EMERSON Process Management last month unveiled to the Australian market three innovations that extend the benefits of PlantWeb digital architecture, namely Smart Remote Automation, Smart Machinery Health Management and AMS Intelligent Device Manager 7.0.
“We’ve revolutionised availability and productivity,” said Glen Charge, general manager, Emerson Process Management, Australia & New Zealand. “However, we won’t rest on our laurels. We will continue to look to new ways to increase value for our customers.”
Opening the launch, Charge noted that Emerson is known for two major strengths: integrity and financial stability.
“Our financial stability enables us to continue to spend heavily in research and development,” said Charge. In 2005, Emerson spent US$500 million on R&D, of which US$100 million was earmarked for developing PlantWeb.
The company claimed a 16.8 percent market share in fiscal year 2005 in the worldwide process automation market of $24.8 billion, with a total of 5,474 PlantWeb units installed.
Damon Ellender, PlantWeb program manager, flow computer division, says the launch of Smart Remote automation marks “the beginning of the end of run-to-fail practices”.
Smart Remote technology enables continuous diagnostics to run at remote sites and connect in real-time to centralised operations centres.
This technology is of particular interest to upstream oil and gas, where production, transportation and distribution operations can cover hundreds or even thousands of square kilometres.
“To maintain these sites has traditionally required many man-hours and kilometres of driving,” said Ellender. “Smart Remote technology gives continuous visibility to the health of field instrumentation.”
Tom Rolton, Emerson business development manager, describes the technology as providing a “bidirectional conduit”.
“Smart Remote changes the economics of plant automation,” said Rolton, “by providing embedded predictive intelligence throughout a plant.”
He added, “If there’s a takeaway message it’s this: PlantWeb delivers predicative, accurate and actionable information to the right person in time to make a difference.”
On using predictive diagnostics to monitor and analyse the health of rotating equipment, Todd Reeves, product manager, machinery health management, notes that unplanned production shutdowns are expensive, costing $1 million or more per day in some industries.
“Forty-three percent of plant incidents is caused by mechanical failure,” said Reeves, who is based in Tennessee, US. “A typical process plant would include 2500 machines, of which 60 percent are motor-pump machine trains. Yet motor-pumps are traditionally monitored only infrequently and repaired when they fail.”
And with 40 to 50 percent of equipment breakdowns related to poor operating practices, it stands to reason that careful monitoring of these assets can prevent profit loss due to unplanned downtime, says Reeves.
In launching Version 7.0 of AMS Intelligent Device Manager, Tommy Lee, director, AMS, noted, “Unexpected machinery downtime can account for as much as 40 percent of lost capacity and can consume up to 30 percent of a plant’s maintenance budget.”