Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

【Editor’s Note】

The “14th Five-Year Plan” period is a key stage for the industrial Internet to integrate 5G, big data, artificial intelligence and other new-generation information technologies to accelerate the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry. The Industrial Internet is reshaping the ecology of the manufacturing industry, giving it a new style of Vientiane. This time, “Electronic Technology Application” magazine invited six global automation giants: ABB, Emerson, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Rockwell Automation, Festo, and Two leading electronic manufacturing companies in the world: Applied Materials and USI, invited guests to express their views on the transformation of enterprises in the industrial Internet era and talk about a new chapter in intelligent manufacturing.


// New Emerson //

In 1890, along the middle reaches of the Mississippi, a pair of Scottish brothers, Charles and Alexander Meston (Charles and Alexander Meston), noticed a huge business opportunity in a reliable electric motor business. They persuaded John Wesley Emerson, a former officer, judge, and lawyer, as the main investor to establish Emerson Electric Manufacturing in St. Louis, Missouri.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

Emerson in History | Source: Emerson

In 1973, under the leadership of WR “Buck” Persons, Emerson’s business scale achieved a qualitative leap, from 2 factories in 1954, 4,000 employees and USD 56 million in output value to 1973 Of 82 factories, 31,000 employees and 800 million US dollars in output value. A globalized multinational company has begun to take shape.

Entering the age of Industry 4.0, advantageous areas such as large-scale complete sets of machinery and equipment have entered a mature stage, and a single provision of equipment no longer meets the needs of downstream users. Emerson has integrated intelligent means into it, realizing the strategic development from a “traditional equipment manufacturer” to a “multiple intelligent system solution provider”.In 2015, Emerson announced the repositioning of its business portfolio into two core business platforms-automation solutions and commercial and residential solutions. Emerson believes that this transformation will create tremendous value for its customers and shareholders.

From traditional “manufacturing” to intelligent “intelligent manufacturing”, it started as a regional manufacturer of motors and fans. After more than 100 years of hard work, Emerson has now developed into a powerful global technology solutions company.Counting down on Emerson’s success, the courage to transform, continue to innovate, and be close to customers are several important characteristics that enable the company to always maintain its core competitiveness.

// In response to customers’ digital transformation trends, Emerson established a digital transformation business department //

According to Peter Zornio, Chief Technology Officer of Emerson Automation Solutions, the manufacturing industry has ushered in a critical turning point in the industrial Internet era.“Efficiency-centered operational improvement has reached its peak, and the requirement for low personnel input and high output has reached its limit.”. While digital transformation provides major opportunities, it also brings a lot of confusion. Emerson has found that many companies have digital transformation visions, but they face many challenges when implementing specific digital solutions.In order to meet the needs of customers for digital transformation and assist them in the development and implementation of digital technologies and procedures, EmersonEstablished a new “Digital Transformation” business unit in 2019, To provide customers with practical solutions.

This time, we invited Mr. Chen Peng, a senior consultant of Emerson’s digital solutions, to tell us about Emerson’s digital transformation.

// Interview with Chen Peng: Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem helps customers achieve digital transformation //

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

Mr. Chen Peng, Senior Consultant of Emerson Digital Solutions

Q1: In the age of industrial Internet, what innovations has Emerson made in technology?

Chen Peng:With the development of the Industrial Internet, Emerson’s technology continues to innovate in response to actual application requirements.Emerson’sPersonnel positioning system70% of the recordable personnel safety accidents in the factory can be detected in time;Cyber ​​Security TechnologyProvide security guarantee for production data and information for remote operations;AR technologyIt can realize the visualization of factory equipment information;Digital twin technologyPersonnel operation training that can realize process optimization and safety; EmersonCloud-based technologyCan make full use of global expert resources to provide innovative remote consulting service models;Intelligent monitoring and in-depth analysis technology based on artificial intelligenceCan promote energy saving, emission reduction and the use of clean energy;Edge computing technologyImprove the maintenance and operation efficiency of mechanical equipment and manufacturing equipment.

Q2: What are Emerson’s product innovations?

Chen Peng:Industrial interconnection emphasizes the comprehensive interconnection of people, machines, and things. The core of its architecture is data collection, data transmission, data storage and processing, and applications. Emerson has corresponding technologies at these levels and can provide a relatively complete solution. Call itThe Plantweb digital ecosystem, through comprehensive perception and expert analysis technology, provides effective action suggestions, thereby helping companies to significantly improve safety and environmental protection, energy saving, consumption reduction, reliability and efficiency of plant operations.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

PlantWeb Digital Ecosystem | Source: Emerson

Data is the blood of the smart factory. All upper-level applications need to be supported by the underlying data. Without data, analysis, control, and management cannot be performed.Emerson has significant advantages in field perceptionIn addition to traditional temperature, pressure, liquid, and flow measurement, it also includes monitoring of key mechanical equipment, pipeline corrosion, pipeline temperature, toxic and hazardous gas leakage, and personnel positioning, which has laid a solid foundation for Emerson to provide integrated smart factory solutions. The basics.

Of course, it is meaningless for data to exist independently. Therefore, massive amounts of data can only be processed through filtering, intelligent interpretation, and then converted into executable information and passed to relevant personnel anytime and anywhere to help them take appropriate measures in time to improve factory operation efficiency, Security and compliance, its value can be reflected.Therefore, industrial software is the soul of the smart factory. It helps the factory to flexibly determine the production process, so that different production equipment can not only cooperate in production, but also respond quickly to external changes.In this regard, Emerson’sAMS intelligent equipment management system (instrument and valve diagnosis) and AMS mechanical equipment management system (mechanical equipment protection and condition analysis), Plantweb Insight equipment monitoring APP (lightweight application, data interpretation based on first principles), Plantweb Optics Analytics analysis software(Comprehensive analysis system based on calculation and prediction for energy, mechanical equipment and factory performance, providing process and operation historical data analysis and interpretation based on artificial intelligence and machine learning) are both good fault analysis and predictive diagnosis tools. This information can not only be Integrated into the control system, it can also be transported to mobile devices and augmented reality (AR) systems through the network, integrated with the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) workflow, and integrated into the Plantweb Optics asset management platform to provide operators, Engineers and technicians provide role-based executable instructions. The same field data can also be customized through the Performance Optimizer performance optimization software to customize the electronic billboard of the overall performance status of the factory for managers to view.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

Source: Emerson

Q3: Could you please talk about the digital services provided by Emerson in detail?

Chen Peng:For a considerable number of companies, how to effectively carry out digital construction is still quite challenging. Although various discussions on this topic have been going on for several years, many companies are still in the wait-and-see stage or have made some attempts. The benefits are not yet clear. After all, the digital construction does require a long-term plan of 3-10 years, and it cannot be achieved by just making a few beautiful billboards. According to Emerson’s many years of practical experience in automation, companies need a partner and a professional consultant to assist the company in formulating a clear strategy and avoid obstacles in the implementation process. To this end, Emerson has established a digital transformation team to integrate various key resources of the company to help business users develop and implement practical digital transformation strategies, build smart factories, and jointly achieve benchmark performance.

Emerson’s digital transformation team uses the overall architecture of Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem to efficiently integrate existing expertise in consulting, project implementation, smart sensing technology, data management and analysis.Help customers establish a clear vision for digital transformation, and help implement and execute strategies, and achieve measurable results at each step. Emerson realizes digital transformation with users through the following solutions and services:

· Operational certainty consulting service: Develop and implement an executable enterprise-level roadmap for enterprises to improve their reliability, safety, production and energy efficiency.

· Equipment performance analysis: A comprehensive portfolio of predictive diagnostics and advanced analysis products, providing insight into the operating status and performance of related equipment assets.

· Industry Solutions: Profound knowledge of professional solutions can promote the development of key performance indicators.

· Universal Measurement Program: A combination of highly integrated, easy to deploy and remotely linked smart devices, including wireless smart meters and non-intrusive measuring devices.

· project management: Best practices, tools and resources for implementing digital transformation projects.

Emerson has built experience centers with different themes in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai to provide intuitive experience for users who are exploring new ideas. The Beijing Center focuses on universal measurement and various application management platforms. The Nanjing Center provides cutting-edge augmented reality and With digital twin technology, Shanghai Center focuses on the presentation of equipment reliability solutions. More importantly, we provide users with Emerson’s senior expert consulting services. Through discussions and specific tests, experts can help companies discover the challenges they face and gain potential for improvement.

As a provider of outstanding technology and industrial digital transformation solutions, Emerson relies on the Plantweb digital ecosystem,It can provide digital and intelligent upgrades for traditional projects, digital consulting for new projects, and full life cycle services based on digital technology, and it can also provide digital talent training for user companies.

In the future, Emerson will continue to develop in China, continue to implement the localization development strategy, further improve and expand localization capabilities, and better meet the ever-changing customer needs.

Q4: How does Emerson lay out the transformation? What kind of strategy do you have?

Chen Peng:Integration, collaboration, and cross-border have become hot words in the development of smart factories. Both users and solution suppliers must break the inherent concepts, open up ideas, and have a sense of innovation.Emerson is also constantly making structural adjustments to adapt to the ever-changing market demands. Its business coverage extends from equipment and systems to software applications and service consulting, and from process industries to discrete industries.Aiming to become a trusted business partner of users, and to provide users with landed solutions and measurable business benefits more effectively.

In recent years, Emerson has continuously expanded the capabilities of the Industrial Internet of Things through strategic cooperation, investment and innovation, and has built an in-depth and extensive operational analysis portfolio in the industry. These professional resources will jointly help and guide customers to formulate correct digital transformation strategies and plans, and accelerate the achievement of benchmark performance.Emerson has been transforming since 2016. It has gathered industrial software and made 14 acquisitions in the field of data management. It has strengthened its capabilities in the fields of factory analysis, simulation software, cloud technology, and data collection, diversified its business, and provided users with more scope. For a wide range of services, including training of digital talents for user companies.

Q5: Industrial Internet is the main battlefield for 5G commercial use, and the integrated development of 5G and Industrial Internet is an inevitable choice for the evolution of the two technologies. So, how does Emerson embrace the new world of 5G?

Chen Peng:In Emerson’s wireless network solution, it is divided into on-site wireless network and factory wireless network.The communication of industrial wireless sensors in the field network mainly adopts WirelessHART technology,Its characteristic is that it can maintain stable communication in a complex industrial environment, has the function of self-organizing network, and the battery life of wireless devices can reach 5-10 years depending on the data update rate;In the factory wireless network, mobile applications such as various videos and handheld devices, as well as applications for data transmission to the cloud, are where the high-speed and high-bandwidth technologies of WiFi and 5G show their talents.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

WirelessHART Technology | Source: Emerson

Q6: Information security is the “base” for the development of the Industrial Internet. How do you view the security risks of the Industrial Internet? What measures has Emerson taken to avoid such risks?

Chen Peng:I would like to talk about information security from two aspects:

1. Safe storage and transmission of data

Second, the network security of the control system


If the best information cannot be used by people, then it is of no value. How to obtain data from on-site sensors, meters, and applications, while ensuring that equipment and networks are not invaded and attacked by the outside world? How to control which data should be obtained by who? In response to the exponentially increasing demand for operational data management,Emerson launched the Plantweb Optics data lake to meet the data management requirements of Industry 4.0.From a centralized location, you can safely connect, store and correlate various operating data generated in different factories,The data lake supports various output methods including OPC UA server and Web API for development; In order to safely transfer process operation data,Emerson’s Industrial Internet of Things solution uses Secure First Mile, a data access terminal security technology,It includes network security services, secure and flexible servers, gateways, and one-way data transmission technology to ensure that the data in the data operation technology system can be easily and safely connected to network-based applications.Secure First Mile mainly converts sensor or other device information into secure data where process data is generated for use on the Internet and the cloud.

The secure transmission of process data is not a new topic.It can be explained by the traditional 7-layer Purdue model. When the network is segmented, the data needs to pass through multiple levels from the operating technology system, traverse the network firewalls, and transform into historical data, and finally reach the Internet port.When the enterprise is large and equipped with enough IT personnel, this is a very effective data security method, but it requires correct configuration and a lot of labor, especially when new equipment is added.

In the Purdue model, the safe operating technology environment is at levels 0, 1, 2, and 3, and the safe information technology environment is at levels 4 and 5. Secure First Mile is at level 3.5, protecting and realizing the connection between OT and IT. We also use the OPC-UA communication standard to connect smart devices and our AMS device management software with OSIsoft at the OT level, and then communicate with OSIsoft and cloud software at the IT level through the Secure First Mile. This method involves multiple levels of Although software and related applications, data passing through the network are feasible, but very complicated; effective, but difficult to maintain.

Secure First Mile provides unidirectional data transmission, which can easily resist the inflow of external data. Production data can be sent to the IoT cloud, while external data has no access channel at all.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

Secure First Mile security technology| Source: Emerson


In the past, the network security problems of the factory process control system (DCS) and equipment control system (PLC) were concealed by island operations. In the era of digital and intelligent big data, the factory control system has moved from closed to open, and network security problems will be inevitable. The control system is a special device that is different from the ordinary IT system. The IT department cannot understand the proprietary communication and platform mechanisms of the control system. General IT measures cannot fully guarantee the network security of the control system. In the past 10 years, there have been many special devices. The virus hacking incident in the industrial control system caused serious consequences to the factory.Emerson’s control system is compliant with China Equal Security 2.0 and IEC62443 standards, and provides solutions for security assessment, virus protection, border isolation, port reinforcement, multi-factor access, industrial security auditing, communication deep security analysis, and remote security access.To establish a safety strategy for main depth protection to combat common exploitable defects in the control system, protect the safety of the control system, and ensure the safety of factory production.

Emerson: Plantweb digital ecosystem helps factories achieve operational excellence

Source: Emerson

Q7: In your opinion, what is the maturity of the industrial Internet? What opportunities and challenges are still facing?

Chen Peng:The development of China’s Industrial Internet has achieved some results, but it is still at a relatively early stage. Currently, no platform can occupy a full-scale coverage or an absolute leading position.This means that user companies need to consider whether the different communication standards adopted by different applications can coexist, whether the platforms and systems of different vendors can work together effectively, whether the vendors provide the technology itself or the landing solution for actual application scenarios . Of course, under the active promotion of the country, policies and markets have given companies a lot of strong support, which will drive the further rapid development of the industrial Internet. For companies, they should seize this opportunity and take the express train of the times.

• The End •

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