Fact-finding mission to Emerson actuator facility

26 August 2013

Take a look at a typical actuator catalogue and it is hard not to be impressed. Wireless communications, modular actuators, safety systems… manufacturers have put in a lot of time and effort to develop and introduce new technologies.

Glancing through yet another glossy brochure, however, the Online Team at Valve World did start to wonder about the practicability of these sophisticated new features.  For example: how many wireless actuators can really be fitted to a single network? Is the technology exorbitantly expensive? And are wireless networks sufficiently secure?

Armed with a notebook full of similar questions, Valve World therefore set out on a fact-finding visit to one of Emerson’s facilities in Houston, Texas. Our plan was simple: latch on to any passing actuator expert – be they in production, development, sales, training, etc – and pose the kind of questions that perhaps end users might ask as well. 

At the end of the day we were extremely pleased with the outcome. Everyone we approached readily agreed to be interviewed on camera and our discussions ranged from modular actuators to wireless technologies to field intelligence to HIPPS systems, etc. 

So our sincere thanks to Emerson for graciously allowing us inside their busy offices, and we trust the videos below will be a mine of useful information from experts who really do know about actuation.
Access field intelligence with wireless technology
Brian Daugherty (Global Training Manager, Valve Automation, Emerson Process Management) explains how end users can use wireless technology to gain access to field intelligence. He says that wireless can be an economical solution for existing plants, and discusses the practical steps that need to be taken.
Modular actuators - what benefits do they offer end users?
Tom Jeansonne (Bettis Energy Sales Manager, Emerson Process Management) tackles questions about modular actuators. Why would an end user want to purchase them? Well, there are plenty of compelling reasons, says Tom, such as versatility and availability. Modularity means that installed actuators can be readily maintained or modified without the need for special tools or specialised crews.
Wireless actuation - real-life examples from Emerson
Damian Dartez (Area Manager, Gulf Coast & Latin America, TopWorx, Emerson Process Management) believes that wireless automated valves have some clear advantages. They are simple to use, easy to commission, enable diagnostics, suitable for both new-builds and retrofits and have an attractive cost structure, he says. Damian rounds off the interview with so real-life examples of wireless applications.
HIPPS hardware and software explained
Carsten Thoegersen (Specialist - Oil & Gas / Subsea Valve Automation, Emerson Process Management) is something of an authority when it comes to safety systems and HIPPS equipment in particular. He touches on the hardware and software that goes into a HIPPS package, noting the advantages for customers.
Wireless actuation technology being increasingly installed
Joseph Zawacki (Marketing Product Manager, Emerson Process Management) may be a “new recruit” at Emerson, but he is already passionate about the potential of wireless actuators. In this interview he reveals a little about his personal background and looks at the growing acceptance of wireless technology.