Emerson Exchange ’04: Users seek ease of use, migration paths, ROI

Dallas, TX—Ease of use, upgrade migration path, and return on investment were three of many topics more than 1,300 users and other attendees discussed at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2004, a week-long event that started here on Oct. 25.


Dallas, TX —Ease of use, upgrade migration path, and return on investment were three of many topics more than 1,300 users and other attendees discussed at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2004, a week-long event that started here on Oct. 25. Safety, security, standards, and the growing use of outside services were other subjects addressed in 227 workshops and short courses, developed and managed by users of Emerson Process Management .

Attendees also included contractors, Emerson Local Business Partners, suppliers, and employees from 22 Emerson businesses. Pre-registrants numbered 1,310, the highest for the event, the second time Emerson Process Management users met together. More than 20% were attending the event for the first time; 46 countries were represented, organizers reported on the first day. End-user companies numbered more than 190.

In welcoming comments, John M. Berra, president Emerson Process Management, said the ''exchange is the highlight of our year, a chance to learn what’s on your mind, and I know you will speak what’s on your mind.'' Berra noted that control engineers had time and resources to study and learn when he started as an instrument engineer 35 years ago. With smaller staffs, proliferation of rapidly changing technologies, lack of time and capital, and ''endless justifications for anything you have to do,'' those in the automation profession today are the ''unsung heroes of your companies,'' Berra said. The goal remains the same as 35 years ago, however, ''We’re trying harness technologies to make plants run better and safer to improve the business results of our companies.''

Terry Krouth, vice president PlantWeb technology, Emerson Process Management, says ease of use is among the pillars supporting PlantWeb, the Emerson digital plant architecture that aims to use field intelligence to improve plant performance. He says PlantWeb must remain extremely easy to use (''like fluoride in the water, you don’t have to do anything''), be transparently integrated, run without handholding, and have high customer value. DeltaV, the PlantWeb distributed control system, continues open standards commitment with use of FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART, and OPC UA (Unified Architecture), Krouth said. He adds that more than 180 devices are tested for use with DeltaV; two-thirds are non-Emerson.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief, MHoske@cfemedia.com

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