Emerson has successfully delivered integrated control and safety systems and simulation tools in the West of Shetland to bring production assets on stream in the Clair, Schiehallion and Solan fields.
These solutions have enabled our customers to efficiently start up and operate complex production assets in this harsh environment.
Over the last three years the economics of the North Sea basin has forced operators and the supply chain to drive efficiency and productivity improvements.
This has led to an evaluation of existing processes and engineering practices to drive down operating costs whilst ensuring safe operation.
Emerson has supported this fundamental change in the industry by providing an automation portfolio, which not only monitors and controls all asset sub-systems, but can deliver the relevant actionable information which can drive incremental productivity improvements.
Today, given the increased availability and affordability of innovative sensors along with advances in wireless technology and analytic capabilities, the ability to gather plant-wide data has become much more widespread.
The capture of this information is what Emerson calls Pervasive Sensing™ strategies, and this forms part of its Plantweb™ digital ecosystem. Plantweb empowers operators with the information they need to make decisions which facilitate operational performance improvements. This is not just additional data, this is actionable information which is timely and relevant to asset operations.
There are four critical aspects to achieving this: the provision of rich, real-time operating data from intelligent sensing and automation technologies across the business; secure transport of that data to where it’s needed; robust, scalable software to convert the data into actionable insights; and domain expertise to make the decisions and drive the outcomes that will lead to improved performance.
A new generation of low-cost sensors has accelerated the operator’s ability to collect relevant data.
They are easy to instal and maintain, take advantage of wireless communications as part of a secure, integrated industrial network, and use new analytic algorithms to create insights into the performance of a plant’s assets. Emerson’s Pervasive Sensing technologies include corrosion monitoring, hazardous gas sensing, the monitoring of pressure relief valves and medium voltage equipment.
Overcoming the challenges of developing fields West of Shetland or commercialising incremental reserves in more mature assets, it is crucial to have safe and reliable operations. Optimal use of available automation technologies, best practice and seamless access to expertise is a programme Emerson calls Operational Certainty™. By using the robust and scalable tools, technologies and services delivered by the Plantweb digital ecosystem, Operational Certainty is an achievable goal.
Operators interested in driving continuous incremental productivity and safety improvements are invited to attend the Emerson Global Users Exchange, in The Hague, from March 7-9. This event provides an opportunity to discuss proven applications with industry peers, get a look at future innovation through the Emerson automation technology roadmap and obtain training with the solutions that will help meet the operational challenges of the future.
Mark Boyes is Scotland business director at Emerson Automation Solutions