Emerson launches digital transformation organization

Dec. 12, 2019
"Focus on things you can control: safe operations, optimizing production."

As leaders across industries work to realize measurable business improvement in today’s complex technology environment, global engineering and technology company Emerson announced it has established a dedicated organization focused on digital transformation technologies and programs.

“Focus on the things you can control: safe operations, increasing reliability, optimizing production. Automation professionals have a direct impact on company performance.” Emerson’s Lal Karsanbhai kicked off the 2019 Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville.

The new Digital Transformation business—announced at September’s Emerson Global Users Exchange in Nashville—brings together critical resources to help manufacturers develop and implement pragmatic digital transformation strategies that deliver industry-leading performance. The $650 million business combines existing expertise in consulting, project execution, smart sensor technologies, data management and analytics. The organization will help customers not only establish a clear vision for digital transformation, but also execute with confidence and realize measurable results at each step of their journey.

“In a space inundated by confusing promises, Emerson helps customers define and execute a practical and successful path to digital transformation,” said Lal Karsanbhai, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “With our new Digital Transformation business, we are strategically focused on guiding customers to the right strategy, helping them drive improved organizational alignment, and implementing programs that accelerate improved business performance.”

“The industry is at a critical point in the digital transformation journey,” added Stuart Harris, named group president for the Digital Transformation business. “Many companies have a vision but struggle to implement practical solutions that deliver results and therefore they are getting frustrated. Other companies are solving specific problems, but not realizing value at scale across the enterprise. Emerson has the technology to provide practical solutions, and the experience to define the best practices and roadmap to help make a broad operational impact.”

“Customers are looking for a partner for their digital transformation programs, and this move even better positions Emerson to be that credible partner,” Harris said.

Karsanbhai’s promotion to executive president was announced at last year’s event and, he said in his opening keynote address at the Exchange, “It’s been a big year, for our industry, for our company, and for me personally.” During the past year, he has visited many Emerson and industry facilities, and met with customers around the world. “Each of your companies faces unique challenges and problems, but you have a lot in common in your goals and opportunities,” he said.

“Focus on the things you can control: safe operations, increasing reliability, optimizing production,” Karsanbhai advised the audience. “Automation professionals have a direct impact on company performance.”


Karsanbhai stressed Emerson’s long history of and continuing efforts to truly understand the industries and customers it serves, and described its increasing array of hardware, software and services to meet their changing needs. Innovations over the past couple of years include last year’s introduction of DeltaV v14, “the most intuitive and scalable DCS ever built,” he said. Ovation 3.7 for power and water has advanced control, cybersecurity and analytics, and Guardian Support v13.2 prognostic service provides a DCS health score that reflects safety and security risks.

For data management, Plantweb Optics v1.5 does historian and trending with increased scalability, Plantweb Insight has additional health analytics, and AMS Device Manager v14 offers smart commissioning with higher security.

Emerson has also recently developed digital isolation valves for critical safety applications, two-wire Coriolis meters to simplify installation for improved measurement, hygienic instrumentation for food and beverage applications, and ultrasonic plastic joining for precision welding applications.

Along with product expansions and improvements, “We’ve made eight key acquisitions this year,” Karsanbhai said. “Last year, we acquired Pentair valves, and now have AE Valves for cryogenic applications, Circor for steam traps and regulators, and Permasense for erosion and corrosion sensors.” The additions of Aventics smart pneumatics and Asco valve have increased the range for factory automation.

“A year ago, we acquired GE Intelligent Platforms to bring in traditional PLC applications in hybrid and discrete automation,” Karsanbhai said. “Integrating PLCs with DeltaV and Ovation is a significant step toward fully integrated solutions across your facility and organization.”

Data management acquisitions include KnowledgeNet for machine learning and analytics, iSolutions for data management consulting, Bio-G for cloud SCADA, Zedi for life science analytics, GeoFields for pipeline integrity, Paradigm for exploration and production, and ProSys for alarm management.

Emerson now has 4,000 people around the world involved in project engineering, management and execution. “We have 700 specializing in pharmaceuticals, and a dedicated LNG team,” Karsanbhai said. The company’s 300 global service centers include two new ones, one in the Permian basin, and one in Vaca Muerta, Argentina.

With its expertise in industries and applications, and its growing hardware, software and services capabilities, the company is positioned to help solve virtually any automation-related problem, as well as facilitate improvements in most areas of plant operations. “Our ability to serve you essentially depends on the trust you place in us,” Karsanbhai said. “Tight alignment and trust accelerates progress, and brings real value.”