Podcast with Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages Services Leader John Sanders

Emerson’s John Sanders joins our continuing series of podcasts to share his insights on the process of effectively planning and executing plant shutdowns, turnarounds and outages. He also shares a surprising passion about chasing tornadoes, so make sure to listen in!

We hope you enjoy this podcast and please send me a note about other Emerson experts you’d like to hear from.

Emerson's John Sanders


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Strategies to Reduce Unplanned Downtime and Improve Operations

At the 2018 ARC Industry Forum, ARC Advisory Groups’ Craig Resnick led a panel session, Strategies to Reduce Downtime and Increase Plant KPIs. The description for this session was:

This session will discuss manufacturers’ biggest nemesis – unscheduled downtime – and strategies on how to reduce or eliminate it, subsequently increasing a plant’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Case studies will offer need-to-know guidance on “must haves” for OT leaders looking to maximize the ROI of their automation systems by eliminating any unscheduled downtime. Presentations will focus on learning to assess availability readiness of automation systems, as well as best practices to engage with IT decision makers. Learn how IT and OT convergence can align to deploy the best solution, one that fits into existing systems, supports standards including OPC, and delivers ROI, while laying the foundation to support modern technologies, such as virtualization and IIoT.

The first case study presented was a batch control application for a chemical production process. Ingredient additions were manually controlled and the control system manage blending, mixing and movements through the production process. The control system hardware managing the process had become obsolete. The human machine interface (HMI) was cluttered and did not effectively use colors as best practices recommended today. Continue Reading

Case Studies on Applying Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

ARC Advisory Group’s Janice Abel led a session, Digitizing Intelligence: From Analytics to Bots, at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum. The description for this session was:

Smart, connected real-time data that is synchronized throughout the plant and global enterprise is the future for process automation, the digital transformation, and smart manufacturing. Whether working with advanced analytics, machine learning, robotics, or chatbots, having connected industrial time stamped process data enables companies to make better data based decisions that can optimize production. Manufacturers need to integrate, manage, and obtain intelligence from large volumes of disparate data from sensors, machines, cameras, energy, financial, weather, and other data sources, to make more intelligent decisions faster.

The first case study presented was by an onshore oil & gas producer who is applying advanced analytics to maximize oil and gas production by detecting abnormal operating conditions in gas lift compression. The company uses a SCADA system to manage 29000 devices logging 52,000,000 records a day. Continue Reading

Control Valves and IIoT

At the 2018 ARC Industry Forum, ARC Advisory Group’s Ralph Rio led a session, How OEMs improve Customer Satisfaction and Revenue with IIoT. The description for the session was:

Using IIoT to monitor the equipment allows the OEM to identify an issue at their customer’s site before it affects the end user. Condition monitoring helps prevent unplanned downtime and improve asset performance. Mitigating the problem before it affects production improves customer satisfaction and repeat sales. OEMs have improved revenue with increased sales of its equipment and additional value-added services.

This session is for OEMs who want to gain a competitive advantage and grow revenue. Also, end users will gain a deeper understanding of IIoT and why this should be part of their supplier selection criteria.

One of the speakers was Emerson’s Shawn Anderson, a senior research specialist working with the Fisher brand of control valves. In this role, his emphasis is on control valve performance testing and diagnostics.

Ralph opened the session with opportunities for Industrial IoT. These include smart equipment and smart manufacturing by operators. The focus of the session was on smart equipment and how sensors and analytics can help with preventing unplanned downtime.

Emerson's Shawn Emerson

Emerson’s Shawn Anderson shares how IIoT and control valves improves process reliability and performance at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum

Shawn opened his presentation discussing the focus on digital valve controllers as a key part of control valve. This opened up sensors and connectivity back to the control system for diagnostics and predictive maintenance.

Some of the drivers around IIoT and control valves are the electronics growing in capabilities, sensors becoming more varied, smaller and more powerful, and the cloud to enable big data analytics. Shawn noted that the data has been available for a long time, but it hasn’t been able to be easily visualized to help identify problems early.

Manufacturers are challenged with reliability, availability and uptime. Also, the expertise is not on site to take advantage of what the data collected around control valves is saying. More data is not the solution, but rather the process of analyzing and creating actionable information from the data.

The Industrial Internet of Things opens the opportunity to connect the data with subject matter experts who can analyze it and recommend corrective actions. These experts may reside with the suppliers of the control valves providing this expertise as a service. Continue Reading

Increasing Autoclave Reliability via Machine Learning Technology

ARC Advisory Group’s Paula Hollywood moderated a session, IT/OT/ET Convergence at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum. Here’s the description from this session:

The convergence of IT (Information Technology at the enterprise level) and OT (Operations Technology, the information and automation technologies employed in the plant), is not new, but the relationship is intensifying. What is changing is the addition of ET (Engineering Technology) to this convergence. ET consists of newer technologies such as Ethernet/Wi-Fi, virtualization, cloud, SaaS, analytics, Big Data, mobile, social, modeling and simulation, augmented reality, machine learning, remote monitoring, and digital twin that create virtual models. Convergence of all three disciplines enables digital enterprises to operate in innovative and collaborative ways to improve performance.

Paula opened the session describing the Digital Twin, a virtual product, piece of equipment, etc. that replicates the physical one, where data is linked between the virtual and physical to optimize the physical representation. Real time condition monitoring can be performed. Predictive maintenance alerts and what if scenarios can be performed. Paula and the ARC team expects the usage of digital twin technology to grow rapidly. A digital twin fosters collaboration, compresses time to value, optimizes production and maintenance, provides early discovery of issues, and allows continuous refinement of models.

Lakeside Controls' Blair Fraser


One of the speakers was Blair Fraser with Emerson local business partner, Lakeside Controls. Blair is a maintenance and reliability leader and has over 20 years’ experience in designing, commissioning, maintaining and improving manufacturing equipment and processes for the manufacturing industry.

Blair described a project with a pharmaceutical manufacturer who was experiencing reliability issues around an autoclave. It was important to start with the fundamentals. It’s important to understand all the possible failure modes. This not only help understand what the failures were, but got a cross functional team talking about the issues and bringing them together on a path to a solution. Continue Reading