Test & Measurement
Emerson launches Plantweb digital ecosystem
By Cindy Macdonald
Leveraging decades of automation expertise, Emerson has introduced the expanded Plantweb digital ecosystem, a scalable portfolio of standards-based hardware, software, intelligent devices and services for securely implementing the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) with measurable business performance improvement.
Emerson believes Plantweb is the most comprehensive and integrated Industrial IoT portfolio in the industry. In addition to highly secure process control, safety and asset management systems, Plantweb now supports enterprise-wide operations with an expanded portfolio of Pervasive Sensing field instruments, the Secure First Mile family of software, gateways and security devices, the Plantweb Insight and Plantweb Advisor scalable suite of software applications, the AMS ARES Platform, and Microsoft-enabled, cloud-based remote expert Connected Services.
“In 1997, Emerson revolutionized the automation landscape with Plantweb, the first field-based digital plant architecture,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer, Emerson Automation Solutions. “Now, we are doing it again by harnessing the power of Industrial IoT to give customers the technology foundation for operational certainty.”
Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem includes several new products, services and partner-enabled solutions:
• Pervasive Sensing: Emerson is introducing a non-intrusive temperature sensor, as well as new sensing technologies in the area of corrosion detection, medium voltage electrical protection, and hazardous gas leak detection, among others.
• Secure First Mile: A security architecture backed by a portfolio of technologies and services that allow customers to selectively connect highly secure data from protected control and operation systems (OT) to operational performance applications in the cloud environment (IT). The portfolio, which includes a robust, secure and flexible family of servers, gateways, data diodes and services, ensures that experts gain immediate access to the information they need, whether on premise, in a private company cloud network or to a third-party service provider. Emerson’s wireless gateways and Smart Firewall are among the critical infrastructure components that ensure the Secure First Mile within the Plantweb digital ecosystem, including one-way data transmission and prevention of network compromise.
• Plantweb Insight Software: A comprehensive, lightweight portfolio of IT-friendly applications with analytics for monitoring asset health. Plantweb Insight applications can run independently of existing business systems and distributed control systems (DCS) and provide a simple yet powerful entry point to Industrial IoT. These applications are suitable for proving an Industrial IoT strategy and gaining quantifiable business impact. Plantweb Insight applications can be deployed as a single asset class and scale to a wide range of assets, each with low entry cost and simplified set up. Virtual machine-based deployment makes Plantweb Insight a low IT requirement application.
• Plantweb Advisor Software: A robust suite of integrated analytical expert applications for asset health, performance modeling and facility-wide energy optimization. The widely adopted OSIsoft PI System’s highly scalable open data infrastructure is used as a platform for these applications. Plantweb Advisor suite applications are an easy migration and extension of investment in the Plantweb Insight applications when users seek a more advanced, integrated analytical environment.
• AMS ARES Platform: An easy-to-deploy software asset management platform that aggregates the health of assets from multiple business systems, and pushes this data to relevant plant personnel depending on their roles and responsibility, either on desktop or mobile device.
• Always Mobile: Enabling the mobile professional access to role-based tools, analytics and dashboards anywhere, anytime, Emerson extends the reach of Plantweb by adding mobility to the AMS and DeltaVprocess automation platforms.
• Connected Services: An Industrial IoT-enabled cloud services offering for real-time monitoring of important assets’ health, energy consumption and other operational applications. Emerson experts constantly monitor and report on asset and operational performance, prioritized repair and asset trending. The service is highly scalable, leverages existing technology investments and utilizes advanced security capabilities of Emerson and Microsoft.
• Microsoft Azure and IoT Cloud: Emerson has standardized on the cloud-based Microsoft Azure IoT Suite to enable Connected Services, expanding the Plantweb digital ecosystem to provide a secure, flexible platform for private cloud networks and third-party cloud service relationships.
“We have heard from customers and industry analysts alike that there is a paradox creating gridlock for customers today,” continued Zornio. “Market volatility is driving a cautious, ‘grind it out’ mentality, yet company operating performance goals demand new, transformational thinking and action. Technology is offering a vast set of new options, yet customers are left wondering how and where to begin this digital transformation.”