When we talk about Big Data these days, it’s often about the need to take that conversation to the next level—actually do something useful with all that data. And rightfully so. But we still need to remember that an essential aspect of creating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the growing prevalence of cheaper, more advanced sensors that can be installed easily through wireless connections to gather even more of that increasingly useful data.
As expected, Emerson’s Pervasive Sensing concept has been mentioned often this week at the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Austin. Introduced at Emerson Exchange a few years ago, it’s the idea that IIoT growth is heavily dependent on the growing pervasiveness of sensors throughout the plant.
“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about the concept of pervasive sensing,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer for Emerson Automation Solutions, during a press briefing Monday afternoon. “Without that data, you can’t improve. If you don’t know where you are, how do you know if you’re getting better?”
Though Emerson has been focused on a number of key initiatives this week—Connected Services, Operational Certainty and Secure First Mile are all important, so stay tuned—a lot of that is built on the idea that more data is being collected from more places throughout the operation.
The Plantweb Digital Ecosystem, introduced this week, is a collection of technologies and services geared toward creating a holistic approach to IIoT, said Bob Karschnia, vice president and general manager, wireless, Emerson Automation Solutions. Key to that message is the prevalence of Emerson’s broad portfolio of sensors, including more than 40 wireless products.
“Pervasive sensing is the basis and framework of what we’re going to talk about,” Karschnia said at another press briefing Tuesday morning, where he detailed six new sensors that provide real-time data in operational areas. They’re the “see” component of a see-decide-act approach to improve safety, reliability, efficiency and compliance. “If we can’t drive you toward operational benefits, it’s not going to help you in the long run,” he added.
Here are the six new sensors Karschnia talked about this week:
The Rosemount Wireless Pressure Gauge, introduced last year, not only enables remote collection of field data, but also enables technicians in the field to easily see pressure readings as they pass by at a distance.
Wireless readings, which can be collected as often as once per minute through WirelessHART, keep operators updated on changing field conditions remotely. It provides up to 150 times overpressure protection compared with traditional gauges and two layers of process isolation for a safer field environment.
The Permasense Wireless Corrosion Monitoring technology came through Emerson’s recent acquisition of Permasense, a British company focused specifically on non-intrusive wireless corrosion sensing.
It is a permanently installed technology that uses unique sensor technology, wireless data delivery and advanced analytics to continuously monitor for metal loss from corrosion or erosion in pipes, pipelines or vessels. Designed to operate without maintenance for years, the monitor uses ultrasonic technology to measure wall thickness continuously from locations where access is costly, dangerous or physically restricted.