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Show Preview - Connected Plant Conference

POWER magazine and Chemical Engineering are hosting the fourth annual Connected Plant Conference, taking place Feb. 25–27, 2020, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia. Connected Plant is the only event specifically covering the digital transformation and digitization for the power generation and chemical process industries. The event includes a look at the technology moving the power generation sector forward, including data and analytics, and provides detailed information about digital technologies for process, product, and enterprise improvements for chemical processing. The companies participating in this year’s event will show plant operators how to increase operational efficiency. Regardless of ownership structure, fleet size, or fuel, new digital cloud-computing operational and management tools are available to help those in the power generation and chemical processing industries squeeze more from investments. Greater connectivity, paired with appropriate data management and analysis, can enable power generation and chemical processing facilities of any size and any technology to address challenges both large and small.

1. The Connected Plant Conference features dynamic speakers providing information about the digital transformation of power generation and chemical processing. Chris Naunheimer, the Users Experience Director—Digital for ABB, is shown here speaking at the 2019 event. Source: Access Intelligence

The Connected Plant Conference allows for interaction with the industry’s early adopters. Attendees will meet generators who are using the latest connected plant tools. The speaker lineup (Figure 1) provides access to information from power generators and chemical plant operators that have adopted the latest digital monitoring, diagnostic, analytics, Industrial Internet of Things, and decision-support technologies. Vendor representatives will be available to discuss the challenges you face and what capabilities are on the wish list for your facility and business. Attendees will get a firm grasp on the new digital operating environment, and what solutions will work for your plant. The conference program is designed for professionals who are leading digital adoption at all stages. Here’s a look at some of the products and services companies participating in this year’s event are showcasing.

ABB’s Digital Solutions Help Power and Chemical Companies

There are numerous challenges facing power generators and chemical processors today, such as volatile costs and prices, as well as products that can be made in different ways with various combinations of materials, across more than one plant at a given company, to achieve the same output. The number of variables to process for maximum performance are enormous, and challenges vary by region. Digital solutions can help, whatever the scenario for a given company, wherever in the world they are. Knowledge enterprise has to embrace digitization to achieve the best results. Many power and chemical companies have spent years investing in automated operations, process controls, sensors, and real-time data systems, albeit in a relatively scattered manner. Advances in digitization are now enabling them to bring together the data they already have hidden in disparate systems to deliver greater value to their businesses than was possible before, in a more agile and real-time manner. ABB’s digital solutions help companies use digitalization to transform their operations in ways that reduce costs, minimize risks, and drive sustained profitability. ABB, Zurich, Switzerland


EPRI Aids Utilities in New Energy Landscape

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) helps utilities understand how disruptive new technologies can be demonstrated and applied in today’s rapidly changing energy system. EPRI provides valuable insight into customer experience, electric grid optimization, operations and maintenance efficiency, data analytics, and electric mobility. Through product trials with a variety of companies, EPRI has shown how augmented reality can enhance workforce productivity, safety, and efficiency. A trial last year with Ario showed how to equip power plant workers with devices that enable visual training, operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting activities at workplace sites, and on machines and equipment. A product trial with eIQ Mobility explored the electrification of large commercial vehicle fleets using advanced analytics to help companies determine when and where to deploy electric vehicles. EPRI’s IlluminationLAB program, which includes several utilities and power generators, enables an approach allowing for the testing of tools in real-world environments. EPRI, Palo Alto, California


GE Digital Software Helps with Data Visualization and Analysis

GE Digital recently announced significant enhancements across its industry-leading software portfolio that make it possible for companies to more easily and effectively operate their plants, analyze industrial data, and optimize their operations. The product updates include Predix Essentials, which makes it easier for industrial companies to connect, visualize, and analyze their data; Asset Answers, which helps customers understand the competitive potential of Asset Performance Management (APM) software; and Webspace 6.0, a new HTML5 interface that seamlessly brings automation data to operators across any mobile device. Predix Essentials, Asset Answers, and Webspace 6.0 help industrial companies to more easily access remote monitoring, predictive analytics, benchmarking, and mobility capabilities. Predix Essentials is an easy-to-use software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, while Asset Answers is a benchmarking tool that helps customers quickly import and assess data. Webspace 6.0, a web and mobility solution, improves the way that operators receive and react to operational insights, whether they are in the field, on the plant floor, or at a desk, providing them the flexibility to make informed decisions and share their expertise, regardless of location. GE Digital, San Ramon, California


Southern Company Helps with Integration of Digitization

Southern Company, which serves 9 million customers across the U.S. Southeast, is dedicated to solving the energy industry’s most pressing issues, including the integration of digitization into power generation. Southern Company taps the talents of its 32,000 employees and like-minded partners to generate ideas, including studying the role of big data in our everyday lives. The company has invested more than $2 billion in industry-leading research and development since 1970, and its Energy Innovation Center is the place where creative problem-solving and smart investment come together to improve lives. Southern Company, Atlanta, Georgia


Mobideo Works to Transform the Industrial Workforce

Mobideo’s mission is “to transform industrial workforce effectiveness and safety through digitalized work processes that increase productivity and improve financial outcomes.” The company’s Industrial Workforce Management Platform digitalizes complex and collaborative work processes for asset-intensive industries, such as chemical processing and power generation. With Mobideo, managers gain real-time visibility, dramatically improving manageability and enhancing decision-making capabilities. Workers receive optimized access to essential data, ensuring maximum productivity, quality, safety, and compliance. Mobideo’s cloud platform is implemented in days, without any disruption to the business, enabling customers to digitalize their unique know-how and work processes while complementing their existing enterprise information and operational technology systems. Mobideo, Houston, Texas


Seeq Provides Answers to Issues with Big Data

Seeq provides advanced analytics software that truly understands process manufacturing data. The company delivers easy-to-use features in big data, machine learning, and web technologies. Seeq is the first application dedicated to process data analytics. Search your data, add context, cleanse, model, find patterns, establish boundaries, monitor assets, collaborate in real time, and interact with time-series data like never before. In the current hype around predictive analytics, machine learning, and data science, what’s missing are solutions to the real challenges to an analytics-driven organization. These include tapping the expertise of your current employees, support for collaboration and knowledge capture to foster sharing and reuse of analytics efforts, and the ability to rapidly distribute insights to the people who need them to quickly improve outcomes. Seeq addresses these issues, and more. Seeq applications enable the complete lifecycle of advanced analytics, from first connecting to data to landing insights in improved business and production results. Seeq, Seattle, Washington


Uniper Offers Enerlytics Platform

Uniper is a global energy company that generates, trades, and markets energy on a large scale. It provides tailor-made solutions for the complex world of energy. It operates worldwide with about 12,000 employees in more than 40 countries, and oversees a generating capacity of about 36 GW. With its flexible conventional coal and gas power plants, low-carbon hydroelectric power, nuclear energy in Sweden, and its gas storage facilities, Uniper stands for a secure and reliable energy supply. By incorporating its 100 years of extensive experience of owning and operating international power and distribution assets into the design of its new Enerlytics digital platform (Figure 2), Uniper has created a service that can help plant managers and operators respond to the transformation in energy markets and meet environmental standards. Uniper, Dusseldorf, Germany


Honeywell Offers Cybersecurity Protection

Whether you call them USBs, flash drives, or pen drives, it’s almost certain your teams are carrying these devices around—and that’s putting your organization at risk. Based on Honeywell research examining real-world data, USB devices remain a major threat vector for industrial operators. By understanding the dangers, you can make informed decisions to keep staff productive while mitigating security risks. As part of rigorous self-evaluation, Honeywell’s internal teams assessed the state of USB threats and potential solutions. Data from its globally deployed Secure Media Exchange (SMX) solution offered a rare window into day-to-day USB activities. As part of its regular process, before devices are approved to use in facilities, SMX analyzes files compared to the latest threat intelligence when users “check-in” their USBs in an SMX Intelligence Gateway. That analysis, in aggregate, provides an illuminating collection of wisdom about USB threats in the real world, offering one way to ensure USBs are used safely. Honeywell, Charlotte, North Carolina


Black & Veatch Provides Asset Management Solution

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting, and construction company with a 100-year legacy of innovations in sustainable infrastructure. As an innovator, collaborator, and future-maker, Black & Veatch is characterized by curiosity, a trait that helps the company find solutions to your most complex challenges. Safety, sustainability, and responsibility also are ingrained into every Black & Veatch professional, and they’re designed into all projects. Among its brands is Atonix Digital. Atonix Digital develops and offers a portfolio of products to simplify asset management by putting data to work for customers—to optimize performance, improve reliability and efficiency, detect emerging risks, and provide an easily justifiable return on investment. Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas


Donaldson Provides Industrial Filtration Solutions

Donaldson is a leading supplier of engineered air intake systems for gas turbines and industrial compressors, for both new and retrofit applications. The company’s comprehensive technical capabilities, unrivaled operations and maintenance support, and extensive global network help optimize system performance and reduce total cost of ownership in ways no other supplier can match. Donaldson’s wide breadth of first-fit and aftermarket products and services provide the convenience of a single supplier and one contact for service and troubleshooting. Donaldson has in-house engineering expertise and is constantly investing in research and development to improve system designs and filtration technologies. The result is an ever-expanding line of filtration solutions that perform in any application or operating environment. Donaldson Company, Auburn, Alabama


Fero Labs Products Minimize Downtime, Improve Operations

Fero offers cutting-edge machine learning in an easy-to-use web interface. Its platform offers powerful blueprints that target key performance indicators (KPIs), easy-to-use wizards for loading and linking data sources, insightful visualization tools for validation, and much more. Fero’s tools help operators discover hidden factors that affect quality, predict flaws of future products, and optimize production. Fero helps companies cut production costs today and prevent headaches for tomorrow. The company can prevent complex machine failures, identify the root causes of issues, and optimize maintenance schedules, minimizing factory downtime and improving production efficiency. The company’s products can streamline operations, save on energy costs, and improve operational performance. Fero Labs, New York, New York


KROHNE Specializes in Industrial Process Measurement

KROHNE is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of solutions in industrial process instrumentation. Customers can benefit from the company’s ability to solve applications with matching measurement solutions. KROHNE offers complete product portfolio, industry specific system solutions, and complementary services for instrumentation projects of any size. KROHNE has specialized in industrial process measurement since 1921, and has gained an enormous amount of application knowledge in various industries that is integrated into its products, solutions, and services. KROHNE, Beverly, Massachusetts


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