Emerson Embraces AspenTech & Charts New Course for Next-Gen Automation


The theme of this year's Exchange event centered around accelerating profitable and sustainable operations. Emerson focused on building stakeholder confidence in their future strategy. Consistently threading AspenTech software into the conversation stressed the value brought to the newly introduced “Boundless Automation” architecture and the 2,500 attendees.

The LNS Research team attended to evaluate the status of the following:

      • Portfolio and product strategy

      • Data Management

      • Sustainability messaging

Portfolio Strategy

Emerson’s growth came from product development, partnerships, and acquisitions. The future portfolio strategy includes aggressive M&A and product rationalization. AspenTech integration was chosen due to acquisition experience and advanced applications to expand Emerson’s software solution footprint.

Emerson AspenTech, Plantweb Digital EcosystemEmerson Consistently Messages AspenTech Value

Stakes and expectations are high for Emerson’s “new AspenTech” majority ownership. Exchange 2022 was the first event since the deal closed. Day 1 included AspenTech President & CEO Antonio Pietri announcing the inmation Software GmbH acquisition to solve the industrial data integration, management, and contextualization needs for profitable, sustainable capital-intensive organizations.

Blackstone’s purchase of Emerson’s $14B majority stake in Climate Technologies compressor/ HVAC business further consolidates the Emerson portfolio. We see these moves as positive indicators of market growth.

Product Strategy

Emerson’s CHARMs technology and AspenTech’s aspenONE suite prove innovation capability. Product updates continue to show Emerson and AspenTech product strength:Boundless Automation, Emerson

      • Plantweb + Asset Optimization Software incorporating AI will enable next-level IIoT platform insight to transform operations
      • Movicon.NExT 4.2 improved user interface and security allows for quicker device integration and OEM collaboration
      • DeltaV V15 easier I/O integration means more can be done at the floor level with real-time analytics improving agility
      • aspenONE V14 included sample models and risk-ranked alerts that will accelerate Sustainability goals along with new features:
        • Aspen Virtual Advisor's new HMI capability provides guidance from Aspen DMC3 knowledge at the operator level for better decision-making
        • Aspen Unified Reconciliation and Accounting adding automated emissions source data aggregation allows quicker reporting, freeing up time for data insight action

Future innovation will focus on collaboration and integration to accelerate interoperable “Boundless Automation”. 

Data Management

Transforming operations through analytics relies on aggregating disparate system data. Laura Schafer, Emerson Pervasive Sensing & Connectivity, is focused on solutions that “unlock criminally underused datasets”.2022 LNS Research on Advanced Industrial Analytics Adoption

The Emerson/AspenTech strategy to contextualize data at the enterprise is on target to meet customer needs. Combining Emerson OT, AspenTech’s acquisition of inmation, and a common data model will accelerate analytics to enable increased customer value.

Sustainability Messaging

Exchange incorporated unique “Sustainable Solutions” placards and a Diversity & Inclusion space to emphasize Sustainability. Events featured women in manufacturing, innovative technology, and industrial executives sharing their Sustainability journey.

SustainabilityApproachSustainability Approach

Mike Train, Emerson SVP & CSO, shared the three-pronged environmental sustainability framework to reduce GHG emissions:

      • Improve internally

      • Enable customers

      • Value chain collaboration 

The overall approach was refreshing and AspenTech should leverage Emerson’s Sustainability messaging.

Path Forward

Overall Emerson/AspenTech indicates business model crossover success.

Recommendations:

      • End-users should consider their products. Continued integration will further enable Sustainability and profitability improvements.
      • Emerson/AspenTech should focus on current users. Business and reputability grow with penetration across their respective communities. 
The Automation Business Model Challenge 1200w

Predictions:

      • Emerson/AspenTech portfolio rationalization has just begun. We foresaw extensive efforts to rationalize software portfolios; Plantweb AI integration/AspenTech AIoT Hub overlap now adds to the repositioning. Fluxa acquisition provides the newer digital capability that Syncade lacks and may build/maintain the pharma footprint.
      • AspenTech’s AIoT solution will work to improve AIoT platform adoption. AspenTech’s IIoT platform build includes legacy applications and numerous acquisitions. With more M&A activity ahead a data hub architecture can provide data democratization, scaling capability, and help in meeting customer priorities for data management.
      • The data historian strategy may change. AVEVA hasn’t improved their acquired data historian that may bring future IP.21 investment. Imminent AVEVA takeover by Schneider creates an opportunity to evaluate data historian strategy and stop paying the competition.
      • Emerson will chime in more on interoperability. Emerson believes industry and established technology benefit from standards. Their greatest concern is that committee-driven standards for emerging technologies bring compliance rather than innovation and ease of use. Emerson, a big supporter of open standards, sees integrated software suites and the “Boundless Automation” approach as what the market needs. LNS Research predicts Emerson will still achieve an open, interoperable systems vision, similar to what OPAF is working towards, to achieve next-gen capability.
Next-Generation Sustainability: Risk, Opportunity, and Competitive Advantage Research Spotlight

All entries in this Industrial Transformation blog represent the opinions of the authors based on their industry experience and their view of the information collected using the methods described in our Research Integrity. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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