Partnership Marries Asset Optimization Software and Services

An alliance between Emerson and AspenTech is geared toward making it easier for customers to optimize operations through best-in-class asset performance.

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As part of a broad approach to help customers optimize their operations and achieve top-quartile performance, Emerson announced today an alliance with AspenTech. The partnership combines AspenTech’s asset optimization software with Emerson’s automation technologies and consulting services.

The two companies announced the alliance in briefings this afternoon to members of industry press at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando.

AspenTech’s asset optimization software creates value across all phases of the asset lifecycle—design, operation and maintenance—in capital-intensive and complex projects and operations. This is complemented by Emerson’s automation engineering services and software, plus its experience in large-scale project execution and consulting. Collectively, these capabilities can be deployed in both conventional and cloud-based architectures.

“The goal is to support Emerson’s Project Certainty and Operational Certainty initiatives,” commented Antonio Pietri, president and CEO of AspenTech.

These initiatives are both focused on helping customers achieve what Emerson refers to as top-quartile performance—achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies. In project execution, this translates to 25 percent shorter project schedules and 25 percent lower project costs, noted Jamie Froedge, president of Process Systems and Solutions at Emerson. In operational performance, he said, those top-quartile performers spend 20 percent less on production-related expenses, spend half as much on maintenance and operate with 15 more days of available production, have one-third the number of safety incidents, and spend one-third less on energy costs while reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent.

“The alliance with AspenTech is about one very simple thing—bringing together best-in-class asset performance,” Froedge said. “We do not want our customers to have to go to multiple vendors to get best in class.”

With thousands of engineers around the globe that execute projects, Emerson has a strong presence in Level 2 automation—the monitoring, supervisory and automated control level. AspenTech, meanwhile, is arguably the best Level 3 (manufacturing operations management) software provider, Froedge said. “We’re building out tools that make it easier to get that information and make decisions. They’re focused on analytics in and around the same equipment,” he said. “The two portfolios are extraordinarily complementary.”

Together, the two companies are better able to cross the barriers that traditionally exist between design and operations, Froedge added.

The alliance with AspenTech follows not too far behind Emerson’s acquisition of Mynah Technologies in May 2017, which provides dynamic process simulation and operator training software; and ProSys last month, further helping to improve operator performance.

“Too many customers are staffed to run, not staffed to optimize,” noted Dave Imming, vice president of marketing for Process Systems and Solutions at Emerson. “They can barely keep their plants running. There’s a lot of opportunity that is not taken advantage of.”

The alliance will initially focus on three key areas: engineering software, including high-fidelity simulation to help validate project design and train operators before startup; manufacturing and supply chain software, including advanced process control software designed for highly complex operations; and asset performance management software to improve plant reliability.

Together, the two companies will provide holistic optimization strategies that rely on real-time data, advanced analytics enabled by machine learning, and rich process knowledge to bring measurable business improvements in production, as well as in the areas of reliability, safety and energy management.

Emerson and AspenTech also expect to reach across more industries with their combined efforts, according to John Hague, senior vice president and general manager of AspenTech’s Asset Performance Management (APM) business unit. “We see significant synergies beyond refining and chemicals—also pharma, pulp and paper, and other industries as well,” he said.


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