 Wireless temperature transmitter is designed for cost-effective, single-point measurements. It complements the Smart Wireless temperature family that includes high performance and high density wireless measurement devices. The new temperature transmitter is intended for the harshest environments, with a compact design  polymer housing delivers high impact strength even after extensive exposure—from extreme temperatures to salt spray from marine environments. The 248 Wireless temperature transmitter is lightweight and enables direct mounting to the process. The 248 Wireless transmitter is fully compatible with any IEC-approved WirelessHART network, a network that delivers information-rich data with 99 percent data reliability. It also offers configurable process alerts to allow the user to set alerts at certain temperatures for unique applications. It accepts 2, 3, and 4-wire RTD and thermocouple inputs, mV or ohm inputs. It offers an integral antenna and an optional five-digit LCD display. Availability is scheduled for February 2015.
 

Guided-Wave Radar Level Measurement Integrity TestingOnline Guided Wave Radar Integrity Testing: The Verification Reflector function, now available with the Rosemount5300 Series GWR transmitters, is designed for applications requiring periodical transmitter integrity tests to ensure that the level measurement device functions correctly and overfilling will not occur. The 5300 with Verification Reflector enables automated transmitter integrity tests without stopping the process or manually raising the product level in the vessel. This feature aims to help to reduce the risk of accidental spills and enables either device verification or proof-testing to be completed much faster. There is no need to climb the tank to remove the test measurement device or open the tank to monitor levels. This helps to reduce costs, increase plant uptime, and improve staff safety. In the past, most guided wave radar transmitters have required the fluid level in the vessel to be raised to the alarm point. The fluid has to be moved in and out of the tank under test, increasing the risk of spills. The process can take up to half a day to complete, which can interrupt normal activities. The process needs to be supervised by operators to monitor the tank level, increasing health and safety risks due to the possibility of exposure to the tank contents. The Verification Reflector function eliminates the need for this procedure by using an adjustable reference reflector fitted to the probe of the guided wave radar. During commissioning, the location and amplitude characteristics of the reflector are stored in the transmitter. When the test procedure is later initiated, the stored reflector data is compared to the current measurement to verify the integrity of the measurement electronics and upper part of the probe.
 

Danalyzer 370XA Gas ChromatographModular gas chromatograph for natural gas custody transfer measurement applications: The Danalyzer 370XA Gas Chromatograph (GC) is designed to provide reliable measurement accuracy, minimal maintenance, and greater ease of use for continuous online analysis of natural gas for applications, such as custody transfer, power generation, and burner fuel/air ratio control. The Danalyzer 370XA provides a C6+ analysis similar to legacy Danalyzer GCs in a much smaller and simpler form.  New and experienced users alike will appreciate the latest advances in technology, improved diagnostics, and intuitive local operator interface (LOI), all of which come standard. A unique advantage of the Danalyzer 370XA is the Maintainable Module, which incorporates the analytical components in an easily removable module. The Maintainable Module can be replaced in the field in under two hours (including warm-up and purge) to reduce downtime and can also be maintained at the component level for cost-effective repair.

Matt Migliore is the director of content for Flow Control magazine and FlowControlNetwork.com. He can be reached at 610 828-1711 or Matt@GrandViewMedia.com. Follow Matt on Google+. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.