Focussing on a collaborative future

21 September 2016

As highlighted throughout its 2016 European User Conference, Yokogawa sees collaboration as vital to ensuring sustainable growth and operational excellence for itself, its partners and its customers. Suzanne Gill reports.

At the 2016 Yokogawa Europe User Conference, Satoru Kurosu, director executive vice president solutions service for Yokogawa Electrical Corporation, shared his thoughts on Yokogawa’s future vision, which revolves around creating shared value with customers through co-innovation.  

Kurosu explained that customer concerns today revolve around issues such as plant availability and reliability, efficiency, safety and security, and human reliability. Yokogawa is helping address these issues through the provision of complete solutions across the entire value chain and business lifecycle. 

Under the Transformation 2017 plan, which was introduced in 2015, the company is striving to expand its solutions service business, engaging customers in a co-innovation process and sharing insight to address global megatrends such as the population increase, climate change, globalisation, market volatility, resource shortages, and technological innovations, as well as addressing key industry trends which include a changing and ageing workforce and digital transformation. “The Transformation 2017 plan is a concept for our future automation business which utilises all of Yokogawa’s technologies. Our plan is to continue growing in a rapidly changing business environment – working with customers to create value and to stimulate growth while adapting to meet our customers changing needs,” said Kurosu. 

“Transformation 2017 expresses the determination of our top management to achieve these goals by 2017.  The plan involves three key initiatives – a focus on customers, the creation of new value with partners and customers, and maximising efficiency through the global optimisation of all functions and operations of the company,” continued Kurosu.

To ensure it is able to achieve the goals set by Transformation 2017, Yokogawa has made several key acquisitions. Most recently it acquired KBC Advanced Technologies, a provider of software and consultancy to the global oil and gas industry that is focused on achieving operational excellence and improving profitability for both upstream and downstream segments. This acquisition will allow Yokogawa to provide a one-stop solution for the oil and gas sector. The plan is to merge KBCs advanced solution technology with Yokogawa’s measurement, control and information technologies and with its secure cloud platform – another recent addition to its portfolio, following the acquisition of Industrial Evolution. 

Gaining insight with a flowmeter
At the 2016 Yokogawa Europe User Conference the company also introduced a new portfolio of four-wire Coriolis mass flowmeters and transmitters – Rotamass Total Insight (TI), developed based on a concept that seeks to optimise operations and reduce maintenance costs at all phases of the product lifecycle…giving total insight. 

Coriolis mass flowmeters are known to offer versatility and accuracy and Yokogawa has evolved the technology into multi-functional devices that are able to measure concentrations, function as net oil computers, and even measure heat transport. They are designed for use in demanding process control applications that involve liquids with high viscosity, entrained gas, and two-phase flows. 

Today these flowmeters are able to offer greater insight into the process, help improve the efficiency and flexibility of operations while reducing maintenance costs at every stage of the product lifecycle in a variety of process industry sectors such as oil and natural gas, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food.

The Rotamass TI product portfolio consists of six new sensor product lines and two new transmitters that can be configured to suit the requirements of an application. The sensor product lines have each been designed to meet specific application requirements and process conditions, including high pressure or high temperature applications as well as challenging processes involving hygienic or cryogenic conditions. The new general-purpose (Essential) and high-end (Ultimate) transmitters all come with an AC/DC universal power supply and can be flexibly configured to handle a range of functions. 

A new tool has also been developed to assist in the selection of the optimal sensor and transmitter combination for an application. Further, a Process Guard function has been added for the selection of event patterns to issue alarms, configure the triggering of data logging based on alarms or manually set points, and specify whether data is to be backed up to a microSD card for use in root cause analysis. 

To facilitate preventive maintenance and advanced flexibility a maintenance manager function has also been added. This includes Yokogawa’s Tube Health Check technology which monitors key sensing elements while the flowmeter is in use, providing data that can be used to minimise disruptions and reduce maintenance costs. 

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