Asset health monitoring and data analysis help maximise plant uptime and efficiency

Asset health monitoring and data analysis help maximise plant uptime and efficiencyAlcino Beirão, digital solutions architect, Emerson Automation Solutions, Europe, describes the complementary software solutions Emerson provides to help organisations optimise their maintenance planning and reduce costs through early diagnosis of the cause of developing issues in key production equipment.



Asset health monitoring technologies are vital in the process industries because they help to identify any developing issues in equipment before they lead to a failure requiring costly repair or replacement and possibly impacting production. However, when a problem arises with a critical asset, organisations may have to comb through vast amounts of data from these monitoring technologies to diagnose the fault. This may involve using different software and databases, and many companies simply do not have the skilled resources or time to devote to this.

To help them meet this challenge, Emerson provides powerful but easy-to-use software solutions that analyse aggregated data from multiple monitoring technologies. The software provides early diagnosis of any developing issues and enables the root cause to be identified as quickly as possible. Analysing the data also enables organisations to predict if and approximately when a failure might occur. Armed with this knowledge, they can plan their maintenance activities more efficiently, avoid unplanned shutdowns, increase operational performance and reduce costs.

Among these solutions is AMS Machine Works, Emerson’s next-generation machinery health management software platform. AMS Machine Works greatly simplifies the fault diagnosis and analysis process by combining predictive maintenance techniques with comprehensive vibration analysis tools to provide a clear view of the health of rotating assets such as pumps, turbines, motors, centrifuges and fans. These tools – including Emerson’s unique PeakVueTm and PeakVue Plus technology – analyse spectra, waveforms and parameter trends to determine the nature and severity of mechanical issues such as imbalance, misalignment, looseness, bearing problems and gear defects.

AMS Machine Works provides a single software application and database into which information from a variety of Emerson health monitoring technologies can be collected, including the AMS 9420 Wireless Vibration Transmitter, the AMS 6500 ATG protection system and the OvationTm Machinery Health Monitor. This significantly reduces complexity, as it eliminates the problem of islands of data being stuck in separate applications or databases, and instead enables organisations to view all their asset health information in one location. AMS Machine Works also supports the latest addition to Emerson’s comprehensive health monitoring portfolio, the AMS Wireless Vibration Monitor, as well as its AMS Asset Monitor edge analytics device.

AMS Machine Works is persona-based, ensuring team members receive only the data that is relevant to their position, and also supports collaboration through the ability to tag other users when necessary. An intuitive graphical dashboard delivers clear visibility to overall machinery health status at a glance, with user-friendly views of both machines and monitoring equipment. Supporting clear and easy documentation, a comprehensive Machine Journal tool logs work recommendations and the history of previous actions taken.

A complementary platform to AMS Machine Works is Emerson’s PlantwebTm Insight industrial analytics solution. Optimised for wireless sensors and networks, Plantweb Insight provides organisations with real-time actionable information regarding key fixed assets such as heat exchangers, pumps, pressure relief valves, steam traps, wireless pressure gauges and cooling towers. Organisations typically do not have the time or resources to monitor these assets proactively, which leaves them vulnerable to failure. Checks are often performed on a weekly or even monthly basis, with singular data points taken for offline analysis. This can be extremely time-consuming and it can be several days or even weeks before the data has been analysed and interpreted. This makes it difficult to prioritise maintenance or identify potential hazards, which puts the safety and reliability of the plant at risk.

Plantweb Insight features a suite of purpose-built software apps that integrate seamlessly into a plant’s existing systems to provide continuous monitoring and instant visibility into real-time asset health. The apps utilise pre-built analytics with embedded domain expertise to diagnose asset health, with the resulting information and insights visualised on a user-friendly, web-based interface that can be securely accessed anytime from PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

“Users can improve asset reliability and energy usage by early identification of abnormal situations and inefficiencies, and by identifying and preventing failures before they occur.”

The apps acquire process data via plant gateways or directly from the control system, and can also send information to historians, databases or other sources via industry-standard communication protocols such as OPC UA and Modbus TCP/IP. Users can improve asset reliability and energy usage by early identification of abnormal situations and inefficiencies, and by identifying and preventing failures before they occur. They also can avoid potential safety incidents and ensure regulatory compliance though the real-time identification of leaks and other hazards.

For organisations looking to improve the management of their key asset health data on an enterprise-level scale, data from multiple applications, including AMS Machine Works and Plantweb Insight, can be combined in Emerson’s Plantweb Optics operational performance platform. Plantweb Optics connects data from these applications into asset-centric information to deliver persona-based alerts and key performance indicators, ensuring that information is delivered to the right people at the right time.

To learn more about how Emerson’s software can help you increase operational performance and asset reliability, visit here.


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