Why Choose the Cloud for Engineering and Simulation Software?

June 29, 2022
How Emerson's DeltaV Simulation Cloud is used to effectively train operators, what industries are using it, and how cloud-based engineering and simulation software stacks up to on-premises software.

Read the full transcript below 

David Greenfield: Welcome to the Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered podcast, where we connect with industry experts to get the answers you need about industrial automation technologies. And you can find even more answers by subscribing to automation world at Subscribe AutomationWorld.com

I'm David Greenfield, Director of Content for Automation World. and the question we’ll be answering in this episode is: Why Choose the Cloud for Engineering and Simulation Software? Joining me to answer this question is Chris Radebaugh with Emerson Automation Solutions. Thanks for joining me today, Chris.

Chris Radebaugh: Thanks for having me.

David Greenfield: One of the big issues facing industrial companies today is how to effectively train operators whenever engineering changes are made to production systems. I know that this is a major area of focus for Emerson’s Delta V Simulation Cloud. Can you tell our listeners about this technology and how it’s used to get operators up to speed with such changes before they’re rolled out to production?

Chris Radebaugh: Absolutely. Effective training of operators is a key concern for many industrial companies because plant operators control production processes and heavily influence the quality of finished products. And as we know, production processes are complex and require training specific to the product and environment used to achieve expected outcomes. The need to train personnel on the plant’s process is critical; however, training on production systems is very risky and, in most cases, not possible. Due to these circumstances, offline simulation and engineering is a key strategy to manage configurations and train personnel safely and effectively on production processes. DeltaV Simulation Cloud is the solution of choice for training and simulation before changes are rolled out to production, providing an offline, globally accessible, 24x7x365 solution for DeltaV Simulate and DeltaV Simulate with Mimic.

David Greenfield: What industries can use Delta V Simulation Cloud?

Chris Radebaugh: Great question. Turns out, all industries that are served by DeltaV Simulate and simulate with Mimic are candidates for usage. This includes, but is not limited to: Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical, Specialty Chemical, Pulp and Paper, and Mining. All of the modules and function blocks that are available in on on-premise DeltaV solution are available on DeltaV Simulation cloud. So, whether you are modifying a control module connected to a valve on your continuous process or an equipment module to organize and execute a segment of your batch process, DeltaV Simulation Cloud is the solution of choice. 

David Greenfield: Can you give some examples of the typical uses of Delta V Simulation Cloud in these industries? 

Chris Radebaugh: Sure! In the Pharma industry, it’s not uncommon to have tight project-to-production schedules to ensure timely release of products to the public. Verifying configurations and training operators is an unseen aspect of successful product releases and can add time to the schedule. The recent Covid pandemic is an example of how the public at large can look to the introduction and production of pharmaceutical products and solutions to address an urgent need. DeltaV Simulation Cloud is the right choice for such needs, a scalable, flexible, always-on environment to change and train when you are. In the Oil and Gas industries, consistency of configurations allows for the most efficient deployment and maintenance of resources, and the accompanying safety system is a critical part of a safe, efficient work environment. DeltaV Simulation Cloud is the right choice for these needs as well. DeltaV Simulation cloud can be used to modify configurations, act as a standards library that can be used as a reference for individual production plants, and the soon-to-be released SIS support will allow these companies to manage their safety configuration in the same secure environment. 

David Greenfield: Following onto the Covid mention, are there any other reasons why DeltaV Simulation Cloud should be considered as part of a Covid response or prevention strategy?

Chris Radebaugh: Yes. One of the unfortunate impacts of Covid is the social distancing and lockdown measures intended to control or stop the spread of Covid. Owning and managing space for training and collaboration is seeing a shift from the physical to the virtual world. DeltaV Simulation Cloud is a perfect strategy when it considering virtual teams or remote access. Let Emerson manage the system and you and your team can safely collaborate online using DeltaV Simulate and Simulate with Mimic via a standard web browser. In addition, Covid has strained supply chains and impacted hardware schedules around the globe, sometimes taking a year or more lead time to obtain the necessary equipment to run your simulation or training. With DeltaV Simulation Cloud, there is no physical footprint and no hardware shipping Delays. DeltaV Simulation Cloud allows you to skip the line and begin your work without added delay. 

David Greenfield: We’re seeing more and more automation technologies moving to the cloud, but simulation technologies have typically been installed on premises. Can you explain how Delta V Simulation Cloud works effectively as a cloud-based simulation technology and what factors an end user should consider that would influence their decision to choose a cloud-based simulation technology versus an on-premises installation?

Chris Radebaugh: Sure. Traditionally, simulation and engineering systems were installed on-premise, where operators and engineers local to that system could use the system in an office environment for process modification and training. In this scenario, Plant managers and training personnel were required to manage access and maintain the hardware and software themselves, which may divert focus from the direct business objectives of the company. 

With DeltaV Simulation Cloud, users are freed from many of the costly access, security, and maintenance concerns of an on-premise system. Installation, setup, and access are standard with the solution. This means that there are no physical infrastructure costs, no engineering design and build, no need to manage VMs or workstations. No need to worry about power consumption, or hardware end of life strategies. As your hosting provider, Emerson takes care of all of these for you. 

And from an ownership perspective, as opposed to the on-premise systems, licensing, DeltaV Hot Fixes, and Guardian support are included. We’ve gone to great lengths to make DeltaV Simulation Cloud a turnkey solution, alleviating the complexities of traditional DeltaV on-premise ownership concerns. As a DeltaV Simulation Cloud user, simply order from a set of capabilities and our team will work with you to ensure we architect and maintain the solution to your expectations. 

And the most exciting aspect of DeltaV Simulation Cloud is its ability to grow as your business needs grow. The solution is scalable to fit your needs now and expand as your needs expand, whether it’s more users, more control capacity, or expanded simulation capabilities.

David Greenfield: As you mentioned, scalability is obviously a major consideration when opting for a cloud-based technology of any kind. But what if a user doesn’t think they’ll need to scale their system. For example, if they have a very targeted engineering and training need that could be satisfied by a smaller, on-premises system. Is Delta V Simulation Cloud something someone in that position should still consider and, if so, why? 

Chris Radebaugh: Great question. DeltaV Simulation Cloud is structured around three offerings: DeltaV Simulate DeltaV Simulate with Mimic, and Standalone. All are offered as 1 year subscriptions. 

The first two offerings are designed to be scalable systems that can accommodate up to 15,000 DSTs and up to 16 Concurrent users. 

The last offering, DeltaV Simulation Cloud Standalone, provides exactly the type of solution for those customers seeking a smaller system, with full DeltaV Simulate with Mimic capabilities in a small environment and at our lowest cost. This system allows for 1 concurrent user and up to 1000 DSTs. Smaller in size, but no less capable - Perfect for targeted, smaller engineering or training needs. 

David Greenfield: Earlier, you mentioned security as a factor in choosing a cloud-based technology, which is a big reason why cloud-based automation technologies are gaining acceptance, because cloud solutions offload many of the security considerations from onsite IT staff to the cloud technology provider. Even with Cloud solutions, there may be security questions that in-house IT and OT staff typically need to address. What can you tell us about the security of Delta V Simulation Cloud? 

Chris Radebaugh: As a hosting provider, Emerson has gone to great lengths to ensure DeltaV Simulation Cloud is a secure solution capable of defending itself against cyber threats. This security is ensured by our hosting facilities ISO 270001 security certificate. 27001 is a comprehensive cybersecurity certification, renewed annually, that ensures protection via a set of user access, defense-in depth policies and procedures, as well as monitoring and response requirements. To maintain our tight security stance, obviously I can’t discuss the details of our protection mechanisms, but I can say that we protect using the best in both electronic and physical control methods to ensure the highest standards of security. 

David Greenfield: We’ve covered a lot of ground here about Delta V Simulation Cloud—is there anything else you’d like to add about this technology before we wrap up?

Chris Radebaugh: Yes! For more information on DeltaV Simulation Cloud, see our website. Easiest way to find it is to search on DeltaV Simulation Cloud. It’ll take you to our landing page where you can find more information on the solution and browse our Data Sheet, which contains more detail on the DeltaV Simulation Cloud Solution. 

You can also reach out to your local Emerson sales representative for pricing, availability, and any other questions you may have. 

David Greenfield: Well, thank you for joining me for this podcast Chris and thanks of course to all of our listeners and please keep watching this space for more installments of Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered. And remember that you can find us online at AutomationWorld.com. And subscribe to our print magazine at SubscribeAW.com to stay on top of the latest industrial automation technology insights, trends, and news.        

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