Emerson Users Exchange Turns On the CHARMs

Dec. 1, 2011
The Emerson Global Users Exchange event descended on Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center the last week in October and brought record numbers with it, with attendee totals settling in at just under 2,900.

The big news of the first day was the announcement of Emerson Process Management’s Smart Energy Initiative. In a break from the traditional product announcements at the annual press conference, spokespeople laid out the challenges facing producers from energy and emissions, and then proceeded to discuss solutions and customer stories. The initiative is a global program designed to combine Emerson’s industrial energy expertise with advanced energy management technologies to enable customers to leverage more renewable fuels, lower energy costs, and reduce emissions. 

On the second day, Peter Zornio, Emerson Process Management chief strategic officer, reviewed the company’s responses to two challenges it sees its customers facing in process industries—increasing complexity of systems, coupled with less experienced employees.

Emerson had first responded to these challenges a couple of years ago with its Human Centered Design initiative, one part of which is that all products must pass a usability review before release. This year, another response to complexity was a device/product called CHARMs, which features I/O on demand and enables electronic marshaling. Customer Bryan Beyer, acid operations manager for Southern States Chemical, discussed how using CHARMs in his new greenfield sulphuric acid plant saved the company time and money in completing the project. He noted it achieved several results, including reliability, smooth technology integration, an easy to understand system for employees, smooth I/O configuration, simplified troubleshooting, wiring cost reduced by 50 percent, quicker and cheaper I/O additions (use of Ethernet was a plus here), and a wealth of production data now available from the system.

Zornio then announced an addition to the CHARMs family—intrinsically safe I/O. With a built-in intrinsically safe barrier, these devices will drastically reduce the cabinet footprint required for an intrinsic safety installation.

Separately, Bob Karchnia, Rosemount vice president of technology, updated the press on the latest advances in the Smart Wireless program. There are now 6,100 networks installed. Emerson currently has 17 Smart Wireless products released, and nine more are coming during the next year, he said.

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