Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville. As a first-time attendee, I enjoyed seeing the wealth of resources, sessions, presentations and solutions for attendees.
In the opening session, Midhu Varghese, chairwoman, Emerson Global Users Exchange, addressed the 2600 in attendance from 48 countries. She discussed the feedback received from past user exchanges and how Emerson has worked to improve year to year.
Also, Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions, spoke about dynamic industry trends in oil and gas, power generation, life sciences and food and beverage processing, as well as Emerson’s strategic acquisitions and a suite of technology solutions to help companies with their digital strategies. Then, Karsanbhai invited Peter Zornio, chief technology officer, and Stuart Harris, group president of Emerson’s newly formed Digital Transformation business, to the stage for a chat about digital transformation (the theme of the event), its challenges and opportunities.
From a company announcement, Karsanbhai said: “In a space inundated by confusing promises, Emerson helps customers define and execute a practical and successful path to digital transformation. With our new Digital Transformation business, we are strategically focused on guiding customers to the right strategy, helping them drive improved organizational alignment, and implementing programs that accelerate improved business performance.”
Harris added: “The industry is at a critical point in the digital transformation journey. Many companies have a vision but struggle to implement practical solutions that deliver results and therefore they are getting frustrated. Other companies are solving specific problems, but not realizing value at scale across the enterprise. Emerson has the technology to provide practical solutions, and the experience to define the best practices and roadmap to help make a broad operational impact.”
For attendees, the users event offered roadmap sessions and breakout industry forums with experts from the chemicals, engineering, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, mining, oil and gas, power, pulp and paper, and refining and petrochemical industries. Technology roundtables and educational services offered one-on-one conversations with Emerson’s representatives, and in the afternoons, the technology exhibit opened its doors with booths displaying Emerson’s latest solutions.
During the event, Emerson made several announcements, beginning with the introduction of its new Digital Transformation business, which provides resources to help manufacturers develop and implement pragmatic digital transformation strategies. The $650+ million business combines existing expertise in consulting, project execution, smart sensor technologies, data management and analytics. The organization will help customers not only establish a clear vision for digital transformation, but also execute with confidence and realize measurable results at each step of their journey.
Emerson also announced that it is partnering with Cisco to introduce a next-generation industrial wireless networking solution that transforms data management to improve plant productivity, reliability and safety. The new Emerson Wireless 1410S Gateway with the Cisco Catalyst IW6300 Heavy Duty Series Access Point combines the latest in wireless technology with advanced WirelessHART sensor technology, delivering reliable, secure data, even in the harshest industrial environments. To help enable new digital transformation strategies, this industrial networking solution combines Emerson’s expertise in industrial automation and applications with Cisco’s innovations in networking, cybersecurity and IT infrastructure. Driven by the demand for greater productivity, lower maintenance costs and improved worker safety, industrial manufacturers are accelerating investment in robust IoT sensor networks combined with scalable operational analytics tools to improve organizational collaboration and decision-making. This next-gen wireless access point provides enhanced Wi-Fi bandwidth necessary for real-time safety monitoring, including Emerson’s Location Awareness and wireless video. These applications enhance personnel safety practices, improve plant security and help ensure environmental compliance. A reliable and fast connection between devices and people streamlines decision making by providing real-time analytics. It also enables a mobile workforce to virtually come together, collaborate and resolve critical issues in a timely manner. The new wireless access point supports mobile applications that offer instant access to process control data, maintenance information and operation procedures, enabling improved plant productivity and worker safety.
Emerson has also enhanced its Plantweb digital ecosystem, a comprehensive operational analytics portfolio, delivering actionable insights to address industrial manufacturers’ operational challenges. Operational analytics with embedded domain knowledge can improve performance of simple equipment, complex assets and process units, as well as entire production plants. Additionally, Emerson’s enhanced portfolio includes machine learning and artificial intelligence that can be used to identify new discoveries and deepen insight to improve business performance. Emerson’s portfolio now provides both prepackaged analytics solutions as well as a complete analytics toolbox for users to develop their own applications. This portfolio is supported by Emerson’s Operational Certainty consulting practice and data management capabilities.
The 2020 Emerson Global Users Exchange—Americas will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 5–9.