Emerson’s first Global Users Exchange (#EMRex) in Europe was a three-day event for existing and potential users of Emerson Process Management products and services. The event was held from 29-31 May 2012 in Düsseldorf (D).
Automation on the Rhine!
Düsseldorf was for many years the Mecca for Automation professionals and afficianados. The memories of those of a certain age will recall with pleasure the visits to the incomparable Interkama and the perhaps even more memorable visits to the Altstadt in the evenings. Its takeover and subsequent submersion in the huge Hannover Meße ended this relationship with the city on the Rhine.
Over 1000 delegates from over 40 countries attended the European Exchange and the format was similar to the Emerson Global Users Exchange held in Nashville, USA last October (2011). The event included General Sessions, Presentations, Industry Forums, Product and Services Roadmaps, Meet the Experts Sessions and a Solutions Exhibition.
The content was tailored to meet the needs of users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and delegates could learn about best practices and see how colleagues are meeting new regulatory requirements, increasing yields, improving efficiency and reducing costs with enhanced automation. All of the content was in English, but with some presentations simultaneously translated into German and/or Russian.
Shaped by users, for users – the Emerson Global Users Exchange is managed by a Board of Directors, comprising users from a range of industries, who shape the conference content and guide the direction of the users group at large.
Jim Cahill, Emerson Blogger & Eoin Ó Riain, Read-out Signpost
Those following Emerson tweets (#EMrex) or on facebook had the opportunity to meet Emerson’s blogger extraordanaire, Jim Cahill. He was inviting delegates to “come join the Emerson Exchange 365 Community.” It is an interesting fact that people who contact through the Social Web even if they have never met face to face are immediatly friends without needing to go through the ackward introductory phase. We were delighted to meet Jim and there was a picture take because as Jim said “Unless there is a picture nothing has happened!” (Read what Jim has to say: Recap from Emerson Exchange Düsseldorf!)
The opening general session on Tuesday includes a welcome from Ali H. Alawadhi, Emerson Exchange Board of Directors, Kuwait National Petroleum Company and Member of the ISA Kuwait Section. He emphasised that this was “by users, for users.” Emerson’s European President Bob Sharp and Steve Sonnenberg, Executive Vice President, Emerson and Business Leader, Emerson Process Management also spoke. Sonnenberg included users as “shareholders” in the company and the importance of their communicating with these shareholders. They continued to invest in people, local support and technology for customers in spite of the Global recession.
Ali Alawadhi welcomes delegates!
The guest speaker for this session was Euan Semple, a leading authority on the impact of the social web on the world of work. He presented a very stimulating discussion based partly on his experience in the BBC. Participation in the Social Web (He eshews the term “Social Media”) benefits those who participate. His statement that “We need more rubbish on the internet to improve the signal to noise level” excited much comment. Take a look at his website. Somebody tweeted during his talk declaring he was “one of the good guys!”
Because of the press conference we missed the keynote by David Beckman on the Wednesday however he had a wonderful session later with standing room only when he presented “Nail a speech – Launch a Career!” This 90 minute (twice the length of the usual presentations) was peppered with examples of excellent speeches for analysis including that of the late Steve Jobs to Stanford. Beckman’s presentation struck many chords especially for those hoping to “stop death by power point.” He stressed the importance of being able to present: “As soon as you move one step up from the bottom your progress depends of how you make a speech!”
The Emerson press conferences were launches of new products making the business case for safety. Introduced by Jim Nyquist, President, Systems & Solutions. The theme was improving safety through the lifecycle.
The product presentations were:
First reducing complexity in safety instrumented system installation & operation where Peter Zornio, (Chief Strategic Officer) launched the DeltaV™ SIS logic which uses Emerson’s CHARM I/O technology.
Treve Tagg, Manager Final Control Elements spoke on minimising safety loop vulnerabilities with the Fisher® FIELDVUE™ SIS Digital Valve Controller.
Bjoern Salomon, General Manager, Machinery Health talked on digital overspeed protection for rotating machinery on improving operational integrity of safety systems., introducing the CSI 6300 SIS Digital Overspeed Protection System.
The press conference concluded with an update on where the company is going with Wireless including an presentation on the use of wireless acoustic monitoring technology in a power station.
These and other releases are listed in the box on the left.
Over 100 presentations covered a wide spectrum of industry and technology-specific topics. Significantly, over 80% of these were from customers, keen to share their experiences. Delegates could attend a presentation track dedicated to a single subject, select presentations by customers’ in their own industry, or choose individual presentations to build a personalised conference curriculum.
The presentations were divided into tracks covering:
• Business Management & Cyber Security
• Control System Applications & Migrations
• Energy Management
• Instrumentation & Valve Applications
• Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation
• Operate Safely & Legally
• Process Optimisation
• Project Excellence
• Wireless Applications
One of these presentations was a fascinating exposé on calibartion in the Cork (IRL) facility of GlaxoSmithKline. Alan Gray of GSK described the project for an innovative, integrated PlantWeb asset and calibration management which went live in 2010. It was described as an Intelligent Application of Smart Technology which improves business results. It was the result of co-operation between Emerson, Beamex and GSK in an award winning project. There was a demonstration of the interaction between the various components in this calibration excellence programme which achieved significent improvements in the opearion of the business and the management of regulatory complience. More details on this application in our story Co-operation gives advanced calibration and asset management package (22/6/2012).
Six industry forums took place on the second morning allowed open discussion between conference delegates and a panel of experienced professionals. The industries covered being: Oil & Gas, Refining & Petrochemical, Chemical, Power, Life Sciences and Engineering.
Peter Zornio, EPM, Peter Iles-Smith GSK, Leif Poulsen NNE Pharamaplan, Ian Allen Novartus at Life Sciences Forum.
Each forum compromised short presentations followed by questions from the audience. For instance the Life Sciences Industry Forum helped us to learn and exchange information related to industry issues and trends, and the impact of these on the manufacturing environment . The forum discussed the future of automation within the Life Sciences industry with an emphasis on Skills and people development, Integration of IT and Automation/MES, Simplification of project implementation, and security. There was much discussion on attracting new blood as the industry becomes more complex and the experience of operatives diminishes as the older members of staff retire.
Roadmaps – Watch this space!
Eight roadmap sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday provided detailed information on products, services and enhancements that Emerson hoped to release in the coming months, along with insights into the strategy and technology guiding future solutions.
Meet the Experts
Concluding the conference on the final afternoon were two practical working sessions focused on the issues that process operations face and solutions that can be applied. Delegates could learn from and consult with the “experts behind the technologies” who led two separate in-depth sessions about Emerson’s DeltaV™ automation system and Ovation™ Expert Control System.
The Solutions Exhibition provided a unique opportunity to see Emerson’s newest and most innovative technologies – all in one airy hall. Delegates met with the experts behind the technologies and experience live, hands-on demonstrations of Emerson’s PlantWeb™ architecture and their products and solutions, as well as solutions from complementary companies and strategic partners.
The exhibition area was split into two with the main Emerson area covering the Solutions areas and Industry Applications while the overlooking balcony was reserved for complementary companies and strategic partners.
Packed floor at the Solutions Expo at Emerson Global Users Exchange
All in all it was a very well organised and thought out event with lots of information and ample opportunity for interactive networking.
• The Emerson Exchange Düsseldorf team has done a great job of gathering and posting pictures from the Event. There are over 170 pictures in the library. This is a link to the slideshow.
• And the good news is that they intend to do it all again, this time for the Americans in Anaheim – 8/12 October 2012 EMrex for the Americas. And they are accepting registrations already!