Industrial Software Drives Competitive Advantage in a Global Marketplace

Globalization has dramatically changed the way process manufacturers operate. As more and more companies around the world begin to participate in the global marketplace, the demand for resources increases exponentially—both due to the resources used in manufacturing goods, but also in those consumed to transport them to countries and customers that may be thousands of miles away. And yet, as consumption increases, so, too, does a global call for increased sustainability of operations. Companies are finding themselves needing to lower their carbon footprint and meet ambitious net zero goals by 2050.

The complexity of this situation is not lost on Emerson’s Monil Malhotra, who spoke to this topic in an interview with PharmTech magazine. Automation, Monil explained—and industrial software in particular—is helping to level the playing field to drive improved operations for increased competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Making the most of personnel

The aging workforce in process manufacturing, Monil explains, contributes significantly to the struggle many organizations face in driving peak performance. As a plant’s most experienced operators retire, their expertise often goes with them, so companies are looking for ways to capture that knowledge and pass it on to a new generation of workers.

Industrial software can help this situation in a number of ways. First and foremost, modern automation solutions like DeltaVTm advanced process control provides a way for plants to lock operator best practices into their automation structure. With the best practices embedded in automation, teams can take on greener personnel without worry that quality, safety, or speed of operations will suffer.

But even with the ability to hire less experienced personnel, good people can be hard to find, and many organizations are still working with skeleton crews. These groups rely on predictive maintenance software such as AMS Machine Works and edge analytics like AMS Asset Monitor to help them store data, analyze it, and provide actionable information on what needs to be done.

Simulation drives improvement

Simulation tools help operators gain experience with actual interfaces before equipment has even arrived on site.

Other tools, such as Emerson’s MimicTm simulation software, provide safe ways for organizations to improve their performance. Companies use simulation tools to better train their employees—operators can train on tuned assets in a simulation before the actual equipment is even on site, using the same interfaces they will use in their day-to-day work, and seeing how their choices impact the rest of production. Teams are better trained from the moment they sit down in the control room.

But the benefits of simulation don’t end with training. The same process simulations used to improve operator performance can also be repurposed as operational testing sandboxes, where teams can try out new operations procedures with no risk of upsetting ongoing operations and no fear of a safety incident. Operators and engineers are empowered to innovate, helping a company more quickly achieve and sustain its best operations, and increasing flexibility of production to more easily meet shifting global needs.

Monil shares many other ways industrial software improves process manufacturing—including improved cybersecurity and faster delivery of life-saving pharmaceuticals—in his interview. At under 10 minutes, it’s a short watch, so head over to PharmTech to check it out today!

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