Improving enterprise-wide visibility into plant health

Improving enterprise-wide visibility into plant health

One of the advantages of the big data analytics capabilities now becoming available for process industries is the ability to create better plant- and organisation-wide collaboration capabilities to improve plant reliability and operational performance. All the ‘big players’ in the process automation industry are pushing hard in a race to be able to provide services and technologies that leverage big data to help their customers improve safety and profitability.

In the case of Emerson, it has announced its Plantweb Optics, a mobile-ready collaboration software platform that is said to provide “an unprecedented view of plant reliability and operational performance”. The software is designed to connect technicians, engineers and plant management to “transform decades-old work processes, providing cross-functional collaboration and decision-making to help plants operate safely and profitably”.

With access to data across an organisation, Plantweb Optics translates equipment health data into a user-friendly format and instantly and securely delivers it to relevant personnel so they can make more informed decisions impacting production. The collaboration software improves the user experience with intuitive visualisation and customised alerts to reduce or eliminate irrelevant data. On mobile devices, personnel can quickly access equipment health scores and can combine multiple views for easier monitoring of facilities across multiple locations.

“Getting the right data into the hands of the right people is paramount for our customers, and Plantweb Optics aggregates asset health information from various sources and not only prioritises the most important and relevant asset data, but easily targets actionable data to the people responsible for acting on it,” said Jim Nyquist, group president of Emerson’s Systems and Solutions business. “It transforms how companies have traditionally managed data and puts companies on the right path to digitally enable their workforce.”

As a part of Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, Plantweb Optics is said to deliver higher-level collaboration, better insights and priority decision-making, all behaviours of Top Quartile performance. Research shows Top Quartile performers spend two to four times less on maintenance costs than poorer performers — a potential savings of $24 to $80 million annually for a $1 billion plant.

Today, plant management is unable to see critical data from various siloed systems and its impact on broader operations. Solutions exist to connect plant data to other users through complicated mapping processes, but those solutions deliver only raw data, leaving behind the rich information available from asset management systems. Using industry-standard, embedded communications protocols, Plantweb Optics can share data with big data machine learning and analytics software to create new strategies for asset management and reliability. The software provides a platform to integrate more enterprise applications in the future for better reliability and operational performance.

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