“Where ideas become solutions”—the theme of this year’s Global User Exchange for Emerson Process Management. Around 2,600 participants came together to share their experience covering all aspects of process automation in the US capital, Washington DC. One of the main topics was wireless. PROCESS reports to you from the conference.
It’s just what an American success story looks like. The 250 participants who came to the first Global User Exchange in 1989 have increased today more than tenfold to 2,600. What is suspiciously eyed by a great number of large trade fair organizers clearly represents a true success story for the giants of the process automation industry, as one participant pointed out at Emerson’s Global User Exchange in early October this year. With the content put together by users themselves, the one-week user conference represents a major experience-sharing event for all users and operators working with Emerson products, systems, and services. Once again this year, innovations and improvements were presented and discussed at a great number of sessions and technical forums. There was also some slick timing on the part of the organizers in the opening times for the accompanying exhibition. Each day at the end of the sessions from 4 to 8 pm and occupying an area of more than 5,000 m², the company showed off its latest products and solutions, together with around 70 well-known partner companies. Not unexpectedly, wireless was one of the main topics at the event. Emerson sees itself here in its own words in the risk-taking role of innovator and is attempting to strengthen its market position further.
After more than 40 years’ experience in automation systems and 33 years with Emerson, John Berra symbolically handed over the keys of the company at the event to his successor as CEO, Steve Sonnenberg, and again emphasized the huge significance of wireless technology for the process industry in his final address to participants. “For the past year, the development of our wireless business has really taken off. Market research results show us that in the foreseeable future more than 20 percent of metering devices in an average production plant can be installed as wireless devices,” stressed Berra. With new plant, originating mostly in Asia, even up to 44 percent of transmitters could be designed as wireless, added Peter Zornio, Chief Strategic Officer at Emerson.
To underpin these perspectives with user statements, customers from different industries were invited to speak, waxing positive across the board about the use of the technology and forecasting further expansion in the use of wireless technology at their production sites.
Making planning for smart wireless networks easier
New features were also on show: AMS Suite software, for example, has been equipped with new functions. With the release change of the 9.5 version, we now have the Intelligent Device Manager. This is used for the planning and management of scalable wireless networks. According to the developers, AMS Device Manager 9.5 provides a uniform user interface for managing wired as well as wireless metering and final control devices, thus simplifying the configuration of wireless devices, while drag-and-drop functionality automates the writing of “joinkeys” into wireless devices, increasing efficiency and security.
Advanced planning based on best practice is the key to successful wireless implementation, Emerson emphasized, and therefore lauded the new AMS Wireless Snap-On application, which allows users to plan, customize, visualize, and manage Smart Wireless networks. The software eliminates in-depth site surveys and time-consuming planning blueprints; instead, users can easily upload an aerial image of their plant to the application and plan their wireless network accordingly. When the network layout is complete, they can validate the network against factory-recommended best practice and optimize communications paths. Once the wireless network is installed, AMS provides a comprehensive view of the network’s status, enabling users to maximize the reliability of the wireless network.
Wireless is the new frontier in asset management
“Wireless is also the new frontier in asset management,” according to Craig Llewellyn, President Emerson’s Asset Management Division. “With our leadership in asset management and field devices as a foundation, along with our proven service expertise, we are helping our users leverage wireless technologies in the easiest, fastest, and most effective way possible.”
In addition to Smart Wireless functionality, the 9.5 software also includes the MV Engineering Assistant Snap-On application which has now been expanded to enable configuration and test calculation functions on both Hart and Foundation Fieldbus MultiVariable transmitters from Rosemount. The release also includes the new AlertTrack Snap-On application, which gives users increased visibility of the health of field devices and documentation of parameter changes to help identify equipment issues and areas for process improvement. Users can group multiple devices and set parameters to receive customized alerts.
AMS Device Manager enables the user to monitor the status of their plant assets across the entire plant and is a central component in digital PlantWeb architecture. Installed in a digital automation system such as DeltaV or Ovation, AMS Device Manager simplifies access to data from field devices and provides users with easy access to predictive diagnostic data from Hart, Foundation Fieldbus and wireless field devices, so that decisions can be made rapidly and fully substantiated. Management of alerts and audit documentation are executed in a single application. AMS Device Manager can also be connected to third-party systems, thus providing users with the capacity to exploit the full potential of their intelligent field devices. To increase system security, AMS supports user accounts that use Windows network security functions. This allows users to adjust the level of security to the requirement of the application. AMS Device Manager can be extended to more devices and client workstations, supplying the versatility required for large system adaptation.
New two-wire Coriolis flowmeter
Washington also saw the introduction of other innovations, such as the Micro Motion Two-Wire Coriolis Meter. According to the manufacturer, the 2200S model permits the use of reliable and precise Elite series meters with Coriolis technology practically throughout the plant. It expands the value of Coriolis to the wide range of applications that require loop-powered flow devices. The new measuring systems are particularly useful for plants where older instrumentation based on two-wire technology can be replaced with Elite Coriolis meters without installing an additional supply or more cables.
The new meter has an accuracy of ±0.10% for the flow and ±0.0005 g/cm3 for the density of fluids in continuous processes and for weight assessments. There are no moving parts and no maintenance is required. The two-wire electronic transmitter can be used with a number of Micro Motion Elite Coriolis sensors of various sizes and materials; it delivers high-precision metering for continuous processes. The electronic transmitter can be built into the sensor or to some extent fitted remotely and connected to existing control systems and is also suitable for long cable routings as well as for use in explosion risk areas.
Fitted with digital MVD technology, the electronic transmitter delivers MultiVariable process factors as well as diagnostics information via Hart protocol. “As a result, the user obtains improved process consistency and maximum service life,” explains Tom Moser, President of Emerson’s Micro Motion Division. Digital processing drastically reduces signal noise and provides a faster response time than conventional analog devices. Micro Motion’s Two-Wire Coriolis devices are therefore outstanding for use in the chemical and petrochemical industry and in refineries as well as for continuous processes and weight assessments, says Moser. Next year Emerson is going to held its Global User Exchange in Orlando/Florida.
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