Plant Construction & Process Technology

The Power Of Innovation

Yokogawa’s Users Conference with Focus on Technologies, Solutions and Networking

06.06.2014 - Process-Automation Trends - Achieving safe, reliable, profitable operations and networking with fellow users, industry and business leaders, system integrators, and representatives - these will be part of Yokogawa's Users Conference in Berlin from July 2 to 4.

CHEManager International spoke in advance of the event with Herman van den Berg, president, Yokogawa Europe, about current trends in process automation. Dr. Volker Oestreich conducted the interview.

CHEManager International: Mr. van den Berg, terms such as cyber​-physical systems -CPS, Internet of Things - IoT, or Industry 4.0 are present today at every event concerning industrial production and process automation. What do you see as the current challenges for the process-engineering industry?

Herman van den Berg: CPS, IoT and Industry 4.0 are all driving towards integrated, real-time data for visualization, simulation and design data from specification to validation. Current technology does not solve all the challenges presented by these holistic approaches, yet. However many solutions do exist in our industry, like CAE - computer-aided engineering, dynamic simulations, wireless solutions and others. What today still is missing are general solutions with well-defined and open interfaces.

The challenge with these concepts is that we have customers working in real life and dangerous environments. We have to be very sure that the implementation of new technology is done in a safe and secure manner, and we must know how to adopt own work flows and processes to accommodate these complex systems.

IT does not always see these existing risks and handle them properly. We need a high consciousness from the design state up to operations. Once more: We live in a real world, a hazardous world; our solutions must include safety solutions to prevent accidents - even dramatic accidents.

The increasing amount of information and Internet technologies brings both chances and risks. With the experiences of Stuxnet and Duqu; and the activities of NSA - U.S. National Security Agency - and GCHQ - U.K.'s Government Communications Headquarters - in mind: Are users in the chemical or pharmaceutical industries or in oil and gas really interested to apply these new technologies, being aware of the risks?

Herman van den Berg: Agreed, these new technologies bring opportunities but also risk. Our customers are not early adopters due to their safety obligations. However, when we can demonstrate consistent and safe application of technology, our users are not only interested but also have proven to invest in it.

The practice today is that vulnerability reports are published publically where customers can gauge their mind. Yokogawa reacts to these reports and provides patches, etc., to limit the customer risk.

The focus on IT security in production is much higher than in IT - you cannot only lose some data or a server, but you can lose production and the health of employees. Yokogawa is taking this challenge very seriously. So you cannot just apply technology because it is new and great, but it has to be proven - also under security aspects.

But users also live in a competitive world, and this forces them to become more efficient - and therefore they are interested in finding better, more efficient solutions. There is a balance in being more efficient but using only mature, proven technologies.

Being aware of the risks: Do users in process automation really profit from these new technologies and where are the benefits and values?

Herman van den Berg: The benefits are of course in the efficiency of once-only-data-capture, integrated systems, adaptability, resource efficiency, etc. on the engineering side. In the operations side, the availability of data for servicing, asset management, and production management information to ensure operational efficiency is clear.

What role does the upcoming Yokogawa Users Conference in Berlin, "The Power of Innovation," have within this process?

Herman van den Berg: The Users Conference is about showing new technology implementations between users. The Steering Committee of the Users Conference consists of people from Shell, BP, Evonik, UNIS and Kisuma. They are determining the agenda for the event for maximum user value. A number of customers will be presenting how they implement solutions and indicate the benefits. This is also where customers can share experiences with Yokogawa between each other.

One of the highlights I am looking for during our Users Conference: One of our customers will be presenting efficiencies through augmented reality with Google Glass - they really use it and will share their experiences with the other participants. Another important topic is savings through energy management.

So the program of the conference is not pushed by Yokogawa but driven by the customers to share experiences in process instrumentation and control - of course, we want to share experiences with our customers, too. Ideas and suggestions will be input to our R&D department to be considered for future development - that is what we call collaboration with our customers.

Senior management from Yokogawa Japan will be present during the conference to offer the opportunity for high-level networking.

Can you be more specific on the topic "Instrumentation and Control" - which today, besides controlling the process including safety functions, also contributes to the efficient use of resources - often in combination with MES or PLM systems?

Herman van den Berg: The efficient use of resources is a very clear focus of our Exaquantum product family; operation efficiency is the first of five efficiency focus areas. Energy management, production management, safety management and alarm management contribute to provide our customers with a clear overview and ability to value add decision-making.

During the Users Conference, more detail will be provided about the announced enhancements of our Centum VP Distributed Control System. Yokogawa's system platforms combined with proven execution experience provide the highest quality and innovative solutions for secure and optimized process automation and management. Our global customer-centric focus together with strong local support reduces users' business risks and provides the lowest total cost of ownership. With a long history of progressive compatibility, Yokogawa is a dependable automation partner.

By the way, next year - in 2015 - we will not only have the 40th anniversary of Centum DCS but also the 100th anniversary of our company.

Regulation takes over a significant role in a number of areas in process industry - e.g., in pharma and food. How do you help your customers to handle the additional complexity associated?

Herman van den Berg: Yokogawa already has a long experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with the first - i.e., in the year 2001 - paperless recorder in the market that complies with the American FDA 21 CFR part 11 regulation.

At the time, we helped our customers to interpret this FDA regulation in seminars and provided validation services based on GAMP - Good Automated Manufacturing Practice - 4. Our work procedures - Project Lifecycle - were adapted to accommodate this need and ensure smooth project implementation. Now we provide GAMP 5 trainings to our customers.

Based on the same philosophy, we established also food - USDA, aerospace - NADCAP, and nuclear - KTA, Emphasis - products, solutions and services.

We help our customers by cooperating with them in a synergetic way, together developing solutions. We have a strong understanding of the regulation procedures, making trainings for customers - so we can help especially those companies who are new in this field.

Another important topic, especially for plants located in Central Europe, is the subject of energy efficiency. How do you support your customers with regard to this?

Herman van den Berg: I mentioned before that this would be part of the program of our User Conference. This year's program offers a host of opportunities to learn more about Yokogawa solutions and how they can assist in achieving safe, reliable, profitable operations. The program committee has put together an exciting program to learn about industry best practices and integrated solutions for a sustainable future and to discover ways to increase quality and efficiency and lower operating costs through proven methods and use of Yokogawa products.

Many of our products and solutions contribute to energy savings. One of the examples that will be discussed is the TDLS, a tunable diode laser for optimization of combustion processes.

By implementing Exaquantum solutions for energy management, lower energy consumption and optimization can be established. For larger plants, we provide complete energy management solutions together with Soteica Visual Mesa. So, indeed, we can offer solutions for energy efficiency in all levels.



Yokogawa Deutschland GmbH

Broichhofstr. 7-11
40880 Ratingen

+49 2102 4983 0
+49 2102 4983 22