4 things I'm looking forward to at the 2015 Emerson Exchange

Annual global users event highlights automation advances, reliability best practices

By Managing Editor Christine LaFave Grace

This week, I'm in Denver for the 2015 Emerson Global Users Exchange, Emerson Process Management's annual showcase of the latest technologies and trends that are advancing automation. The four-day conference features hundreds of sessions designed to give attendees actionable insights and best practices on topics ranging from the fundamentals of vibration analysis to justifying reliability investments to resolving intergenerational conflict in the workplace. The Exchange is so jam-packed that, according to event chairman Daniel Reid, it would take 14 weeks of eight-hour days to check out every session.emerson logo1

Throughout the week I'll bring you updates from the event—stories recapping sessions I'm attending and some real-time highlights on social media (follow PS on Twitter at @PlantServices, and you can follow me at @PSMagCLGrace).

With such a full calendar ahead, it's tough to pick just a handful of the things I'm most looking forward to this week. But I'll give it a shot:

1. Emerson's announcement of its Reliability Program of the Year winner on Wednesday. Dozens of companies submit entries to be considered for this annual honor, which recognizes achievement in areas such as the use of automation technologies, the creation of effective work process flows, and the application an integrated maintenance philosophy. Finalists are assessed during an on-site visit from an Emerson team. You can read about last year's winner, LyondellBasell, on our sister site controlglobal.com. UPDATE: Read about 2015 winner Saudi Aramco.

2. Wednesday's Industrial Internet of Things technology roundtable. As is reiterated in every discussion of the IIoT, you need a strong digital architecture in place to be able to collect, manage, and make sense of all of the data that sensing technologies can generate. This roundtable promises a discussion of new business models enabled by the IIoT and how predictive analytics and performance monitoring can help solve longstanding industry challenges. One of the panelists, Emerson's Mike Boudreaux, spoke with Plant Services Editor-in-Chief Thomas Wilk for our April cover story on the cloud's impact on asset management and condition-based maintenance. Get Boudreaux's perspective and learn the five drivers he sees moving plant managers toward remote monitoring here.

3. The Women in Innovation luncheon on Tuesday. Increasingly, leadership teams are recognizing the importance of having diverse voices represented throughout their organizations, Emerson's preview of this event notes. Psychologist Gail Golden, who offers strategy consulting to Fortune 1000 company leaders, will offer her perspective on what it takes to cultivate the kind of conversation and team engagement that can spur business-boosting innovation.

4. Meeting Denver! I've never spent any time of note in the Mile High City (an airport layover and a quick drive through town en route to Estes Park don't count), so I'm excited to take a few moments to get out and about. As a runner, my favorite way to explore a new locale is via my own two feet, and I know I'll have plenty of company in this running-happy city. Discovering the local food culture is another great way to get to know a city, and Exchange attendees will have an opportunity to do that at Thursday evening's networking event, A Taste of Colorado, at the Denver Performing Arts Center Sculpture Park. If I can get off-campus before I head out of town, I've heard Snooze is a great breakfast find nearby... 

I'm eager, too, to check out sessions on energy management, new reliability tools, and building engineering teams for tomorrow. What are you excited for in Denver? Email me; Tweet me—I'll see you there.  

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