Digital Transformation in 2018?

In a prior post, I mentioned that Emerson’s Jonas Berge is presenting at the Malaysian Tank & Terminal Tech Asia conference this week. It turns out that Jonas is a very busy person because he’ll also be presenting tomorrow at the ISA Malaysia Automation Conference and Exhibition (event hashtag: #ISAMalaysia).

Jonas will present, Digital Transformation: The Building Blocks of Industrial IoT (IIoT). Here is the presentation abstract:

Emerson's Jonas Berge

Plants are pushed to improve reliability, energy efficiency and safety, as well as reduce operations and maintenance cost.

Plants are achieving these goals through digital transformation of how the plant is run and maintained; automating many manual and paper-based tasks.

For this purpose plants are deploying a second layer of automation, beyond the P&ID. But with so many options for the building blocks, how do you pick the right architecture? How many sensors do you need, and how to connect them? Which standards should you use? Should you use a historian platform or web apps for analytics? What kinds of analytics technology should you use? How do you support mobile devices? How is it integrated with your ERP system? Should the plant be monitored on premise, by corporate engineering center, or outsource to a connected service provider? And how do you keep your plant secure? Should it be a direct deployment or a phased approach? This session helps you make the right choices for the digital ecosystem for your plant.

Without proper engineering you may monitor the wrong equipment, miss important assets, get stuck with proprietary technologies, duplicate functions already provided by your historian, end up with analytics software which is just too complicated to use.

Using these hints provides flexibility to adopt new technologies and products as they emerge for even better solutions, getting more value out of the existing historian, maintenance and reliability personnel quickly becoming proficient, mobile data wherever you are, and access to expert opinion.

If you don’t happen to find yourself in Malaysia this week and want to learn more about how technology advancements enable a digital transformation, I recommend you connect with Jonas and read many of his essays posted in LinkedIn. Here is a sampling of some posts from 2017:

You’ll find a lot of guidance on how to approach, justify, plan and execute elements of a digital transformation with objectives toward improved safety, efficiency, reliability and production throughput.

Whether you’re able to catch Jonas in person this week, or read through some of his posts, it’s an excellent time to assimilate some of these ideas to put your manufacturing and production processes on the path to a digital transformation.

You can also connect and interact with other experts in the Improve & Modernize and Wireless groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.


  1. I am following Jonas to read his good articles; I agree with Emerson strategy to implement the IIoT as a service. This is an easy way to deploy this sort of technology, however, how to collect the data can be a challenge depending on the reality of the country. I drew a comics (Portuguese) talking about the problems of remote access using 3G/4G gateways in Brazil >

    • Jim Cahill says:

      Fabricio, thank you for your comment and note of caution about cellular network infrastructure in some areas. I’ve passed along your comment to Jonas to make sure he sees it.

      • jonasberge says:

        Caro Fabrico, the data volumes are actually small. A PV+status is only 5 bytes (40 bits). Most monitoring use update period of 1 minute or longer (this is still very much faster than daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly inspection). Moreover, industrial protocols have very low overhead compared to IT protocols like HTTP, MQTT, or AMQP etc. Larger data sets like vibration spectrum and waveform etc. is only transferred on ad-hoc basis and could be weeks or month apart. That is, a lot of bandwidth is not required even for quite large numbers of sensors. Lastly, the software cache the data in the background and does all the analytics continuously so when you open the screen you don’t have to wait for raw data, you get the actionable information from the predictive analytics almost instantly. No wait. But sure, once the site is subscribing to connected service for hundreds of machines then using a dedicated fiber makes sense. We already have a refinery customer in Singapore doing this. But 3G/4G is a good way to start. Thanks to standards like UDP/TCP/IP it is easy to upgrade to other backhaul in the future. We engineer the best solution for each site. Learn more from this essay:
        SDS, Jonas

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