Operators - Are they the cure or the cause ? - Optimizing utility operations

In the coming few years you will see a dramatic engagement with driver less cars and other autonomous vehicles. So why would a driver be comfortable racing down a highway whilst they 'surf' their tablets, make a phone call or generally use their new found freedom to 'work from a mobile office'.

In part its to do with a greater acceptance that the fundamentals behind the technology do work, together with a growing consumer trend that will draw curiosity and visibility of successful trials with autonomous vehicles. This all leads to increased confidence as they adapt to a new breed of 'super computer' lying under the hood with eyes and ears that provides safety, reliability and efficiency (when its comes to energy conservation). 

Taking the same concept to Industrial applications where autonomous control technology has bought major benefits in increased operational performance, its then surprising why so many plants still 'drive' in manual......and that's part of the puzzle we as automation experts keep looking to solve.


Take the stalwart of energy (power & steam) production. as an example. 

Operators are the bastions of their domains, ensuring the provision of the right amount of power and or steam for the process and in keeping their emphasis on these two critical objectives; their experience, insights, comfort factor and skills all contribute to a position of total ownership of their assets.

Part or semi autonomous control of some capability within a powerhouse is naturally expected and as far as operators are concerned they are still in control.

Providing a cure to the dilemma of excessive manual control within Industrial Utilities has been a mission of ours - The Emerson Industrial Energy Solutions Group. With over 400 years of expertise and having created the IP behind autonomous control of Industrial powerhouses, we see training and plant simulation going hand in hand to provide operators with the tools required to change their commonly held perceptions and years of manual control norms. 

Avoiding excessive plant trips, faster recovery, higher reliability, greater availability at the same time as minimizing expensive fuels and excessive emissions are our critical objectives.

Sam Thiara (MEng)

Business Development Manager, EMEA

Operational Certainty Consulting Group

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